By placing them on the sides of our homes or even in the rear off of an alley, they are hidden by any means possible by home designers. There is nothing that provides such an important function in our homes, yet is treated as an obstacle to good design, than is the lowly garage door.

According to a newspaper article I recently read, in the nascent years of the automobile, garages were set apart from the home because this new machinery had the undesirable tendency to catch fire. No need to burn the house down along with the car and garage.

Eventually automobile manufacturers figured out ways to prevent that nasty occurrence from happening, most of the time, and that allowed home designers and builders to have confidence that garages could safely be conveniently attached to the owner’s home.

The side-effect of attaching garages to the home was that, from a design point of view, it negatively impacted the home’s exterior appeal with the big featureless space that was the garage door. This was especially true with the evolution from one-car garages to spaces for two or more cars and the resultant double-wide door.

Seemingly just in the past number of years things have been changing quickly in the design and manufacturing of garage doors. Instead of being offered a choice between flush or raised panel doors in white or brown, the consumer now has many styles to select from in an increasing palette of colors.

Insulated steel garage doors are still the most popular choice for today’s consumer but doors manufactured from stainable fiberglass are gaining in popularity as well. There also remains a segment of the market that is loyal to the all wood offerings when choosing their garage door.

Insulating values are another consideration one should take into account when selecting a door. Most door companies offer different levels of insulating effectiveness for their most popular styles. If you plan on heating your garage at any level, it may make sense to include a more energy efficient door.

If the door you have selected includes windows, the type of glass for those windows will likely be, by default, single pane clear glass. If you are choosing a high efficiency door, it would make sense to ask the company representative if there are better insulating options for the glass as well. Most companies offer an assortment of window grills and some offer art glass for those who want to further customize their new door.

Once you have completed the task of selecting the perfect garage door for your new home, you can then turn your attention to choosing a garage door operator. As is the case in the door selection process, you will find there are many options to consider for your operator as well. We will explore those in a future article.