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Garage Door Options: How To Choose The Right Garage Door For Your Home

(HIT) - Garage door options are as varied as the garages they serve. Before you buy a garage door, it's important to understand the different garage door options available, as well as the correct way of measuring your door opening to ensure an excellent fit.

Garage door options include steel, high-density polyethylene and traditional wood styles. All of these garage door options have benefits that can make them a solid choice in differing applications. Today, the best-selling garage doors are typically made of steel, such as GADCO’s line of Americana®, Pioneer, Independence® and Plainsman® doors. Steel doors are usually chosen for their strength and durability.

The most basic steel garage doors feature an exterior steel skin with steel vertical stiles on the inside to form a door section. Offering no insulation, these doors are most appropriate for detached, unheated garages. One step up in garage door quality and price is a steel door that features a layer of insulation covered with plastic or vinyl. The highest quality steel garage door options are the two-inch "sandwich" doors, which boasts a layer of insulation the full thickness of the garage door section, sandwiched between an outer and inner layer of steel skin.

If you choose a steel door, remember to check both the steel gauge (thickness) and paint finish. The most durable steel garage door options are made from 24 and 25 gauge steel, while gauges of 26 and 28 are lighter and less durable. The best steel garage door options also boast a polyester finish coat over epoxy primer, making them paintable if a color change is desired.

While not as common as steel doors, synthetic garage doors offer their own advantages. Unlike steel garage doors, garage doors made of high-density polyethylene, such as the Freedom® door from GADCO, are impervious to denting, rusting and fading, and never need painting. Even after years of use, these doors can look as good as new.

Despite their appealing appearance, traditional wooden garage doors have fallen from favor with many home owners and home builders. One reason is that in order to make a wooden garage door lighter, the old two-inch sections have given way to thinner sections that don’t provide the same strength and durability.

Another consideration when contemplating wooden garage door options is that, unlike steel and plastic garage doors, wood garage doors require time and effort to maintain. Even with a pre-primed garage door, you’ll face the task of painting the door with a finish coat after installation, and repainting it at regular intervals thereafter.

Before deciding which garage door options are right for you, make sure you’ve carefully measured your garage door opening to ensure the right fit. To determine the proper garage door width, measure the distance between the inside point at the jamb of one side of the opening to the other. Also measure garage door height, ensuring a true reading by measuring the distance from the floor to the underside of the header at several places.

When measuring side room, make sure it's four inches or greater, to allow space for the vertical track brackets to be secured to the jambs. And don’t worry about irregularities of up to an inch in the garage door floor. A full-width bulb-type weatherstrip attached to the bottom of all most modern garage doors can correct for such variances.

Finally, don’t forget about headroom. If you plan to use extension or torsion springs and a 12-inch radius track, you’ll need 11 inches of headroom when installing your new garage door. With non-standard 15-inch radius track, required headroom is 14-3/4 inches. To calculate headroom, subtract the height of the garage door from the distance between the floor and the finished ceiling or first obstruction.

For more information on GADCO garage doors, please write to: General American Door Company (GADCO), 5050 Baseline Road, Montgomery, IL 60538.

Courtesy: Home Improvement News and Information Center

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