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A garage door isn’t just an entrance - it actually does several jobs at once. Your garage door is also a vital security feature for your home, as well as an important aesthetic element. Despite this, we rarely give much thought to our garage doors. A good model can last several years, meaning that a homeowner may only learn about the wide number of choices on offer when the time finally comes from a replacement.

Indeed, choosing a new garage door is a long term commitment, and one that deserves some careful consideration! There are a huge number of choices both in terms of design and materials, with additional features like remote-activation on offer for those who want that additional level of luxury. 

The cost of buying and installing a garage door can range between £300 and around £3,000, depending on the materials and features included with your chosen design. Be sure to book a professional garage door installation service with a home security specialist if you want your door to last - an incorrect installation could spoil your investment and put your property at serious risk from opportunistic thieves.

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Choosing a garage door type

We are all used to seeing the standard one-piece ‘up and over’ design for garage doors. Classic, reliable and available in a huge variety of materials, designs and colours, it is easy to see why they are such a popular choice. However, you also have other options available:

  • Sectional - This design is made up of several sections rather than one large panel. Even so, they are still a strong and secure choice with a good amount of insulation built in. Importantly, these garage doors can be built in wider dimensions than standard models, making them a good option for awkward vehicles.
  • Roller - These have similar designs to sectional doors, except that they roll up as they rise. This offers a number of advantages: firstly, these doors take up barely any ceiling space, saving room for lighting and storage. Secondly, the doors will not stick out into the driveway as they rise, making them a good choice for obstructed garages. 
  • Side hinged - As the name suggests, these doors open outwards like a standard household door. These are a great choice for garages that need quick access for pedestrians.
  • Side sliding - These doors are quite similar to sectional or roller doors and are well suited to garages that require large openings. They can also be opened only slightly for quick access.

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Choosing materials for a garage door

As with any other home feature, the materials available for garage doors each offer their own advantages and disadvantages besides the initial cost:

  • Steel - Easily the most popular choice, steel garage doors are well priced, low maintenance and highly durable. They can also be painted or installed with convincing facades such as wood. However, they are not good insulators and, depending on the thickness of the steel, may not stand up to impacts. Remember when looking at this material that the lower the gauge, the thicker the steel. Try to aim for a gauge of 25-26.
  • Aluminium - This material is lighter and less expensive than steel, though it is also far more susceptible to denting.
  • Wood - Wooden garage doors are available in a huge variety of grains and styles and offer an attractive traditional appearance (some even have windows included). The disadvantage is that they need to be treated and refinished fairly regularly. If you spend a lot of time working in your garage, you should also know that wooden doors tend to make poor insulators.
  • Wood composite - As strong as steel but with the texture and appearance of wood, composite garage doors offer the best of both worlds, albeit at a higher cost. Composite wood doors are hard wearing, resistant to rot and splitting and can also be painted and stained.
  • Fibreglass - Despite being relatively lightweight, fibreglass doors are usually more resistant to dents than steel. Though their colour can fade with weathering, they can also be repainted. If you live in a coastal area, it is also worth knowing that fibreglass doors are resistant to salt water corrosion.