A garage door's look is not the only thing you should be concerned about when picking one out. There are several factors that can affect you on this household item you will use on a daily basis.

Custom vs Stock Doors

The biggest impact a garage door will have is on your home's façade. A stock door will be basic, but also functional, since it usually doesn't have any designs in the panels or glass. Expect to pay about $575 for a basic door made out of Masonite or pressed wood that uses recessed panels, and is ready to be painted by hand for a two-car garage.

Thankfully, adding some customization can still be budget friendly. You can have panels removed along the top of your door and replace them with glass panes. This will prevent the door from looking like a solid color, and complement the look of your house.


It's common for stock doors to be made out of steel with insulation on the back. The steel's gauge can range between 24-28, with the 24-gauge steel being very strong. An economical option is aluminum, which is a very light material. Fiberglass and plastic should be considered as well due to the cost being cheaper than steel.

Wood can be an option for your garage door, but it is not used as often as it used to. It's more common to see wood composites that mix synthetic materials with wood fibers, which will make the wood strong like steel, but still have that authentic wood look.


There are four categories of door openers you have to pick from:

  • Screw drives
  • Belt drives
  • Chain drives
  • Jackshaft

A chain drive will use a chain that pulls up on your garage door. These openers are noisy, though the chain is dependable and durable

A belt drive uses a strong reinforced belt for lifting up the door. This drive is more costly than a chain drive, but they vibrate much less. You'll notice a quieter operation when you use it.

A screw drive works by using a rod made of threaded steel that moves the door. The drive requires minimum maintenance, and will raise and lower the garage door quickly. They can be noisy though.

A jackshaft uses a wall mounted motor that pulls on a cable or pulley to open and close the door. These systems are more expensive, but quieter than a belt drive.

If you need help making a decision about your new garage door, consult with a professional in your area for help.