Aluminum Garage Doors,
Researching Your Options
Years ago, aluminum garage doors were the most common type used by homeowners. However, as the type of homes being built began to get more sophisticated and the more discerning homeowner wanted something with a little more class, this type of garage door lost its appeal to many.
Aluminum doors are still an option, especially for those who just want a basic garage door on a budget. They are typically priced under $700 including installation for a standard model without insulation or windows. Insulation and windows will add considerably to the cost, though.
If you are willing to spend more, there are several companies offering a new generation of laminated aluminum garage doors in the classic carriage house door style. These doors are said to be 50 times stronger than the conventional aluminum panel type. You can also get brushed aluminum doors for a unique look.
When compared to other materials, there are several advantages to aluminum. Unlike wooden garage doors, aluminum doors require very little maintenance. Aluminum also does not rust like steel does if the finish is damaged. This can be especially important if you live in a coastal area that is subject to corrosion from salty air.
Aluminum doors are more easily installed than other types due to their light weight. When using an automatic door opener, they do not cause as much stress on the opener because they are lighter. They also will be easier to open manually. Lastly, an aluminum door can be recycled when it is time for a replacement.
An aluminum garage door has many of the same features and benefits of a steel door, one of which is an optional faux wood finish. They come in a variety of different colors, and they can also be painted if you change the color scheme of your home's exterior. These doors have the advantage of lasting for a very long time when they are taken care of properly.
The least expensive aluminum garage door is just a single layer without any insulation. This type is not recommended if the garage is attached to your home, unless you live in an area that doesn't experience extreme temperatures. There are two basic types of insulated doors, two layer and three layer.
The two layer style has an aluminum skin on the outside, with a layer of insulation on the inside. The three layer style adds an additional layer of aluminum or steel backing on the inside to protect the insulation from damage. If you use the space for any activities beyond just parking, insulation can make a big difference in your comfort level and in your energy bills.
The biggest disadvantage of aluminum doors is that they are very easy to dent. You may not think this is a problem for you, but what if you accidentally back into the door with your car? Or a storm blows something into it, or it is hit by an errant baseball? The damage may only be cosmetic, but it will be an eyesore and is very difficult to repair.
Another problem that some people experience is finding replacement parts. Since they are not used as widely as they once were, the parts are not as plentiful and this can make repairing them difficult. Replacement is sometimes the only option.
The type of door that you ultimately choose is really a matter of preference. Some people like the look that aluminum doors provide, especially today with the many colors that are available. With some of the newer faux wood finishes, it is difficult to tell from the outside if it is made of wood or aluminum. Some people choose aluminum garage doors for the economical aspect, or for their resistance to corrosion. Whatever type of doors you choose, they basically provide the same benefit - they separate your garage from the weather and provide security.
For another low-maintenance, no-rust option, you might also want to consider a fiberglass door. For information on other garage door types, check out the menu of our Related Pages near the top on the right side of this page.
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