The garage door isnt just the entrance to a garage; its the way into your storage, your vehicles and, unless the garage is one of those rare separate buildings, access to your home, belongings and family. With that in mind, the garage door should be chosen not just for the look but also for functionality and essential safety features.
What kinds of garage doors are out there, and how much are they?
The most functional and typical garage doors are the rolling models. These are made up of aluminum and/or steel joined in segmented, rectangular strips; these strips roll up around a drum above the garage opening. These are ideal doors for compact spaces where there is not much room for overhang (these doors have none), or where the driveway space is limited. There is no swing factor to damage the car (or the operator of the doorway) and the doors can be operated by remote control (which adds around $200 to the cost).
A sectional door is similar to the rolling door, subdivided into segments (larger than the strips of a rolling door) along the doors breadth. The door stays within the frame as the sections slide up onto the runway in the garages ceiling, another space-saver for owners of small driveways.
The up-and-over door is a solid (and characteristically safer) doorway that swings toward the driveway (which necessitates sufficient clearance between door and vehicle to avoid damage) and then upward, sliding into grooved runners in the garage ceiling. Once opened, the door aligns with the ceiling. Suitable for longer driveways, the up-and-over door is very sturdy and gives a feeling of security and strength to the locked garage. A variation of this is the swing-hung door, which, as the name implies, swings up and rests above the car; obviously clearance is required for these also, and remote control for these models is a bit more expensive, as a sturdier system is required (around $300 to $400).
How much are these doors? Garage door prices range between $700 and $7000, but obviously we can ballpark a figure more easily, based on what material is used to build the door.
The standard size for garage openings is 8 feet x 7 feet. Some larger homes may have 8 x 8, 9 x7, 9 x 8 or the luxuriously large 16 x 7 and 16 x 8. Obviously measuring the garage door before pricing is the first step, but the garage door prices quoted here are for the 8 x 7 size (16 x 7/8 would be double the price; 9 x 7 doors would add 10%, 8 foot high adds 25%).
A steel or aluminum garage door, the most common kind used in commercial and residential garages, is the least expensive material. Steel will dent as the years go by, and it usually needs insulation, so one can add about $100-200 to the price for that. An 8 x 7 un-insulated steel door runs between $700 and $1200.
Vinyl garage doors have a nicer, more customizable look than steel or aluminum (because vinyl can simulate a wood-grain finish), and they are resistant to denting; they are somewhat more expensive, however, as an insulated vinyl 8 x 7 door is priced between $1100 and $1500.
Green or recycled garage doors are made from wood composites; they need to be painted but can be colored to the houses exterior, and cost between $1000 and $1300.
Finally, the custom-wood insulated door of cedar or mahogany (gorgeous looking without stain or paint) raises the value of the home, but costs between $2500 and $7000.
And that is your basic garage door, open and shut.