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sbkim 07-04-2012 06:55 AM

Wood vs Steel garage door

I am currently in process of deciding between a custom made wood door with no insulation or for less money get a steel carriage door (Clopay Coachmen or Gallery) with R18 insulation. At least on paper, steel door sounds like the right answer; however, I am drawn to the classic look of stained wood garage door. My questions are as follows:

1. Does insulation really matter with garage doors? The garage won't be heated but it will be insulated and there is living space on top.

2. How much maintenance does garage door require? I assume once every two years assuming no abuse.


firehawkmph 07-04-2012 08:40 AM

you're comparing apples and oranges. The wood doors do require more maintenance to keep their finish looking good. The steel doors are much less expensive and other than maybe washing it once a year, are pretty much about as maintenance free as you can get. Once a year I lube the rollers and hinges on my doors with white lithium grease. The wood doors from many years ago used to last a long time with an occasional coat of paint. I have seen a number of the newer high end wooden doors sagging after only a few years. It's up to you, if money is no object and you have somebody to maintain the wood door, go ahead and get it, otherwise, I would recommend the steel.
Mike Hawkins:)

sbkim 07-04-2012 12:48 PM

Thank you Mike. You are absolutely right I guess I am comparing apples to oranges. Money is definitely a big concern but I think we could swing an economic wood door just for wood look.

My bigger question is whether R value really mattered in garage doors or just a bragging right?

Windows on Wash 07-04-2012 09:28 PM

In theory, R-Value in the garage door does not matter as the garage is "outside" space.

That being said, most of the insulation layers between the garage and the home are underdone and ill performing. While an insulated garage door is not the solution to the problem, it will slow the heat loss/gain from the home so it will allow those under performing insulation layers to function a bit better in those cases.

The newer steel doors are about as bullet proof and well performing you can get. While they don't look quite like wood, most folks don't require that level of aesthetics and therefore opt for the cheaper and better performing insulated steel unit.

+1 firehawkmph other comments.

firehawkmph 07-05-2012 09:50 AM

Like Windows said,
garage door insulation does make a difference, especially with living space up above. Want to find out the difference, leave your garage door open all day on a frigid day in the middle of winter and see if the bedroom up above gets chillier. I have not hung any uninsulated doors in a very long time, even on detached garages. The difference in cost is minimal.
You mentioned trying to swing an economical wood door. Kind of an oxymoron. It's bad enough the expensive ones don't hold up like they should, the cheaper ones are far worse. Get yourself a nice steel door and spend your time later on more enjoyable things rather than repainting or staining a wood door.
Mike Hawkins:)

sbkim 07-05-2012 03:22 PM

Here are a couple faux wood doors which features steel insulated door. Have you guys heard of these two companies?


Eden Coast

firehawkmph 07-05-2012 10:40 PM

not familiar with either of those two. I would have to look at one first before I would buy it.
Mike Hawkins:)

Marty1Mc 07-06-2012 06:26 PM

I just ordered R18 steel doors for my garage. But, I use my garage year round and the current garage doors are the single most point of leakage and heat/cooling loss. I have AC and heat in the garage so I wanted a door that seals and is insulated.

sbkim 07-06-2012 06:48 PM

Thanks so much for everyone's input. Those two makes I mentioned were pretty expensive but certainly less than high quality wood doors. I am going with these steel insulated doors from CHI:

A close 2nd was Clopay Gallery in dark walnut:

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