Garage Door Buying Guide

Whether you’re a new homeowner or are refreshing the look of your existing home, buying a garage door is an exciting opportunity for you to breathe new life into your home’s exterior. Many homeowners replace their garage door once in their lifetime, so finding the perfect mix of function, fashion, and affordability is an important part of the process.

To help you make the decision best for your home, our buying guide offers a collection of garage door information below, including overviews of garage door styles, materials, insulation, brochures, garage door comparisons and more. We also offer information on how to measure and install your garage door when you’re ready to make the switch.

When you’ve found a garage door you’ll love on your home and want to know where you can buy Clopay residential garage doors, our Where To Buy section can help you find a local dealer or Home Depot near you.

Why Replace Your Garage Door?

doller 102.7%

ROI at resale

house 70% of realtors

agree a new garage door helps a home sell faster

doller Love Your Home

again with a new garage door

How to Choose a Garage Door: Step-By-Step

What Garage Door Style Should I Choose?

More than any other feature of your home garage door, the choice of style should be based on your personal preference and home style.  While some architectural styles tend to pair well with a specific garage door style -- like modern architecture with full-view doors, or Victorian architecture with carriage-house doors -- the choice is ultimately yours.

View our overviews of traditional raised-panel, carriage-house, and contemporary garage doors, then try a garage door on your home using our Door Imagination System™.

Carriage House Contemporary Traditional

Choosing Your Garage Door Finish

Ready to have some fun? Choosing a finish is your chance to make the garage door look as distinctive or universal as you want. You can find the perfect natural wood look that complements your home or create a neighborhood showstopper with a bold hue from our Color Blast® program, which offers 1,500 Sherwin-Williams® colors or a custom tint. The options are virtually endless.

Keep in mind, the garage door is a significant portion of your home’s exterior, so choose something that helps increase your home’s curb appeal and overall value. Also, the climate can play a big role in determining what type of finishes hold up the best. A local Clopay dealer can advise you on what works well in your area.


When to Consider Garage Door Windows

A garage door with windows adds character and a sense of welcome to any house. Windows can make the garage door look unique and increase the home’s curb appeal. And just think, you’ll no longer have to inch your hand along the wall in the dark looking for a light switch thanks to the influx of natural light.

Garage door windows are customizable and available in designs that will match almost any home style. There’s even impact resistant glass for those who reside in high-wind areas. So, whether you live in a brand new contemporary or 100-year-old farmhouse, see how investing in a garage door with windows can benefit your home.


What is My Budget to Replace My Garage Door?

Budget is important for many homeowners considering a new garage door. The cost of a garage door depends on a variety of factors, including material, insulation, style, hardware, number of doors and sizes, and more. When choosing a budget, most homeowners primarily consider the importance of the door’s aesthetic appeal, whether the door needs to be insulated, and the durability of the door.

Homeowners who seek the least expensive garage door available may be able to find a single-car non-insulated garage door for their home in a lower range without installation. These doors are a nice choice when style or quiet operation are not a critical factor, the average temperature is moderate, and the door will be lightly used.

For homeowners who want to increase their curb appeal, attractive carriage house, modern, or classic raised-panel garage doors are a popular choice. While these doors may be a tad more expensive, they typically have better energy efficiency, durability, quieter operation, and elevated curb appeal that can increase the value of your home.



Should I Choose an Insulated Garage Door?

Energy costs are a consideration for every homeowner's budget, yet many homeowners overlook the impact that an insulated garage door can have on both energy costs and comfort. With the garage being the largest entry to most homes, it is one of the most susceptible to heat loss, which makes it a good opportunity to increase energy efficiency

Clopay's Intellicore insulation expands to fill the entire garage door, providing industry-leading R-values (up to 20.4) for consistent comfort in adjacent rooms next to and above the garage. Looking for more information on Intellicore? View our Intellicore page or review the results of a consumer review of a new insulated Clopay garage door.

What Material Should I Choose for My Garage Door?

The material you choose for your garage door can be based on a combination of style preferences, maintenance considerations, and durability.  Steel garage doors can be a great choice for durability, and our Ultra-Grain finish can provide the beautiful appearance of wood without the upkeep of natural wood.

When a natural look is the most important factor, nothing beats the classic look of a wood garage door.  Clopay offers wood doors in a variety of species from Redwood to Luan with styles ranging from raised-panel to modern.  If you are seeking a one-of-a-kind curb appeal, choose a fully custom handcrafted garage door that is sure to add your personality to your home's exterior.

When clean lines and natural light is needed, aluminum and glass can be an excellent choice.  Our full-view style doors can modernize your home while also helping to bring the outside in by providing plentiful sunlight -- all while giving you just the right degree of privacy with a variety of glass obscurity options.

What Size Garage Door Do I Need?

When it comes to buying a garage door, the first thing to consider is the size of your door.  For many homes, a single-car garage door is 8 to 9 feet wide and 7 to 8 feet high.  Double-car garage doors are typically 16 feet wide, with a height of 7 to 8 feet.  If your garage is built to accommodate a taller vehicle, such as a heavy-duty truck or recreational vehicle, your garage door could be 10 feet tall or more. If your garage door is a non-standard size, don't worry! Clopay offers garage doors in a variety of sizes, and we also offer garage door collections that accommodate custom sizing.

View our Residential Door Stacking & Panel Configurations Guide

Follow these instructions to measure your existing garage door. Take these measurements to your local installing dealer or retailer to purchase the Clopay garage door that is right for you.



Height and Width

The rough opening is the height and width of the framed opening not including stop molding.

  • Rough opening should equal the same size as the door.


Left & Right Side Room

Side room is the distance required on each side of the door to allow for attachment of the vertical track assembly.

  • Minimum 3-3/4" is required on each side of the door for a standard extension spring, standard torsion spring, or EZ-SET® Torsion Spring system.
  • Minimum 4-1/2" is required for a standard torsion spring or EZ-SET® Torsion Spring system above the opening for torsion spring attachment.



Headroom is the space needed above the door for the door, over head tracks, and springs. There should be no obstructions in the garage within this space.

Measurements from the top of the door opening to the ceiling (or floor joist) should be:

  • Minimum 10" for extension springs
  • Minimum 12" for torsion springs

Note: if there is restricted headroom, low headroom options are available.




Backroom is the distance required from the garage door opening toward the back wall of the garage.

  • Minimum measurements should equal height of the door plus 18"



Wind-Resistant Garage Doors

If you live in a region prone to hurricanes or high winds, your local building codes most likely require you to have a garage door that’s wind resistant. The garage door is the largest entryway into your home and if strong winds breach the garage door it causes internal air pressure to build and there’s an increased chance the walls and roof will collapse.

Clopay’s WindCode® garage doors are rated for different wind speeds, so you’ll be able to select from what’s required in your area. The doors are also Storm Ready® and contain built-in reinforcement. If you need to secure the door against high winds, you simply close and lock it. There’s no extra posts, pins or setup required.


Choose From Garage Door Track Options

One of the most often overlooked aspects of buying a new garage door is choosing the appropriate track. The tracks house and guide the rollers, which enable smooth travel of the garage door. It’s important to select tracks that fit the garage, allowing for the proper amount of headroom and sideroom so the door can operate.

Clopay offers various track options to accommodate different garage layouts and needs. Some of the options include a standard radius (most common), vertical lift and high lift, but also a track that follows the pitch of your roof if necessary or one that avoids interfering with handles or windows. Before you buy a new garage door, be sure to do some research on what track options would work best in your garage.

Garage Door Track Being Attached 


Should I Install My Garage Door Or Hire A Professional?

While some homeowners opt to install their garage doors on their own, many find it a worthwhile investment to hire a professional garage door dealer to handle installation.

In addition, when you choose a Clopay Master Authorized or Authorized Dealer to replace your current door with a Clopay garage door, you'll receive a one-year installation warranty to give you additional peace of mind. Learn more about our installation warranty here.


Where Should I Buy My Garage Door?

Clopay garage doors are avaliable through our network of independent Clopay garage door dealers, as well as your local Home Depot Store. Find locations near you using our Where to Buy locator.