Buying Guide For A New Garage Door
And When To Replace Your Old One

Why most people change their garage doors:

Style
Some people want to update the style of their garage door. In addition, they may wish to upgrade the look of their home by changing the design or color of the garage door. What looked good ten or more years ago for their garage may seem outdated now, or maybe it just isn’t the look you want for your home anymore.

Necessity
Garage doors can crack over time, the paint can fade or peel, and sometimes the door itself is run into by a car.

8 Simple questions to help you pick your new garage door

Picking out a garage door doesn’t need to be confusing or complicated. Let’s simplify it!
Here are preliminary questions to think about. Later, we will go into depth with our recommendations.

  • How many garage doors do you have? How wide and tall are your doors? Knowing whether you have a two-car or a single-car garage is typically enough to get a ballpark cost quote, and you can leave the measurements to the professional.
  • What design and style of garage door compliment your home? What look are you trying to achieve? What color would you like your garage door to be? What goes best for your home? What garage door will blend best with the rest of your home, or what will pop
  • What type of insulation or construction of the garage door fits your needs? Is it only a garage for you, or do you spend time inside and want it temperature controlled?
  • Is your household able to stay away from the door, so it doesn’t need to be heavy-duty?
  • Do you want it to be very quiet, or is that not important?
  • Do you want windows for natural light or to add more character to your garage door design? What window design goes best with your home? Are you okay with the clear glass most garage doors come with, or would you like more privacy?
  • If your design looks good with decorative hardware, would you like to put some decoration or embellishment on the door to add more character or make it look more rustic?
  • Finally, is your garage door opener compatible with your new door? In California, the law requires that it have a battery backup.

Size

How do I measure my garage door opening?
Width: Use a tape measure starting at the floor, and measure from one edge of the garage opening to the other end of the garage opening. Don’t include any trim or molding.

Height: Use a tape measure from the ground to the top of the garage opening or the bottom of the header. Don’t include any trim or molding.
Here are the standard garage door sizes in Orange County, California:

Two-car garage: 16ft wide and 7 feet tall. Some garage openings are slightly shorter in width and height, but this is the norm.

Single car garage: 8ft wide and 7 ft tall. Some garage openings are slightly shorter in width and height, but this is the norm.
If you have a custom home, the height can be a foot taller or 8ft, and sometimes the door can be one or two feet wider.

Design

How do I pick the design of my garage door, and what is available? What design goes best with your home? What look are you trying to achieve?

There are 5 most common designs, and they all achieve a specific result. The price of these designs is very similar or the same, so that does not need to be a consideration when choosing your steel garage door design.

Modern

Flush Panel

This garage door design is the most modern design available, commonly found in coastal Orange County homes. It is flat with no raised or recessed panels, yet the door still has texture, which adds strength to the steel.

Long or short windows are available for this garage door, and you can put them in any location of your choice. The most popular options are along the top section or vertically on one edge of either side of the door. Most homeowners choose frosted glass with no window inserts.

Plank or Ribbed Panel

This design is also very modern looking. The ribbed design has been around for a very long time, but in the past most commonly found in commercial applications. It consists of vertical grooves running horizontally along each panel.

The Manufacturer CHI offers this design in a wood grain option, referred to as a plank door. They achieve this look by 3D printing random planks on the ribbed door design. There are seven wood grain options to choose from as well as all standard colors.

Note: This design only comes with steel back insulation.

Like the flush door design, you can add long or short windows to this door and put them in any location of your choosing. The most popular options are along the top section or vertically on one edge of either side of the door. Most choose frosted glass with no window inserts.

Farmhouse

Stamped Carriage House

This design will give you a custom carriage house, farmhouse, barn, or cottage look.

You can choose from:

  • Short panel (the squares) version
  • Long panel (the rectangles) version

This design has vertical running boards in the short or long panels, creating a custom look. It is the best option if you want decorative hardware.

This door is unique because when you add windows, you are limited to the long panel window size and design. This element adds even more character to the door because of the contrast between the small panels and large windows.

This is an image of a barn style garage door in San Juan Capistrano, CA.

Traditional

Raised Panel

This is the traditional garage door design most are familiar with. It is always a safe option, for this design does not stand out.

You can choose from:

  • Short panel (the squares)
  • Long panel ( the rectangles)

If you add windows, you’ll have windows that match. So, small square windows if you have decided on the short panel design and long rectangle windows if you’ve selected the long panel design.

Note: If you live in a strict homeowners association, you may need to match the design style of your neighbors. Some HOAs let you have either option. We specialize in helping you find a match when required.

Stamped Shaker

This option is the only garage door design with a recessed design, which is uncommon and provides character not present in standard doors. With this design, a 2-car garage has 16 recessed panels per section and half as many on the single door.

This design can get too busy for some, so it’s essential to look at it on a door designer website to visualize it on your home and make sure it gives you the desired effect.

With this design, only long panel window sizes and designs are available. This adds more character to this door because of the contrast between the small panels and the large windows.

View Full Collection

View all of the styles and check out our before and after pictures.

Get to Know Our Manufacturers:

Established in 1951, Amarr is one of the world’s leading brands in design, manufacturing and distribution of sectional doors for residential garages, condominiums, commercial buildings, shopping malls, warehouses and other industrial applications. Amarr is one of the well-established entrance automation brands that their company, Entrematic, owns. Entrematic provides one of the world’s most complete range of entrance automation products and warehouse solutions, with nearly 200 years of cumulative experience.

Founded in 1954 by Emmanuel Mullet, Wayne Dalton was built on a dedication to ingenuity and customer service. As our business grew, so did their commitment to expanding their product lines, leading the company to become one of the largest door manufacturers in the United States. Since the beginning, they’ve remained committed to being the garage door partner whose innovation drives dealer productivity and provides industry-leading garage door solutions.

All you need to know about garage door insulation: