Whats new in the world of garage doors?
When that time comes to once again think about replacing an appliance in their household a lot of folks out there are wondering…whats new? Is that fancy new clothes dryer more efficient now? How about the new flat screen TV’s and microwave ovens…whats new?
Well my dryer, TV, and microwave are all still working and much like you I’m not buying anything new until the one I have is completely dead, and yes I do realize the consequences of waiting until the last minute before replacing it, you will end up in a rush to replace the item, make a hasty decision and regret it for the next 5 years, I do the same things you folks do, even though I know better. The difference is that when your dryer goes out you can probably do without it for a week or two…after all there is still the clothes-line option. If your TV konks out, well its been a while since I’ve read a good book anyway and what about that microwave? Well I guess dinner will just take a little bit longer to cook for the next week or so.
If however your garage door konks out, it is within reality that your car could quite possibly be stuck in the garage!! Can you get by for a week without a car? So I will put this article out there for those that read it to inform them of whats currently going on in the garage door world.
Naturally the trend for the last 10-15 years or better as far as garage doors themselves go is the “steel sectional” door, many of you have probably noticed in your own neighborhoods that the old style one piece slab doors that we have here in California are slowly but surely being replaced with the newer styles of sectionals, drive down most streets and you will see more of these than any other type of door while back in 1990 it was just the opposite, but as sure as the seasons and weather conditions change…this effect has taken its toll on the wooden doors of the past. Now as we rapidly approach 2012 the trends for new doors are leaning towards different styles of patterns such as the old school “Carraige House” look or the more modern contemporary “Flush” panel design or even the ultra modern “Full View” or (all window) look, but keep in mind not every house has the look to accommodate one of these three styles of doors, some houses are more fitted to the “Ranch” or (Long panel) design or even the “Colonial” or (Short panel) design of the 80s, in any event, panel designs and colors are now coming to the forefront of new trends.
Next on the list would be what the doors are made of, there are new materials being used as well designs, such as fiberglass, vinyl and insulated steel have surged well past wooden garage doors these days although the basic steel door is still the market leader just based on price and availability, but for those looking for a high end stain grade wood sectional garage door it would really pay off to take a closer look at the fiberglass models, they look like stained wood, they are expensive like wood but that’s where the similarities end, these fiberglass doors are fully insulated and metal backed, which is much nicer looking on the inside than wood and with these types of materials they will far outlast any wood products, but they are limited on sizes available.
Vinyl is also another material being used for garage doors, they are hard to find and very expensive but an option nonetheless for those living right on the beach, they (vinyl doors) are insulated and have a flush vinyl backing but I’m only aware of one manufacturer that is currently making them and like I said they are expensive.
The most practical way to go is “Insulated steel” these doors keep summer heat out, winter heat in, as well as cutting down on operational and street noise and being a relative bargain for the benefits, they look nice on the inside as well as the outside and are available in a multitude of panel designs, this is a rapidly rising trend especially in areas of excessive heat like Arizona and Nevada as well as the cold states in the north east.
Garage door “safety features” is another up and coming trend such as “pinch resistant” panels so those operating their door by hand won’t get their fingers caught between the sections, the various manufacturers have all gone about this in different ways and designs due to patent rights and such but the main theme here is to get the sections to not separate enough when operating to allow ones fingers to get pinched. Amarr Garage Doors currently has by far the best design. Other manufacturers have have had other various safety features to keep ones fingers from getting pinched by the rollers or caught in the tracks but the main problem has always been the fingers in the sections type of injury.
So to sum it up…the garage door industry is chugging along and keeping up with technology as best it can, giving consumers (that aren’t in a rush to slap in the first and cheapest thing offered to them) a variety of styles, colors, safety features and choices not previously available, so when it comes time to buy the one item that quite possibly takes up to 40% of the front look of your house at the very least you now know there are many ways to actually improve that look when your garage door finally needs replacing.
Next week I will cover new trends for garage door openers. That one will be a real eye opener, so stay tuned.