You have decided upon a wood door with Masonite panels for your garage door. Is this a good choice? Yes, definitely, if up keeping the wood and regular maintenance is satisfactory to you. No, if you live in high wind areas where a heavier steel garage door would withstand the force of the elements better. Yes, if you have your heart is set on a more decorative garage door that will relate well to the Carriage House look.
The strongest and most secure garage doors are made of steel. This you must know. They last longer, are more secure from burglaries and other forces such as tornadoes, storms and frigid temperatures. A downside is that no matter what you do to them, they remain a steel door and will never be an aesthetic part of your house. Regular looking garage doors in out of sight places on the far side or the back of your house steel would probably be acceptable. Being out of sight also makes burglar proof more of an option. Steel is better at that than wood.
What is Masonite? Masonite has been around since 1914 and has been mass-produced since 1928. Although it is wood fabrication, it is pure wood. Wood chips have been subjected to high heat, stretched into long strands, and formed into panels. No chemicals are used in its manufacturing process. Remember all those paneled rooms that were all the rage of the forties and fifties? And its use in construction as siding? It does not withstand the wind, the rain, and the hot sun and decays when subjected to harsh treatment and is not a good choice for outside use.
Why then consider it for Garage doors? It is sturdy. It can be covered with other materials and it lends itself to designs such as rough sawn wood and with good upkeep can lend a decorative tough to your home. No one is saying it is superior to steel and heavy-duty doors but it can give that completed look to your home, at a lesser cost and gives a more high quality look to your home. Wood garage doors blend in more favorably. The choice is yours.
Garage doors cannot be purchased and brought home and installed as you would a backyard fence for your pet. They are ordered to measurement and to your specifications. When you have a design in mind you first research what is available and at what cost and then decide. The climate, the intended use of the garage and whether or not the R-value — insulating — is important. It will be if you plan to use part of the garage as a workshop. You will need to have it warmer than if only a car and storage spends time in there.
The R value of a wooden door with Masonite panels is about a 4.6. Compare that to the highest value which is a 6.5 or thereof. As for safety, the type of garage door opener you use is far more conducive to safety than the type of construction material used. In addition, wood garage doors will be sturdy, especially if they are reinforced or backed with other wood products. For all these options, you must check around or, if your house is new and you are not replacing outworn garage doors, check with your builders. They will advise you wisely.
Price too will make the big difference in the type of door you choose. You certainly would not build a state of the art house and add a cheap garage door; neither would you add the most expensive garage door to a mediocre house you are remodeling. Wood doors with Masonite panels are more affordable at first sight. Stock wood doors at the size needed have a base price of around five or six hundred for a two car garage door. Of course, this is not the final price but it is far below the two or three thousand for the high end type doors.