Steel vs. Aluminum Garage Doors: Which one is Right for Me?

Aluminum and steel are among the most popular garage door materials. Either one will provide you with a high quality, attractive garage door, so how do you know which one is best? Our Minneapolis customers often want to know the advantages and disadvantages of each type, which is why we are providing this information.

Aluminum vs. Steel Thickness

Aluminum garage doors are much thinner than their steel counterparts. As such, they are much easier to operate than steel doors. You may find a steel door is too heavy to open manually, or that it places more wear and track on your tracks when opening electronically.

The fact that they are thinner means that aluminum doors won’t be quite as durable as ones made from steel. An aluminum door may last between ten and fifteen years, while one made from steel might last up to 20 years.

Maintenance Requirements

Aluminum doors are less susceptible to rust. With steel doors, you could need to paint them every few years to prevent rust from developing. That probably will not be a problem if you choose an aluminum door.

Protection against Damage

Although they rust less often, aluminum doors are nonetheless more susceptible to wind or hail damage. So if you do not mind painting and want a little added protection, you may want to choose a steel door.

When going with a steel door, keep in mind that thicker gauges have a lower number. For maximum protection, choose a 25-gauge steel or lower. Higher gauges may not provide you with much more protection than what you would get with an aluminum door.


Aluminum doors are easier to recycle at the end of their lifespan. While steel can be recycled, finding a scrap yard that accepts this metal could be a challenge. The fact that steel is heavier will make hauling the door off more difficult as well.

Energy Efficiency

Steel doors are normally more energy efficient. Many models are manufactured with multiple layers of insulation in between their outer steel panels. Steel also conducts less heat than aluminum, so your garage will stay cooler in the summer months.

Design Options

Aluminum is easier to stamp into attractive designs than steel is. Although both offer many aesthetically-pleasing designs, you’ll find aluminum gives you more options to choose from.


Aluminum doors are more affordable than steel garage doors. So if you only have a limited budget, you may want to choose an aluminum model. Many of our Twin Cities customers must work within the confines of their insurance payouts, and find that aluminum doors allow them to stay well under their budget.

Those who want the best value for their money may decide on a steel door instead. Although a steel door will cost more initially, it will last longer than one made from aluminum. Accordingly, a steel garage door could provide you with a greater value for your money over time.

Deciding between Steel and Aluminum

Both types of garage doors come in a variety of styles, sizes, and colors. This means your decision largely comes down to the type of material that’s best for you. When choosing between steel and aluminum, keep the following things in mind:

  • Your budget
  • Future maintenance requirements
  • How you plan to operate your door (manually or electronically)
  • The type of protection you prefer (rust, wind, hail damage, etc.)

High Quality Doors from Advanced Garage Solutions

Here at Advanced Garage Solutions, we regularly install both steel and aluminum doors. If you need help deciding on a door or are looking for professional installation, please contact us today to receive an estimate.