Selecting the Right Garage Door

When selecting a garage door for your home, the list of questions includes basic material, style, and price. There is a range of options and prices for garage doors, starting with the basic stock offerings and moving up to architecturally designed custom doors. The wood you select, the quality of the insulation, the glass inserts, and the panel style will all impact the purchase price of your garage door. Of course, you can pay bargain basement prices for a garage door that will only last a few years — Or break out the checkbook for a craftsman’s $10,000 work of art. With a little homework, however, you can find the best door for your home while staying within your budget. Here are some general guidelines for what to expect when you go shopping.

Stock Doors
No matter the material you choose, a basic garage door comes without significant panel design and without glass. From there, each upgrade will impact the cost of your door. Whether you install it yourself, the degree to which you customize your selections, and the materials you select, will determine whether your door is on the low, medium, or high end of the spectrum. A basic wood garage door for a two-car garage made of pressed wood or Masonite, with recessed panels, ready for paint, will cost around $575. In the value range, customers can also select flush faces or upgrade the wood for an increase in price. This price will not include installation, but typically includes new tracks and rollers. Ordering the door installed typically adds about $100, as do basic glass inserts. An average steel door, single-faced without insulation or windows, typically costs about $360.00. Adding windows to steel doors is slightly more expensive, but installation costs are usually the same.

Semi-Custom Doors
In the mid- or semi-custom range, customers begin to select among panel styles, glass inserts, and designs. Homeowners select from a kit of styles to create the door that best suits their home. In this range there are more wood types available, six or so panel designs, and different levels of glass inserts and designer-look glass options. Wood doors in this range may be hemlock, on the low end, or cedar or mahogany at the upper end. Semi-custom wood doors usually range from $1,500 to $3,000, not including installation or primer. A steel door in the mid-range is typically steel facing with a sandwiched insulation and fiberglass inner face. These doors come with a variety of available options, including color. Steel doors always come primed and with a baked-on finish suitable for painting. Prices for mid-range steel doors run from around $400 to $1,200 or so. Again, installation is extra, but includes new tracks and rollers plus a check on your garage-door opening system and a resetting of that system.

Custom Doors
The high end of garage doors can go from custom colors, finishes, panel designs, grooved panel faces, insulation, and top-quality materials, up to architectural design. Many companies refer to this level of wood door as a carriage house selection. These doors are made of high-quality woods, carry longer guarantees (up to five years for some), and are intended to enhance the design quality of the home. Doors in this category can run $3,000 or more apiece. Plans for the garage doors can be drawn architecturally and submitted to the company. Many can manufacture and deliver a custom door within three weeks. There are also a number of companies that provide wood carriage house doors with a variety of panel and glass options. Many of these design showrooms can be toured online. Installation costs vary, as do guarantees on workmanship, parts, and materials. High-end steel doors are double-faced with steel inside and out, with insulation sandwiched in between. More often than not, high-end steel doors feature injected foam insulation, superior insulation value, and soundproofing. They frequently come with a lifetime warranty, a myriad of style and glass options, and a select number of panel designs. Two-car garage steel doors in this range typically cost anywhere from $595 to $1,500, not including installation.