Why You Don’t Want Cheap Garage Doors
When it comes to your front door, you probably would go all out, within your budget of course. After all, it’s the front of your house, the portal to your home, the gateway through which guests and family pass on a daily basis.
And moreover, you’ve probably heard that the windows and doors are one area where the thermal insulation of your home can suffer a little bit…after all, they are essentially holes in the wall, filled by wood and/or glass. So given that concern, you’re likely to have heard about the value of having an energy-efficient, solid, good quality front door.
But when it comes to your garage door, however, your house gets a little short-changed. After all, who cares about the quality of the garage door, as long as it goes with the look of the house (easy enough, right…that just depends on the color). If it opens and closes, that’s also good enough, right?
Actually, you’ll find that contrary to what you might think, it’s also important to avoid installing cheap garage doors, and to pay for better quality.
It’s a little bit (shall we say) inconspicuous to march right up to the front of someone else’s house and try to break down the front door. It’s even a little bit difficult to break in through a window, both because it may be in plain sight, and because…well, have you ever tried to crawl over broken glass?
But the garage is one area that burglars may be able to find easy access to your home. For one thing, if there’s a door into the kitchen or laundry room, chances are you aren’t as scrupulous about locking it as you are your front door. Moreover, there’s usually plenty of stuff right in the garage for them to lift, not to mention your car.
A sturdy garage door is a barrier against potential theft. Criminals will know when they knock on the surface of the garage door that your home is no easy place to break into, and they’ll look for something else to do.
The majority of your home is probably well insulated, both by an insulating material in the walls and by (hopefully) thermally-efficient doors and windows. Now, in case you haven’t noticed, your garage door is a huge, gaping hole in your house, and covering it up with a cheap variety of door will not improve the energy efficiency of your home.
In fact, the garage is generally a very likely weak link in the chain of retaining desired heat or keeping out unwanted heat, especially if the construction and insulation is not as solid as the rest of your house, so you don’t want to compound an already extant problem with additional cheap building materials.
Conversely, if you’ve paid for good quality construction on your residence, don’t short-change yourself by giving up on the last mile of the race by installing poor quality garage doors. A good quality door will have a solid insulating layer like polyurethane and insulated glass windows.
With solid doors in place, you can better regulate the temperature in your garage, and make it a pleasing living extension of your living space. Whether you’re cracking open cold ones while watching a summer baseball game, or shooting pool in the wintertime while it’s flurrying outside, a thermally-protected garage, partially accomplished by the presence of solid garage doors, will really improve the interior space of your home.
Nobody wants their home to look like a home from a place that ends in double hockey sticks…at least most people don’t, especially if they’re potentially interested in selling their home in the near or semi-distant future.
You can do all the work you want on your home’s appearance to increase its curb appeal—paint the walls, re-shingle the roof, install new windows, and landscape the yard—but a poor quality garage door can be like anchovies on a perfectly good, mouth-watering pizza pie (sorry to all those who like anchovies).
Now you may think that even a cheap door looks good when it’s new, but the test of time will quickly flunk your attempt to cut costs. Wear and tear, discoloration, and dents from the occasional frantic teenage driver attempting to zip home one minute before curfew will not treat your garage door well, and lessen the overall appearance of your home.
A more expensive garage door made from quality materials will have a greater resilience against physical damage while maintaining the integrity of its appearance over time. Moreover, you can select a solid-looking material to match the textures and themes of your facade, giving your home a more stylistically consistent feel.
You want your garage door to do its basic job, which is to open and close. Make sure you get a good quality opener that functions well and doesn’t make to much noise, unless you like pretending that you live in a medieval castle, and the only way to exit the stables is by raising a creaking metal portcullis cranked by serfs, as it emits an unearthly screech meant to strike terror into the heart of your subjects (that sounds pretty cool actually, but probably gets old quickly).
You’ll also want to splurge a little more for quality springs since those are what help the garage door go up and down smoothly. Torsion springs are the most common, and they come with standard 10,000 cycles, which may seem like it will last until the next ice age, but opening and closing your door six times daily means you’ll reach that number in less than half decade.
Spending a few dollars more (say $50) will get you springs with a higher rating, perhaps 20,000 cycles, for instance.
Cheap Garage Doors Should Be Avoided
Between safety, thermal, aesthetic, and functional concerns, there are plenty of reasons to get a good quality garage door. A last word of advice continues the theme of avoiding the cheap and easy way out, and that is to make sure you have a professional company install your good quality doors (although this option is actually a whole lot easier than doing it yourself, isn’t it?).
A reputable company will be able to work with you to pick a quality product that matches the appearance of your home while providing a solid installation process that won’t leave you with undesirable flaws in the installation—which are not hard to fall into if you install something so delicate and complex yourself.
Best of all, they should be able to stand behind their work and offer an excellent warranty for their products, something you won’t get if you just buy a cheap garage door and do it yourself.
You’ll want to have someone from the company come out and take a look at your garage so they can make sure you’re ordering the best door possible given your situation. Ordering one online or over the phone is not a good idea, because there could be some unforeseen issue that prevents proper installation, and a sixteen-foot door is one thing you do NOT want to have to take back to the post office with a return label (warning: they won’t take it anyway).
So make sure you don’t get a cheap garage door, and get something durable, solid, and of good quality to serve as the entrance to your garage. It will make your home have a more unified appearance, increase your property’s value, insulate your home better, and regulate the garage temperature, transforming it into a more habitable and pleasant extension of your living space.
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