Always compare garage door prices before purchasing an overhead door system. When calling around for quotes on garage doors it is important that you know all garage door systems aren’t created equal. Much like vehicles, garage doors range in size, quality , durability and performance. A variety of factors must be compared between door brands to ensure you get an “apples to apples” comparisons. While you may think a particular price quote seems great, you may not be getting the quality you wanted.
Thickness of steel is one of the first things that should be compared. Non-insulated raised panel residential steel doors should be 25-gauge steel or better. The durability and longevity of the garage door you buy depends on this. Flimsy doors tend to get damaged by high wind easily and are prone to dents and wear much faster.
Much like the gauge of steel being used, door thickness determines the longevity and durability of the door. Garage doors should be 2″ thick if they are built to last. Some box stores carry cheap 1 5/8″ doors that are paper thin and bend at the slightest sign of stress. Avoid these types of overhead doors even though they have attractive prices. You will end up spending more money in repairs and replacements in the long run.
Type of Insulation
The quality of the insulation in a door has a direct effect on the price. High R-value garage doors are always more expensive. If you have read the article, Types of Insulated Garage Doors you would already know that there are three types of insulation varying in R-Value.
- Vinyl Back Insulated Polystyrene (R Value = 8)
- Steel Back Insulated Polystyrene (R Value = 10)
- Steel Back Insulated Polyurethane (R Value = 17)
When you call and get quoted on an “insulated” door be sure to ask what type of insulated you are getting and what the R-Value rating is. Often times you will be quoted on a vinyl back insulated door, which is the lowest rated insulated door available.
Type of Glass
Single Strength Billet (SSB) – 3/32″ –
Double Strength Billet (DSB) – 1/8″
Insulated Glass (2 DSB)
Standard cycle count in the garage door industry is 10,000 cycles. With normal use, this should last between 6-8 years on average. Some dealers provide endurance packages with high-cycle torsion springs. These springs are rated at 25,000 cycles which lasts about 15 years with normal use. Spring repairs cost hundreds of dollars, so high cycle springs on initial purchase should be mandatory for anyone looking to buy a new garage door system.
Much like torsion springs, garage door rollers also have a cycle count. Many dealers sell black nylon rollers which last about 10, 000 cycles. Unfortunately, these rollers are bearing-less and don’t operate the door as smooth as the white nylon rollers with bearings. These rollers are prone to cracking and rough door operation. Always ask about ball bearing rollers for quiet and smooth overhead door operation.
The thickness of the hinge means everything. This is often overlooked when purchasing hardware for an overhead door. Always try to purchase 14-gauge hinges as they will last as long as the door you buy. Using 16-gauge hinges is tempting, but often results in broken hinges and noisy operation. Avoid using these hinges unless you have an ultra-light garage door.
Perhaps the most important aspect of any garage door purchase is the warranty. Any company that is willing to stand behind their product is worthy of your time. Most garage door purchases come with a limited lifetime manufacturers warranty against rusting, splitting and cracking of the panels. Door dealers should also offer at least a one-year warranty on parts and labor. Always make sure you get warranties through the door manufacturer and the dealer when buying garage doors.