Another garage door question

We have determined that our old wood garage doors need to be replaced. There's a good local place to buy new doors, but before we have to listen to some salesman, I thought perhaps I could gather some wisdom here.
We live in NE Ohio, so we get a lot of snow, a good amount of rain, very strong wind and very hot, humid summers. The garage is old (the house is 1929), detatched, unheated, brick and cinderblock-ish. We don't have any kids to run into the door as they learn to drive.
We want to have good doors with windows that will last a long time (but not cost a fortune). I'm reading up on the materials used, but honestly, I don't know what really fits our needs. We don't have any preferences, but we don't want cheap, ugly, curse ourselves (and the salesman) later for being dopes doors.
Have you any experience and wisdom to share with me?
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montana wildhack wrote:

replaced.
(but
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----------- I went from wood to the Clopay Premium series about 6 years ago: http://www.clopaydoor.com/r-premium.asp
I couldn't be happier. Even in Seattle, with lots of water and wind, the door looks as good as when it was installed.
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Wooden doors are designed to fail by their design. All kinds of places to trap snow and rain, I prefer a flat metal one, without windows. Especially the ones in the next-to-top row. The burglars love those. Break the window, reach in and pull the emergency release cord, pull the arm out as the other hand is raising the door. Within 5 seconds. Standard reminder to those that have such an arrangement- Cut it off, put the release handle much higher, and have a coat hanger handy to grab the release handle if you need it.

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Important part of Joseph's comment is the part about good quality. Styrofoam breaks down, although faster in the South. So insulation needs to not be an integral part of the door. And I'm not impressed with the door being insulated if the rest of the garage isn't.

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montana wildhack wrote:

Based on personal experience I would choose a good quality metal door. That generally means insulated.
--
Joseph Meehan

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If you have a Wayne-Dalton store near you, check their doors out. I think Lowes or Home Depot also sells them but usually the Wayne-Dalton store price installed is cheaper.

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http://www.wayne-dalton.com /

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Detached garage... Non-insulated steel raised panel or ribbed sectioned (your preference) door with at least 14 gauge wide body hinges, steel rollers with ten ball-bearings, .075 guage tracks, heavy walled pulleys if you are going with extension springs or high-cycle coated torsion springs and solid shaft. Lift cables should be constructed of 7 x 19 wire. Bottom brackets should 11 guage steel and the top brackets at least 12 guage. This will get you a decent door with minimal headaches. Rich http://www.garagedoorsupply.com

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Michael Baugh wrote:

Designed to fail? is that why mine is still fine after 28 years? You need to paint them and keep the paint in good shape and tighten screws ever few years.
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Acknowledged. And mine lasted an enormous amount of time. But they simply cannot be forgotten. Routine painting is indeed the most important thing. They do not survive with benign neglect. Every once in a while, if you'r doing it right, the door needs to be readjusted because of the extra weight of all those layers of paint.

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Michael Baugh wrote:

In the OP case I don't think thermo insulation is an issue. I noted the Styrofoam as most of the better quality doors have it, although it is covered. I might add that in the heat of the south, it may break down faster and that could become a problem I had not considered.
Even if thermo insulation is not needed the foam does add better sound control both through the door and from the door.

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Joseph Meehan

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Thanks to everyone for your replies so far.
Insulation and noise are not an issue for our detached garage.
We're not overly concerned about theft; our cars are parked out in the driveway and there's nothing valuable either in them or the garage (although I would miss our garage-sale lawnmower if it left).
Won't steel rust? If the bottom of the door is in contact with cement, isn't it likely to scratch (and rust)?
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montana wildhack wrote:

They use a very good finish. The bottom of the door has a special rubber gasket to meet the ground.
--
Joseph Meehan

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