Curb appeal: Choosing the right residential garage door
In residential architecture, the garage is a space that is mainly used for storage and parking of cars. While the garage door is not usually a very thoughtful part of a residential project’s design, it often takes up a large portion of a home’s front elevation and can play an important role in its overall curb appeal.
The garage door is usually a large door that opens manually or by an electric motor, and its size and design is determined by the vehicles that will have to pass through it. Raynor, a North American garage door company, describes many of the most important factors that go into choosing the right garage door.
Types of garage doors
When it comes to identifying the different types of garage doors available, most people can remember one or two basic prototypes. However, there is a wide variety of models and options available which are unknown to most designers and customers. Familiarizing yourself with all of the potential options can be helpful in the process of selecting a functional and aesthetic door.
Raynor specifies four basic types of garage doors for residential properties: Non-insulated steel doors (panoramic doors), Insulated polystyrene doors, Polyurethane insulated doors, and Aluminum rails and studded glass doors. While each of these modules may be similar in appearance, it is the different options and materials of each that set them apart.
Perhaps the most important factor to consider when choosing between these four types is the level of insulation needed. In this case, factors such as the type of climate for which the project is built and how the garage itself will fit into the structure of the house – attached, detached or under rooms (two-level) – make a big difference.
Steel Panoramic doors are generally not insulated. They offer virtually no R-value. Panorama doors are a good choice for detached garages or moderate climates with an attached garage. However, insulation can be added to panoramic doors for minimum R-value and noise suppression.
Aluminum rails and stile glass doors focus on aesthetics. While these types of doors have always been considered uninsulated doors, Raynor now offers a variety of ways to make them more energy efficient, including insulated rails and studs as well as plenty of options for insulated glass.
Styrofoam insulated garage doors are three-layer doors. The polystyrene insulation is bonded between two layers of steel providing good R-value. These doors are a good choice for more severe climates (both cold and hot) as well as for attached garages. There are many aesthetic options and design elements available to tailor these doors to your home for exceptional curb appeal.
Polyurethane insulated garage doors are also three-layer doors. However, these doors have “foam-in-place” insulation that completely fills any gaps between the two layers of steel. Polyurethane offers the highest R-value available. This choice is particularly recommended for attached garages, garages located under rooms and harsh climates (hot and cold). Aspen ™ polyurethane doors also feature Raynor’s exclusive WeatherLock ™ gasket and section seal system. Similar to polystyrene doors, there are many aesthetic options and design elements available.
The design of the doors varies according to the style of each house and the specific needs of each user. However, there is a series of models that adapt well to the types of housing that are usually found in our cities. As can be seen in the Raynor catalog, the more classic styles feature an embossed wood grain texture and feature geometric patterned moldings and accessories that provide a more elegant appearance. The more minimalist styles feature an industrial look well suited to modern style homes. Beyond the texture of the coating, white, black and natural wood tones work very well in most types.
The windows of garage doors generally have an opaque treatment to ensure the privacy of the garage without obstructing the passage of light. While there are many garage door window options, it is important to choose the right type of glass for the type of door you select. For example, a panoramic door will only require one glazing, but an insulated door will need insulated glass to maintain as much R-value as possible.
Garage door construction
Another factor to consider are the 3 basic building methods that every “type” of door can fall into.
- Structural steel layer: Constructed of 25 or 24 gauge steel or a thinner uninsulated steel skin, it provides basic protection and safety. R-value: N / A
- Structural steel – Insulation layer: Constructed of 25 or 24 gauge steel or with a thinner steel skin, this model is equipped with a layer of styrofoam board insulation and a thin protective vinyl back cover. Its insulation increases energy efficiency and soundproofing and adds greater structural integrity for quieter operation, providing good protection and safety. R-Value: 10.25
- Structural steel – Insulation – Steel layer: Constructed with expanded polystyrene insulation or polyurethane insulation between two steel liners, it offers maximum energy efficiency, soundproofing and structural integrity. With the quietest operation of all door types, this model offers maximum protection and safety. R-value: 10.25-18.0
Door parts and security
Some garage door parts can be dangerous, so it’s important to be familiar with the different parts and know how to handle them safely.
- Section seals: A garage door section seal is the area between the sections of the door, which should not be manipulated directly to avoid accidents.
- Lower brackets: These are the two brackets that are attached to the lower left and lower right corners of the garage door, connected to the cables that lift the garage door. Only an experienced technician should repair these brackets.
- Torsion springs: Garage doors are balanced by torsion springs. They are usually mounted above a closed door, parallel and horizontally to the top of the door. They provide lifting power for the door by rolling up and down while the door is open and closed. These parts include the springs, cables, lower brackets attached to the cables, cable reels, and the center bearing bracket that holds the torsion spring shaft.
- Photoelectric eyes: These are sensors that are mounted 6 inches off the ground on both sides of a garage door and work with a door opener that sends an invisible beam through the door opening. If this beam is broken while a motorized door is closing, the garage door opener will reverse the direction of the door to the fully open position, as federal law requires all residential garage door openers sold in the United States since 1993 must include additional protection. against entrapment.
- Lifting handles and pulling ropes: A lift handle is a handle attached to the door that allows manual opening or closing of a door. A pull rope performs the same function and is usually attached to the bottom bracket in the bottom corner of the door.
- Garage door openers and remote controls: Door openers are electric motorized devices that open and close garage doors. They include an internal reversing mechanism that reverses the door when it hits an obstacle. Door openers are typically operated by a wall push button, handheld remote, or keyless entry keypad that requires you to enter a numeric code. Like the other devices and parts shown, they must be kept out of the reach of children for safety reasons.
Design your own garage door with Raynor’s online viewer and discover different residential models here.