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Consider your options when shopping for overhead garage doors in Houston

Consider your options when shopping for overhead garage doors in Houston

February 26, 2016

In the market for overhead garage doors, Houston business or home owner? Make sure you ask yourself the right questions as you shop or you may regret your choice later, simply because you didn’t consider all your options in the first place. You don’t want to spend the money, have the labor done, look at your new garage doors, and think “Wait, this looks terrible on this building,” or “Wait, with this level of insulation my summer AC bills will be unbelievable.” So take a moment, and ask yourself these 10 simple questions:

What material do you want?

There are quite a few materials to choose from when considering overhead garage doors; steel, aluminum, and other metals, a variety of woods, plastics, glass, and combinations of each. The material you choose will have a major impact on a number of factors, including the style, security, insulation, texture, and just about anything else you might consider. It’s fine to put this question off until later, but be mindful of the compromises and choices you’re making when selecting one material over another for other benefits.

Will the style match?

If you want your building to hold any aesthetic value, you’re going to need to consider whether the overhead door you’re looking at will suit the style of your building. This includes the color, whether it looks classy and classic or efficient and modern, what if anything it’s detailed with, etc. Of course, you don’t have to care about this if you’re uninterested; if you’re building a garage for pure efficiency, simply choose whatever works best in a vacuum. Just know that it is something to consider, because a poor choice can and will clash horribly with the rest of your building.

Will you need adjustments to your building first?

Not all buildings can support all the various permutations of garage door without some level of structural modification. Maybe you didn’t have garage doors before, and you need to make the hole and supports necessary from scratch. Maybe your old garage doors were bigger, or smaller, or lighter-weight than the ones you want to install. Carefully consider what you need, what you want, and what you’ll need to do to your building to make it happen—you can easily find the majority of the costs of installing a garage door have nothing to do with the actual doors or installation.

Do you need extra security?

There are a lot of ways to make garage doors more secure, but many of them will limit your other decisions by a good bit. You can go for heavier or thicker materials, better locks, better attachment structures, smart locks, and a host of other features. Obviously, you can’t have big windows if you want true security—and you can’t have small windows if you want to keep your privacy, and keep people from seeing what exactly they’d find should they break in.

Would you like windows?

Speaking of windows, those are certainly an option. They have pretty much all the same weaknesses and benefits you’d see from putting windows anywhere else in your home: they let in light, they’re aesthetically pleasing, they can contribute to maintaining a certain style…but they also reduce the quality of insulation, lower the overall security of your building, and can break and thus require replacement. If you really like windows and glass, you can even go for garage doors consisting primarily of glass, for an excellently showy garage.

Is speed something you care about?

Do you care how long it takes to get your doors open? Or do you need some sort of mechanical or electronic assistance in getting the doors open, for whatever reason? It’s important to consider the practical factor of ‘how easy the door is to open’, after all, that being the primary function in the end. It’s not like there’s going to be a garage door that’s impossible to open, of course—but you might sacrifice a little bit of ease-of-use for other features, such as aesthetics or security.

How much maintenance are you willing to do?

Not all garage doors are created equally, when it comes to the level of maintenance required for proper safety. Anything with extra moving parts, extra delicate parts (such as windows), or unusual structures can and will result in an increased need for maintenance. If you want to never, ever have to think about your garage doors, go for something dead simple, sturdily built, with no frills or complications involved. Or, you can make sure you have a good service plan or warranty backing your installation, which makes it all someone else’s problem.

What sort of finish would you like?

Glossy, matte, textured, there are countless finishes you can put on your garage doors, in as many colors as you can consider. If you don’t care about aesthetics, just go for something cheap and resilient, that won’t look too terrible against the shade of your home or business. If you do care about aesthetics, however, you’ll want to take a long time to think about it; the impact can be massive with only a subtle change.

Is insulation a major consideration?

It’s nice to remember that a garage door is covering a huge hole in the side of your building. That means that it plays a very important role in determining how well your building is going to retain heat or cold, and keep external heat and cold away. Houston can see quite a range of temperatures, and you don’t want to be blasting air conditioning 24/7 through the summer and still have a garage that feels like the inside of a furnace, so you probably want to consider this carefully.

Final thoughts

Mostly, the important trick to getting garage doors you’re satisfied with is to make an effort to think about the decision in the first place; as long as you don’t shrug and grab whatever fits without a fuss, you should end up with a product that’ll perform well for your needs. Just think before you buy!