We know shopping for a garage door is a significant task if you aren't familiar with what to look for. So we want to make the process fun and easy! If you have never had to purchase a garage door, or haven't done so for many years, here is an easy tutorial on what factors to consider in your search.

Design Style

garage door designs

Don't settle for ordinary when extra-ordinary is within reach! Wayne Dalton doors come in many different designs, colors, insulation values and sizes. Our Classic Steel Garage Door Models offer traditional panel designs and feature raised or recessed panels that can be short or long. Many window options are also available that can complement the look of almost any home. Carriage House Steel Garage Door Models offer the look of swinging stable doors with the durability of steel. Although these doors appear to swing open, they still move up and down just like a regular garage door. Windows and decorative hardware add the perfect touch to this garage door style. For homes with a modern design, our Contemporary Aluminum Garage Door Models with full-view glass are a perfect choice and can make a dramatic statement.

Colors are also important. Most Wayne Dalton models come in a variety of colors to choose from and can be custom painted to match your shutters, trim or siding. There are many different looks to consider other than a traditional raised panel steel garage door. Look at the rest of your home's architecture, and then find the design that matches it well. You can see how Wayne Dalton’s garage doors look on your home by using our Garage Door Design Center visualization tool.

Insulation

garage door insulationWith today's high energy costs, garage door insulation is just as valuable as anywhere else in your home. The number of uninsulated garage doors sold continues to decline as consumers demand energy efficiency for cost savings and comfort, which is more important than ever as more people use their garage as a work place or social gathering spot, and not just storage.

The thermal property of insulation is expressed as an R-value. A higher R-value reduces outside noise and helps the door operate more quietly. Many insulated doors are constructed using polystyrene or polyurethane foam.

Most polystyrene insulated door can be thicker but have a lower R-Value than polyurethane. If you are looking for thermal efficiency and a high R-Value, do not be fooled by the thickness of the door!

A polyurethane insulated door might look thinner but actually offers a much higher insulation R-value. That is because of the way the insulation expands during the manufacturing process to tightly fill the cavity between the two steel panels as it bonds to the skins of the door.

Not only does this make the door better insulated, it also makes the door incredibly strong and helps lessen noise while the door operates.

Safety

garage door safety featuresCan the largest moving object in my house be dangerous? Make sure it isn't.

Safety is a concern with any product, and garage doors are no different. Since it is a large moving object that many family members interact with, it should have as many safety features as possible.

Pinch-resistant garage doors feature a design that pushes fingers out of harm's way should they accidentally be placed too close to a closing door.

Tamper resistant bottom brackets reduce the risk of injury from garage door components under tension. The polyurethane insulation even provides better fire safety in that this type of insulation reduces the amount of smoke and flames in the event of a fire.

Material

garage door materials

How long your door will last, what kind of punishment it can take, or even how much annual maintenance it will require is strongly determined by the material used to make the door.

Our Classic Steel garage doors and Carriage House Steel garage doors are durable with only occasional need for cleaning or touch-up. Vinyl garage doors can last even longer, especially in environments with harsh weather conditions, and are more resistant to dents, are rust-free and never need to be painted.

If you love the beauty of a wood garage door without the maintenance, our Designer Fiberglass garage door Model 9800 can’t be beat. Our Model 9800 uses the Accugrain™ technology of Therma-Tru™ to create a natural-looking wood-grain fiberglass surface that is combined with durable steel construction.

The beauty and craftsmanship of our real wood garage doors is hard to resist. Although wood garage doors require painting or staining every few years, the effort is worth it when you see how it adds curb appeal to your home and makes your home the envy of the neighborhood.

Garage doors made from aluminum and glass offer a modern, sophisticated look. The aluminum frames are offered in many colors and finishes and you can choose from a wide selection of glass options including clear, obscure, and tinted. Aluminum garage doors are relatively maintenance-free, however they may not have as much insulation as other doors, so they may not be ideal for areas with extreme temperatures.

Window Design

garage door window designs

Don't think you want windows in your garage door? Think again!

Many people underestimate the value the windows can add to a garage door. To best illustrate the difference, select a sample home from Wayne Dalton's Garage Door Design Center and look at it with and without windows. The difference can be stunning and turn an ordinary or even a good looking door into an even better one. They also allow natural light into the garage that can make a gloomy garage interior much more appealing during the day. If you want to be able to look out your garage door, have the windows put in the third section from the bottom. If you don't want to look out the door, but want the beauty and natural light of windows, then have them put in the top section of the door.

Spring Design

garage door springCounterbalance springs are how your door is actually lifted and closed. It is not the opener that actually lifts and closes your door. That just provides the push to get the door moving. It's actually the springs, which are wound tightly when your door is closed. As the door moves up, the springs unwind, which provide the force necessary to lift the door. As the door closes, the weight of the door actually winds the springs back up until it closes completely. At this point the springs have their full tension again.  These springs are normally exposed and when they are under full tension, can be extremely dangerous.

The TorqueMaster® Plus counterbalance system is a Wayne Dalton exclusive that encases potentially dangerous garage door springs inside a steel tube. If the spring should happen to break after years of usage, it will do so safely inside the tube. Tension for the spring, which still should be done by a professional, is adjusted by using the winding mechanism on the side of the tube, and not by having to adjust any part attached to the exposed spring.

TorqueMaster® Plus adds a patented anti-drop device that prevents injury that could result from the accidental release of tension.

Warranty

warranty logoMany manufacturers offer a warranty, but few go so far as to offer anything more than one year. Wayne Dalton offers some of the best warranties in the industry, including many of its models with Lifetime Limited warranties. Other models have 10 years, which is still a significant time frame.

Good warranties offer you the peace of mind that the manufacturer is confident about the design and construction of its doors, and will back that up should the door happen to fail for reasons noted in the warranty.

Cost

Everyone has a budget. Well, most of us anyway. However, many people are surprised by how affordable garage doors can be. Most guess twice as much as what it actually comes out to be.

Generally, premium wood doors are the most expensive, then fiberglass doors, steel doors with and without vinyl or PVC overlays, and then uninsulated, single sheet steel doors and lower grade wood doors.

When considering what to spend though, consider that this purchase won't be made again for many, many years, if ever. And what you put on your garage now will have a big impact on the garage itself and maybe even more significantly, to the rest of your home. A few extra dollars now could give a benefit of a lifetime, and raise the value of your home to a new level.

Opener

garage door openerWayne Dalton garage doors and Genie® openers offer a dynamite door and opener combination that can't be beat! The Genie brand has a long history of reliability and quality that consumers trust and ask for by name. For more details on garage door openers visit www.geniecompany.com