When selecting garage doors, there are several points worth considering, but arguably one of the most important is aesthetics – how good the doors look and how well they complement the rest of the house and its frontage.
It’s hard to make any plausible case that a solid block of vinyl enhances visual appeal and the ease with which metal dents and deforms quickly makes metal garage doors look as though they have seen better days. By contrast, wooden garage doors are naturally attractive and retain their beauty with age. Scuffs and scratches actually lend them character and are anyway easily repaired if needs are requiring little more than basic handyman tips to deal with most situations.
A touch of quality
It’s no coincidence that wood garage doors are still the first choice among architects, builders, and homeowners; solid wood garage doors always add a touch of quality in the same way that solid wooden window frames totally outclass aluminum and uPVC window systems. It is also much easier to match wood types and colors to existing architectural features such as the main doors and windows of a house.
As already mentioned, wood is easy to work and repair and when properly treated wooden garage doors can easily outlast so-called maintenance-free materials such as steel, aluminum, fiberglass and vinyl (also called polyethylene).
Metal doors are prone to attracting dents and to buckling (even simply kicking a ball against a metal garage door can ruin its appearance), and while steel doors tend to be less susceptible than aluminum, steel is heavier and will eventually rust. Fiberglass and vinyl, while being lightweight and initially robust will over time degrade and become brittle and crack due to exposure to ultra-violet light and they are not realistically repairable once that happens.
Classic wood garage doors
Classic wood garage doors also provide a useful lesson in the simplicity of design. Using solid wood rails and legs with panels channeled into them and typically swinging outwards on hinges there is no complicated internal framework just waiting to fail or extraneous fastenings to corrode. Most metal and vinyl garage doors, on the other hand, employ either an “up-and-over” system or the more recent “carriage style garage doors” design that looks as though it might swing outwards but in fact, is sectioned and rolls upwards.
In both cases, complex mechanisms using garage door springs are vital to the operation of the door. And it is a near certainty that, even if you regularly maintain the mechanism, you will at some point be required to adjust your garage door springs and possible repair and/or replace them which is not a trivial task.
Get behind any set of garage doors though and the full story is revealed. Only solid wood doors look good on both sides and are not just an outer shell concealing latch mechanisms on the inside. This is critically important to anyone considering using their garage as a secondary living space.
Not only do wood garage doors look good both from outside and inside the garage, but they also offer superior insulation and security characteristics – heat simply flies through metal and vinyl and neither material supports the sort of proven, quality locking mechanisms typically found in solid wood doors. Although it is relatively simple to add insulating panels to the inside of a metal door, the result is never especially easy on the eye and the result compares poorly against a pre-insulated wooden garage door.
For those looking for ultimate protection then high-security wooden garage doors internally reinforced with steel are able to resist even the most determined attackers for a considerable length of time. These not only protect your property but can form the basis of a garage “safe room” to prevent intruders from threatening or harming you or your family.
In summary, then, wooden garage doors are not only the best looking option but last better than the alternatives and are simpler, more environmentally friendly and score highly where security and insulation are concerned. There’s no escaping the fact that a wood paneled door is far and away the most expensive option, but there’s always a price to pay for quality and don’t forget either that wood garage door can increase the value of your home.
The author is a garage door expert and the founder of Canadian Garage Door repair Calgary – a 24-hour garage door repair and replacement services around Calgary city, AB.