Garage Doors: Wood, Steel, or Aluminum

Garage Door 2 - Door Company in Chicago, IL

When you choose a new garage door, you have three main options: wood, steel, and aluminum. Wood is a traditional, timeless garage door material that you’ve seen on homes your whole life. Steel and aluminum are fearless newcomers, bringing their own distinct advantages.

You can choose between the three by considering different garage door features and deciding which aspects you value most.

Look and Style

When they hear “garage door,” most people think of the classic rustic look of wood. Plus, wood garage doors are versatile. Because they come in various types of wood, each door has a unique color and appearance.

However, some people prefer the modern look that steel and aluminum doors provide. As with wood doors, you can customize these doors with different colors, panels, windows, and accents to get the look you want.

When it comes to appearance, most people prefer wood garage doors. If you prefer the look of wood but want steel or aluminum doors, there are some metal doors that mimic wood’s appearance.

Strength and Durability

Typically, main factors in choice of garage door are strength and longevity. Wood doors decay over time, with wind and rain leading to warping and rotting. Plus, the finish might begin to peel. However, weather and time don’t have much of an impact on metal doors.

Steel and aluminum doors are also easier to maintain. Wood doors need repainting and refinishing about every two years. However, you don’t have to repaint and repair metal doors nearly are often as you do wood doors.

One benefit to wood doors’ strength is that they don’t dent like metal doors, especially aluminum ones, might. This rigidity is especially important if your family often plays ball in the front yard or driveway. Metal doors may also get scratched or chipped, and steel doors may rust (though aluminum doors won’t).

However, steel doors are stronger than wood doors in almost every other respect. Steel doors generally have a longer life with less maintenance required. Aluminum doors are stronger than wood, but still not as strong as steel.


Steel doors are typically less expensive than wood doors, and aluminum doors are even more affordable. That’s because metal doors come in standard sizes while wood doors are custom built to fit your home. Because wood garage doors must be custom built, they often take longer to build and install.

You can get a lower price on wood doors depending on the type of wood, the level of insulation, and the type of accents involved. However, wood doors can cost two or three times as much as metal doors. Additionally, because metal doors typically have longer lives, they can increase your home’s value.

Energy Efficiency

Both wood and metal doors are insulated to keep warm air in during the winter and cold air in during the summer. However, because metal doors usually have more comprehensive insulation, they have an energy-efficiency edge over wood. Insulated metal doors usually come with a high R-value, meaning they are well insulated to resist heat flow.

One thing to note is that metal doors are conductors. When you touch them, they can feel very cold or hot. Nevertheless, steel doors are better at keeping air from escaping. This means your furnace or air conditioner won’t have to work as hard to keep your home comfortable. Thus, metal doors are more likely to help you save on your utility bills than wood doors are.


Because metal doors are made of stronger material than wood doors are, they are more difficult to compromise. Intruders may be able to break in through an aging wood door but are much less likely to successfully manipulate steel.

Another security benefit to metal doors is that they won’t catch fire as readily as wood doors. Hurricane-proof metal doors can even withstand hurricane forces as powerful as 150 mph.

Environmental Impact

When you decide it’s time for a new garage door, a metal garage door will be easy to recycle at a scrap metal facility. Nevertheless, wood garage doors are also easy to upcycle. For example, you can reuse a wood garage door as a headboard or to build a new piece of furniture.

Some people don’t like the idea of trees being chopped down to create their wood garage door. If you share these feelings, you might prefer metal garage doors. However, keep in mind that both metal and wood garage doors can be repurposed.

As you can see, steel and aluminum doors typically win in most categories. However, if you can’t live without the look of wood doors, you don’t have to give them up. Wood doors today are built to last much longer than wood doors did in the past. As long as you maintain your wood garage door, it should last for decades.

Whether you want a wood garage door, an aluminum garage door, or a steel garage door, count on Raynor Door Company. We offer the highest-quality doors at affordable prices, so call us today.

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