Eden Coast's Blog

Six Key Questions to Review with Your Garage Door Dealer

Posted by Brian Clark on Tue, Jun 24, 2014 @ 08:17 AM

ID 100257605 (2)So you’re considering purchasing a composite clad garage door. Whether it is a replacement door or for new construction, a great place to start is your local garage door dealer who’s familiar with what’s out there. Remember last time, we discussed how to choose a good dealer. Once you’ve done that, here are some key topics for discussion about your composite door purchase.

What type of composite is used?

Composite, by definition, is something that is made up from several parts or elements. In terms of garage door cladding, composites fall into 5 main categories:

  • Fiberglass – Durable but limited in design flexibility and customization.

  • Recycled wood and/or paper – Fully customizable, but heavy and can deteriorate with prolonged contact with moisture.

  • PVC – A plastic polymer that is fully customizable but is less stable. Expansion and contraction with changes in temperature can cause the cladding to separate from the door. Dark colors intensify this effect.

  • Low Density Foams – Lightweight and water-resistant, but not as durable when compared to a higher density foam material. More prone to dents and gouges. (UV) Ultra violet rays from the sun are extremely hard on foams, so keeping it finished is very important.

  • Reinforced Composite – A fiberglass-reinforced high density foam. Lightweight, fully customizable, impervious to moisture and extremely stable. Fiberglass aids in longevity of the board even through UV assault.

How is the door design manufactured/achieved?

The methods and processes used in applying the composite to the door are as important as the composite itself.

  • Field Applied – The base door is installed and the cladding is applied on the job site. Difficult, if not impossible, to control the work environment to get proper adhesion and a quality finish.

  • Factory Applied – Preferred because the material is applied in a controlled environment. Factory application falls into two categories: adhesive only and adhesive plus mechanical fasteners. Quality adhesives combined with mechanical fasteners is the most reliable method of securing the material to the door, hands down. I have seen thousands of doors in the field and the only zero failure method that I am aware of is mechanical fasteners and glue together.

How is the door finished?

The door's finish provides the desired look and protection from the elements and harsh UV rays.

  • Field finished – Good option if you have a difficult color or finish to match to other exterior elements. It is preferable to have doors delivered with a factory-applied primer.

  • Factory applied paint finish – Good option if you prefer a solid color door to coordinate with your exterior color palette. Be sure the manufacturer is using a high quality paint with an appropriate warranty.

  • Factory applied stain finish – The most elegant type of finish. Best method for controlling the environment. Finishing is done prior to the door ever being exposed to the elements. Be sure the manufacturer is using high quality stains and a UV inhibitive top coat to prevent fading, cracking or blistering.

Have you (the dealer) installed composite doors before?

While the mechanics of a composite door are virtually the same as any other door, working with a fully finished product may present challenges.

  • Weight – Although many composites are lighter than real wood applications, it may be necessary to have extra manpower to safely and efficiently install the doors. Good dealers will take this into account ahead of time.

  • Finish – As with weight, working with a fully finished product is best accomplished with an extra set of hands and eyes to minimize any preventable damage during installation.

  • Oops! – Try as you might, sometimes small scratches or dings occur. Make sure the dealer is familiar with the material and products needed to apply minor field touch-ups.

What is the warranty?

Warranties vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, so be sure you know what is and is not covered.

  • Workmanship – Good companies stand by their work. Look for at least a 5-year warranty on workmanship and de-lamination.

  • Material – Most wood doors carry a 1-year or possibly 2-year material warranty with lots of stipulations on maintaining the finish. The best composite door manufacturers offer 10-years.

  • Finish – Look for at least a 5-year warranty on the finish applied to the door. Ask if there are any maintenance requirements to keep the warranty in effect. Remember, if you looking at composite doors, rot free and maintenance free is the best way to go. Be clear on the finish warranty. What is the maintenance schedule? What if I have prolonged direct exposure, will that change the maintenance schedule? Can I have custom colors?

  • Door components – Some composite door manufacturers even go so far as to warrant the springs and hardware portion of the door for as long as you own it, subject to the specifics of the warranty.

Has the manufacturer had any major failures of their material or their processes?

With composite garage doors being a relatively new innovation, there are bound to be bumps in the road.

  • Material – Has the manufacturer had any material shrink, twist, warp or expand beyond an acceptable standard? Have there been issues with the finish not sticking to the substrate?

  • Processes – Has the manufacturer had any material delaminate (come loose or fall off) the door? If so, how has the manufacturer dealt with such issues?

  • Finish- Has the finish lived up to its billing. How many doors has the dealer sold? Have they seen any defects in the finish? Have any doors needed to be refinished due to fading or clear coat cracking or peeling? How old were the doors when this occurred?

By no means is this an entirely comprehensive list. I encourage your comments or questions on this topic to further the discussion.




Image stockimages

Tags: ongoing cost of composite door, price of composite doors, garage door dealer, weight of composite door, finish on composite door

Making a well-informed decision about composite garage doors

Posted by Duane Laricey on Wed, Nov 02, 2011 @ 11:18 AM

Making informed decisions about composite garage doorsLet’s pick up on our discussion about all the choices surrounding the selection of a composite garage door that I began a few weeks ago in our first blog post.

There are several well-informed decisions that have to be made when choosing to go with a composite garage door.

After choosing a composite door, many people think, “Alright, we don’t have to worry about rot or insects! Now we can move on to the next decision.”  If a rot-free door is your only concern, then you will have more options available to you in the composite garage door arena. 

If you want to take your information gathering to a deeper level, then one of the most important considerations is going to be the ongoing cost of owning a composite garage door.  

For the sake of this discussion, let’s limit our focus to stained doors.  Most composite doors are faux stained or stained with a wiping stain just like wood. While that, in itself, is not a problem, most people forget that their research started with the words, “rot free and maintenance free”.  

So, if a composite door is finished with the same materials that are used on wood, then the clear coat becomes the most important factor. 

What is the clear coat? It is the clear coating that is applied over the stain to protect it from the elements and to block the harmful UV rays that cause fading and damage.  Some of the clear coats need to be reapplied annually based on your UV exposure to keep the finish from fading, cracking or peeling and just as important, to preserve your warranty.  

So, while some composites have no wood in them at all and will not rot, the maintenance becomes about the preservation of your look and finish.  When considering your finish, ask yourself:

  • Will it be stained?
  • Who is going to stain it? 
  • What will it be stained with?

Remember that the most important factor about finishing is what will be applied as the clear coat. 


My best advice in searching for the door that most meets your needs, is to make sure you define specifically what you are looking for. Important issues to consider are:

  • Are you looking for the same architectural detail that wood offers?
  • Are you looking to have the same stained effect that wood offers?
  • Do you want your doors to be only rot free?
  • Do you want your doors to be rot free and maintenance free?

Each of these questions, and answers more importantly, will narrow the focus of your search as you move forward.

When it’s time to decide, ensure that you are armed with as much information as possible.  There are some great composite materials out there, each with their own benefits. However, there are very few different types of finishing techniques out there. I would encourage you to search for the finish technique that is head-and-shoulders above the rest.  I hope I have helped you feel better equipped to find the best one for you. 

Keep in mind that just because your architect or designer has suggested a wood door, doesn’t mean that is your only choice.  Remember that there are quality alternatives that provide the look and feel of wood. 

Image:  graur razvan ionut 


Tags: B2C, b2b, ongoing cost of composite door, alternatives to wood doors, choosing composite vs. wood doors, rot free and maintenance free

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