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Garage Doors 101 - More Information Than You Ever Thought You Needed

Cristina is a Florida native and Realtor by trade. She enjoys writing about travel, real estate, and several other interesting topics.


When you think of items in your home which affect the value, you might not think of garage doors. Yet, imagine if you had just a couple of pieces of plywood covering your garage opening. Not only would that plywood not function very well to keep your garage and home secure, it would look unsightly.

Garage doors occupy a lot of real estate on the front of most homes so they can have a big impact on the curb appeal of the home as well as it's value. According to Remodeling Magazine, which has kept tabs on the value common home repairs and remodels can return yearly since 2002, garage doors generally provide an average of 94.50 percent return on your investment. And the average cost of a garage door project is just under $3,700. Garage doors can change the entire feel of your home, making them a great choice when you're considering projects to invest in for a quick facelift.

Garage doors add beauty and functionality to your home.

Garage doors add beauty and functionality to your home.

Garage Door Options

Here are some current garage door trends to consider if you're thinking of replacing yours:

  • Bright Colors. Once upon a time garage doors came in muted neutral colors and whites. Thankfully, those times have passed us, and we're living in a much more vibrant era (unless your HOA prohibits color!). Bright colors enhance your home's character especially interesting woodwork on garage doors. They also complement architectural styles which typically favor a lot of color, like Spanish styles or Victorians. Be careful with bright colors, though, because there is such a thing as too much; you can end up overwhelming the rest of your house if you don't use those colors cautiously or if you don't use complementary colors for your home's main color scheme. Tip: Paint white trim on a bright garage door to help tone down the color just a bit.
  • Sleek Industrial Lines. Clean, sharp lines turn modern homes into ultra modern homes when used correctly. These industrial lines are still popular as are glass panes in invisible aluminum frames. This look, however, won't work with every home. Still, an industrial-style garage door looks great when placed against square-cut stone, dark colored shiplap, or natural wood siding.
  • Country Cottage Styling. Country cottage styling makes it easier to blend modern design elements with older homes, especially homes of a generic nature like those built in the 1980s and 1990s. Garage doors add character to these homes, especially those which have endured an even more generic remodel in recent years. Choose carriage house doors or doors that resemble barn doors for an industrial cottage look beyond the interior of your home. Pair these garage door options with Dutch lap siding or irregular stone or brickwork to make both the doors and the house pop.
  • Natural Wood. Natural wood doors have been around for decades, but have never been available in the variety of designs and colors we see today though they require more maintenance than other options on this list. If you're using natural wood, choose a solid door with lots of rustic flare. Alternatively, you might go for a synthetic wood door on a modern home to give it a little more of an earthy feel. Wood garage doors make a statement when made from horizontal strips in different wood tones.
  • Asymmetry. The mid-century modern style has gained a lot of popularity these days, but until recently there wasn’t a great garage door complement for this style home. Now, however, we have asymmetrical doors, perfect for the quirkly style of a 1950s home. With garage windows on one side rather than across the top, these unusual statement doors are perfectly paired with other square and rectangular outdoor elements, just like what you’d find on a vintage MCM ranch style home. Those side windows still let in a lot of light, while allowing a great deal of security and privacy inside your garage.

Insulated Garage Doors

When it comes to choosing your next door, there’s a lot to consider like all of the design options above. Another big decision to make is whether or not to buy an insulated garage door. Insulated garage doors can be a huge benefit to your home, whether you’re getting ready to sell or intend to stay in the home for many more years to come.

Here are just a few of the reasons to choose insulated:

A more durable design. Standard garage doors are made out of relatively thin material. An insulated garage door, however, has additional layers added to that thin material. These extra layers include insulation and a panel to cover the insulation and protect it from damage. These doors often also have extra bracing along the door’s length, creating a much stronger door.

Why would you need a stronger garage door? If you live in Florida like I do, you know the garage door is one of the weakest points of the home during a hurricane or tropical storm. Even if you don't live in a hurricane-prone area, one of the major causes of garage door damage is wind storms. The more durable materials also help to deter criminals, since the door is much heavier and more difficult to force open.

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Improved energy efficiency. Just like inside your home, an insulated garage door offers expected benefits such as greater energy efficiency. Although many garages don’t get connected to climate control systems, they still influence the temperature inside your home. When it’s very cold or very hot in your garage, air leaks and basic thermal radiation through walls can affect the temperature of the rooms adjacent to the garage..

Even if you don’t notice temperature changes due to your garage’s wild temperature swings, your car and other machines probably will. Even though they’re indoors and protected from rain, wind, and snow, temperature extremes can still cause a fair amount of damage over time. Insulated garage doors even out these temperature swings, extending the life of sensitive tools and machines.

Quieter garage spaces. Depending on home's set up, an insulated garage door can also help reduce garage door noise. If your garage is off of a main living area or isn’t even connected to the house, noise from door vibrations may not be noticeable, but when you have a sleeping baby in a bedroom just above or next to the garage door, you’ll be able to tell the difference between a standard door and an insulated one. Along with reducing door vibrations, an insulated garage door helps reduce noise that comes into your home from the outside. The thick door is a great sound dampener both ways, though, so you'll be able to indulge in noisy activities in your garage without bothering the neighbors.


That's the skinny on garage doors. If you're considering selling your home, or even just adding a bit of character and value, the garage door is a great project that will bring tons of benefits without breaking the bank. Have you changed your garage door recently? If so, I'd love to hear about the experience!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Cristina Vanthul


Cristina Vanthul (author) from Florida on May 28, 2021:

Thank you! I'm glad you found the information useful.

Lady Dazy from UK on May 26, 2021:

Good article, I will be needing some new garage doors soon.

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