Ordering a garage door over the phone or online can be a hassle. Every garage is a little different. A knowledgeable sales associate will review details such as opening size and shape, headroom, and side clearance to help you make design decisions. And if something goes wrong, there is no doubt as to whose fault it is. Therefore, before ordering your door, be sure to have a salesperson inspect your home for garage door repair needs.

Be careful with wooden doors

Real wood doors look great when new. But if you’re not willing to invest time and money into maintenance, you won’t be able to keep it looking good for long. Natural surfaces last for several years before needing recoating. If you wait too long, you’ll have to sand the entire surface and start over to get your door back to new condition. Fortunately, you can get the wood look for a fraction of the cost and avoid the maintenance nightmare with professional garage door repair services.

The least expensive option is stamped steel with a faux woodgrain finish (less than $1,000). From a distance, these doors look strikingly similar to real wood. If you’re willing to spend more ($2,500 or more), consider a garage door with a wood composite overlay or fiberglass skin. When purchasing a garage door, composite materials offer the look of real wood and the durability and stability of plastic. If you’re looking for more options, consider a vinyl garage door.

Improve insulation

If you’re planning on purchasing an insulated door to save energy or keep your garage warm, it’s worth spending about 15-20% more to switch from extruded polystyrene insulation to polyurethane insulation. The insulation value of a garage door is its R-value. The higher the number, the better the insulation. Clopay says it’s a 2-inch upgrade. The use of polystyrene in Intellicore (polyurethane) increases the insulation value from R-9 to R-18. That’s a lot for the money.

Pay a little more for Beefia Springs

The spring allows the garage door to open easily and slowly. Most garage doors use torsion springs. These torsion springs are usually visible on the top of the door. Standard torsion springs are designed to withstand approximately 10,000 cycles. It may sound like a lot, but if a very average person opens and closes the door 6 times a day, within 5 years he will reach 10,000 cycles. For an extra $50 on his garage door purchase, he can get a spring that lasts 20,000 cycles, or twice the lifespan, for a few extra dollars.

Buy a New Opener at the Same Time

The same person installing your new door can also install your new garage door opener. At some point, the opener will fail. So if it’s old or you want a quieter opener or one with more features, now’s the time to replace it. Replacing it with the door may also save you on labor costs, and you may be able to negotiate a package deal for the new door and opener.