Residential Garage Door

Choosing a Garage Door Type

Building a new house or just looking to change the curb appeal of your home? Your garage door will be an important part of the project and we want to make it easy for you to pick the right type. We’ve compiled a quick overview of the material types of doors available and the benefits of each – specific to our Albertan weather.

Material won’t be your only decision when it comes to your new door. You’ll also want to consider the style, color, and any finishing details. Find out just what each style of door looks like so you will be able to find the perfect match for years to come.

Garage Door Materials

When choosing a material, there’s lots to think about: durability, maintenance, design, cost. Read below to find the best option for your budget and style.


Wood doors offer a great option for your garage door – they are more durable than steel or aluminum as they will not dent the same way. Additionally, the ability to get your door in a variety of woods and stains means matching to your home colors will be a breeze while maintaining a great natural ascetic to your home.

  • The traditionalist’s choice; a range of options for custom design
  • Veneers or overlays offer the look of wood at a lower cost

Something to consider with wood doors is that they do requires regular maintenance (painting or staining) for them to continue to look great and resist the harsh effect of our weather.


A great choice for those looking for a maintenance free option. While no garage door is ever truly maintenance free, aluminum provides a door that won’t rust, doesn’t need re-finishing like wood, and can have sections replaced in case of an accident.

  • 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


Fiberglass garage doors represent a small segment of the market. The panels, which are encased in aluminum frames, can be painted and offer greater resistance to dents than thin steel.

Fiberglass is very light, a poor insulator, and can fade from weather exposure. But it is more resistant to salt-water corrosion than other garage door materials, which makes it a good choice for coastal locations.

  • 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


Steel is the most popular material for garage doors, and for good reason. Steel doors are reasonably priced, durable, low maintenance and available in just about any style you like. Steel can be painted, and it is available in textures that mimic wood.

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

When shopping for a steel garage door, two features are particularly worth giving some thought to. First, steel is a poor insulator, so insulated doors are a smart choice for saving energy (and reducing noise).

Second, garage doors have steel panels that vary in thickness. Low-cost doors have thin panels of 27- or 28-gauge steel. Though inexpensive and suitable for many garages, these doors will not stand up well to impact (from basketballs, for example).

Garage Door Styles

Wondering what style will fit the home of your dreams? We’ve broken door styles into 4 different categories for your ease. Read about the look of each so you’ll know what to ask for when we discuss the perfect door for your needs.

Victorian, Georgian orColonial

  • Panelled wood (or lookalikes)
  • Coach house or stable look
  • Divided-light windows, ideally coordinated with house windows
  • Decorative hardware, like iron hinges or handles

Edwardian or “Arts & Crafts” Style

  • Raised panels or sections
  • Arch-top or divided-light windows to match or complement your home’s windows (but nothing too fussy looking)

1950s Ranch Style

  • Plain finish with simple, horizontal emphasis in design, like wood slats or banding
  • Simple hardware or windows that create balance with overall composition of home’s exterior
  • For a streamlined look, consider forgoing handles

Contemporary or Modern

  • This style offers the most design freedom – choose materials and details that make a statement
  • Options to consider: stained wood, V-ribbed or horizontal banding, frosted or pebbled glass

Still wondering what door is right for you? Browse through our suppliers online catalogs or give Jackson & James Overhead Door a call to discuss how we can help you with your project.

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