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Garage Door Buying Guide

Typically your garage door(s) represents over 40% of your home's exterior. Therefore, it is important to choose a door that best complements your home, as well as satisfies your needs.

The following consideration should be analyzed when purchasing your next garage door:

  • Maintenance Requirements
  • Insulation "R" Values
    i.e. Polystyrene v. Polyurethane
  • Styles Available
    i.e. Raised Panel, Flush, Ribbed, Elongated Panels...
  • Thickness
    - Thicker is not always better!
  • Durability
    - Will it dent?
  • Composition
    i.e. Steel, Wood, Vinyl, Aluminum, Composite, Fiberglass
  • Available Colors, Finishes and Window Options
  • Strength and Gauge of Track, Hardware and Face Steel
  • Security and Safety Issues
  • Warranties
  • Counterbalance Spring Mechanisms
    i.e. Extension vs. Torsion
  • Construction of Sections
  • Available Options
    i.e. Quiet Glide Rollers, Top Seals, Emergency Disconnect, etc.
Wood door

Door Systems Metro Boston is committed to helping you select the best garage doors for your home. We offer the largest and most diverse product‑mix in New England to guarantee the satisfaction of your needs. Professional installations and on‑going courteous attention after the sale are why "Service and Quality are our leading products!"

More Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Below are some commonly asked questions and answers about garage doors. If you have questions that are not answered on this page, please feel free to contact us.

Q: Why should I use a professional installer?

At Door Systems Metro Boston, we firmly believe that the installation of a garage door is not a do‑it‑yourself job. A garage door is the largest moving object in your home and because of the large number of small parts, its installation is highly technical. Connecting the springs can be particularly dangerous and proper installation is critical to the performance of your door. One of the other services a professional installer can provide is the disposal of your old door, if you are replacing a door.

Professional installers can typically install a door in a few hours and are careful to make sure safety requirements are met. Installations by most homeowners typically span several days and cause much frustration. In addition, incorrect installation can void certain warranties, so we recommend a professional handle the job for you.

Q: Is 25 gauge steel thicker than 24 gauge steel?

No. When comparing strengths of steel, remember, the lower the gauge number, the thicker (and stronger) the steel is.

Q: Why should I choose an insulated door if my garage isn't insulated?

A garage door opening is a very large hole in your garage. Insulated doors will help to reduce the amount of outside temperatures that enters your garage, thus keeping it more comfortable for you. This is important for a number of reasons:

  1. If your garage is attached to your home, any air in the garage can travel through the doorway to your living area.
  2. If you use your garage as a workshop, your comfort will be a top priority.
  3. If your garage is below another room in your home, air can travel through the ceiling of the garage into the floor of the room above. An insulated door will keep temperatures in the garage fairly stable to reduce the temperature fluctuation in the room.
  4. An insulated door is generally quieter and has a more attractive interior than an uninsulated door.

Q: How do I dispose of my old garage door if I replace it with a new one?

Door Systems Metro Boston will properly dispose of your old garage door when we install a new garage door for a small additional fee. Discuss this with the salesperson when you get your estimate for your new door.

Q: When I replace my existing door, can I keep my old track?

We recommend replacing your track when you replace your door because each brand of garage door has been specially designed to work with a specific type of track. In addition, replacing your track is an inexpensive way to insure that your entire garage door system is as safe as possible. By replacing your track you also ensure that your door warranty will apply, in the event that you have a problem.

Q: I have a one‑piece door now. Can I replace it with a sectional door?

Yes. Your professional garage door installer can install a sectional door for you by installing track and springs to accommodate a sectional door. Depending on the construction of your garage, other modifications might be necessary. We would advise you to ask your installer to evaluate the job prior to installation, so that any modifications can be performed before installation.

Q: Are special size doors available? I have a custom‑built garage that features an unusual size door.

Yes. Door Systems Metro Boston makes residential doors in widths beginning at 4' wide and continuing to 20'*. We can make any width between 4' and 20' in two inch increments. In addition, virtually any height between 3'0" and 12' is available in three inch increments. (*not all models are available in this range of widths)

Q: My garage has very little space (headroom) above the door. What is the minimum headroom required to operate a sectional door?

Standard headroom applications require 12" to 18" of space between the bottom of the opening header and the unobstructed ceiling. However, Door Systems Metro Boston specializes in custom‑built applications. A variety of special track options are available and make it possible for many unusual garages to be fitted with doors. By using low‑headroom track, it is possible to install a door in an area that has as little as 4½" of headroom.

Other special track applications include:

  1. Vertical lift track, for use in situations where the ceiling is extremely high and the garage door has room to lift straight up.
  2. Follow‑the‑roofline track, which is used when the ceiling of the garage is pitched at the angle of the roof, making it desirable for the door to follow the same angle, thus providing additional overhead room.
  3. Hi‑lift track, which is used when the ceiling is unusually high, but the door must still retract to a horizontal position.

Q: I've been comparing R‑values of various doors and am surprised at the variance among them. Can you explain this?

Many manufacturers use R‑values to show the energy efficiency of their product. This number is arrived at through a calculation that looks at the thickness of the insulation and its chemical properties. Therefore, most of the R‑value numbers you see, reflect only the R-value of the section... not of the installed door. A door's insulating capabilities can be greatly affected by the door's construction. Polyurethane is a much better and more efficient insulator than polystyrene.

Q: How do I know if my door is properly balanced?

There are several tests you can perform to tell if your door is balanced:

  • You should be able to raise your door in 1' increments and the door should stay in place where you stop it.
  • When the door comes down, it lowers in a controlled manner and doesn't slam.
  • When the door goes up, it is at a controlled pace.
  • The bottom of the door should align with the bottom of the header when the door is in a raised position.

Q: Do I need a lock on my garage door?

If an electric garage door opener has been installed on your door, it may not be necessary to have a lock. Newer electric openers function as the lock, making it improbable that an intruder would be able to lift your door from the outside. If you have an older opener, check to see if your door can be lifted from the outside.

DASMA, the trade association for the garage door industry, discourages homeowners from attaching a lock when an opener has been installed, because too frequently, a child or other family member will accidentally lock the door. If someone then tries to open the door using the electric opener, the opener will pull against the lock causing the door to be damaged.

If no opener is installed on your door, you should certainly have a lock installed.

Q: What type of spring is better... extension or torsion?

There are two types of springs used on garage doors today... extension and torsion. Most people are more familiar with extension springs. These are the springs that are attached on either side of the door and stretch along the horizontal part of the track when the door is closed. Torsion springs are typically located just above the top section of the door and are mounted to the header. They are wound springs and do not expand or contract when the door is moved.

A torsion spring is a superior spring, primarily because it offers more safety to the homeowner and better balances the door to provide smoother operation. Overhead Gargage Doors single‑car doors are equipped with extension springs as part of the standard hardware, torsion springs are available by request. All double‑car doors are equipped with torsion springs.

Remember: "If You Buy Quality From a Reputable Company, You Won't Have to Pay For a Lifetime!"

Other Questions?

If you still have questions about garage doors, garage door openers, controllers, parts, installation, or other garage door products or services, please contact us!