Garage Doors Aren’t as Simple as They Used to Be

If you live in or have ever seen a garage on an historic home, you know that back in the day there was one choice for garage doors: wood. Not so anymore; now you can choose from aluminum, steel, vinyl, wood or composite wood. But what are the differences and why do we need so many choices? Different materials offer varying durability, appearance, cost and lifespan: factors you should be familiar with before making that big purchase of a brand new garage door.


  • Pros
    • Affordable: Aluminum is one of the most affordable materials for garage doors.
    • Durable: It is a strong material and can hold up well against wear and tear.
    • Corrosion-resistant: Aluminum is resistant to rust and corrosion, making it a great option for homes in wet climates.
  • Cons:
    • Dents easily: One of the downsides of aluminum is that it is prone to dents, especially with heavy impacts.
    • Poor insulation: Aluminum is not a great insulator for doors, meaning it can be less energy efficient. This can result in higher heating or cooling bills. It’s important to insulate aluminum garage doors to prevent this issue.


  • Pros:
    • Stronger than aluminum: Steel is stronger than aluminum and can withstand heavier impacts.
    • Budget-friendly: Steel is also a more cost-effective option.
    • Low maintenance: It is easy to maintain and requires little upkeep.
    • Many style and strength options: There are various styles and strengths available in steel garage doors. They have both single-layer and double-layer options.
  • Cons:
    • Prone to rust and corrosion: Steel is vulnerable to rust and corrosion, which can be problematic in wet climates.
    • Dents easily: Like aluminum garage doors, steel is prone to denting.
    • Poor insulation: Steel is not a good insulator, so it may lead to higher heating and cooling costs.


  • Pros:
    • Sturdy: Vinyl is a sturdy material that is resistant to dents and scratches.
    • Rust-proof: It is also rust-proof and can hold up well against harsh weather.
    • Low maintenance: Vinyl garage doors are easy to maintain and don’t require painting or staining.
    • Impact-resistant: Vinyl is more impact-resistant than other materials. They’re a great option for homes located near busy streets or prone to small accidents.
  • Cons:
    • Costly: Vinyl garage doors tend to be more expensive than other materials.
    • Limited colors and styles: There are fewer color and style options available for vinyl garage doors.


  • Pros:
    • Timeless look: Wooden garage doors have a timeless look and add warmth to a home’s exterior.
    • Unlimited style and color options: There are virtually unlimited style and color options with wood garage doors. You can paint or style your garage to match the rest of your house with ease.
    • Self-insulating: Wood is a natural insulator, which can help reduce heating and cooling costs.
    • Stands up to time if cared for: With proper care and maintenance, wood can stand up well against time.
  • Cons:
    • High maintenance: Wooden garage doors require regular maintenance, including painting or staining.
    • Fluctuation with Weather: Wood expands and contracts with changes in temperature and humidity. This can unfortunately cause warping or cracking.
    • Will rot if exposed to too much water: Wood is vulnerable to rotting if exposed to too much moisture. This can be problematic in wet climates. Wooden garage doors are better in dry environments.
  • Another, less common option is composite wood, which has all the cosmetic benefits of wood but without the risks of rotting or cracking.

Choosing the right material for a garage door depends on several factors. This mainly includes the climate, style, and budget. While each material has its own pros and cons, selecting the best option for your needs can help ensure a long-lasting garage door. Still wondering what the best option for your new garage door installation is? Ask your local experts at EDH-Serrano Garage Door Repair for advice!

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When you’re installing, repairing or replacing an overhead garage door at your home, chances are you’ve researched several contractors and are trying to make the decision that will get you quality service at the lowest price. But when it comes to large home investments like garage doors, quality needs to take precedence over cost. Whoever you hire, you’re probably going to need their help again down the road, so choosing a local, reputable company is definitely the way to go. They know the area, the needs of the community, and since they’re local you know they have loyalty and integrity to have stayed successful in the area. It’s definitely your best bet and your safest choice.