Choosing the Right Commercial Garage Door for Your BusinessMarch 23, 2018 • By Gary DeJong
As a company that sells commercial garage doors in Colorado Springs, we know customers have a lot of questions when it comes to choosing the right commercial garage door for your business.
Commercial garage door companies are trying to sell the you the newest, fanciest door on the market — but we know it all comes down to function. How can you see past the shiny new doors and determine what you really need to efficiently run your business?
What Factors Should I Consider?
Educating yourself on the features of commercial or industrial garage doors, regardless of what industry you’re in, is a great place to start. Then you can be confident in what you’re searching for and make sure commercial garage doors companies don’t lead you astray.
Perhaps the most obvious factor you’ll have to consider is the commercial overhead door cost. As with anything you purchase, there are a lot of things that impact commercial garage door prices — brand, size, insulation, speed, security and more. Since there are so many different industrial garage door options, the range of prices is very wide.
There are, however, a few things you can do regardless of where in that range you fall. First of all, decide on a budget so you know what you can afford. Second, make a list of all of the features you need and then prioritize the list. This way, if you can’t get the best in all of these areas, you’ll stay focused on what features are most important for your business. Finally, when you begin collecting quotes, make sure all of them are for similar commercial garage doors and installation packages, so you know you’re comparing apples to apples.
Durability and Quality
Everyone wants a quality, durable commercial garage door, so this decision-making factor may seem silly, but the amount of durability among doors varies greatly, and your need in this area will depend on your business — more about that later. It’s important to understand that there is a direct correlation between quality/durability and price.
You’re going to pay more up front for a stronger, more resilient door. Remember, while a less durable solution may be cost-effective in the short term, it could get more expensive later with the cost of commercial overhead door repairs.
If you’re in the market for industrial garage doors that can withstand high winds and extreme weather, endure high traffic, protect your building from fire or provide an additional level of security, you need a commercial garage door with a high level of durability.
If you’re looking for an interior door, don’t live in a climate that has high winds and extreme weather or aren’t concerned with the added protection against fire and/or intruders, you can probably get away with something a little less durable.
Overall, it’s important to remember that these doors will be protecting your business — whether that’s your office, products, equipment or a combination of everything — so it’s worth keeping in mind that these doors could make a big difference in an emergency.
The traits you’re looking for in your industrial garage doors may dictate the material — or if you know you want a certain material, it could be the other way around. Each material has a list of pros and cons when it comes to performance and aesthetic features.
We’ve highlighted a few of the most common materials used for commercial garage doors along with a summary of their pros and cons.
- Steel and Stainless Steel — Garage doors made of steel are the most popular. These doors are durable (higher gauge means more durability), have a decent insulation potential and are fairly low maintenance. Regular maintenance is required to prevent rusting. The downside is that you won’t find nearly as many customization options for steel doors as you can expect for doors made of other materials.
- Aluminum — Doors made of aluminum can give you a more modern or sophisticated look, with a variety of finishing textures and colors. They’re also essentially maintenance-free. Unfortunately, aluminum doors don’t have good insulation values and are prone to dents and dings.
- Glass — The pros and cons of glass doors are very similar to those of aluminum doors. The one big difference is that glass is more resistant to dents. However, glass can shatter if it’s hit hard enough, which could increase the maintenance cost.
- Fiberglass — Commercial garage doors made of fiberglass are for those who place an emphasis on look — much like glass and aluminum doors, they don’t provide much insulation. They are, however, more resistant to corrosion that can occur from saltwater in coastal areas. These doors can take on the appearance of wood grain and can be painted, though they do fade from exposure to the sun. Overall, their maintenance isn’t complicated, but you do have to apply a clear protectant every few years.
Safety and Security
Bigger, stronger industrial garage doors without windows certainly don’t hurt safety and security, but there’s much more to it than that. Much like a home, commercial garage doors come with the option to add smoke and fire detectors, built-in alarm systems and keypads. Garage doors are often a target for intruders, so if your facility is in an area that is at risk, or of you just need security due to the nature of your office or product, these added security features can help protect your business and give you peace of mind.
It’s also important to look into the safety features that are built in to the door for opening and closing. Employee safety may not be the first thing that comes to mind when we’re talking about safety and security features, but it’s important. The last thing you want are doors that can slide or slam shut, increasing risk of injury.
The first thing that probably comes to mind when you hear energy efficiency is insulation — and that’s part of it. The material you choose for your garage door plays a big role in how efficient it will be. Steel doors without windows are much more energy-efficient than aluminum doors with windows. There are also plenty of options to add insulation to increase the R-value. In addition to insulation, you may have already considered the importance of the seal around the doors.
When it comes to commercial garage doors, there’s another aspect to consider — speed. How does speed affect energy efficiency? Imagine you have the biggest, best insulated door on the market, but it takes forever to open and close. Industrial garage doors are usually large, so if they are slow to open and close, you’re losing a big chunk of heat or air conditioning. In some industries, this is more important than others — but in all industries, you’ll need to strike a balance between energy efficiency in both materials and speed.
Much like energy efficiency, the cost of commercial overhead door repair takes the focus off of the up-front cost and encourages consumers to focus on the lifetime costs of the doors. Different brands and types of commercial garage doors have different maintenance needs.
Do the doors have to be serviced every so often to ensure they continue to perform at the highest level? Will they need to be cleaned periodically? Are new parts for the doors easily accessible and affordable?
These are a few of the questions you should ask commercial garage door companies as you consider your options. Understanding the level of maintenance is important and should be considered along with commercial garage door prices — while the up-front cost of one may be more, it may be a worthwhile investment if the doors are recognized for being low-maintenance.
Purpose and Convenience
Give some thought to how you’re going to use your industrial garage door. Before you state the obvious — that it needs to open and close — let us explain what we mean. We know the bottom line is that you need an entrance and/or exit, but humor us and dig a little deeper.
Are you going to be opening and closing the doors a significant number of times throughout the day? Will they be open for extended periods of time, or do they need to open and close as quickly as possible? Will these doors be near an office where it’s important to keep sound to a minimum, or will they be in a warehouse where it really doesn’t matter?
When it comes to convenience, you want garage doors that are going to complement, or even be an asset, to your business. It seems like a simple factor to remember, but so often it gets lost in the shuffle. Go back to the basics and make sure you’re looking for doors that will be convenient for you and your employees to work with.
After reading about pricing, energy efficiency, durability, security and other decision-making factors, sometimes style gets knocked down on the priority list quickly. In some cases, that’s OK, but in others, style deserves more attention.
If you are looking for commercial garage doors for a facility that will be doubling as a storefront or will be highly visible to your consumers, then consider giving style a little more clout — after all, in this case, doors will be a part of your business’s first impression.
There are ways to gain style without losing functionality. It’s a delicate balance — one solution might be a paneled or sectional garage door. Panels are more stylish, but also very sturdy and durable. You can also maximize style by choosing a model with a variety of color or custom print options.
There are three main models of commercial garage doors — sectional and roll-up. Each model functions differently. Chances are, you have a vision in your head of the model that you need, and you may just not have known there are a few different options.
All three of these models have their own customization options, so if there’s room for flexibility in the model type, you should see what options are available.
- Sectional/Panel — Think of this as a bigger version of many residential garage doors. The sections or panels have joints that bend. It doesn’t have to be the same material throughout — for example, aluminum sectionals combine an aluminum frame with glass or fiberglass doors for a more upscale look. This type of door requires a greater surface area up top (think the bigger brother of your home garage doors).
- Roll-Up/Coiling — These industrial garage doors wind straight up into one large coil right above the door. The may be solid steel or aluminum, or they could be in the form of a grille.
Which Commercial Garage Doors Are Best for My Business?
We’ve reviewed everything you need to consider when you’re purchasing commercial garage doors — from commercial garage door prices to style. While all of these features are important, the priority depends upon the industry you’re in and the facility you need to install the doors on. How do you know which doors you should be considering?
We’ve pulled together a list of some of the types of facilities that we know are purchasing commercial garage doors in Colorado Springs and our recommendation of the type of doors to consider.
Manufacturing, Distribution, Storage Facilities — Steel Sectional Doors or Steel High-Speed Doors
If you’re searching for industrial garage doors for a factory, manufacturing plant or storage facility, chances are you have a high volume of large trucks and heavy equipment moving in and out of the area. You need something tough, energy-efficient and weather-resistant to protect the facility from the heavy equipment and from the elements year-round.
Steel sectional doors are among the toughest available. They’re durable, so they’ll be low-maintenance, but will work hard all year long to make sure your building is safe and comfortable. These warehouse garage doors can be insulated to maximize energy efficiency and are strong enough to withstand high winds and extreme weather.
If your manufacturing, distribution or storage facility needs an extra level of security and/or climate control, you should look into high-speed doors. As you can probably guess, these doors are recognized for their ability to open and close quickly. Since the amount of time the doors are open is limited with high-speed industrial garage doors, they have better climate control and energy efficiency than many other options.
It’s important to note that not all high-speed doors are built to stand up to extreme weather and a high volume of traffic, so if you need either of those features, make sure the high-speed industrial garage doors you choose have the best of both.
Regardless of what climate you live in, if you’re searching for industrial garage doors for your manufacturing, distribution or storage facility, steel sectional doors and high-speed doors are two you should consider.
Hotels — Rolling Fire Doors
When you’re looking for a commercial garage door for a hotel, you need something that is going to not only protect the interior from weather elements, but also something that can act as a safety partition in case of an emergency.
Rolling fire doors provide that extra element of safety. When a fire alarm is activated, these doors automatically close — keeping the fire and smoke contained to one space, and protecting everyone else from being exposed to it. By keeping the fire contained, this also provides a simplified escape for those who need to exit the building.
Rolling fire doors need to be tested annually by a certified fire door technician and should be used as a part of a fire escape plan, not in place of one.
Health Care, Schools or Educational Facilities — Rolling Fire Doors, Security Shutter Doors or Grilles
Much like the needs of a hotel, hospitals, schools and other similar buildings also have to prioritize the safety of patients, students and staff. For this reason, we recommend rolling fire doors.
Working together with a fire alarm, these doors provide an automatic protection and immediate reaction to confining fire and smoke and protecting the people inside until they can escape. Please note, these doors also need to be tested annually by a certified fire door technician and should be used as a part of a fire escape plan, not in place of one.
If safety features are already in place and you’re just looking for something to function as a partition or a security feature to keep an interior area safe at night, security shutter doors might be a better fit. If you aren’t keen on having an area completely shut off, another option would be to install a grille and use that as a secure partition that still maximizes visibility and airflow.
Retail — Security Shutter Doors or Grilles
If you’re looking for doors to secure and separate your store from the rest of a mall or shopping center at night, you should look into security shutter doors. These doors are ideal for lots of pedestrians and not a lot of headroom. Made of aluminum, they’re strong and secure enough to prevent an intruder from getting into your store at night. If appearance is also important to you, there are a few design options to choose from when it comes to visibility and airflow — you could even customize it with your company logo.
Another option that works well for retail stores is a grille. Grilles give you the opportunity to maximize airflow and show off your products, but not leave it completely open to the public when the store is closed.
Dealerships, Car Washes, Firehouses — Aluminum and Glass Sectional Doors
When it comes to dealerships, car washes and firehouses, your commercial doors are truly an integral part of your building’s appearance. Make people take a second look with aluminum and glass sectional doors.
These doors can be just like floor to ceiling windows that provide ideal daylight inside and an impressive look outside. Display brand-new cars or fire trucks — or give a glimpse into the car wash to show off the suds and tools that keep cars looking brand-new. Regardless of what you have to show off, these doors are ideal for maximizing visibility for a showroom.
Parking Facilities — Steel High-Speed Doors or Grilles
The type of door that works best for parking facilities depends on a few different things — location, hours of operation and security risk. Speed is a must — in this case, not because of energy efficiency, but because of high volume.
If this door is going to be opening for every person who enters or exits the facility, it has to move fast for your customers’ convenience. Depending on the level of privacy and/or security you’re looking for, either a solid steel door or grille may work best.
In an area where the parking facility needs more privacy or a higher level of security, a solid steel door is best. In an area where security is a factor, but not an elevated risk, a grille can provide that security while still maximizing the amount of airflow and visibility.
Commercial Garage Doors in Colorado Springs
At American Overhead Door, we’re dedicated to providing excellent customer service to you — whether you’re taking advantage of our free estimates, commercial overhead door repair or searching for commercial garage doors. We want to help you find the best commercial garage door for your business. Request a free quote on our website or call us at 719-538-9900. You can also reach us at our Salida location by calling us at 719-530-3000