What Type of Wood to Use for Making Wooden Garage Doors?

What wood for garage doors

Over the past few years, wooden garage doors have soared in popularity.

This is because the aesthetic qualities of a wooden garage door really bring out the beauty in most homes.

Of course, if the garage door is poorly made or looks cheap, then this can really bring down the aesthetic quality of the property itself.

However, despite their popularity, wooden garage doors are quite expensive compared to sheet metal which is a common material used to create garage doors.

But a wooden garage door should be considered an investment and not just a purchase.

The key is to select the right type of wood for the garage door.

Different Types of Wood for Garage Doors

You may be surprised to learn that there are several types of wood commonly used to create garage doors.

The most common include the following…

1- Cedar

Perhaps the most ubiquitous choice as cedar is strong, durable, and resists age and rot.

The reason why cedar is considered to be the best wood for garage doors is it works well in both hot and cold climates and resists chipping and cracking.

However, it is also more expensive than many of the woods available for garage doors, so you will have to pay more.

2- Redwood

If cost is no issue, then redwood should be a consideration for garage doors.

Redwood is quite strong, durable, and resists just about any weather condition.

Because of its resistance to moisture and heat, you do not have to stain it as often compared to most other woods.

Unfortunately, redwood is subject to termite damage which other woods such as cedar resists.

You will need to look for any signs of infestation frequently to catch any damage in the early stages.

3- Pine

You do not see pine often used in garage doors. But they do provide a natural beauty along with a scent that makes them a good choice.

Unfortunately, pine must be stained every year if you want to keep it strong and resistant to the sun and the elements.

But if you do not mind the extra maintenance, then pine is a great wood to improve the aesthetic appearance of your home.

4- Plywood

If you are looking for the cheapest wood available for a garage door and its frames, then go no further than plywood.

However, despite its low cost, plywood does have some advantages, most notably the insulating value that it offers.

That is because the plywood uses soft particle woods in the center surrounded by harder woods on the outside.

While easy to stain, plywood does not resist the elements like most other woods.

So, while you may not be paying as much initially, maintaining a plywood garage door will cost more in the long run.

5- Composite

This should not be confused with plywood.

Composite doors consist of wood fibers combined with synthetic resins to create a strong, highly insulating material.

In fact, the core of the composite wood is insulation and the outer wood fibers resist the sun and the elements for a long time.

The cost is also not so bad, which makes composite wood an interesting choice for your garage doors.

The only downside is that a composite garage door does not have the aesthetic beauty of cedar or other solid natural wood.

Hardwood vs Softwood for Garage Doors

Hardwood or Softwood Garage Doors – Pros & Cons

Apart from composite, the two most common types of wooden garage doors are crafted from hardwood or softwood.

Hardwood for Garage Doors

Hardwood is organic that is quite attractive thanks to the variations of color and grain patterns.

Because it contains long, densely packed wood fibers, it is considered a “hardwood” that does resist impacts and intrusions from pests to a greater degree compared to softwoods.

This means that it takes more to damage a garage door made from hardwood compared to softwood.


Of the many advantages which include strength, endurance is another positive attribute that hardwood has to offer.

This means that with the proper maintenance, hardwood can last a long time even under trying environmental conditions.

It also helps that hardwood is quite attractive and makes for a pleasing appearance which improves the aesthetics of your home.

The densely packed wood fibers also hold the natural color for a long time.

And while not fire retardant, hardwood does resist fire to a far greater degree compared to softwood.


Despite its advantages, hardwood is quite expensive which means you get what you pay for.

And because of their density, hardwood is far heavier compared to softwood which may strain the hinges and cause the door to not be level without periodic maintenance.

Softwood for Garage Doors

Softwood is also organic and comes from coniferous trees which makes it quite available for many different uses.

Softwood often comes in long planks because the trees themselves grow straight and tall.

Because of this, softwood is far less expensive and more available for garage doors compared to hardwood.


In addition to being quite inexpensive and available, softwood is also very light which means it puts less strain on the hinges and tracks.

Softwood is also a good choice for those concerned about the environment since there is less waste generated when using this type of wood for making items.


Softwood, as the name implies, is not as durable or strong as a hardwood.

You will need regular maintenance and frequent staining to keep the softwood resistant to pests, the sun, and the elements.

And without a strong locking system, softwood is more vulnerable to break-ins compared to hardwood.

This means that an intruder can simply bust or cut their way through the garage door far easier compared to hardwood.

In addition, softwood is not as attractive as hardwood.

This is because the grains are not as tight which allows the color to seep out faster.

In addition, there are usually more knots in softwood which can take away from its aesthetic beauty.

Softwood is also easier to damage, chip, and crack compared to hardwood.

Styles of Wooden Garage Doors

What are the Various Styles of Wooden Garage Doors?

There is more to wooden garage doors than the type of wood that is used.

And that – is they also come in a wide variety of styles that can be chosen to best suit you’re home.

The most common style is the raised panel which are floating panels inside a frame, something not that different from metal garage doors.

But there are other types as well.

a) Carriage:

These are the old-fashioned type of garage doors that are constructed like the old doors used for carriage houses.

Some of these doors may swing out, but most will roll up on the tracks just like a standard garage door.

b) Contemporary:

These are virtually the opposite of the raised panel garage doors in that they have no raised or concave panels at all.

Apart from any glass panels that may be used, the door itself will appear quite flat in appearance.

You can also have a custom garage door made for your home. These are quite popular and add to the aesthetic value.

One of the most common is the barn doors which offer strap hinges and cross-hatch panels.

Metal vs. Wood vs. Fiberglass Garage Doors: What’s Better?

Metal garage doors will generally require less attention, but their longevity will depend on the specific material (like steel, aluminum, etc.) and the strength of the material you choose.

For instance, steel is much better than aluminum or other metals. However, as a drawback, it will be expensive and will carry more weight.

Also, 28-gauge steel if chosen for garage door material will not hold up as well compared to thicker 24-gauge steel material.

If budget isn’t an issue, choosing a stronger material will ensure that the door endures much better against damages like denting.

Also, if you choose a high-quality steel material, it can be made to mimic its wooden counterparts.

Wooden garage doors on the other hand will insulate better than metal doors and are not prone to getting rust.

As a downside, however, wooden garage doors are often custom or semi-custom built and therefore cannot be mass-produced in a factory.

This means that the cost of wooden garage doors is on the higher side of the spectrum compared to metal doors.

Metal DoorsWooden DoorsFiberglass Doors
Material Cost:Basic: 750 to 1,150
Higher quality: 1,200 to $1,500
Basic: $500 to $1,450
Higher quality: $1,500 to $5,000
Custom built: Can go as high as $10,000
Basic: $800 to $1,200
Higher quality: $1,200 to $1,550
Installation Cost:$200 to $350$325 and $450
$140 to $450
Equipment & Supplies:$30 to $80$80 to $120$80 to $130

Fiberglass garage doors are also getting much more popular due to their lightweight and higher level of insulation.

These doors usually come with a composite structure that comprises of steel core underneath the fiberglass exterior.

Many of these fiberglass garage doors also have an outer polyurethane insulation coating to improve energy efficiency. This also makes them highly resistant to degradation and warping.

Despite their advantages, the major reason why wood garage doors are generally preferred by homeowners rather than fiberglass – is the unmatched looks and durability of wood.

Final Thoughts

Wooden garage doors are making a big comeback.

They are sure to add aesthetic value to your home which not only makes it more attractive but also may increase the sale value in case you decide to move.   

Besides choosing the right kind of wood, the finish that you choose for your wooden garage door should not be overlooked as well.

Most homeowners will go for the natural staining which makes the wood appear in its natural state. However, you can also paint the doors to match the color of the rest of your home.

Varnish is also a popular choice, especially if you use a glossy finish that can really bring out the beauty of the wood.

Be sure to choose a varnish that matches the type of wood that you are using for your garage door.

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