Our garage door in our 1950’s home has had it’s time

What probably looked really good for this all wood classic back in the day, is showing wear and tear. The door has decayed and rotted and the springs wouldn’t hold it up. Our “opener” has been a large wood pole we would use to prop it open by hand. Oh to have a great garage door that gives my home curb appeal but also function and style! The good news is we have found our new door, and I wanted to share how you decide which door is best for you? If you haven’t looked at garage doors lately, for me it’s like shopping for shoes – the options are endless so you really have to do some homework, and a bit of dreaming for that ‘perfect fit’!

Here are some things to consider:

Home style and architecture

– Take a look at your home – the color, the shape, the architecture and neighborhood feel. Is your garage door near your front door – if so make sure they work together. And what about the color and style of your roof. It’s like putting together an outfit. The garage door is the coat to your pants, shirt and shoes. Consider the shape and style of windows too. Be true to your personality because garage doors are a fun way to express yourself but you want to make the overall vibe of the door will work with where you live.

Your Garage Purpose

– Like any room design, before you make choices you need to think about the purpose and function of that space. Is this simply storage and a place to park the car? Or is this a man or woman cave you’ve always dreamed of for projects, and other hobbies, maybe even an extra room as an office or work-out spot. Once you determine how the garage will be used you will know what kind of elements you need, including the door, to make the project a success.


– If your garage is attached to your house – choose an insulated door. It will help you save on energy bills year round. And it will also help block out noise. If you are planning to use the garage as a project center, or other hobbies, insulation will make it look and feel more like a room. That is what we opted to do because now you just want to be in there more! If you have a detached garage and is only.


– Our old garage door made of all wood really did start to deteriorate. The paint was chipping and the wood itself had rotting issues. That is why we chose a faux wood door that has little upkeep. But every door, even the faux wood needs regular check ups. Doors made from steel or composite are very durable and virtually maintenance free. But you may prefer the warmth of wood and the endless options. Just note to self, be prepared to paint or stain every few years.
Building Code Rules – If you live in a coastal area or high wind area, you may need a reinforced door approved by the local building code authority. Garage doors are more susceptible to wind damage, especially two-car garage doors. If it’s not reinforced, strong winds could put you or your property at risk.


– In choosing my new garage door, I did a lot of research online, then went to the big box stores and showrooms to look at physical samples of how they look in person. I highly recommend this because there is no replacement for seeing and touching the material. But thanks to the new interactive websites like www.ClopayDoor.com/dream you can also visualize what the different door styles and materials will look and feel like with your own home photo!
Garage doors are now made out of anything from wood, to composite to steel and aluminum and they truly are about function and fashion. Installing a new garage door is one of the top few money back on the dollar home improvements.

So what do the different garage door materials do and what about the pro’s and cons:
Wood: It is classic with flexibility to make your unique door with the type of wood species and stain you prefer. However it weighs more than steel, so an opener with higher horsepower is recommended. And depending on where you live, it will require more maintenance.


This is a Clopay Reserve Collection Semi-Custom factory stained Cedar wood door. Design 2, REC 13 windows.

Composite: If you are into wood but not the upkeep then you are like me and would go for faux wood composite. It is gorgeous, looks like the real thing, only it’s more durable and less maintenance. The composite polymer material can be painted or stained and it is UV resistant and impervious to moisture, so it won’t rot, split, shrink, separate, or crack.

Clopay Canyon Ridge Collection stained composite garage door. Design 38, Arch1 top.

Steel: This gives you the broadest range of insulation and price options from a single-layer and non-insulated door to a premium three-layer door with thick polyurethane insulation and gorgeous windows.

Clopay Premium Series insulated steel garage door, Long Panel, Palladian windows with grilles.

Steel doors with composite overlays offer the benefits of durable, insulated steel with added charm and design flexibility. Details like coped edging, true divided lites and embossed woodgrain texture make it another attractive, low-maintenance alternative to real wood, if you’re in the market for a carriage-house style door.

Clopay Coachman Collection carriage-house style steel garage door with composite overlays. Design 12, Arch3 windows.

Aluminum: This is a rust proof alternative that is great for humid and coastal areas. You can dress it up with glass windows to add style and light too. It is incredibly durable. And if you live in a home that is ultra modern you can go with all glass too.

Clopay Avante Collection aluminum and glass garage doors. White frame with frosted insulated glass panels.


– Garage doors range in price from a few hundred to several thousand dollars depending on the size, materials and design you choose. Even if you have a small budget you can still get a great looking door that is going to enhance the look of your home.

See Cindy’s Garage transformation photos here.