Modern Garage Doors
Hello there! If you’re as fascinated by the evolution of garage doors as I am, you’ve stumbled upon the right article! Over time, garage doors have transformed from merely functional elements to significant contributors to a home’s curb appeal. This article delves into modern garage doors, discussing their types, materials, benefits, and maintenance tips.
Evolution of Garage Doors
Once upon a time, garage doors were simple, manual, and a hassle. But as horses gave way to horsepower, manual garage doors have evolved into their modern, sophisticated counterparts.
What Are Modern Garage Doors?
So what exactly defines a ‘modern’ garage door? Is it the style? The materials used? The technology incorporated? In truth, it’s a mix of all these factors. Modern garage doors are designed to be convenient, durable, and aesthetically pleasing, often featuring automated systems and high-quality materials.
Modern garage doors come in various styles, each designed to cater to specific needs and aesthetic preferences.
Sectional Garage Doors
Sectional doors are characterized by their panel sections connected with hinges. As the door opens or closes, the wheels at the edge of each panel roll within a track installed on each side of the garage door opening, causing the door to bend along a curve until it’s fully open and horizontal with the ceiling. The door operates vertically, meaning swing-out space is not required, making it great for saving space in the driveway and suitable for larger vehicles. 
Roll-Up Garage Doors
Roll-up doors are ideally suited for spaces with a scarcity of ceiling space because the sections roll into a coil at the top of the door opening. In addition, they are constructed using a series of narrow slats that allow the door to curve. Although these doors are most often found in commercial locations, due to their durability and low maintenance, they’re gradually finding their way into residential use, especially in homes with a modern or minimalist design aesthetic.
Slide to the Side Garage Doors
These doors are a throwback, being one of the first operating styles of garage doors. They work by bending to the side and sitting parallel to the wall, retracting along lower tracks that are flexible enough to work with slight slopes in the floor or ceiling. They don’t require balancing springs, and many come with a built-in retractable motor for automated operation, adding a convenient touch to this retro style.
Side-Hinged Garage Doors
These traditional-style doors open and close on hinges frame on either side of the opening, like a typical passage door in homes. They’re having a resurgence with the rising popularity of the farmhouse aesthetic and offer the advantage of quick access without the need to open the entire garage door.
Tilt-Up/Up and Over Canopy Garage Doors
These doors operate differently from others; instead of rolling up or to the side, they swing out and upward, pivoting on hinges mounted at the top of the opening for the garage door. When opened, the door rests parallel to the garage ceiling – creating a protective canopy. When opened, about one-third of the door protrudes, making a cover.
Material Choices for Modern Garage Doors
Wood is revered for its natural beauty and elegance. It offers a warmth and timeless charm that is hard to replicate with other materials. In addition, different types of wood provide varying levels of durability and unique patterns and hues. From cedar to redwood, the options are diverse.
Steel garage doors are strong, durable, and provide excellent value for your money. They are often thicker and have a higher strength-to-weight ratio than other materials, making them a perfect choice for security. They can also be insulated to increase thermal efficiency.
Aluminum garage doors are lightweight, rust-resistant, and low maintenance. They’re especially suitable for extra-wide double doors as the light weight puts less strain on the operating mechanism. Aluminum doors can also be painted or powder-coated in almost any color, allowing for a high degree of customization.
Fiberglass garage doors make an excellent choice for coastal locations because they resist saltwater corrosion. They are made by embedding a fiberglass surface onto a steel framework, creating a light yet very durable door.
Fiberglass doors are resistant to dents and cracks, characteristics that are superior to other materials. Moreover, they can be manufactured with a wood grain texture or any different pattern, offering a variety of looks with less maintenance. The panels are light and can be transparent to allow natural light into the garage.
Vinyl garage doors are becoming a popular choice due to their many benefits. Like fiberglass doors, they are resistant to dents and are very durable. In addition, they don’t rust and are not easily affected by harsh weather conditions. They also don’t require painting or staining and are typically built upon steel frames for increased durability.
Benefits of Modern Garage Doors
Modern garage doors provide various functional benefits besides giving your home a facelift.
Many modern garage doors come with photo-eye sensors that can detect an obstruction in the door’s path, preventing the door from closing on a vehicle or, worse, a person or pet.
Modern garage doors often come with better insulation which keeps your garage warmer in winter and cooler in summer while making the garage more comfortable and reducing energy costs.
Increased Home Value
A new garage door is a low-cost way to increase the curb appeal and, consequently, the value of your home. It’s one of the home improvement projects with the highest return on investment.
Four Major Things to Consider When Choosing a Modern Garage Door
Home’s Architectural Style
The garage door should match or complement the style of your home. For example, a modern aluminum door may look out of place in a Craftsman-style home.
Different materials perform differently under various weather conditions. For example, there might be better choices for a humid climate than wood, as it could warp or rot.
Garage doors can vary significantly in price. Determining your budget before you start shopping can help narrow down your options.
Each material has different maintenance needs. If you’re not one for regular upkeep, a low-maintenance material like steel or vinyl might be the best option.
How to Maintain Your Modern Garage Door
All mechanical devices require regular maintenance to function correctly and have a long lifespan. This includes:
Regular cleaning keeps your door looking good and can prevent build-up that could interfere with the door’s operation.
Checking for Damage
Regular inspections can help catch and fix minor damages before they become significant.
Some garage door parts, like the springs, can be dangerous. Regular professional servicing can help ensure safe operation.
Choosing the right garage door can enhance your home’s look while providing various functional benefits. When choosing, consider the style, climate, budget, and maintenance requirements.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is considered the most durable material for a garage door?
Steel is often cited as the most durable material for garage doors. However, all materials can last a long time with proper maintenance.
Can I install a modern garage door on an old garage?
Absolutely! Many companies customize doors to fit your existing garage structure.
How often should I maintain my garage door?
It’s recommended to perform a basic checkup at least twice a year.
Are modern garage doors more expensive?
The price of a modern garage door can vary greatly depending on the type, material, and features included.
Can I add smart features to my existing garage door?
Yes, there are many retrofit kits available that can add smart functionality to your existing garage door.