Is A Wooden Garage Door Right For Your Home?

These days, many homeowners choose either vinyl or aluminum garage doors for their homes. Doors made from these materials are widely available, inexpensive, and easy to buy pre-assembled at home improvement stores. But if you're going for a more traditional or rustic look, a vinyl or aluminum door will just look out of place. A wooden garage door will look so much more in-tune with your home's overall appearance. But there are both pros and cons to consider before deciding if a wooden door is right for you.

Pro: Wood is a natural material.

If you are at all interested in sustainable or eco-friendly building, then a wooden door is a great choice. Wood is, of course, an all-natural material, so when your door reaches the end of its lifespan, it will break down naturally rather than sitting in a landfill for years like vinyl or other synthetic materials might.

Though there is some pollution produced when wood for the door is harvested and when tools are used to shape the door, the process is likely less polluting than that used to make synthetic door materials in factories. Just make sure you buy the door from a company that uses sustainable harvesting practices -- such as planting a new tree each time they knock one down.

Pro: Wood's appearance can be altered if you prefer.

As noted above, natural, stained wood is the most authentic choice for many architectural styles. It's really the only material that will look appropriate on a Craftsman home, and if you have a cabin-style home, natural wood will fit the theme, too. But if you ever do decide to change the overall look of your home, all you have to do is apply a layer of paint to your garage door -- and its look will change, too.

Pro: Wood is secure.

Wooden doors are heavier than those made from vinyl and aluminum. This weight does not make day-to-day operations any harder, since you'll likely have your door connected to a garage door opener. However, it does make your door more secure. Criminals can easily crack a vinyl door or bend an aluminum door. They could even force an aluminum or vinyl door open thanks to the relative flexibility and fragility of these materials. Wood is much harder to break in through, especially if you have it backed with a layer of steel, as many garage doors are.

Con: Wood requires maintenance.

Vinyl doors are relatively maintenance-free, and aluminum doors only need to be painted in corrosion-resistant paint every few years. Wood, however, will require a bit more maintenance. You'll need to apply a waterproof coating every year or so to prevent it from absorbing water and rotting away. You may also need to apply an insecticide to repel insects like wood bees and carpenter ants, who like to burrow into wood and weaken it.

Con: Wooden garage doors are more expensive.

If you're on a tight budget, a wooden door may not be the wisest choice for your home. You can get a good-quality steel garage door, which is very durable, for as little as $750 in some areas. Aluminum garage doors typically cost between $1,500 and $2,000. For a wooden garage door, however, it's not uncommon to pay $4,000 or more. 

If you like the look of wood but can't afford to spend this much, another good option is composite. Made from wood fibers, it looks like natural wood, but costs an average of between $1,200 and $2,200.

To learn more about wooden doors and your other alternatives, speak with a garage door contractor in your area or check out websites like