Replacement garage doors

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What types of door are there?

Garage doors range in style and type.  With so many to choose from, this guide will give you an idea of the different types, the pros and cons, and what optional extras you might want.
Keeping it cheap and simple, the most basic door is a pair of side hinged opening doors.  These are usually made of wood and although cheap, they require good carpentry skills and painting to protect from the elements
The cheapest maintenance free door is the manual 'up and over' type.  These are easy to fit and tend to be made to a variety of sizes.  As you'd expect, custom sizes cost more.
Sectional doors are similar to up and over doors but require less room to lift, so you can use more space in the garage without it being a problem.
Roller doors as the name suggests rolls the door up and takes the smallest space within the garage to up-and-over and sectional doors.

Up And At Them! (or Up And Over...)

One of the most popular doors, you do need to keep a bit of a space at the opening of your garage to allow the flip action of this door.  The security is reasonable though as the doors cannot be easily forced.  They are usually only operable from the outside though, so if you want to use your garage as a workshop this is probably not the door for you.  They are almost entirely manually operated which further keeps the cost down.

New section, for the sectional door

A good step up from the up and over door, this flexible style does not need the same amount of space to open.  It's usually a little easier than the up and over door to open and close since it runs on a track.  For those with a room above the garage it's really worth bearing in mind these doors can be insulated to keep the garage a bit warmer which can make all the difference.

Roll up, roll up

The roller shutter door is perhaps the most flexible of all these options, but it is also usually the most expensive.  Individual laths roll up within the garage meaning you won't have to worry about leaving space for the door - you can park right up to the door without reserving space for it to close.  The laths can be fully insulated, and usually the top lath will lock down when the door closes making it impossible to force this door up.  The doors are normally automatically operated.  Manual versions are available, but these can compromise security as they require additional work which can cause weak points on the door.

And the extras...

Motor operation is usually the most well-known extra, and paradoxically in the case of a roller shutter a motorised door is usually cheaper than a manual door.  Key operated control units mean you'll need to leave the comfort of your car to open the door; a remote control saves this but always check with your installer they are using a 'rolling code' unit as fixed code units can be cloned easily.  With motorised units also ask what safety is put in for a power cut, many will have manual winders and it's probably wise to always ask for one if one isn't provided as standard.  Courtesy lights can link to doors giving you welcome light as you enter your garage.  Auto door stops in case someone walks under the door as it closes, along with door closing alarms, can add extra peace of mind.
Want to show off?  Ask your installer how to link to your security alarm and control a motorised door with your alarm system or even smartphone app.

Buying on ebay

There are plenty of people selling garage door installations on ebay.  The questions you might want to ask include how long the installation is guaranteed for?  Does the price include all required parts for installation or what parts may cost extra?  If replacing an existing door, will they dispose of the old one for you within the agreed price?  Is the door insulated?  Does the motor unit have rolling code technology, how many remote controls are included, and is wiring included?
As a final note to  consider, many different colours of garage door are available.  Just remember a few years ago people installed avocado and brown bathroom suites, now anything except white is generally considered either a brave or a foolish move.  That's why my garage door is white.
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