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Question DetailsAsked on 6/2/2017

Best Quality Garage Door

I am considering the following doors, No windows, one car size ,Almond Color :
1) Clopay Classic Collection Premium Model 9200.
2) Raynor Aspen AP 138 or AP200
3) CHI 2216.
4) Raynor Trademark 24G steel with added insulation. Seems like the most heavy duty steel out of all of the above options, though I am not entirely sure.

What would be the best option quality-wise of the door and hardware/rollers for money from these options ?


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1 Answer


Cheapo steel garage doors commonly use thin insulation (down to as thin as about 1/2 inch or even only a sheet of 1/2" particle board as the core) and steel commonly in the 25 to as thin as 28 gauge (in steel, the LOWER the steel gage - thickness number - the THICKER it is. Does not make sense but that is how it has been for hundreds of years. High-end doors use heavier/thicker 20-24 gauge steel (though thicker than about 22 gauge generally requires stronger hardware and larger or doubled springs, and are much more of a hazard if they break a spring and fall on a pet or child. Insulation on higher-end doors commonly is more on the 1-1/2 to 2 inch thickness. (For comparison - normal home pie pan (permanent steel ones) are about 22 gauge, throw-away or store-bought pie pans (aluminum) are generally around 25 ga for the sturdier ones, and 28ga for the flimsy ones. Kitchen aluminum foil is about 24 ga for heavy duty, 27 ga for normal thin. 28ga steel doors can be easily dented by an accidental elbow or knee hit, for example.

My opinion - I don't remember ever running into CHI doors (headquartered in Illinois so may be a regional brand) - Clopay and Raynor are old standby companies with a very good reputation - Clopay has been making garage doors and hardware/openers since the 60's as I recall, Raynor since about the end of WWII so I would have no concern about those two, at least. My wood Clopay door and opener are still doing fine after 36 years, though I am going to have to replace some rollers pretty soon - bearings are getting pretty worn, and springs have been replaced once.

You can also read reviews in Consumer Reports on various garage doors and openers.

Check your insulation needs (if in very cold or hot environment I would be looking for around 2" insulation, and in extremes perhaps even allow for an interior insulation blanket in the spring adjustment.

I certainly would not go with anything less than 24ga steel and preferably 22 if you have kids who will inevitably bounce balls against the door at times - though for serious basketball, soccer ball or tennis ball impact even a 20ga door will dent. Though fiberglass doors split and wood cracks under that treatment so that is not a problem just with steel.

BTW - if you are going to be using the door a couple of times daily (for commuting or kids going in and out) I recommend getting high-cylce rated ones. Standard is 10,000 cycles (one opening and closing is a cycle) which is about 7 year life with a car coming / going twice a day - getting 20,000 or 30,000 cycle rated springs will cost about $50-100 extra typically for a one-car door but save you probably around $200 range for every spring changeout you do not need to have done every 7-10 years, if you plan on living in this house "forever".

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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