New Garage Doors
O’Brien Garage Doors sells and installs top quality garage doors in Seattle, WA and the surrounding areas. We sell and service all brands and models of garage doors, including Amarr, C.H.I., doorLink, and MidAmerica and all brands and models of garage door openers such as Chamberlain, Genie, and LiftMaster.
Garage Door Overview
Your garage door plays an important role in making a first impression of your home. It is usually one of the most noticeable features in the appearance of your home and it is also the largest moving appliance in a home so you’ll want to choose a good quality door with a style that compliments the style of your home and choose the options that will increase your enjoyment of both the door and the garage itself. More than just handling the task of opening and closing your garage, a high-quality, durable garage door can increase the value of your home and even improve its security, and an electric garage door can be a priceless time and hassle saver, especially during the winter months! Whether you prefer a traditional style of garage door or a contemporary style of door, choosing the right door is important.
Buying a New Garage Door
Buying a new garage door can be both efficient and enjoyable if you know what to look for and the questions you will be asked so here is a basic overview of what you’ll need to know when buying a new door.
Step 1 – Determine the size of garage door you need.
Garage doors are available in a variety of sizes, and one of the first things you will normally be asked when shopping for a new door is whether or not you need a single or a double garage door and what size of door you need. Will you need two single doors, a double door, or a combination of a single and a double for a three-car garage? How many vehicles are you going to park inside the garage, and how big are they? If you are replacing your door, do not assume it is a standard size because there are many exceptions. You will need to measure your existing door to be sure, but here are some standard sizes to give you a basic reference.
For a normal home with a normal car, truck, SUV, or van parked inside, a Standard Residential Garage Door measures either 8 x 7 feet, 9 x 7 feet, or 10 x 7 feet.
- Height: Garage door heights are typically seven or eight feet tall. Older houses might have shorter doors because most people just had cars back then and not SUVs and vans with additional racks and carriers attached and oversized trucks with mirrors that extend out.
- Width: Eight or nine feet is the most common. On older homes, single doors tend to be eight feet wide, but nowadays, with the oversized vehicles, ten foot wide single doors are getting to be more common. If you need a double door, you would double the width. A double garage door measures out to 12 x 7 feet, 14 x 7 feet and 16 x 7 feet. This is designed for more than one vehicle and for bigger vehicles to fit inside your garage as well. The standard garage doors are sixteen to eighteen feet wide and some are as wide as twenty feet.
Step 2 – Determine if the door needs to be insulated or not.
Most of our doors can be ordered with different levels of insulation to help keep your garage and home warm in the winter months and cool in the summer months. If you have an attached garage, that can translate into hundreds of dollars in energy savings. On the insulation, you’ll need to know that it affects two things, the sturdiness of the door and the temperature inside the garage.
- Sturdiness: A non-insulated door typically has a steel front with a hollowed interior while the insulated door has an additional interior steel layer with insulation in between the layers, which makes the insulated door sturdier than its non-insulated counterpart. You can choose from varying degrees of insulation depending on manufacturer and model, and if you live in a coastal area that has hurricanes, you can also choose a hurricane door that has additional hardware to make them more wind resistant.
- Temperature: We normally see insulated doors in homes with insulated garage walls, which all together levels out the temperature in the garage. They help keep your garage and home warm in the winter months and cool in the summer months, and if you have an attached garage, that can translate into hundreds of dollars in energy savings.
Step 3 – Determine the style of door you want.
The next step in purchasing a new garage door is to determine the best style of door for your home. You will want to choose a style that blends with your home’s architecture.
Material of Door
Starting with the material, choose a material that will work best in your climate. Depending on your location, you will need to select metal, fiberglass, wood or aluminum for your door. Relatively inexpensive yet tough, steel garage doors are considered to be the standard on most new homes and come in a variety of styles from plain to elegant.
Type of Door
Depending on your lifestyle and the use of the door will determine which type you should invest in. they all basically boil down to two main types, the traditional style and the carriage style.
Traditional Raised Panel
Steel raised-panel garage doors are the most common garage doors in America. Sturdy and reliable, they have a timeless design with eight raised square panels usually and a deep wood grain texture, and they come in a variety of designs, colors, and window options. The traditional style is more economical and requires less maintenance than its counterpart, the carriage style.
The carriage style is a more elegant style that is steel imprinted to resemble the old carriage house doors that would swing or slide open to let the owner’s carriage in or out. This style combines the elegant carriage house look with durable steel construction and overhead technology and usually has a deeper wood grain texture than the traditional styled door. It has the mechanics of a standard garage door, but it looks like it will open outward with faux hinges and hardware. Customize your design by choosing from a large selection of color, window style, and decorative hardware options.
Color of Door
When deciding on the color of garage door that will best enhance the curb appeal of your home, you will want to select a color theme that includes the color of the window trim and exterior siding, whether it be brick, stucco, vinyl, or wood. A nice color theme can really make a difference in how well your house stands out in the neighborhood and how it’s valued in the real estate market. Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing your colors. If your home is a neutral color, a white door and trim could give it a cleaner and brighter appearance, and if your home is white, adding some color could brighten it up. Either way, the idea is create contrast, unless you want to tone the appearance of your home down by matching the color of the door to the color of your house. Garage doors come in a variety of colors and finishes with the most common colors being white, light or dark sand, stone, brown, charcoal, black, blue, and green. With traditional-style doors, you normally will also have the option of wood-grain finishes, while on a contemporary style, the option could be anodized aluminum.
Windows or Solid?
Windows are a nice addition to the door’s design. They add another layer of design to the door; they let the sunlight into the garage; and they allow you to see out. You’ll want to keep in mind though that the light coming into the garage will bring additional heat with it as well, which can make it pretty hot in the garage during the summer. Windows will also allow heat to escape in the winter, making it colder on the inside than a garage with no windows in the door. Additionally, as you are able to look out, someone on the outside will be able to look in, unless you go with a design that doesn’t allow that. You can either have plain glass squares or you can decorate them with various decorative inserts that fit on top of the glass and can be painted to match the color of your garage door. Here are some of the different window insert designs from which to choose.
Step 4 – Choose a quality brand.
Once you’ve chosen the style of your door, you’ll then want to select the best brand for your budget. As you can imagine, there are many garage door manufacturers out there so you’ll want to choose one that is reputable. With O’Brien Garage Doors you are not locked in to any one brand of garage door but rather you can choose from a number of top manufacturers, and you can rest assured that they are all high quality and reputable manufacturers because that is all we carry. We would be happy to help determine your garage door requirements and then review with you the different styles of products each brand has to offer and the various options you’ll have with them to fit your garage door needs. Top garage door manufacturers include Amarr, C.H.I., doorLink, and MidAmerica.
Step 5 – Select the right security features
Last but not least, just as you do with the front and back doors to your home, you will also want to ensure the security of your garage door. There are a few basic security features to consider. We will add these on our next update.
Garage Door Openers
Once you have selected the best garage door for your needs and budget, the next item to decide on is how you will want to open and close the door. You can either open and close it manually or have it opened and closed for you by an electric garage door opener. There is a lot of information to consider when choosing a garage door opener. For information on garage door openers, please see our Garage Door Openers page.
Well, that’s basically the nuts and bolts of buying a garage door. We hope these tips help you in choosing the right door for you and your family, and if you have any questions, please feel free to give us a call. We have a wide selection of state-of-the-art residential garage doors to fit any home and budget, and just like the products we offer, our garage door installation service is best-in-class. From inspection and installation to cleanup and haul-away, we take care of every phase of the process in a timely, professional manner.