Wooden Garage Doors, Advantages and Disadvantages

wood garage doorIf you are considering wooden garage doors for your home, no doubt you have already looked at the various types that are available. Wood is one of the most popular materials for the homeowner who wants to achieve a specific look. Your garage, unless it is out of sight of the street, is probably one of the first things someone will notice about your home. It is important that the look complements the design of the home.

Some garages just wouldn't look right with any other type of door. For instance, a painted door would look out of place on the log structure in the photo above. A stained wooden door is just about the only type that would really match. Even though a wood garage door may cost more and require more maintenance than one made from other materials, sometimes nothing else will do.

Wooden Garage Door Types

Wood garage doors are typically classified as being one, two, or three layers. The single layer doors are the traditional type. They can be made of either solid wood or a simple framework with thin, flat panel inserts. This is the most popular and (generally) least expensive type of wood garage door, but it offers little in the way of insulation. These are fine for an unheated building that is detached from your home. Unfortunately, this is the type I have on my home, and I really wish they were insulated!

Two layer doors have a wooden exterior with a layer of insulation on the interior. These are a definite step up from a single layer wood door in the energy-efficiency department. However, they are more expensive up front than the single layer type, and the exposed insulation on the inside is vulnerable to damage. These are a good choice for an attached structure that is only used for parking.

Three layer wooden garage doors have a wooden exterior, a wooden interior, and insulation sandwiched in between. This is the most expensive type of construction, but they are the most energy efficient of all three types. Plus, the wooden interior will stand up to more "bumps and bruises" than the exposed insulation on the two layer design.

The Advantages

Many people like the look that a wood garage door provides. Often they are designed to match the architectural style of the home. Homes of a certain era such as Victorian or a Colonial style may benefit from a wooden door far more so than other, more modern home styles. The look is an important factor especially if your door is highly visible.

One of the reasons many people like wooden doors is because of the many different styles that are available. The carriage house door style is quite popular and can add a very distinguished appearance to a home. This is not necessarily an advantage as much as it is a preference, but the look can be quite appealing if it matches the rest of the home.

 Wooden Garage Doors, Carriage House

The Disadvantages

The look of a wood door does come with a price, though. Maintaining them will take some time and effort. They must be painted or stained to protect them from the elements and keep them looking good.

There are several types of wood that are used for these doors. Most painted doors are made of pine, fir, spruce, or some other type of softwood. Many will have panels that are made of a manufactured wood product, such as plywood or hardboard. More expensive doors are made to be stained, and these are commonly made of redwood, cedar or hemlock. They look great, but staining them will require more work.

Wooden garage doors may be subject to termites if they are not treated. The wood is just like any other wood used in the construction of a home, and steps must be taken to keep them in the best shape possible. If they are not maintained as they should be, they can experience shrinkage and expansion, which results in splitting and cracking. If neglected too long, you could end up having to replace them.

If you are willing to maintain wooden garage doors, they can be a really nice addition your home. However, if you prefer a low-maintenance lifestyle, you may be better off looking at a steel door. You may also want to consider aluminum garage doors. For more information on other types of doors, go to our Related Pages menu on the right near the top of this page.

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