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Vinyl vs. fiberglass: which is best for your garage door?

Redoing the kitchen. Adding a sunroom. Finally building that man cave you keep telling your friends about. There are some household upgrades homeowners like to daydream about long before they materialize. Replacing the garage door typically isn’t one of them. In fact, it’s something you might not think about until it’s necessary. Maybe you’ve realized that your home would benefit from a curb appeal boost, or maybe your current garage door has simply reached the end of its life (read creative ways to repurpose your old garage door). In any case, one of the main things you’ll need to start thinking about is what material your new door will be made of.

Next-generation options

Steel, aluminum, and wood have long dominated the garage door manufacturing landscape. However, in more recent years, vinyl and fiberglass have emerged as increasingly popular options for garage door construction—and with good reason. America’s garage door specialists here at NationServe agree: these modern materials each boast a set of features that make them great choices for building the biggest—and perhaps most important—door in your home. Our extensive selection of Wayne Dalton garage doors includes both specialty vinyl and designer fiberglass models, so we have a ton of first-hand experience with each type. Which of the two would be best for your next garage door? The answer, of course, depends on several factors. Keep reading for a closer look at vinyl and fiberglass garage doors, and to find out why we might recommend one in Colorado Springs but the other in Tucson.



Vinyl garage doors: climate-proof with classic cachet

If you live in a hurricane-prone city such as Houston, a vinyl garage door may be the right option for your needs. The specialty vinyl garage doors we carry are virtually indestructible and can withstand even the harshest elements. With an average price point between $1,500 and $3,500 for a standard-size door, vinyl is a more affordable material than fiberglass. It’s also a better insulator, boasting an R-value between 10 and 13.

What are some other pros of vinyl garage doors?

In addition to their affordability and capacity to insulate, vinyl garage doors offer a number of other benefits, including the following:

  • They’re extremely durable. We’re not kidding when we say that they’re virtually indestructible! Vinyl is often referred to as the “kid-proof” garage door material par excellence.
  • Their superior resistance to sand, salt, and wind makes them ideal for properties in coastal regions.
  • Vinyl is eco-friendly and 100% recyclable.
  • They require very little maintenance to keep looking like new (just the occasional hose down as needed).

Does vinyl have any downsides?

The main drawback of vinyl garage doors involves the limited selection of styles and finishes compared to steel or wood, for example. However, if you take a look at the specialty vinyl garage doors we carry, you’ll see that the available finishes are classic, elegant, and designed to complement any style of home.


Fiberglass garage doors: lightweight with a lumber look

Fiberglass garage doors feature lightweight panels and a durable steel frame. They’re highly customizable and great when it comes to mimicking the look and feel of natural wood at a fraction of the cost. They are, however, a bit more expensive than their vinyl counterparts: the starting price for a standard 16’ x 7’ fiberglass door is around $3,500. They also have a slightly lower insulation rating (between R-7 and R-9).

 What makes fiberglass a good option for my garage door?

Fiberglass could be the best option for you garage door for any of the following reasons:

  • Fiberglass garage doors are extremely lightweight and put less strain on torsion wheels and other garage door opener components. They’re also much easier to operate manually.
  • Fiberglass doors won’t rot, crack, or corrode and are highly resistant to salty sea air—perfect for your beachfront property!
  • You have lots of options to choose from when it comes to customizing your new door. Some of our designer fiberglass garage doors are nearly indistinguishable from real wood and others can be made slightly translucent to let in maximal natural light.

Are there any reasons fiberglass may not be the best option for me?

We may not recommend fiberglass garage doors as a first choice in places where temperatures regularly drop well below the freezing point, such as Cincinnati or Colorado Springs. This is due to the fact that fiberglass risks becoming brittle with repeated exposure to extreme cold. Another thing to consider is upkeep. Although fiberglass requires less maintenance than wood, for instance, you’ll still need to apply a clear coat to your garage door every one to three years (depending on sun exposure) to prevent fading.

I want to start browsing designs right away! Can I get the condensed version?

In summary, either fiberglass or vinyl can be a good choice for your garage door for the following reasons:

  • They’re both highly durable, weather-resistant, and suitable for coastal regions.
  • Vinyl is more affordable and offers slightly better insulation, but has limited customization options.
  • Fiberglass is lightweight and provides a low-maintenance, lower-cost alternative to wood, but it may not be the best choice for places where the weather gets extremely cold.

Ready to take the next step towards purchasing your new garage door? Looking for maintenance, repair, installation, or parts? No matter what your needs are, America’s garage door experts at NationServe can help. Get in touch with our team in Tucson, Houston, Colorado Springs, or any of our 16 locations country-wide.

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