When choosing a new garage door, consider buying one made out of steel. Steel garage doors are one of most common garage door types, and for good reason.
Homeowners favor steel because of its many positive features, including durability, ease of upkeep, and reasonable cost.
Homeowners report spending $700 – 2,300 to install steel garage doors including professional labor. A cheap steel garage door costs as little as $300 at Home Depot. The total cost of steel garage doors depends on the door size and style, number of layers of steel and the brand you choose.
Steel is one of the most affordable garage door materials, and with the proper maintenance a steel garage door can last up to several decades.
This guide contains all you need to know when considering purchasing a steel garage door.
Average Cost Of Steel Garage Doors
On average, a steel garage door costs between $500 and $1,800.
A basic, economic steel garage door can cost as low as $300, whereas a high-end, customized steel garage door costs as much as $3,000 or more.
Here is a more detailed guide to Garage Door Replacement Costs.
Cost To Install Steel Garage Doors
The average hourly rate to install a garage door is $35-45 per hour, but this will fluctuate depending on the region.
Installing new steel garage doors will take several hours of labor, and will cost you between $250 and $700 (not including material costs).
Cost Break Down For Steel Garage Door Parts
When buying a steel garage door, you may wonder which parts of the door are the most expensive. You will not necessarily need to replace every part of your garage door.
For instance, your old lock may be still usable, or you may not want an automatic opening system.
Understanding the price breakdown can help you budget properly for your investment in a new garage door.
|Garage Door Part||Average Cost|
|Tracks and Door||$500 – $1,800|
|Lock||$100 – $300|
|Labor||$200 – $600|
|Fees and Supplies||$50 – $150|
|Opener (Optional)||$200 – $500|
Steel Garage Doors Cost vs. Other Garage Door Materials
When choosing a new garage door, steel is just one of many garage door material options on the market. Other popular choices include wood, composite, and vinyl.
A steel garage door is one of the most affordable options, along with fiberglass and aluminum.
A garage door made from wood or from composite is one of the most expensive garage door materials you can choose.
The table below compares the average cost range of different garage door materials.
|Garage Door Material||Average Garage Door Cost|
|Steel||$500 – $3,200|
|Aluminum||$500 – $2,000|
|Screen Doors||$20 – $1,300|
|Vinyl||$700 – $2,100|
|Fiberglass||$800 – $3,000|
|Wood||$1,000 – $5,500|
|Composite||$750 – $6,100|
Steel Garage Doors Cost Based On Number Of Steel Layers
Steel garage doors are made from layers of steel and insulation. A single layered steel garage door comes without insulation, a double layered garage door has one layer of steel and insulation, and a triple layered garage door comes with two layers of steel and one layer of insulation.
The cost of your steel garage doors will vary based on the layering you choose. The more layers, the higher costs you will incur.
|Single Layered Steel Garage Door||$500 – $1,200|
|Double Layered Steel Garage Door||$800 – $1,800|
|Triple Layered Steel Garage Door||$1,000 – $2,100|
|Customized Steel Garage Door||$1,000 – $3,000 +|
How Many Layers Are Best For Steel Garage Doors?
Steel garage doors are offered in three layer types: single layered, double layered, and triple layered.
Which layering option you choose will largely depend on your budget. A single layered steel garage door is the cheapest option but also the least durable.
Single layered garage doors do not have insulation, and while they are made from durable steel, they can be prone to denting and other markings.
Double layered garage doors are considered to be a happy middle by many. Double layered garage doors include a steel layer, like the single-layered doors, and an additional insulation layer made from polystyrene and held in place with vinyl.
Because of this thermal layer, double layered garage doors are better insulated than single layer doors, and more energy efficient. They are also more durable and less likely to buck under pressure.
Triple layered garage doors, the most pricey option, provide maximum insulation and durability. A triple layered steel garage door is composed of a steel exterior layer, thermal insulation, and a steel back.
The multiple layers provide excellent insulation, thermal efficiency, sound proofing, and durability. When financially possible, a triple layered garage door is likely the best choice.
Cost Of Steel Garage Doors at Home Depot
Home Depot offers several types of steel garage doors. The company carries Clopay, a reputable garage door manufacturer, based in Ohio.
If you want a wider selection of steel garage door companies to choose from, seek out a garage door specialist in your region.
In the cheaper range of garage door prices, Home Depot offers an 8 foot by 7 foot non-insulated garage door at $298, whereas an insulated door of the same size costs $438.
For larger garages, a 16 foot by 7 foot classic garage door without insulation costs $761, and costs $1,379 with insulation. Any additions such as windows increase the price by several hundred dollars.
A 8 foot by 7 foot carriage steel garage door at home Depot starts at $1,312, and reaches as high as $3,304 for a 16 foot by 7 foot garage door with a wrought iron window and the appearance of real walnut wood.
Home Depot also offers custom steel garage doors starting at $400.
Steel Garage Doors Prices At Lowe’s
Lowe’s carries some steel garage doors, although their selection is much more limited than Home Depot’s.
Lowe’s carries garage doors from Wayne Dalton, a garage door producer. A classic Wayne Dalton 8 foot by 7 foot insulated garage door is available in a $299 and a $439 model at Lowes.
Non-insulated choices are not available from Wayne Dalton.
Factors That Influence The Cost Of A Steel Garage Door
Understanding what makes up the total cost of installing steel garage doors can help you budget wisely and save some money.
Season: The season you choose to install your steel garage door will make a difference in the cost. Late fall and early winter are the off-season, so expect some major discounts when buying and installing a new steel garage door during this time.
Location: The region you live in will also impact cost. While you can’t change where you live, knowing whether you live in a pricey area, such as the East or West coasts, or a cheaper region, can help you allocate the right amount of finances to your new steel garage door.
Door Style: Choosing a carriage style garage door with several windows will be much more costly than installing a basic sectional garage door.
Insulation and Layers: As mentioned earlier, a single layered door with no additional insulation is cheaper than a triple layer steel garage door that includes insulation.
Steel Garage Doors Styles
You can buy a steel garage door in several different styles to suit your needs and aesthetic sensibilities.
Depending on your budget and the size of your garage, some steel garage door styles will be better fits than others.
All styles can include windows if desired.
Sectional Garage Doors:
The most common style choice for steel garages, a sectional door is made up of multiple joined panels that lift upwards and then roll back. Sectional steel garage doors are popular for their simplicity and ease of use.
Retractable Garage Doors:
A retractable door opens outward from a pivot point along the vertical axis. While a retractable door maximizes the interior garage space for a car, it does require enough driveway space to open outwards.
Canopy Garage Doors:
A canopy garage door creates, as the name suggests, a canopy when opened as one third of the garage door extends outwards as the rest retracts back into the garage.
Carriage Garage Doors:
A carriage garage door opens outwards much like traditional doors in homes, along a set of side hinges. Elegant and traditional, a carriage garage door is one of the most costly garage door style options.
Steel Garage Doors vs. Vinyl Garage Doors
Vinyl garage doors are made from vinyl front and backs with steel cores. While vinyl provides the appearance of real wood, it is a more expensive garage door option than a steel garage door, costing between $700 and $2,100 or more for luxury vinyl.
Steel is more of a durable material for a garage door than vinyl.
While vinyl can experience rotting or warping, steel does not face any of these issues. Steel and vinyl can both experience some denting upon impact.
Both vinyl and steel are available with insulation to reduce noise and improve temperature control.
Steel vs. Wood Garage Doors
Wood garage doors are favored by many for their timeless elegance and beauty.
However, a wood garage door is significantly pricier than a steel garage door, costing between $1,000 and $10,000, depending on the level of finish and type of wood. This does not include the cost of regular upkeep, which can add up to several hundred dollars per year.
Wood is an environmentally friendly choice because wood is a renewable resource. Unlike steel, to maintain its aesthetic qualities and prevent damage wood requires extensive regular upkeep.
Without the proper care, a wood garage door would be susceptible to rot, chipping, mold, and infestations.
A wood garage door is well-suited for mild climates, but areas with lots of moisture and extreme temperature changes may be better suited for other garage door materials, including steel, if you do not want to invest heavily in upkeep.
Steel Garage Doors vs. Aluminum Garage Doors
Aluminum is another metal commonly used for garage doors. While many appreciate aluminum for its aesthetic sleekness, aluminum is not as sturdy of a material as steel, making an aluminum garage door more prone to denting and damage.
Aluminum is lightweight, making it easier to manually operate as a garage door. However, the lightweight feature does have a drawback: aluminum is less energy efficient than steel, as more heat can escape through the door.
Aluminum garage doors cost roughly the same as steel garage doors, at about $500 to $2,000.
One benefit of aluminum is that it is less susceptible to rust than steel is, which would be particularly beneficial for moist climates.
Similar to steel, aluminum doors are available in a wide selection of colors and styles.
Steel vs. Fiberglass Garage Doors
Fiberglass is favored in some coastal regions for its resistance to salt water corrosion than other materials.
A fiberglass garage door is made from fiberglass encased in aluminum. Compared to a single-layer steel garage door, a fiberglass door will be more durable.
However, a triple layer steel garage door far outshines fiberglass in terms of durability.
Additionally, fiberglass is not a natural insulator and fiberglass garages generally are not offered with extra insulation, unlike steel. Therefore, fiberglass is much better suited to mild, warm climates than more extreme climates.
Another issue with fiberglass is that it can fade over time.
In terms of comparing costs, steel garage doors are cheaper than fiberglass. A fiberglass garage door costs between $800 and $3,000.
Steel Garage Doors vs. Wood Composite Garage Doors
Wood composite garage doors are made using recycled wood fibers, and are constructed with a wood frame covered by fiberboard sheets.
In more high-end models, the fiberboard skins are high density and can be decorated with details to more closely mimic real wood. The core of a wood composite garage door is filled with polystyrene for insulation, the same insulator used in steel garage doors.
Wood composite garage doors are a popular choice for their durability: they do not warp or rot like real wood, nor do they rust or corrode like metal garage doors. They are low maintenance and provide the aesthetic qualities of real wood without the burden of upkeep.
The main downside of a wood composite garage is the cost. It is pricier than a steel garage door, costing on average between $750 – $6,100.
Where Can I Buy Steel Garage Doors?
You can purchase your new steel garage door from large home supply stores such as Home Depot or Lowe’s, as well as from door and window dealers or a garage door specialist.
For the best possible service and expertise, choose a garage door specialist.
A properly done installation can save you in maintenance costs, so choosing a more costly installer may pay off over the years.
What Is The Best Gauge Of Steel For A Steel Garage Door?
To determine the quality of a steel garage door, examine the thickness of the door itself, as well as the thickness of the cladding. The thicker the door, the more strong, durable, and high quality that door is.
Pro Tip: the highest quality steel garage door is 2 inches thick, clad in 24 gauge steel, and fully insulated. A cheaper steel garage door will be made from 28 gauge steel and be much thinner and less durable.
High end steel garage doors should also have full width vinyl bubble garage door weather-stripping along the floor edge of the garage door, ensuring maximum insulation.
Pro Tip: Select high quality steel garage doors from such top manufacturers as Amarr, Clopay, CHI and Thermacore.
Steel Garage Doors Pros and Cons
There are a number of advantages, as well as disadvantages to a steel garage door.
Economical: steel garage doors can be pretty cheap. Compared to wood or composite, steel is a very affordable material choice, costing only between $500 and $1,700 on average.
Low-Maintenance: another great feature of a steel garage door is the low maintenance. Unlike wood, steel does not require painting or sealing to prevent mold or rot. A bi-annual hosing down is all a steel garage door requires to remain in good condition.
Light-weight: since steel garage doors are not heavy, they can be easily operated manually, in addition to mechanically. This is a big advantage if you do not want to purchase an automatic opener.
Wide range of colors and styles: you can paint your steel garage doors pretty much any color and many styles are also available with windows. Moreover, steel garage doors can be made to look like real wood.
High Return On Investment: if you are looking for a remodeling project with a high ROI, look no further than installing a steel garage door. With an expected ROI of 98-100%, its much higher than any other remodel you can think of.
In addition to all the benefits, steel garage doors do have some drawbacks.
Possible dents: while steel won’t crack or warp like wood, it can be prone to denting, especially if you select a single layered steel garage door.
Rust: another potential issue with a steel garage door is its susceptibility to rust, especially on the bottom area that will be affected by salting the driveway. However, a yearly cleaning can help prevent this issue.
Low energy efficiency: a steel garage door has poor natural insulation, so if you don’t choose a double or triple layered door you may find increases in your heating and cooling bills because of the low energy efficiency.
Is A Steel Garage Door Worth It?
Replacing an old garage door is a great way to boost your home’s curb appeal as well as perceived value. Installing a steel garage door is a great may to get a new high quality door for a reasonable cost that will not break your bank.
Did You Know? Investing into a beautiful looking garage door does more to attract prospective buyers and improve the first impression your home makes then other exterior remodeling projects, such as windows and siding?
In 2019, The Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs Value Report ranked new garage door installation as the Number # 1 remodeling project with a top ROI of 98.3% This is far superior to most exterior and interior remodels, which typically average 65-75% return on investment.
Moreover, most realtors encourage prospective sellers to install a new garage door if the old one is in bad shape, because a new garage door can add as much as $8,000-14,000 to the price of the house.
Finally, a high-quality insulated steel garage door can help you lower your energy bills and will keep your garage warm in the winter and cool in the summer.