How-To - Home Improvement

How to: Pick the right garage door

Martha Uniacke Breen

Our guide to help you find the garage door that is perfect for your home.

The garage door has become such a prominent part of the façade of new homes that manufacturers now offer more style and colour choices than ever before. “It’s important to make the garage door look beautiful,” says Bette Davies of Richards-Wilcox Canada, a manufacturer based in Mississauga, Ont. “It’s not part of the background of your home, as many people think.” We talked to a few industry experts about some of the options to consider when you’re in the market for a handsome new garage door.

Decide on the material

When researching your options, there’s lots to think about: durability, maintenance, design, cost. “Wood doors can take more abuse than steel ones, which show dings and dents, and can even be pierced and start to rust,” says Francesco Di Sarra of Capoferro Design Build Group in Toronto. “The most commonly used wood is cedar, but you can get anything you want if you have the budget, even mahogany.” There’s also the question of aesthetics. “I like to match the style to the house windows,” says Eric Adelman of the custom-design company South Park Design Build in Toronto. “For wood and stone houses, I might stain the garage door. The idea is to blend it into the façade – white trim and a white door is a very old-fashioned look. With contemporary homes, you can go crazy with materials, like glass doors and interesting wood designs.”


1 Aluminum

  • Many styles, stock colours and designs
  • Low to no maintenance
  • Rustproof, which makes it a good choice for salty or humid environments
  • The light weight of the material makes it less taxing on the operating mechanism, door openers and tracks, not to mention easier to operate manually
  • Less durable than steel; dents easily

2 Steel

  • Astonishing variety of styles, stock colours and finishes
  • Sturdier than aluminum
  • Can rust if scratched or dented

3 Wood

  • The traditionalist’s choice; a range of options for custom design
  • Veneers or overlays offer the look of wood at a lower cost
  • Requires regular maintenance (painting or staining)

4 Fibreglass/pvc overlay

  • Wide choice of styles and designs
  • More durable than wood and metal, but can crack if hit hard
  • Newer to the market so not as widely available as wood and metal
  • Generally costs more than metal but less than solid wood



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