Your garage door. Is it outdated and showing some wear? Maybe it’s not operating as smoothly as it once did. Here are 5 things you want to consider before you go shopping for a new one.

1. How big is your Garage Door Opening? Of course, the final measurements will be done by the pros, but you want to have an idea of the dimensions when you start to shop. The size is the best guide to how much the new door will cost. Knowing the size will help you stick with your budget while you look at different styles and options. Garage door measurements include the height and width of the door, but you may also want to measure the headroom between the top of the door to the ceiling and the distance between the sides of the door and the walls on either side.

2. Understand the Basics. Know what your choices are for the material used in the construction of the door and your choices for the drives that lift it up and down. The three most popular garage door materials include steel, one of the most common materials. Steel gives you lots of options from a faux wood finish to paint of any color. It’s durable, but it will dent and that’s not easy to repair. Next, is aluminum. Aluminum is lighter and often found in modern styles with glass or acrylic panels. It’s rust-resistant but will dent more easily than steel. Wood is a beautiful look that makes it desirable for its curb appeal, but it will take more upkeep. It won’t dent as easily and will be durable if you keep it in good shape. There are also fiberglass and composite wood doors available. Your other choice will be the drive. Belt drives run by a rubber belt are the quietest which can be a consideration depending on the location of your garage. Screw drives are a threaded rod that controls the door. They will need regular lubrication. A chain drive is the most economical, but may be the loudest.

3. Take a Picture. You want a garage door that enhances the style of your home. After all, the garage door is big and usually front and center. You want to bring a photo of your home with you so the garage door replacement company can help you find a great look. Plus, you may be able to upload the picture and actually try on different styles.

4. Insulate or Not? If your garage is attached to your home, you’re letting that hot-in-the-summer and cold-in-the-winter air into the house which can be increasing your utility bills. If you’re looking for garage replacement in Tucson, AZ, and the surrounding communities, where it’s very hot, insulation is a good idea – especially if your garage doubles as a storage room and you want to keep everything safe. The same is true if you live in a very cold climate. Discuss insulation options with your garage door retailer.

5. What’s New? Lots! Technology has come to the garage door. You can find garage door openers that will work with your smartphone so you can open and close the door from anywhere. You can even be altered if the garage door is opened unexpectedly. It’s great security and convenience – no more running home to shut the door because your teen forgot and left it open. You’ll also want a garage door that can turn on the lights. Plus, you’ll want a pad mounted on the outside so you can let yourself in with a code. Talk about all the options before you make a final decision!

When you go shopping for your new garage door, make sure that you go to a licensed, bonded and insured garage door replacement and maintenance company that has a track record of success. Listen to their expert help. Then, when they come to install your new garage, you’ll be completely happy with the style, the operation and the new features you’ve chosen.