Often overlooked and undervalued, today’s garage doors now average a third of a home’s front-facing facade. That means your new garage door does way more than serve as a shelter for your car. Your home’s garage door draws in the eyes, complements your house’s exterior, adds curb appeal and makes a statement on the care and attention you place on your entire home. But where do you start when you’re ready to buy a new garage door for your home in San Diego, CA or anywhere else?
Homeowners throughout the US can benefit from some tips and how-tos for buying a garage door. If you live in San Diego, however, you’re facing Southern California’s distinct climate, humidity, geography and market, and may consider some additional variables. Once you’ve settled on a few features of a new garage door, call us at Easy Open Door, and we’ll help you with any additional questions you may have. Let us help you bring your dreams to life from design to installation.
We’ve got you covered with a complete insider’s guide to buying garage doors, whether you’re in San Diego, or anywhere in the US. Here’s what you’ll find in our guide:
11 Tips to Consider First When Buying a Garage Door in San Diego
Garage doors are as much about form as they are function. While we often forget about them until damage strikes or a problem arises, buying a new garage door is a great opportunity to lend a functional facelift to your home.
There are many questions and details to sift through when making the right purchase in the right area. Consider the following as the starting points as you begin the process of finding a new garage door.
- Look for a reliable, family-owned company. Finding a garage-door service you trust and respect is key to a smooth experience. Many companies boast quality products and top customer service, yet use these as buzzwords to attract buyers without much follow-through. Companies that see their business as an extension of their family will treat you as such. It’s likely small to midsized contractors will be easier and more reliable to communicate with at every step of your garage purchase.
- Ask for an itemized estimate. Some companies look great up front, offering low project numbers by skimping on important services down the road. Ask for a complete itemized estimate in writing, and be wary of those that aren’t transparent.
- Determine how you use your garage. Is your garage only a place to dock cars, or is it large and multifunctional? Is it a workshop where you spend uninterrupted hours, or does it double as a storage place for a range of household items? Answering these questions aligns your door with your spatial needs.
- Consider the elements. San Diego’s arid summer heat, combined with its variable rain and common fog waves, are a stable climate for most garage door materials. It’s important to still review temperatures and weather conditions with your garage door service, especially if your home sits close to the ocean.
- Go beyond looks. Of course, you want your new garage door to look pristine. Yet don’t lose sight of its functional details, such as longevity, warranty, desired maintenance schedules and upkeep expectations. Set a comfortable budget and stick to it.
- Test styles with a garage door preview tool. Work with a company that lets you use a visual preview tool to mix and match garage door styles, types, colors and detailing. Play around with that tool, using a few pictures of your garage at various angles and lighting.
- Don’t skimp on the details. A garage door is only as good as its parts. Some companies keep costs low by buying cheaper bulk door components and installing mismatched pieces. A garage door system is a mechanical dance of torsion springs, cables, fixtures, brackets, tracks and more that should be durable, efficient and made to match from the start.
- Sign up for an annual maintenance plan. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Have a maintenance schedule included in your service contract so your installation company takes care of your garage door from the beginning.
- Include an opener. Not all companies cover a door opener and matching sensory system at the time of purchase. Make sure your itemized estimate includes both.
- Factor in installation. Again, some companies sneak in charges down the road through installation fees, ones they lowballed or didn’t quote at all in early estimates.
- Keep aesthetics in mind. Use the garage preview tool to add paint varieties, colors and finishes to your new door. These aesthetic details make or break the feel of your facade and ensure its cohesion with your home’s overall look.
Step-by-Step Garage Door Buying Guide in San Diego
So you have some ideas of what you’re looking for- now where do you actually start? New garage doors are an investment, so it’s important that you find the right door and get it installed correctly so that it can last a long time. Below is a step-by-step purchasing guide for new garage doors in San Diego.
- Measure your garage door. Properly measuring your garage door is easier than you think. You’ll want to make sure to measure the (a) height and width of the frame for your garage door, (b) the left and right side room where the assembly track system will go, (c) headroom and (d) backroom, the unobstructed spaces where your door will slide up and rest when opened.
- Determine your budget. Several elements factor into the final price of your garage door. There are a lot of options for garage door materials from inexpensive aluminum, to elegant wood, and there are many customizations that can be made to garage doors that you may not think about. Having a figure in mind beforehand sets you up for a more confident purchase. The size of your door, combined with its material base, will be the two most significant price factors.
In general, rust-resistant aluminum and steels doors will run the lowest price, averaging $750 to the mid-$3,000s. The more expensive wood garage doors can go from $1,000 to $4,000, depending on wood type and treatment. A trustworthy company should take you through each of your options, answering any questions or concerns you might have.
- Explore garage styles. The most thoughtful garage aesthetics go hand-in-hand with the style of the house. In San Diego, the most common house styles reveal a history and geography lesson about the region. Walk around and you’ll see plenty of Spanish-style homes, followed closely by ranches and split-levels. It’s also not uncommon to see combinations of the three, with many neighborhoods fusing design features and elements for more pronounced curb appeal.
Garage doors typically come in three popular styles: the traditional raised panel, the carriage house and the contemporary. Explore each option with your prospective San Diego garage door dealer, and inquire about their respective material makeup and maintenance. Test the style you’re thinking directly on your home using a Door Imagination System. Garage doors directly impact a home’s look and feel, so put in the time to ensure yours is an enhancement, not an eyesore.
- Match function with design. How are you going to use your garage? Are you going to use it to park your car? Or are you going to use it for a functional living space? Applying how you use the space in your garage will mean you can select the best door suited to its purpose. Matching garage-door form with function will also help answer other installation questions, such as deciding on garage insulation or choosing the base material.
- Find a reliable garage door dealer. A company’s experience and reputation will provide the backbone to your new garage door. In San Diego, garage door dealers and operations are competitive. Many might appear to carry the same services and promises, but ensure you’re choosing a reliable company that will carry out all of those promises.
Don’t be afraid to ask prospective contractors about their “resumes.” The state of California has specialty contractor licenses, which you can inquire about during your estimate. Additionally, look into a company’s Better Business Bureau rating, plus recent customer testimonies and references can help you make the right choice.
- Choose a garage door material. The thought and technology put into garage materials have undergone a lot of strides in the past decade. You have more choices than ever when it comes to picking your new garage door in the San Diego area — each with unique pros and cons.
Common garage door materials include:
- Wood or wood composite: Wood garage doors offer elegance and customization unmatched by other materials. Yet they’re often the most expensive, made from moisture-resistant treated cedar, redwood or cypress that will require more maintenance and upkeep. Wood also works better with certain kinds of garage door motions, such as traditional doubles or swing-out doors.
- Fiberglass: Fiberglass is a flexible and cost-effective solution for garage doors. It’s also a contemporary pick, with available colors and finishes to match virtually any home’s existing style.
- Aluminum: Aluminum remains a time-tested and popular choice for the base material of garage doors. While it doesn’t have the same insulation or dent resistance as the other bases, it’s an excellent choice if you intend to use your garage for storage and parking cars.
- Steel: Steel garage doors are low-maintenance and adaptable to most renovation budgets. They’re more durable than other metal doors, but are prone to weather and rust. Steel is a frequent choice for doors’ main and accent frames in contemporary-style garages.
- Test your door for your home.
Use the Door Imagination System or a similar garage-door preview tool to see how your design looks in real life. You can play around with a variety of images and door designs at your leisure. Whether you build a garage door template from the ground up, or upload pictures of your house and use the tool to mix and match previews, these images are the way to see exactly what you want from your garage door.
- Find a reliable garage door expert. Consult with San Diego-area garage experts to get a project estimate. The best way is to simply call them to set up an estimate. By calling, you can get a better idea of how you’ll be taken care of throughout the garage door buying process. Are you sent to an automated system or are you taken care of by a real person who cares about your home just as much as you. When you get an estimate, make sure to get a complete, itemized quote from your list of prospective dealers. Some dealers may have lower prices, but may not take care of as many things as the local expert. Shop around and compare quotes, and don’t be afraid to follow up with questions or concerns.
- Review maintenance and warranty. Ensure your new door is covered under a warranty that protects and instills confidence in your purchase. Everyone’s warranty needs will be a little different, and a garage-door dealer should have no problem walking you through the manufacturer’s warranty technicalities or their modifications. You also want to understand the maintenance that your new garage door will require. For example, wood doors may need some additional maintenance than aluminum, but all doors will need annual maintenance to ensure all of the parts you don’t think about are still functioning properly. Like any machine, it will need inspections, tune-ups and occasional new parts to run in prime condition.
- Set delivery and installation dates. Set the time and date for installation experts to remove your old door and install the new one. Most professionals can complete the entire process in a matter of a few hours after receiving the door from your manufacturer. Afterward, make sure your installation service takes your old door with them so it isn’t your responsibility to haul it off!
Styles of Garage Doors
The style of your garage door can change the entire appeal of your home. You’ll need to determine the base material for your new door, as well as the ideal build and style.
Garage door materials include:
- Wood or wood composite garage doors — Take into account the upkeep wood doors will need, as well as grains, stains and other detailing for your garage door.
- Fiberglass garage doors — Whether fiberglass surface panels or a complete fiberglass door, consider the different paints and sheens needed for this material.
- Metals like aluminum and steel garage doors —Metal surfaces can be treated to look like more expensive wood grains or painted and polished to stand out on their own.
- Glass garage panels — Glass panels can give contemporary doors an appealing midcentury look, or add dimension and depth to your door.
Garage door styles & what homes they work best with:
- Raised panels — These symmetrical, rectangular garage panels are the most common garage-door design on the market. They match virtually any home, regardless of age, home type or location. From the ranches and split levels that populate San Diego to the townhouses and craftsman-style homes dotting many neighborhoods, raised paneling can be built from any material type as well. Treated wood panels pair particularly well with Spanish or Mediterranean-style homes, while metal and aluminum paneling offers a clean and crisp exterior complement anywhere.
- Carriage house — Carriage-house garage doors, or “barn style,” get their name from the carriage-house designs they mirror. Carriage house doors usually come with garage accent windows and vertical boards. They pop against bungalows, capes, beach houses and mission or craftsman-style homes.
- Contemporary — Mid-century modern or postmodern homes are relatively common in San Diego. These houses reach their full potential when adorned with a contemporary-styled garage door, one where clean lines and tempered glass panels come enclosed in strong, solid-colored painted frames.
Additional Garage Door Considerations
The finishing touch to your garage door buying experience will ensure you get the most bang for your buck. Remember the following to round out your purchase and complete your step-by-step garage door installation.
- Insulation levels. The daily functions of your garage will determine what kind of insulation your door needs. Most garages won’t require heating or cooling, but if you intend to use your garage beyond storage purposes, insulation within the door will keep the space energy-efficient. If you have an attached garage, insulation also serves as a noise barrier for rooms that are adjacent and directly above.
- Garage door motions.
- Roll up — Most garages are conveniently automatic using your remote opener. They roll back and up to rest on the headroom near your garage ceiling.
- Swing out — Some carriage doors swing out on hinges to maintain their rustic character. These can be manual or remote-opener controlled.
- Swing up — Similar to swing-out, swing-up garage doors use automatic or traditional hinges to draw the door vertically upward. When open, they jut out between the interior and exterior of your garage.
- Sliding — Sliding doors are unexpected and innovative, great for large doors in the contemporary or carriage-house styles.
- Garage door technology. More and more, you’ll see garage doors with complementary smartphone apps that allow you to open and close them with your phone. Other door technologies — such as code access, lighting systems and security alarms — are increasingly standard with garage installations. Look into the accompanying technology for your garage door to enhance both its convenience and security.
- Garage Door Opener It’s common, and often recommended for homeowners to replace their garage door opener at the same time as their garage door. The reason for this is mainly to ensure that your garage door runs smoothly, efficiently, and safely. A broken opener could malfunction and damage your new garage door. Many garage door companies will recommend a garage door opener that will work best with your new garage door.
Call Easy Open Door to Get Started
Now that you know what you need to do to find your perfect new garage door, Easy Open Door is here to help you with every step. Easy Open Door Company has been in business for over almost 40 years, helping homeowners in San Diego county find a garage door that fits their needs, budget and style. We can help you with everything from the planning, to the installation, to the maintenance and repairs. We care about your home like it’s our own and work to make each client a part of our family-owned story.
Check out our free Garage Door Imagination Tool, where you can preview hundreds of garage door styles, colors and materials to see what works best for your home. Call us today to speak with one of our garage door specialists about your next project or request an estimate from our team.