How to Choose a New Garage Door

How to choose a new garage door

When it comes to choosing a new garage door, you have plenty of options. The decision comes down to which option best fits your home’s needs.

Some factors to consider when selecting a door include garage door style, materials, windows vs. no windows, insulated vs. non-insulated and the type of door opener you want. If you’re don’t know what you should look for when choosing a new garage door, read below to find tips from A Better Door.

Garage Door Styles

There are several different styles of garage door to choose from, including:

  • Sectional style: Sectional style is the most common type of garage door. Sectional style doors are broken into separate sections, which are held together with hinges. The hinges allow the door to bend and move as it is opened and closed. Because they are so common, sectional style garage doors are available in several different materials and designs.
  • Carriage style: Carriage style is a classic type of garage door that resembles the style door found in traditional horse barns. Originally, carriage style garage doors were equipped with handles and opened outward. Many garage doors still open this way. However, homeowners now have the option to have carriage style doors that operate like modern garage doors instead.
  • Roll-up style: Roll-up style garage doors coil upward when opening.

Single Door vs. Double Door

If you need a little more space in your garage, you have two options to consider — two single doors or one double door.

Two single doors:

  • Reduce the amount of cold or hot air that enters your garage
  • Are visually appealing
  • Leave no room for a third car
  • Need double the maintenance
  • Require the purchase of a second garage opener, which could be costly

One double door:

  • Provides more space inside your garage, specifically for homeowners who use car seats or wheelchairs
  • Requires only one opening mechanism

Also, with one double door, all of your household’s cars will be trapped behind the same door in the event of a door malfunction.

6 types of garage door materials:fiberglass, steel, aluminum, vinyl, glass, wood

Garage Door Materials To Choose From

When selecting the material for your garage door, you have a choice between wood, composite wood, fiberglass, steel, aluminum, vinyl and glass. What is the best material for a garage door? The answer depends on the qualities and features that matter most to you.


Wooden garage doors provide a warm, rustic touch of style to any home. They are available in two different material makeups — real wood and composite wood.

  • Real wood: Popular wood options include cedar, fir and redwood. Real wooden doors are heavy and durable. They are designed by craftsmen and may be customized with different stains or grain options. They are more insulated than composite wood doors.
  • Composite wood: Composite wood doors imitate the appearance of wood, but are lighter and less durable. However, they do require less maintenance than genuine wood doors. The initial cost of composite wood doors is also more budget-friendly.


Steel is strong, durable and dent-resistant. They easily protect the interior of your garage from noise or weather. Steel garage doors also provide a lot of insulation and are available in a range of prices.


Vinyl doors are affordable and easy to maintain. They can be customized to fit a variety of styles and colors — however, once a vinyl door is installed, it is challenging to change its appearance.


Glass doors can be a chic style choice for any modern home. They let plenty of natural light into your garage and require no exterior paint to maintain. Glass garage doors can be frosted or mirrored, allowing for more privacy.

Glass doors are often relatively expensive, and although they are designed to withstand the elements, they do not provide insulation.

The Pros and Cons of Garage Door Windows

Another choice you have is whether you want your garage door to have windows. While garage doors with windows are attractive, they have their pros and cons:

Pros: Some of the benefits of windows for garage doors are that they:

  • Are aesthetically pleasing
  • Let in natural light
  • Can coordinate well with the windows in your home

Cons: However, windows also:

  • Are more expensive
  • Can be breakable
  • Offer less privacy

Insulated vs. Uninsulated Garage Doors

As we learned above, some garage door materials, like real wood and steel, are natural insulators.

Other materials can have insulation added to them.

If you’re considering whether to choose a garage door with or without insulation, consider these factors. Insulated garage doors:

  • Reduce noise pollution
  • Are energy-efficient
  • Are more sturdy and durable
  • Are more expensive than non-insulated doors

If your garage is above a living space, you may want to consider choosing a door and/or material that provides insulation.

Types of Garage Door Openers

When selecting your garage door opener, there are three main types of garage door openers to choose from, and they are:

  • Chain drive openers: Chain drives are the most common type of garage door opener. They operate using a chain that connects the trolley to a motor, which pulls the door open or closed. Chain drive openers are strong and reliable, though often noisy. They are ideal for detached garages. Chain drive openers are budget-friendly.
  • Belt drive openers: Belt drive openers operate similarly to a chain drive opener, but use a rubber belt instead. For this reason, operation is quieter.

Wi-Fi or Smart Garage Door Openers

Wi-Fi-powered openers — also known as smart openers — are relatively new to the garage door scene, but homeowners enjoy their benefits. In 2017, 74% of consumers said they would repurchase their Wi-Fi-powered garage door opener.

Some benefits of a WiFi-enabled garage door opener include:

  • The ability to open and close your garage door while away from home
  • Push notifications on your cell phone alerting you anytime your garage door is opened — some smart openers will even show you the person entering or exiting the garage

Contact A Better Door

Let A Better Door Company Help You Choose the Best Garage Door for Your Home

A Better Door Company is here to answer all your garage door questions. We are a family-owned business specializing in residential and commercial overhead garage door sales, installation and repair throughout Suffolk and Nassau counties in Long Island, New York.

Browse our residential garage doors online or visit our showroom to view many of our garage door options in person.