7 Questions To Ask Before Getting A Garage Door Estimate

Purchasing a new garage door isn't something to do on a whim. There are a number of things to carefully consider before pulling out your wallet. Whether your current door is broken beyond repair or you're simply looking for an upgrade, here are the seven best questions to ask a contractor when getting an estimate for your home.

1. Should you go with wood or metal?

When looking at wood vs. metal, there are a number of pros and cons to each.

Metal doors are made from steel or aluminum, and they are relatively low maintenance. They also tend to be less expensive and are known for insulating slightly better than wood. Some homeowners are concerned about rust, but most metal garage doors have a coating that prevents that from happening.

Wooden doors are aesthetically pleasing and exude a natural warmth. But they also require more maintenance and need to be refinished or repainted every few years. Wood doors also aren't expected to last as long as a metal doors.

2. Should your garage door be insulated?

Deciding whether to insulate your garage door comes down to determining the purpose of the space. If it's attached to your home, you plan to use it as a workshop, or you use it to store household items sensitive to changes in temperature, then having a climate controlled garage may be important to you.

If you don't spend a lot of time in your garage and use it mainly to store vehicles and outdoor equipment, then spending a little extra on insulating the doors may not be necessary.

Consider this: if your garage is directly below a room in your home, insulating the doors can help save on heating and cooling costs. Another advantage of insulated garage doors is that they tend to make less noise when opening and closing, and they may be more durable than non-insulated doors.

3. What's better? One double door or two singles?

Aesthetically speaking, one double door tends to give a more balanced appearance overall. But some homeowners prefer the look of two single doors. It's really a matter of personal preference.

One thing to consider from a practical standpoint, however, is that if something were to malfunction, and you only have one double door, your ability to get in and out will be challenged until the door is fixed.

4. Are windows a good idea?

Two things to consider when contemplating windows are lighting and security. If you don't want anyone to be able to see inside your garage, then skip the windows. If, however, you prefer as much natural light as possible, and security isn't an issue, then put them in. Some simply like the way they look.

The good news is that if you decide to skip the windows for now, you can always add them later.

5. How long will a new door last?

Most garage doors can be expected to last anywhere from 15-30 years, depending on how well it's maintained and how much use it gets. Most people have to replace the spring that opens and closes the door more frequently than they have to replace the door itself.

6. What kind of warranty can you expect?

Garage door warranties vary. Some will cover the parts and the installation for a set length of time, and others will void the warranty if the damage is caused by the homeowner.

Most companies will guarantee the parts for three years or so, but be sure to ask what you can expect with yours.

7. Do you need a new garage door opener?

If you have an existing garage door opener that works fine, you probably won't need a new one. Just be sure that the weight limits on your current opener aren't less than the weight of your new door. If that's the case, a new opener will be necessary. Garage door openers can range in price from $150-$500.

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