When choosing a cheap garage door (most often, the price is the determining factor in the choice), we must think that it is possible that, in time, the cheap door will be, in fact, expensive. It is preferable to choose the garage door perfectly suited to our needs and resources and to enjoy it as long as possible. It’s not hard, we just have to clarify some needs, in the correct order, so that we can choose the perfect garage door for us. Logically, we must start with the garage – its characteristics will dictate certain essential characteristics of the garage door.
- Garage door – thermally insulated or uninsulated
In a thermally insulated and heated garage, it makes sense to choose a thermally insulated garage door. This characteristic is very important in a city like Seattle where winters are cold. In an unheated and non-thermally insulated garage (prefabricated concrete, for example), you can choose a garage door without thermal insulation. For an unheated garage, but thermally insulated, it would be recommended to choose a garage door with thermal insulation.
- Garage door – anti-burglary performance
At a garage located in the backyard, the burglary requirements of the garage door can be reduced; in the case of a garage facing the street (on the sidewalk), you should consider a garage door with superior burglary resistance. Apart from the locking system, the robustness, rigidity, and type of garage door are decisive for its resistance to burglary.
- Garage door – dimensions, mounting spaces
Usually, the garage is built (including the entrance gap to the garage), and then a garage door is sought. If you live in Seattle, my advice is to study the garage door market a bit before completing the garage. All manufacturers have some standard sizes, with a good price and it is preferable to take advantage of them. If the entrance gap to the garage is not made from the beginning according to those standard dimensions, its subsequent adjustment involves unreliable improvisations and, of course, additional costs.
BE CAREFUL! When we talk about the entrance to the garage, the one depending on which you choose the dimensions of the door, we refer to the finished stage (finished floor and plaster, heating system, etc. – on the walls). If you take the “red” measurements as a reference for the order and the garage door arrives after you are finished with the walls and floor, you can have unpleasant surprises.
Each type of garage door requires some mounting spaces (left, right and top) and a deep sliding space, which you must consider from the time of the garage. Do not limit yourself only to the structure, when you consider these spaces – a rain drain, a sewer, a pipe or a lighting fixture can be obstacles to the installation of the garage door.
- Garage door – with or without pedestrian door
In a garage used only for car parking, a pedestrian access door is not mandatory. In large garages, also used as storage spaces and / or as work areas (DIY), a pedestrian door may be required. When the garage is attached to the house and you have an access door from the house to the garage, this may be enough for you. The main role of the pedestrian door is to give you the opportunity to open the garage door only when you go out / enter by car or with bulky things and not for any “trifles”. Think that a few closed-open cycles a day means a longer lifespan of your garage door.
The pedestrian access door from the outside can be separated from the garage door or can be embedded in the garage door. If there is a pedestrian door next to the garage door, on the same facade, you can order it with the garage door and similar in design.
The pedestrian door embedded in the garage door is not possible for roller garage doors, but only for sectional garage doors and tilting garage doors .
- Garage door – with or without glazing
When you want to have natural light in the garage and you do not have windows for this purpose, you can choose a glazed garage door (with small fixed windows embedded or with 1-2 panels with glazing in aluminum frames). Here are some details to highlight:
- first of all, you have to decide if the glazing should be placed at (or below) eye level, so that you can see from the garage outside – in this case, you can also see from the outside inside, the glazing is clear glass; the glazing can also be with matt glass, with structured glass. Usually, the glass is acrylic or polycarbonate;
- the glazing can be placed at the top of the door, above eye level – in this case natural light enters, but it cannot be seen in the garage, from the outside, even if they are with clear, transparent glass;
- when the garage door is directly on the street, it would be recommended to be equipped with narrow windows, through which, if they are broken, a person cannot sneak in.
In the case of roller garage doors, considering that the profiles of the river are only 10-12 cm wide, the “glazing” are small transparent meshes, lined at a certain distance, along the profile.
- Garage door – manual or automatic
As an operating mode (opening and closing) you can choose an automatic garage door (electrically operated) or a manual garage door. In most cases, the mounting spaces on an electrically operated garage door are slightly larger than those for manual doors. Therefore, even if you initially choose a manual door, it would be good to consider from the beginning the necessary mounting spaces for the automatic version, in case you later decide to automate it. The differences in mounting spaces are not large, but sometimes a few centimeters can make the difference.
- Garage door – model, finish
There is a wide range of models and finishes of garage doors, but the most common are those with streaks/ribs (horizontal/vertical, thick/rare), boxed (with various types of grids), and special (also called “design”) – elaborate, non-repetitive models. The sheet can be smooth, profiled (“orange peel”, imitation profiled wood fiber), or finely ribbed.
Regarding the finishes, almost all manufacturers in Seattle offer a range of standard (economical) colors and the possibility to paint the garage door in any color from the “RAL CLassic” range (213 colors). In addition, there are finishes with heat-adhesive foil that mimics different types of wood (oak, rose, mahogany, etc.). “Design” models can have inserts or applied elements made of stainless steel or composite materials of different colors. Most often, for sectional garage doors, the color can be chosen on the outside, on the inside being a white or white-gray, depending on the manufacturer. Of course, when you buy a garage door in Seattle, you can also choose a special color on the interior, with an added price.
- Garage door – accessories
Depending on each situation, additional garage door accessories may be required, be they mechanical (locking, unlocking systems), electrical/electronic (card/fingerprint readers, transponders, receivers, etc.), or design ( handles, masks, applications). Some of them are mandatory in certain situations, and others – optional.
Of course, the big temptation is to choose a cheap garage door, but, being a long-lasting product, whose wrong choice can generate additional costs over time (related to the operation, heating costs, etc.), my advice is to try to choose the most suitable garage door for your needs.