Garage Doors Do Make a Difference

The linear design over the shiny gray of the three car garage doors is very modernGarage doors are an unrecognized convenience until they break down.  Then you recognize how much value they add and how quickly you need them fixed or replaced.  HRTI offers many garage door solutions from repair to re-installation to remodel. We will work with you to get your doors up and running, so you can do the same.

Garage doors are reported to provide an 87% return on investment if done right during the renovation of your home.  There are several options to consider when choosing the right garage door for your home, these include appearance, operation, functionality, material, color, and upkeep.


If your garage door faces the street, it is possible that 20% or more of the curb appeal of your house will come from the garage door itself.   If this is the case for your home, the appearance choice is an important one. Garage doors appear traditional, contemporary, or craftsman. Depending on the look of your existing home, choose the appearance that is right for your garage door.  If your home has a traditional feel to it, a traditional garage door will work fine. These doors may be raised panel or flat, but the pattern and color blends into the overall appearance of the house, without asking for self-recognition. If your home is contemporary, or you would like to move to a more contemporary appearance on the exterior of your home, a contemporary garage door will get you at least a quarter of the way there.  Contemporary styles are meant to make a statement with color, windows, and lines. Craftsman garage doors work well for homes that have the timeless, laid-back feel of a bungalow or cottage. The detail on these doors can be faux or functional but tend include hinges, handles and cross bars.


These brown carriage house garage doors are perfect for the snowed in country look

Most garage doors roll up and down these days, but garage doors can also flip-up, open out, and roll side to side.  Each of these operations can be motorized, working from a remote in your car and garage. The traditional, roll-up garage door is great if you have limited space in your driveway, and also it tends to be the safest option for children and pets, as it only goes up and down, stopping if anything is in its way.  It can work well if your garage height is limited, and you do not need to put storage above the garage door. A garage door that flips up is similar to the rolling garage door, but it requires space outside of the garage door as it will lift out as it pulls open and slides up into its cradle under the garage ceiling.  A garage door that flips up does not need to have the ability to fold on a track, so it can resemble a more solid piece, than the sections on a traditional, roll-up door. Carriage garage doors tend to resemble french doors, that open out into the driveway. While these are visually appealing and can make the home look upscale instantly, they do require room to operate, both within and outside the garage itself.  These doors can be a bit more challenging for homes with young children who may not be expecting the garage doors to be opening toward them. Because these doors open out, they can free up valuable garage storage space above your car. The final type of garage door is the rolling garage door, that slides like a barn door outside the garage. This can be a very cool look for contemporary homes, but again requires space outside the garage to enable them to function.

Functionality of Garage Doors

This style of garage doors is mid-century modern with its skinny rectangular windows.

If you live in an extremely cold or hot climate, you may want your garage door to be insulated, allowing the temperature within the garage to remain somewhat temperate.  This works well if you plan on keeping pets in the garage during the day or leave your car for months at a time while you head to warmer weather in the winter months. However, if you live in a milder climate and tend to live in your home year round, going with an uninsulated garage door might make more sense.  The insulation in a garage door not only keeps temperatures out but can keep harmful fumes in the garage. So, if you have an attached garage that your kids play in, it might be best to only insulate the portion of the garage that joins with the house. Raise the garage door a couple of feet in hotter months, to circulate the air and keep the garage temperature down.


These steel and glass garage doors look stately against the brick facadeGarage doors can be made out of steel, wood, wood composite, aluminum, and vinyl or fiberglass.  As with all of the other choices you are making, it all comes down to what you value.

Steel doors work very well in the dry climate of the Denver front range.  They come already painted or with paintable options, so they can be customized to match the colors of your home’s exterior.  Typically they are formed with a double layer of galvanized steel, so they can dent and are subject to rust and corrosion, but again in our dry climate, this is less of an issue.  Garage door suppliers suggest looking for a 24 or 25 gauge galvanized steel choice to minimize any dents and damage that may occur. This will minimize the upkeep that a steel door will require.

Wood doors are often very aesthetically appealing but will require more upkeep than any of the other material options.  Especially with the dry climate of the front range, wood will need to be protected from the harsh heat and cold temperatures.  To minimize weight and warping, wood doors are built with wood layers or plies. The doors can come already stained or painted or can be painted on site to create the curb appeal you desire.  Wood doors can look rich and welcoming, so if you are up for the upkeep, they may be a worthwhile investment.

Wood composite doors typically have wood frames with covered fiberboard as the actual door.  The fiberboard attempts to resemble a real wood look and can be a lower cost option that solid wood doors.  The core of the door is usually filled with some type of insulation to give the door stability and functionality.

Functionality choices might also be based on what you plan to have in your garage.  If you have plenty of space and would like to have one side of your garage reserved for cars and the other side reserved for bikes and recreational equipment, then you might want to have two separate garage doors, so you do not need to show everything when your garage door is up.  However, if you want to have plenty of room for your cars and use a separate shed for recreational equipment, then one, double door, might give you maximum space for your vehicles.

Aluminum garage doors are much like steel, but resist the corrosion and rust that steel incurs.  Aluminum doors tend to dent easier than steel, so you might want to consider the activities will be taking place around the doors.  If you have a basketball hoop right outside the garage doors, steel might be a better option. Aluminum has the benefit of coming in a variety of brushed finishes as well as colors.  Sometimes translucent glass panels are inserted within the aluminum frames, allowing light to come in from the outside, offering a very contemporary feel, without compromising privacy or security.

Vinyl and fiberglass garage doors provide home-owners with low maintenance options as they are difficult to dent and do not corrode.  These doors are typically constructed on steel frames and come in a variety of colors, however, fiberglass tends to have more color choices than vinyl.  Both vinyl and fiberglass have the ability to mimic different materials, using grains and finishes that create the look a home-owner desires. Fiberglass can break if impacted, whereas vinyl tends to be more durable.  Both only need to be hosed down for occasional upkeep, making them virtually maintenance free. Both vinyl and fiberglass are also typically insulated with polyurethane to add to their stability and functionality.

Color and Upkeep

The horizontal wood planks on this garage door are stained the same color as the wood on the house.As you have read in the previous choices, color may impact the type of material you choose for the look you want.  Vinyl, fiberglass, steel, aluminum, wood composite and wood can all come pre-painted. However, some of these materials will require more upkeep to maintain their original color.  Typically, with a good primer, almost any exterior surface can be painted these days, adding value and appeal to your home. But, how often do you expect to change the color of your garage door?  If you have chosen a traditional style, expecting the garage door to blend into the overall look of the home, you will not want to change the color unless you are changing the overall look of the home’s exterior.  If you want to go with something that is more contemporary and draws the eye to the garage door itself, the material you use may be more important than the color you choose.

Also, consider what type of upkeep you want to perform each year.  Is hosing off the garage door your desired level of engagement or are you willing to paint/have painted the garage door every couple of years?  If you desire low-maintenance and upkeep, go with a pre-painted aluminum, vinyl, wood composite or fiberglass door. If you desire high curb appeal, regardless of upkeep, wood or steel will address your desires.

HRTI will help you with your garage door decisions. Schedule and appointment to talk with us about your garage door choices. CONTACT US TODAY!

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