Homeowners today have an extensive selection of garage doors available. Within the past ten years alone, new door styles have hit the residential home market at an explosive rate. Trying to learn what questions you should be asking to find the best door for your home is time-consuming with no guarantee that you’re even asking the right questions.

Based on our decades of experience in the garage door industry, we compiled the top 5 questions you need to ask when designing your garage door. The answers to these questions will narrow down the available options, so you can better choose a door that will fit the needs of your home.


Question 1: Does the garage door need to be insulated?

There is a difference between want and need. This question helps to determine what the bare minimum of insulation (if any at all) is NEEDED in your door.  Know the answer to this question before looking at any other door details.

To determine if the door needs to be insulated, consider whether the garage door is attached to the house or detached from the house.

Questions to ask if your garage is attached to the house:

Does your attached garage have a bedroom or living space above it

If yes, the garage door needs insulation with a high R-Value.
If no, the garage door needs insulation but not with a high R-Value.

Questions to ask if your garage is detached from the house:

Is the detached garage heated?

If yes, the garage door needs insulation with a high R-Value.
If no, the garage door can be non-insulated.

Does your detached garage have a bedroom or living space above it?

If yes, the garage door needs insulation with a high R-Value.
If no, the garage door can be non-insulated.

Clopay Brown Garage Door

Clopay Garage Door Classic 9200 Colonial 509

A garage door is the largest opening in your home. When a living area is attached to a garage, you need insulation with a higher R-Value to keep the living area at a comfortable temperature. Proper insulation of a heated space also keeps that utility bill down.

The R-Value of a door measures how well insulation prevents heat loss and ranges from 5.5 to 18.4 with higher values representing greater insulation performance.

Learn more about types of insulation in garage doors and their energy values.


Question 2: Do you want a steel, wood or aluminum garage door?

Steel Garage Door
Steel is the most popular material choice for residential homes because of its attractive price and low maintenance. Steel garage doors come in five different layer options starting at 1-layer for non-insulation and going up to 4- & 5- layers which both include composite overlay to achieve a wood-like stain finish.

Wood Garage Door

Wood garage doors are not as popular because they come at a much higher price tag, but that price will be worth it. Wood doors are timeless, classic, and downright beautiful doors. To keep the material at its best, a great deal of maintenance is required.

Aluminum Garage Door
Aluminum garage doors are essentially glass doors with aluminum frames. These garage doors are trending in a big way because of the modern look and wide variety of glass designs. With engineering today, the large glass panes of an aluminum door can be single glazed or double pane insulated.


Question 3: Do you want glass in the door?

Any door you choose can have glass. This glass comes in many shapes, sizes, and layouts. Not only does glass give a door a different feel, but the garage space will be full of natural light.

Clopay Aluminum Garage Door

Clopay Aluminum Garage Door Avante HO8

Clopay Black Garage Door

Clopay Garage Door Modern Steel Grooved Black






Get an idea about the types of glass available for garage doors.


Question 4: Do you want any designs to go along with the glass?

There are different glass frames for more design options. Select from Colonial, Prairie, Sunset, or Madison Arch styles. At this stage of the design process, your frame options are prescribed by the decisions you’ve made thus far. Now have fun looking through the various designs and pick your favorite.


Question 5: What color do you want?

When selecting the color of your garage door, think about color-matching the door with your siding or trim. Another way to go is to pick a color that will pop against your siding. You will find any color you desire for your garage door.

Sherwin-Williams, for example, is known for its Color Blast paint system which offers over 1,500 color options. Their two-part polyurethane-based paint comes with a 5-year warranty when applied by a professional. The color options available may depend on the brand and material of the garage door.


Design Your Garage Door

Be sure to take the style of your home into account when selecting the visual details of your garage door. Some home décor experts even recommend matching your garage door to the front door- especially if both doors are street-facing. While taking tips like these into account, nothing beats seeing an actual mock-up of a door design.

Play around with style options through Clopay’s Door Imagination System. As you test different design combinations, keep in mind how you answered the above questions.  ODW is here to help guide you through the many options and design ideas. Call us today!