While there are many factors to consider in determining the pricing of your new garage door – let’s boil this down a bit and gain some clarity. We’ll break down this article into three main categories that can impact pricing and garage door costs.
Buying a new garage door is like buying a new car – you’ll want to consider the design, the specifications for your space and needs, and warranty.
Here’s how we break it down into pricing. And below in summary is square foot pricing you can use to build your budget.
Panel design can be done by stamping metal or molding a less expensive material. There are color options from standard to premium – such as custom paint colors or wood grain aesthetics. You can add windows and you can choose insulation values.
Let’s first discuss insulation as this plays a big role in your home security and in pricing doors.
Insulation is going to play a degree in how much a garage door costs. And whether or not you live in a hot or cold environment, insulation will add value.
I always consider insulation to be important in the cold. And even in the heat we consider insulation as it helps to control the climate of our homes when garages are attached and a truly insulated panel runs quieter and offers more security.
Let’s define ‘true insulation’.
There is a style of door that is a ‘Pan’ door. It’s one piece of metal bent into the form of a garage door panel. This style can be open backed or insulation backed and can be measured in testing to bring R7 insulated ratings. However, this is not a true insulated panel as there is conduction in the metal that can bring heat or cold into the garage space. Nothing really stops the metal temperatures from impacting the inside environment.
A pan door is less expensive to purchase. And they can run for a long time – I often call them the economic workhorse. They are great for storage sheds and non-attached garages where climate control is not important.
Another style is a true sandwich steel door panel – or a closed back panel. These panels are built with two pieces of metal that sandwich insulation. The insulation can be like your foam coolers, polystyrene, or like the blown in insulation that seals window cracks, polyurethane.
The polyurethane rates higher at insulating and a 2” thick panel can gain a R18 rating versus the styrene cousin at R10. Part of this is due to the urethane’s ability to fill in 100% of the cavity.
To win the ‘true insulated’ rating as I’m defining it, panels must also have a true thermal break. Not all manufacturers offer this. The break is a separation of metals to stop the conduction of heat or cold transferring from metal to metal.
The true thermal break, polyurethane insulated, garage door is more expensive than other models and it can bring better security and better value overtime as it helps control interior climates best.
Now we’ve broken down insulation a bit, referencing my pricebook I can see moving from a pan door to a truly insulated sandwich steel polyurethane door, adds roughly $10/sqft in cost.
And take into consideration heating/cooling costs over the 10-20 year lifespan of that door, along with the operations and sense of security.
Let’s keep going.
Another big influencer of costs is track specifications. Many people don’t realize the options available to them when it comes to how garage doors can move.
The standard garage door has a track that allows the panels to open up and lay flat in the ceiling space. At times, there is ample room above the doors and track that is underutilized.
While you can consider ceiling storage racks top optimize this space, in building out new garage doors you can also consider a lift clearance that can raise up the tracks to move them closer to the ceiling. This can allow room for a vehicle lift or gaming/gym space as there’s more head room.
The lift clearance design will run the door up the wall before it turns to lay it flat.
In other scenarios, perhaps there is no room above the doors opening and we have a tight clearance issue. Modifications to track design can be made to move doors within 5” or less.
Each modification can add to a garage door cost and it’s important to get with a trained door designer who can help you maximize your space and use needs.
There are two warranty owners to pay attention to. One is the warranty from the manufacturer and the other is the warranty from your installation company.
Manufacturer warranties differ and it’s important to understand. There are typically warranties on panels and a separate warranty on spring and hardware. For example, Raynor’s manufacturer warranties generally cover their panels from rusting through for as long as you own your home. And they back their track, hardware, and springs for 3-years.
However, if you powder coat your track, you can gain a lifetime warranty on hardware. Powder coating track gains a lifetime warranty, and it also runs quieter and provides a clean aesthetic you may desire.
An installation company’s warranty should be a minimum of 12 months. At least in Colorado this is a required law. If you work with a reputable company they will have other warranties available and this may impact the cost to your garage door, while also offering you more peace of mind. As one example, you can increase the lifespan of your garage door springs and perhaps realize a five year or longer warranty from the Installation Company.
There’s additional factors to choosing the right installation team and we break those out here.
In summary these are only a few of the main components to determining how much a garage door costs. There are additional factors such as weather seal differences and we haven’t yet touched on operators.
Be sure to gain options and see choices. It’s not one size fits all when it comes to garage doors.
Here’s a subtle breakdown of square foot pricing for various types of garage doors from our price book.
A basic steel pan, with upgraded weather seals is about $30/sqft.
A sandwich steel quality door with upgraded weather seals is about $40/sqft.
Coloring, windows, and some of the other options can add to pricing and these square foot prices can increase for sure.
A custom wood overlay garage door is in another category all to itself and we’ll discuss this in a custom garage door article soon.
At the end of the day, be sure to gain choices and work with someone who can talk through all design options to utilize your space and address your needs – as there are options.