A beautifully detailed wood garage door can change a once boring garage façade into a central point of attention for your house’s curb appeal. A wide variety of paints, stains, and sealants are available, allowing virtually endless possibilities for creating the look and durability you want for your door –and minimising the time spent on garage door repair.
But before you dive into the weeds about style details, you will need to arrive at a single important decision: The type of wood to use for your garage door. As a leading Parker garage door repair company, our expertise is not only limited to the nitty-gritty of garage door repair, but the finer nuances of material, accessories, and craftsmanship.
There may not be a single “best” material for a wood garage door, but our expert installers have seen some absolute favourites among our customers. Ultimately, deciding on a wood species depends on your priorities and preferences, but we can offer a hint of what to expect with three of the most popular kinds of wood for garage doors.
FAQs About Garage Renovation
What Type Of Wood Is Used For Garages?
Cedar: Cedar is usually considered the midrange wood of choice for garages. Durable and versatile, it is resistant to rot caused by age and moisture. At the same time, it can fight against chipping and weakening caused by heat and dry climates.
Can The Garage Door Be Made Of Wood?
Like entry doors, garage doors can be steel, aluminium, wood, wood composites, fibreglass, vinyl, or glass. Real or faux, the wood look tends to be the most popular.
What Kind Of Wood Should I Use For Garage Door Trim?
Selecting cedar or redwood makes an excellent garage door jamb material. Cedar and redwood are naturally decay-resistant and have enough stiffness to perform well in this application. Builders have been using it near wet areas for years where rot is possible with favourable results.
Is Cedar Good For The Garage?
Cedar is amazingly durable. Cedar garage doors boast excellent resistance to damage from moisture and insects. Cedar stands up to any weather, remaining straight and true without cracking or warping.
How Thick Is A Wood Garage Door?
1 3/8″ thick. Raised Panel Wood Garage Doors are constructed of 1 3/8″ thick solid wood rails and stiles and are available in various carved designs for the raised panels.
Styles Of Wood Garage Doors
The style of your wood garage door determines the design, layout and other factors that affect your curb appeal. Here are some popular wood garage door styles to consider:
- Solid Panel: One of the more economical options, solid panel garages consist of flat panels with no other details.
- Raised Panel: These doors are more expensive than solid panel doors, creating more visual interest. Raised panel doors feature shapes carved into the wood and add more character to the exterior of your home.
- Carriage Style: This is a timeless, attractive style not often in urban areas. Carriage style doors are different from most others in that they look like they open outwards even though most of the time, they open upwards. They’re also highly durable.
- Wood With Windows: Adding windows to your garage door is one way to make a great impression on guests. Although pricey to install, most homeowners who opt for this style believe the beautiful results were well worth the cost.
Types Of Wood Garage Doors
In addition to a style, you must also choose a type of wood. The wood used to make garage doors varies in thickness, quality and weight.
Here are a few commonly used wood garage door materials:
- Plywood: This is the least expensive and most basic wood door type. For a more attractive outward appearance, it may be covered by exterior hardwood skin. Because plywood is so thin, it may come with some foam insulation.
- Red Oak: This wood is the next most affordable option after plywood. Red oak is hard, heavy and highly resistant to impact and shock. Its grain pattern is also appealing, and it easily accepts wood stains.
- White Oak: Like red oak, white oak is also hard, durable and easily accepts wood stains. Its colouring ranges from white to light brown.
- Alder: Although not well known, this wood is characterised by its large knots and uniform colour. Alder offers a rustic look that goes well with a log cabin-style home.
- Mahogany: This is a popular wooden garage door material because it is beautiful and durable. This wood is easy to work with and has a rich, attractive grain that can be finished easily. It’s also strong and rigid, so large panels can be made that won’t warp, split or sag. It also has a natural resistance to pests and moisture. Although many homeowners prefer the wood’s natural red tones, it can also be lightened with bleaching.
- Cedar: Like mahogany, cedar is also a popular choice for wooden garage doors and is resistant to pest and moisture damage. It’s also unlikely to warp or crack in any weather, humidity or temperature conditions. Cedar is a porous wood, making it lighter and less work for your garage door opener. It also provides excellent insulation and soundproofing. You have lots of flexibility with cedar — you can finish it with various stains and paints or leave it unfinished, which gives it a natural, weathered look.
- Spanish Cedar: This wood has a high resistance to rot, decay and pests. It looks similar to mahogany and has an appealing scent.
- Redwood: Redwood is one of the most expensive materials for garage doors. It comes with several layers of wood to minimise the risk of warping from water and heat. You may either paint or stain it.
- Reclaimed Wood: This material has recently gained popularity and is a great way to give your door a distinctive look. Reclaimed wood has two unique benefits: no trees have to be cut down to obtain it, and it has already been well-seasoned from past use.
Benefits Of Wood Garage Doors
Wood garage doors come with a variety of benefits, including the following:
- They’re Beautiful: Wood garage doors feature attractive textures, designs and finishes no other material can offer. If you’re giving your home a makeover and want something that will pop, go with a wood garage door.
- They Can Be Customised: The number of customisation options is virtually endless for wood garage doors. You can choose from various timber types, windows, decorative hardware and accents. Panels also come with several dozen design options. When using wood, you can have your door exactly as you want it.
- They’re Functional: Some spaces are unconventional, and traditional garage doors may not fit. If your garage floor isn’t level or the opening is not a normal size, you may need a custom wood garage door to match the particular specifications of your space.
- They’re Eco-friendly: Because wood is renewable, it’s more environmentally friendly than most other materials.
- They’re Timeless: Wood is unrivalled in its timeless appeal. There are also many styles you can choose from based on your home type and personal tastes, including rustic, classic and luxurious.
- They’re Strong: While metal and vinyl garage doors are easy to crack or dent, wood’s tough surface makes it much more resistant to this type of damage.
- They’re Updatable: If needed, you can remove and replace panels. For example, you can easily replace the top panels with windows. Wood also provides a perfect surface to refinish with new stains or paint colours.
- They Provide Insulation: Wood is a natural insulator, and replacing a vinyl or aluminium door with a wood one will lead to much lower electric bills. They also serve as a natural sound barrier, which can be useful if you live in a noisy neighbourhood or on a busy road.
- They Can Be Affordable: Although pricey if highly customised, wood doors can become relatively affordable when certain styles and materials are chosen.
- They Increase Your Home’s Value: Because wood doors can be elegant, modern and attractive, they can boost your home’s value and curb appeal.
Advantages Of Wood Garage Doors
There are so many advantages to having a wood garage door.
- Attractiveness: Wood on garage doors typically has beautiful finishes, designs, and textures that other materials don’t have. Wood will make your garage doors stand out.
- Customisable: Many customisation features can be added to wooden garage doors. This includes accents, decorative hardware, windows and timber types. The garage door wood panels also have design options.
- Functional: Traditional garage doors may not fit because some houses have a more unconventional design. Wood garage doors offer customisation to fit homes with openings that aren’t a normal size and where the floor isn’t level.
Disadvantages Of Wood Garage Doors
- Require a lot of upkeep: Wood does require much more upkeep and maintenance; therefore, if you’re not ready for that, then this may not be the best option for you. You need to monitor your door for damages and rot. Also, you’ll need to weatherproof your garage doors by putting on a protective coating layer. If you fail to do these upkeep tasks, your door may chip, warp, or rot. Sometimes garage doors can keep going back up or be hard to open. So you’ll need to watch out for these common problems.
- Not the most energy-efficient choice: Energy efficiency could be negative if your garage connects to your house. Wood will have some insulation properties but not as good as steel, causing you to use more of your heating system during winter. Although you can find wooden garage doors with better insulation, they will cost more.
- Expensive occasionally: Unfortunately, wood material can be on the pricey side. You can limit the amount of customisation to reduce costs. However, it is still quite expensive. Repair costs will also need to be considered when budgeting.
Drawbacks Of Wood Garage Doors
Wood garage doors aren’t all beautiful, though. They have a few disadvantages, as well:
- They Require Regular Maintenance: If you are not willing or able to put in the time to maintain your wood garage door, it may not be the best material for you. You need to periodically check your door for rot and damage and weatherproof it by applying a protective coating. Neglecting these maintenance tasks may lead to rotting, warping or chipping.
- They’re Not the Most Energy-Efficient Option: If your garage is attached to your home, energy efficiency may be a concern. While wood has insulation properties, other materials such as steel tend to insulate better. You can find wood doors that contain insulation, but this will increase the price.
- They’re Generally Expensive: Although they can be made more affordable by limiting customisation options, wood doors are relatively expensive.
- They’re Heavy: Wood doors are solid and weigh a lot, so you will have to buy heavy-duty springs to keep your garage door balanced. If you’d like to be able to open and close your wood door automatically, you’ll also have to purchase a more expensive heavy-duty door opener.
- They Take Time to Make: While wood doors come in a wide variety of styles, it also takes considerable time for a professional to design, build and install them.
- They Can Rot, Warp and Swell: If you live in an area where snow and rain are frequent during certain months of the year, wood garage doors may cause problems. If your door is exposed to rain or snow, this will slowly weaken the wood and eventually lead to rotting. If there are significant changes in temperature or contact with moisture, wood may start to swell up. This may result in the garage door no longer fitting into its rails, which will affect how smoothly it can go up and down. This may even cause the rails to snap because they cannot hold the bowed door, which could injure someone nearby.
- They Can Decay: Unlike most other garage door materials, wood runs the risk of decay. Even when not exposed to wet weather, wood can still begin to decay.
Wood Garage Door Maintenance
If you’ve installed a wood garage door or bought a home that has one, you’ll need to maintain it once a year. Pick a day with nice weather and perform the following tasks:
- Look for Rot: Bacteria and fungus will eat away at the wood, often in places that remain moist for extended periods. Inspect the bottom of the door and the trim work, as well. You can check the trim work by prodding it with a long-handled screwdriver. If it goes through the wood surface, your door needs repairs, which are best to leave to a professional.
- Search for Pests: While prodding your door, look out for pests, as well. Termites can attack anything made of wood, as can boring beetles and other wood-consuming insects. If you notice any insects around rotting areas, try to identify the pests before treating the door. If you can’t figure out what they are, call a pest control company to help.
- Remove Chipping Finishes and Peeling: Even the highest-quality finishes will peel or crack if they aren’t applied to surfaces prepared correctly. If a previous owner painted your door, remove any loose paint chips with a scraper. Then, smooth out areas of uneven wood, fill holes with wood putty and let them dry.
- Add a New Coat of Finish: To continue looking good, your door will need a new finish, whether it’s painted, water sealed or polyurethaned. After the damaged wood is repaired and the surfaces are adequately prepped, add a fresh coat by the directions on the package and let it thoroughly dry. If your door has windows, you may want to tape them to make clean-up easier.
- Examine the Hardware: After the door is refinished and dried, open it and listen for harsh sounds as it goes up. If you hear any scraping or screeching, this isn’t normal — investigate further. You should also tighten all screws, see if the rollers are worn and apply light grease to the springs to lubricate them.
- Inspect the Deals: Close your door and see if the light is shining into the garage between the door and the seals. If you can, this means your seals need to be replaced. Remove the seals, take them to your local hardware store and look for an appropriate replacement. If your door lacks a bottom weather seal, make sure to purchase one.
Wood Garage Door Repairs
- Check for Rot: Fungus and bacteria that live in the wood can eat away at your door. Typically they start with areas that are damp or moist. Ensure to check the bottom of the door and have the work trimmed. Monitor the trim work by using a long-handled screwdriver and prodding it. If you notice that the wood surface has cracks, it’s time to call a professional for repairs.
- Look for Pests: Also another one of the many repair tips for wooden garage doors is to check for pests when prodding your door. Pests and termites may attack all types of wood. There are many types of consuming wood insects, such as beetles. Try to identify the type of insect before treating the door. If you’re unsure, call a pest control firm to help you.
- Remove Peeling or Chipping Finishes: Ensure that the surfaces have been prepared correctly. Use a scraper to remove loose paint chips and smooth out the uneven wood. If there are holes in the wood, you can use wood putty to fill them up and let them air-dry.
How Much Is A Wood Garage Door?
We’ve mentioned that wood garage doors are generally expensive, but the costs vary widely. The main expenses are as follows:
- Materials: Materials account for the bulk of the costs.
- Labour: Varies by Garage Door Company
In addition to the above expenses, various customisation options are available. The more things you choose to customise, the higher the price:
- Size: Homes typically come with two-car, three-car or even bigger garages
- Method of Manufacturing: You can buy standard, mass-produced or custom-built doors
- Painting: Painting your door will set you back a few hundred dollars
- Insulation: This typically costs between $100 and $300
- Garage Door Opener: Installing this useful feature for a wood door usually cost close to $500
Below is a breakdown of the expenses for wood garage doors:
- Single Wood Garage Door: $1,700 to $4,300
- Double Wood Garage Doors: $2,600 to $7,000
- Installation of Garage Door Opener: $500
What To Know About Wooden Garages Doors
Are you planning on installing a wooden garage door in your home? There are a few things that you need to be aware of when you’re picking one out, so you can make the right choice. Here’s what you need to keep in mind.
- The climate in your area: What is the climate like where you live? Is it hot all year round? Are there storms? Is your home often battered by rainstorms? These are all things that will affect a wooden door. If you get a lot of weather on the extreme ends of the scale, you’ll need to consider getting a higher-end door, such as mahogany or redwood.
- The weight of the door: The door’s weight is important if you are hoping to use a garage door opener. The larger and heavier the door, the stronger your garage door opener needs to be. If you want to go with heavier wood, you may need to replace your garage door opener.
- Opening styles: Wooden garage doors can be created in almost any style you can imagine. That means you can have a traditional-style garage door or do other things. Many like to have hinged side doors for a more old-world look. Consider what kind of style you would like.