Guide to Choosing the Best Garage Door Material

Canyon Ridge Chevron

Your garage door is a big part of your home's exterior, impacting curb appeal and your home’s energy efficiency. When it's time to replace your garage door, choosing the right material is essential. Here, we'll explore the benefits of selecting a sustainable and eco-friendly garage door material, along with the pros and cons of popular garage door materials and their different levels of energy efficiency in order to help you make an informed decision.

You might be surprised to learn that eco-friendly garage doors exist. But what exactly makes a garage door "green"? An eco-friendly garage door is a good choice for the environment throughout its entire life cycle and there are several reasons to select a garage door made from sustainable materials, including:

  • Recycled Materials: Eco-conscious doors use recycled materials like steel or incorporate wood from sustainably managed forests.
  • Durability and Longevity: Built to last, “green” garage door materials are often chosen for their extended lifespan, which reduces replacement parts and impact on the environment.
  • Weather Resistance: They stand strong against extreme winds, protecting your home and preventing costly repairs.
  • Reduced Maintenance Needs: Eco-friendly materials are often chosen for their low-maintenance requirements, saving you time and money in the long run.
  • Manufacturing Efficiency: The production process itself is efficient, minimizing waste and often utilizing recycled materials.
  • Saver: Once installed, these doors can improve your home's energy efficiency by providing greater insulation. This helps maintain a comfortable temperature year-round and potentially lowers your energy bills.

By choosing an eco-friendly garage door, you're making a positive impact. You're reducing your environmental footprint, saving money on energy costs, and potentially enjoying a longer-lasting door.

Before purchasing and installing a new garage door, consider these important factors:

  • Energy Efficiency: This should be a top priority. Look for doors with high insulation R-values, which measure a material's resistance to heat flow. Higher R-values indicate better insulation.
  • Style: Your garage door is a significant visual element of your home's exterior. Choose a style that complements your home's overall architecture.
  • Color: The color of your garage door can significantly impact your home's curb appeal. Consider your home's exterior color scheme and your neighborhood's aesthetics when making your selection.
  • Material: As we'll explain in detail below, the material you choose will influence your garage door's durability, energy efficiency, maintenance requirements, and overall cost.
  • Maintenance Needs: Consider how much time and effort you're willing to invest in maintaining your garage door. Some materials require more frequent maintenance than others.
  • Safety and Security: Select a garage door with strong construction and features that enhance your home's security.
  • Garage Door Opener: Choose a compatible garage door opener that can handle the weight of the door. Remember, the garage door opener is a separate purchase and is not included in the price of a new garage door.

Now, let's explore the advantages and disadvantages of popular garage door materials and their overall energy efficiency:


  • Pros of Steel: Steel garage doors are known for their durability, affordability, and resistance to weather elements like rain, snow, and wind. They are also relatively low maintenance. Many steel garage doors come pre-painted with a baked-on finish that resists chipping and rusting.
  • Cons of Steel: Non-insulated steel garage doors are not the most energy-efficient option. However, insulated steel doors are, and depending on the type of insulation can have R-values up to 18.4.

If you’re interested in a steel door, Clopay has a number of options from Classic™ Steel raised panel designs to the Bridgeport™ Steel Shaker style or Gallery® Steel grooved panel doors. The doors can be customized with windows and decorative hardware for to create a carriage house look. Available with or without insulation, these garage doors are not only energy efficient but virtually maintenance free as well.


  • Pros of Wood: Wood garage doors offer a timeless look that can significantly enhance your home's curb appeal. They are naturally energy-efficient due to wood's inherent insulating properties.
  • Cons of Wood: Wood garage doors require more maintenance than other materials, such as periodic painting or staining to protect them from the elements. They are also more susceptible to warping, rotting, and insect damage over time.

If you’re looking to add a touch of craftsmanship to your home with a wood garage door, look no further then Clopay’s Reserve® Wood series. Materials are purchased from suppliers who have eco-friendly certifications for their logging practices—rain forests are not damaged and green practices are followed. Trees are replanted where timber is harvested to ensure long-term sustainable wood fiber and forest management.

For those seeking a truly unique and eco-conscious statement piece, Clopay® can build a reclaimed wood garage door. These doors, constructed from salvaged wood, boast a distinctive character that adds a touch of rustic charm to your home's exterior.

Clopay® wood garage doors come in a wide range of options to perfectly complement your home's style. From the rich, exotic allure of tropical Luan to the enduring charm of Cedar and Redwood, Clopay offers a variety of wood species to suit your taste. You can even get a painted wood garage door—in white or a variety of custom colors.


  • Pros of Composite: Composite garage doors (also known as faux wood) are a popular choice for homeowners who want the look of wood without the upkeep. Moisture- and UV-resistant polyurethane composite overlays are adhered to an insulated steel door, and won’t rot, warp or crack.
  • Cons of Composite: Composite garage doors are more expensive than steel doors. While they require less maintenance than wood doors, they still need occasional cleaning.

Clopay's Canyon Ridge® garage doors offer the stunning look of real wood, crafted from a moisture-resistant composite material that’s molded from actual wood. This unique process replicates the natural textures and intricate grain patterns of various wood species, delivering an unparalleled level of realism.

Built with a sturdy steel core, Canyon Ridge® doors ensure durability and quiet operation. A layer of insulated steel sandwiched between the composite cladding and the core enhances energy efficiency, helping you save on heating and cooling costs.

Aluminum & Glass

  • Pros of Aluminum & Glass: Aluminum and glass garage doors are resistant to rust and corrosion and require minimal maintenance.
  • Cons of Aluminum & Glass: Because they often have glass in multiple sections, aluminum garage doors have a lower insulation value compared to steel.

Aluminum and glass garage doors like Clopay’s Avante® doors are a perfect choice for homeowners seeking a sleek, contemporary look for their home. In fact, they’re versatile enough to also be used as interior partitions, adding a touch of modern style to any space within your home.

Aluminum and glass garage doors have glass panels that allow natural light into your garage, reducing your reliance on artificial lighting during the day. While ample natural light is a perk, privacy is also important. Clopay® offers a variety of glass options from clear to tinted and frosted glass for a more obscured view. The doors come in a variety of paint and powder-coated finishes.

Selecting the right garage door material goes beyond aesthetics. Consider factors like energy efficiency, durability, maintenance requirements, and budget to make an informed decision. Sustainable materials like steel, composite, and wood are all unique in their own ways.

At Clopay, we offer a wide variety of garage doors crafted from high-quality materials to suit any style and budget. Browse our extensive selection of residential garage doors online or visit an authorized Clopay dealer near you to explore our collection and find the perfect fit for your home. With Clopay garage doors, you can achieve a beautiful exterior, improve your home's energy efficiency, and contribute to a more sustainable future.

Find Your Local Dealer

Want to learn more about garage doors?

handyman tools icon

Guide to Regular Garage Door Maintenance

Your garage door's condition can have a big impact on your home's appearance and value. Regular maintenance can help keep your door looking good for years to come. Checking your garage door can also prevent it from needing expensive repairs down the road.

Learn More
lattice icon

Guide to Choosing Garage Door Material

The garage door is a key part of your home's curb appeal and functionality. But with so many materials to choose from, selecting the right can be overwhelming. Our garage doors are typically made of natural woodsteelcomposite or aluminum and glass.

Learn More
Fahrenheit temperature icon

Guide to Choosing Garage Door Insulation

For many homeowners, the garage is a primary entrance to the home. It is often also the largest entrance on your home’s exterior. Because of this, the garage can be one of the biggest problem areas for heat loss in your home, impacting your home's energy efficiency.

Learn More