Ultimate Garage Door Buyers Guide

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Do you ever feel overwhelmed with questions when buying big ticket items for your home? If so, this guide can help you in the decision process when purchasing a new garage door and opener.

Garage doors have many advantages for you as a homeowner. They give extra protection for your car when the weather is bad, they make your car more secure, and they improve the value of your home. Buying a garage door can provide, you as a homeowner, 85% return on investment when it comes time to sell your home. Therefore, it is important to understand and consider all the options and features you have, not only the type of door, but also safety features and opener systems.

This comprehensive guide will help you navigate through all the options that are available. No matter what type of opener or type of door you decide to buy, we want to make sure that you are confident in your choice and that it makes sense, not only for your needs and wants, but for your budget as well.

Garage Door Opener Safety Features

Before we tackle garage door opener options and garage door types you should be aware and of all of the important safety features available for you and your family.

  1. Automatic Reversing:
    This is the feature that will stop and reverse your garage door from opening or closing if an object or obstacle is in the way. Common auto-reversing mechanisms are electronic sensors, which are installed at the base of the door. The photoelectric eyes are placed at the threshold of your garage door to sense when an object is in the way. Any garage door manufactured and installed before 1982 should be checked for safety features like this one.
  2. Garage Door Manual Release:
    This is especially important in Midwest winters and storms. The manual release will give you the ability to open your garage door even when the power is out. It is also a good tool to help ensure that your garage door is properly balanced.
  3. Backup Batteries:
    While the garage door manual release is useful during an extended power outage, having battery backups are also important. These help make sure that your garage door functions during temporary power outages. However, there is a limit to the number of times you can use your garage door in battery backup mode, but once the power is back on, this feature will begin to charge for future use.
  4. Horsepower:
    You never want too much horsepower, but you don’t want too little either. If you have too much horsepower, it won’t be energy efficient. If you don’t have enough, your garage door opener will be overworked and could cause damage and increase your risk of injury. For a new or relatively new garage door, ½ horsepower should be more than enough. However, older doors or doors that are solid wood and are often heavier, a stronger opener might be required. Give us a call for more information if a heavier door is what you want for your home.
  5. Security Lights:
    You should have security lights on your garage door opener. These are typically a part of the main unit and turn on automatically when the garage door opener is activated. These lights provide enough light to help you make your way through your garage from your car to the outside without injuring yourself. They also help deter intruders. In fact, many garage door openers come standard with security lights which are motion activated. This means anytime you are in your garage or you are walking by it, the lights will be activated.


There are several types of openers to consider: chain-driven, belt-driven, and screw-driven.

Chain-Driven: A chain driven garage door opener is the most common and most cost-effective of garage door openers. This system works by having a chain ride along a sprocket or sprocket-wheel that allows the door to move up and down. Read More>>

Belt-Driven: This system rather than having that metal-on-metal contact like the chain-driven, uses a rubber belt to open and close your door, resulting in a quieter door. Read More>>

Screw Drive: This opener can provide even less noise. It has less moving parts and uses a threaded rod, known as a stud that rotates like a screw to open and close the garage door. Read More>>

Choosing a New Door

There are some things you want to consider when choosing which door is for you. Be sure to ask yourself these two questions before jumping on the design of your door.

  1. How are you using your garage?
    Is it just a place you park your car, or are you using it for other things? Depending on your use of your garage, whether it be used to house your vehicles and storage, provide entertainment, or be used as a bedroom, consider what features might be useful for you. For example, if you are using your garage as a bedroom or workspace, having windows or glass incorporated to have natural light might be useful.
  2. When is it time to replace your garage door?
    Typically, after many years, even with proper maintenance, your garage door may become warped, noisier, drafty, or the exterior of the door may be chipping or cracking. All of these issues can affect the way your door operates, or in the worst case, cause the door to not work at all. Also, if you are trying to sell your home it can affect the value and curb appeal. If these are issues for you, it may be time to replace your door.

Once you have figured out the purpose of your garage and have decided that you need a new door, you can move on to the actual door. With DoorView Garage Door Designer and our team here at Overhead Door Company of Green Bay we can help you figure out the needs of your door based on the purpose. Here are a few things to consider:

  1. Size:
    The size of your garage door can increase the value of your home as well as increase curb appeal. A two stall garage is typically 20 feet wide and can accommodate two cars and provide additional storage.
  2. Insulation:
    No matter the size or type of garage door you decide on, insulation is important especially for an attached garage. The extra insulation from this door will be more energy efficient not just for your garage, but for your entire home as well.
  3. Color:
    You can now move away from the more traditional white or off white of a garage door to more colors and finishes. Choose a color that will fit well with your home as well as add character and curb appeal. Popular colors include brown, black and other earth tones.
  4. Panel Style:
    There are many options when it comes to panel style.

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    • Flush Panel: These are simple and straight forward as far as panels go. They are typically a solid color with a slight texture.
    • Raised Panel: These are more common, having a rectangular pattern on the surface. These panels give your door more dimension and can be styled towards your home’s overall appearance.
    • Recessed Panel: These are the exact opposite of raised panels. They are rectangles that are set back on the door run along the surface of the garage.
    • Bead Board Panels: These have rectangles that are then broken down into line patterns. These are often used on a carriage house style garage door.
    • Ribbed Panel: These have groove patterns that run along the length of the garage door.
    • Long Panel: These can be customized to your style by being either, raised, recessed, or bead board style. These panels are longer and are typically used on a single car garage door.
    • Short Panel: Like long panels you can decide whether they are raised, recessed, or bead board style.

  5. Material Type:
        There are plenty of options when deciding the material you want for your door. We offer a variety of materials.

      • Wood: Wood provides a natural feel and elegance and has many customizable options, but it does require more maintenance. Be sure to check out our Signature Carriage and Traditional Wood Doors.
      • Steel:  This low maintenance option is commonly used for garage doors and is more durable. We have many different options for steel doors, including Traditional Steel, Thermacore®, and Carriage House Collection.
      • Aluminum: A cheaper alternative to steel, but with similar characteristics. However, is not as durable. Be sure to check out our Modern Aluminum Collection.
      • Fiberglass: With our Impression Fiberglass Collection you have multiple design and color options as well as being a lighter alternative to steel or aluminum.

Be sure to check out all of our material options and collections available to you to customize.

   6. Windows:
      Remember when you decided the purpose of your garage door? This is where it can really come into play. Adding windows to            your garage can provide extra light and warmth during those sunny days. You can choose all windows, a row of horizontal                windows, or a row of vertical windows.

Remember to consider all factors when you decide to buy a new garage door. Give us a call if you have any questions or need help deciding on a new door.


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