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If you’re thinking about upgrading the tired, old garage door panels on your double garage, 16×21 inch panels may be the perfect size for you. But before you dive in to a garage door replacement project, there are a few key things you should know about 16×21 panels to make sure you pick the right ones.

What Are 16×21 Garage Door Panels?

16×21 garage door panels are designed to fit standard 16 foot wide double garage door openings. The 16 refers to the width of each panel in inches, while the 21 is the height. So a single 16×21 inch panel measures 16 inches across and 21 inches tall. These oversized panels are commonly used for two-car garages, allowing a full-size double door to open with only a handful of panels versus dozens of smaller segments.

Fewer Panels, Sturdier Door

With larger panels, your entire garage door can be constructed with as few as 4-5 panels stacked vertically. Compare this to a door with 12″ or 14″ standard panels that might need 15+ individual segments! Fewer panels means fewer knuckles, hinges, and joints – areas that can bend and weaken over time. So those supersized 16×21 panels create a sturdier, more durable garage door.

Bigger Panels, Cleaner Look

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Not only are they stronger, but 16×21 inch panels provide a more streamlined, contemporary look compared to traditional narrow panels. The wider panels have a cleaner, more modern aesthetic that today’s homeowners love. Going with the bigger panels gives your garage door visual appeal beyond just the upgraded function.

Why Choose 16×21 Inch Panels?

If you’ve decided to upgrade or replace your aging garage door, there are a few great reasons to consider going with 16×21 panels:

They’re Standard Size

One of the biggest perks of choosing 16×21 panels is that they’re industry standard. So you’ll have tons of size and design options to choose from. Virtually any garage door manufacturer will carry quality residential garage doors made with durable 16×21 inch panels. No need for tricky custom sizing.

Abundant Options

Speaking of options, you’ll have plenty to consider when it comes to materials, finishes, windows, and decorative hardware. Steel and aluminum 16×21 panels come in limitess color options, and you can select real or faux wood looks if you want a more natural design. Don’t forget the windows! Many homeowners add window designs to their new 16×21 panel garage doors for both aesthetics and added natural sunlight.

Budget-Friendly Choice

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Considering their large size, these garage door panels are very competitively priced compared to smaller segments. And because you need fewer panels overall, you’ll save money on the total project cost. 16×21 inch panels are one of the most budget-friendly options for replacing your garage door while still getting an upgraded, contemporary look and better functionality.

Pros Of 16×21 Panels Over Other Sizes

Clearly, 16×21 inch garage door panels have a lot going for them. But how do they stack up against other standard-size panels like 18×21 or 12×21? Here are some of the standout pros of choosing 16×21:

  • More durable and impact-resistant than lots of narrow panels
  • Provide a cleaner, more streamlined contemporary look
  • Easier to operate thanks to lighter weight
  • Require less maintenance than doors with many hinges/joints
  • More affordable than custom oversize panels

For most homeowners, the ideal balance of function and aesthetics makes 16×21 panels a home run.

How Many 16×21 Panels For Double Garage Door?

Another great feature of these versatile 16×21 inch panels is that it’s easy to determine exactly how many you’ll need for your garage door replacement:

  • 4 panels for a door up to 6 feet 8 inches tall
  • 5 panels for a door 6 feet 9 inches to 8 feet 8 inches
  • 6 panels for a door over 8 feet 8 inches tall

Keep in mind you’ll also need to factor in at least 6-8 inches of space at the top for the header and operator mechanism. Knowing your exact opening height is key for picking the right number of 16×21 panels.

Where To Buy Quality 16×21 Garage Door Panels

You may be wondering where to find durable, high-quality 16×21 inch garage door panels once you’ve decided on the right size. Here are some great options:

  • Direct from leading brands like Clopay, Haas, and Amarr
  • Local garage door showrooms and distributors
  • Home improvement stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s
  • Online retailers like Amazon, Walmart, and eBay

Always look for thick-gauge steel or aluminum panels with weatherstripping and insulation options. And don’t forget the hardware! Hinges, rollers, and tracks will also need to be upgraded for your new panels to operate smoothly.

How Much Do 16×21 Garage Door Panels Cost?

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Pricing will vary depending on the materials and features you select, but on average, expect to pay:

  • Steel panels: $200-$300 per 16×21 panel
  • Aluminum panels: $350-$450 per panel
  • Wood-look panels: $400-$600 per panel

So for a standard double garage door needing 5 panels, steel would be $1000-$1500 installed, while wood-look could be $2000-$3000. Adding insulation, windows or decorative hardware will increase the project cost.

Installing New 16×21 Garage Door Panels

Swapping old panels for new 16×21 inch ones is definitely a job for the professionals. Proper installation is key to ensuring smooth operation and safety. Have an experienced garage door contractor handle the entire replacement process including:

  • Removing and disposing of old panels and hardware
  • Prepping and reinforcing the opening
  • Installing new tracks, rollers, hinges
  • Hanging and aligning the new panels
  • Testing for proper balance and function
  • Disposal of all old materials

With skilled installers, the upgrade can usually be completed in a few hours. Enjoy your renewed garage space!

Painting And Maintaining 16×21 Garage Door Panels

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To keep your new 16×21 garage door panels looking like new, be sure to:

  • Repaint painted steel panels every 1-2 years
  • Wipe aluminum panels down regularly with mild soap and water
  • Apply sealants to wood-look panels per manufacturer directions
  • Lubricate rollers and hinges every 6 months
  • Have cables and opener inspected annually

And don’t take DIY repairs or replacements lightly. Always call a professional to fix issues like sagging panels, broken springs or doors going off track. Routine maintenance and quick repairs will add years to the lifespan of quality 16×21 garage door panels.

16×21 Vs 18×21 Garage Door Panels Comparison

Because both sizes are so common, many homeowners debate between 16×21 vs 18×21 inch panels. Some key comparisons:

  • 16×21 panels are a bit stronger and more impact-resistant
  • 18×21 panels offer a little more height in fewer segments
  • Door operation is easier with lighter 16×21 panels
  • 18×21 is great for oversize garage openings

Unless you need the extra height of 18×21 panels, 16×21 offers the ideal balance of durability, appearance and convenience for most garages.

When To Replace Old 16×21 Garage Door Panels

If your current 16×21 panels are outdated, worn out, or damaged, replacement may be your best option. Signs it’s time to upgrade include:

  • Visible cracks, dents, rust or rotting
  • Panels that are off-track or sagging
  • Frayed or broken cables and springs
  • Noisy operation or jams
  • Poor insulation or weather seals
  • You want to update the look

Replacing worn panels provides a great return on investment, both aesthetically and functionally. And new 16×21 inch panels from reputable brands come with long warranties for peace of mind.

If your double garage still has those old rickety panels that have seen better days, upgrading to durable new 16×21 inch panels can totally transform the space. But what exactly makes these wider garage door panels so popular?

Why Choose 16×21 Inch Panels?

There are a few key reasons homeowners looking to upgrade their garage doors often opt for the versatile 16×21 size panels:

Strong and Sturdy

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Larger panels made of thick steel or aluminum naturally provide more structural integrity than skinnier segments. Those bulky 16×21 inch panels are incredibly strong and impact-resistant, which is key for a garage door that sees plenty of wear and tear. Durability is crucial!

Enhanced Appearance

Not only are they the tougher choice, but 16×21 panels also simply look more modern and streamlined. Fewer segments with cleaner lines improve the aesthetics of your entire garage facade. Form meets function when you pick these wider panels for an upgraded look.

Easy to Operate

Since wider panels are naturally lighter than narrower segments, they put less strain on garage door openers and torsion springs. 16×21 panels are easier to lift and control, meaning smooth, reliable operation year after year. Who doesn’t love effortless opening and closing?

Lower Maintenance

The fewer moving parts a garage door has, the less there is to adjust, lubricate, and repair over time. 16×21 inch panels have fewer knuckles, hinges, and joints than narrower segments. And less hardware means fewer problem areas as your door ages.

Budget-Friendly Pricing

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You might assume larger panels would come with a bigger price tag, but that’s not necessarily the case. The overall cost to upgrade your garage door with quality 16×21 inch panels is very reasonable, especially compared to exotic oversize custom panels. You get excellent value for money.

Do You Really Need Those Massive 18×21 Panels?

Some homeowners consider upsizing to even bigger 18×21 panels. But for most residential garages, those behemoth panels are overkill. Here’s why 16×21 is usually the smarter choice:

  • Easier to control for homeowners and garage door openers
  • Weigh less to reduce strain on springs
  • Shorter panels are less likely to get knocked out of alignment
  • More affordable than larger 18×21 segments

Bigger doesn’t always mean better when it comes to garage door panels. In most cases, 16×21 offers the perfect balance of size, weight, and functionality the average homeowner needs.

How Do You Determine Panel Quantity?

One of the handiest things about versatile 16×21 panels is how easy it is to figure out exactly how many you need. There’s no guesswork involved. Just measure the height of your garage door opening and select:

  • 4 panels for doors up to 6 feet 8 inches tall
  • 5 panels for heights of 6 feet 9 inches up to 8 feet 8 inches
  • 6 panels for the tallest doors exceeding 8 feet 8 inches

Keep in mind you’ll need to account for the header space too. Getting the panel quantity right ensures your door operates smoothly and seals tightly.

What’s the Best Place to Purchase 16×21 Panels?

Today’s homeowners have no shortage of options when it comes time to purchase new 16×21 garage door panels. You can find them:

  • At local garage door showrooms
  • From big home improvement chains
  • Through garage door replacement companies
  • Online via manufacturer websites
  • On Amazon, eBay, Walmart and other digital retailers

Wherever you buy, look for thick-gauge steel and aluminum panels from leading brands like Haas, Clopay, and Amarr. And don’t skimp on hardware either. Sturdy hinges, rollers, and tracks will ensure years of smooth, trouble-free operation.

How Do You Know It’s Time to Upgrade Panels?

Need A Garage Door Upgrade. Read This First

Old, worn out 16×21 inch panels don’t just look bad – they can cause bigger operational issues over time. Consider a garage door panel replacement if you notice:

  • Visible cracking, rotting, rust, or dents
  • Panels that are out of alignment and sagging
  • Fraying or broken cables, springs, rollers etc.
  • Weather stripping that’s damaged or missing
  • Poor insulation leading to energy loss
  • Noisy operation or grinding sounds

Replacing dilapidated panels provides huge benefits beyond just better appearance. Safety, security, energy efficiency, and convenience all get a boost too. It’s one of the smartest upgrades you can make!

Hiring a Pro for Installation is Key

Installing fresh new 16×21 inch garage door panels isn’t a DIY job for the average homeowner. To ensure proper operation, safety and security, it’s highly recommended to hire a professional installer. Pros will:

  • Remove old panels and hardware correctly
  • Reinforce and prepare the opening
  • Install new tracks, rollers, hinges etc.
  • Align and hang the new panels properly
  • Test for balance, seals, and smooth function
  • Clean up and dispose of old materials

Don’t cut corners when it comes to installation. The results will be well worth the reasonable fees your local garage door pro will charge to swap in your fabulous new 16×21 panels.

Pros Of 16×21 Panels Over Other Sizes

Need A Garage Door Upgrade. Read This First

If you’re thinking about upgrading your garage door, one of the most important decisions you’ll make is the size of the panels. 16×21 inch panels have emerged as a popular choice for many homeowners due to the unique benefits they offer. Here’s a closer look at why 16×21 panels may be the best option for your next garage door upgrade.

More Windows and Design Options

With larger individual panels like 16×21 inches, you can incorporate more windows into your garage door design. Windows not only provide an aesthetic appeal, but also allow natural light into the garage. More windows means you can get creative with the window pattern. Go for symmetrical rows, accent windows, or even create a beautiful pattern across the door. The expanded canvas of a 16×21 panel gives you more flexibility compared to smaller panels.

Fewer Visible Seams

Each panel on a garage door is separated by a visible seam. With larger 16×21 inch panels, there are fewer seams across the width of the door. This gives the door a cleaner, more seamless look compared to narrower panels which can have a busier appearance from the many seams. The fewer seams also leaves less opportunity for rust, loosening, and other wear over time.

Added Strength and Durability

The increased height of a 16×21 inch panel makes it stronger and more durable than smaller panel sizes. With less horizontal seams that can weaken over time, a 16×21 panel door maintains its structural integrity. The stronger panels also provide better dent resistance, helping the door maintain its smooth flat surface over years of use.

Cost Savings

Using fewer larger panels on a garage door can lead to cost savings versus using more smaller panels to fill the same space. With 16×21 panels, you’ll need fewer total panels to complete the door. Since each panel has a material and labor cost associated with it, using fewer panels results in savings on the overall door price. There’s also less time involved installing fewer total panels.

Minimized Exterior Clutter

The clean look of a 16×21 panel door also minimizes exterior clutter for a home’s curb appeal. With fewer horizontal seams and breaks across the surface compared to narrow panels, the result is a smooth, streamlined look. For homes where the garage door is visible from the street, maintaining an orderly exterior is important. The simplistic look of a 16×21 panel door adds to the home’s curb appeal.

More Insulation Options

Need A Garage Door Upgrade. Read This First

With thicker 2-inch panels, 16×21 inch garage doors allow room for more insulation. This leads to increased energy efficiency and sound dampening. Thicker insulation seals out exterior noises as well as keeps interior garage and home temperatures stable. Even without built-in insulation, the size of a 16×21 panel creates space to add insulation yourself to customize the door’s insulating properties.

Improved Weather Protection

Larger panels flex less in windy conditions, so 16×21 inch panels provide improved protection during storms, rain, and snow. With fewer horizontal seams that can allow weather inside, the 16×21 panels maintain the door’s flat, tight surface. The added structural integrity ensures the door remains securely closed to seal the elements out of your garage interior.

More Finish Options

From wood grain textures to color coats to decorative hardware, larger individual panels provide more real estate to apply custom finishes. With fewer repetitive panels across the garage door, you can get creative with patterns, designs, and aesthetic touches. For a truly custom garage door that makes a statement, 16×21 inch panels give you the flexibility to incorporate designer finishes.

When it’s time to replace your outdated or damaged garage door, 16×21 inch panels offer unique advantages. With creative design options, superior strength, and a modern streamlined look, 16×21 panels are a smart choice to maximize form and function for your home’s garage door.

How Many 16×21 Panels For Double Garage Door?

Need A Garage Door Upgrade. Read This First

If you’re looking to upgrade or replace the garage doors on your double-wide garage, one of the first things you’ll need to figure out is how many 16×21 panels you’ll need. Choosing the right size and number of panels is crucial for getting a proper fit and smooth operation. In this article, we’ll walk through the basics of selecting 16×21 panels for double garage doors.

Measure Your Existing Opening

The very first thing you’ll want to do is accurately measure the opening of your garage door. You’ll need the exact width and height. For a double garage, the width is typically somewhere between 12 to 18 feet wide. Measure across the top, middle, and bottom of the opening and use the smallest measurement. This will ensure your new door panels have clearance. The height is usually between 6 to 8 feet tall. Measure the left, center, and right sides and use the shortest height.

Once you have the measurements, you can determine how many full panels you’ll need. Each 16×21 panel is around 2 feet wide by 6 feet tall. For a 12 foot wide double garage, you’d need 6 full panels to span the width. An 18 foot wide garage would need 9 full panels. If the height works out to 6 feet, you would need 1 row of panels. An 8 foot height would require 2 panel rows.

Factor In Glass Panels and Design

After you’ve calculated the number of full 16×21 panels, the next thing is to account for any glass panels or design elements. Many double garage doors incorporate decorative windows across the top row or in other patterns. This usually replaces 1-3 of the solid panels. So if your door needs 9 full panels, but you want 3 windows, you’d actually need 9-3 = 6 solid 16×21 panels and 3 glass window panels. The glass panels are often slightly smaller than the full panels, but this won’t affect the overall fit.

You’ll also need to think about section configurations. Double garage doors are divided into 2, 3, or 4 sections, with hinges in between. The number and placement of sections affects how many panels go in each section. If doing 2 equal sections, you’d divide the total panels in half. 3 sections would split into thirds, and so on. Make sure your panel and glass counts work for the section layout you need.

Consider Panel and Track Sizing

One other important factor is that the actual panel size can vary slightly from the nominal 16×21 size. Looking at different manufacturer’s specs, the real dimensions are typically a fraction of an inch smaller than 16×21. Over 6-9 panels, those little differences can add up. It’s smart to measure the existing panels or tracks so you can get the right fit with the new panels.

If the current track size works, get the exact measurements and find panels to match it. If you’re also replacing the track, use the actual opening size. Most tracks come in a standard 1-inch increment sizing, so order it precisely to your measured opening width and height. With the track and panels sized right, it eliminates any issues with gaps or misalignments.

Panel Quantity Summary

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Here’s a quick summary of the steps to determine the total panels needed:

  1. Measure opening width and height
  2. Calculate number of full 16×21 panels needed
  3. Subtract any glass panels or custom designs
  4. Factor in section configuration and layout
  5. Measure actual panel and track dimensions
  6. Order panels and tracks/hardware to fit

Following this process will help make sure your new double garage door has the ideal number of 16×21 panels and fits correctly. Don’t forget to factor in springs, rollers, cables, and other hardware. With some handy DIY skills, you can swap in replacement panels or upgrade to a completely new door with great results.

Upgrading garage doors provides excellent curb appeal, security, insulation, and noise reduction. Putting in the effort to measure right and get the proper 16×21 panel count will ensure your new double garage doors operate smoothly for years to come. With a small investment of time and energy, you can enjoy a dramatically improved garage space.

Where To Buy Quality 16×21 Garage Door Panels

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Upgrading the panels on your garage door can make a huge difference in appearance and performance. But finding high quality 16×21 garage door panels that fit your needs and budget can be tricky. Here’s what to look for when buying new panels and where to get the best deals.

Check Material and Construction

Garage door panels come in steel, aluminum, fiberglass, and wood. Steel is the most common – it’s affordable and durable but prone to dents. Aluminum has better dent resistance but costs more. Fiberglass is dent-proof, rust-proof, and mimics wood texture. Real wood gives a classic custom look if maintained properly.

Within those base materials, look at: gauge/thickness for dent protection, insulation rating, stiffness, and warranty length. Thicker steel and tempered aluminum resist dings better. Good weatherstripping and insulation values reduce energy costs. Sturdier panels won’t sag over time. And longer warranties give you peace of mind.

Buy from Quality Brands

Sticking with top brands ensures you get panels that meet all the above criteria. Some reputable names for steel panels are Clopay, Haas, CHI, and Midland. For aluminum, check out brands like Wayne Dalton or Amarr. Custom wood panel suppliers include Ankmar or Carriage House.

These companies engineer panels to precise specifications and quality testing. Their reliable construction means the panels will be flat, warp-free, and install easily. You avoid issues like sections not lining up or sagging later on.

Shop Local Providers

Once you’ve selected material and brands, it’s time to find the best deal. Local garage door companies have access to wholesale distributor pricing so they can offer competitive rates. They also include professional installation by knowledgeable technicians.

Overhead Door Company, Precision Garage Door, Champion Garage Door Service, and A1 Garage Door Service are some of the leading installers operating nationwide. Search for reputable local providers like these to buy panels and get full service.

Check Big Box Stores

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Home improvement warehouses like Home Depot and Lowe’s sell many DIY garage door panel options. They carry widely known brands, and their prices can be tough to beat.

The selection is generally limited compared to garage door distributors. But for basic replacement panels in steel or aluminum, you can likely find what you need. Just be prepared to take care of removal and installation yourself.

Order Online

Many online retailers offer garage door panels shipped direct to your home. Amazon, Walmart, eBay, and Northern Tool sell everything from single replacement panels to full garage door sets.

This can be the most affordable route for getting new panels. Make sure to verify the retailer, brand, size, and specs carefully before ordering. Also factor in shipping costs and self-installation requirements.

With some handy DIY skills, shopping online for 16×21 garage door panels can save big. Just be cautious about very cheap panels that may lack durability or have other issues.

Following these tips will help you locate high quality, affordable 16×21 garage door panels for your replacement project. Investing in good materials and smart shopping pays off both now and years down the road. Your upgraded garage space will look fantastic while keeping your vehicles protected.

How Much Do 16×21 Garage Door Panels Cost?

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Upgrading your garage with new 16×21 panels can completely transform the look and improve insulation. But this door panel size does come at a cost. On average, how much will you pay for 16×21 garage door panels? Let’s break it down.

16×21 Steel Panel Pricing

For basic flush steel replacement panels, you’ll generally pay $75-$100 per panel. So a typical 16×7 double garage door needing 7-9 panels would cost $525-$900 just for the panels. Insulated panels range from $100-$150 each due to the extra fabrication. Premium insulated steel panels with higher R-values and thicker gauge steel can cost $200-$300 per panel.

16×21 Aluminum Panel Costs

Aluminum panels have a higher starting price of around $200 per panel. Basic flush mounted aluminum runs $200-$250 per 16×21 panel. Insulated aluminum panels go up to $300-$400 each. High end aluminum panels with insulation, thickness, and textured finishes can be $500-$600 per panel or more.

Factors That Affect Panel Pricing

Beyond just the base material, several other factors impact the cost of 16×21 garage door panels:

  • Insulation level – More insulation adds cost but improves energy efficiency
  • Gauge/thickness – Thicker steel and tempered aluminum is pricier but resists dents
  • Windows/designs – Panels with decorative windows or designs cost more than flush panels
  • Finish – Woodgrain, textured, and color finishes increase the price over flat white
  • Brand name – Premium brands like Clopay and Haas command higher prices than no-name panels

DIY vs Professional Installation

In addition to the panel cost, you’ll need to factor in installation. Doing it yourself saves on labor fees of $50-$100 per hour. But if you don’t feel up to tackling the job, hiring a pro ensures proper installation and safety.

Bottom Line on 16×21 Garage Door Panel Pricing

Basic steel 16×21 panels start around $100 each but can run up to $300+ for high end aluminum or custom options. For a full double garage door, total project costs typically range from $800 on the very low end to $3000+ for top tier doors with professional installation. Carefully weigh the options to get the right balance of budget, aesthetics, and performance. Investing in quality panels pays dividends through increased curb appeal, better insulation, and improved durability down the road.

Installing New 16×21 Garage Door Panels

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Putting in new 16×21 garage door panels is a great way to refresh the look of your garage and improve performance. With the right preparations and techniques, you can complete the panel installation yourself as a DIY project.

Safety First

Any garage door work requires caution and safety measures. The tension springs hold a considerable amount of force and the panels themselves can be unwieldy. Use ladder safety, wear protective gloves and eyewear, and follow all directions closely. Get help lifting heavy panels. If in doubt, call a professional installer.

Prepare the Work Area

Start by clearing ample space in and around the garage door opening. Remove vehicles or items stored near the door. You’ll need room to maneuver panels and extension ladders. Lay down drop cloths to protect the floor from dirt, paint chips or other debris.

Remove Existing Panels

Beginning on one side, carefully detach the hardware linking panels together. Support the panels as you remove screws or clips to avoid sudden dropping. Fold back and secure the disconnected spring assembly using vise grips so it’s out of the way. Repeat this process until all panels are removed from the tracks.

Inspect Tracks and Hardware

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With the panels down, thoroughly check the pulleys, rollers, tracks and support brackets. Look for damage, excessive wear or misalignment issues and repair if needed. This also allows access for cleaning tracks of dirt buildup before new panels go up.

Measure and Cut New Panels

Based on your opening size, cut new panels to length if required using a circular saw with fine-toothed metal blade. Follow measurement marks precisely for proper fit. File or sand any rough edges. Pre-drill holes for handle hardware. Prime and paint any exposed steel panel edges.

Install New Panels

Lift new panels into place one by one, supporting them on a tall ladder or with an assistant. Attach hinges and rollers to connect panels. Make sure sections align properly with no gaps before tightening all hardware securely. Reattach spring assemblies last using extreme care.

Adjust and Test Operation

With all panels replaced, adjust the travel by tightening spring tension and track rollers. Test operation starting with no more than one foot of initial travel. The door should open and close smoothly with no binding or rubbing.

Finally, seal any gaps around or between panels using weatherstripping. This improves insulation and appearance. Enjoy your upgraded garage door!

With proper safety prep and careful installation, new DIY garage door panels can transform the look of your home. Investing a weekend into replacing worn panels pays dividends for years down the road with improved durability, insulation, and aesthetics.

Painting And Maintaining 16×21 Garage Door Panels

Over time, your 16×21 garage door panels can start to look worn from exposure to weather, sun and regular use. With some simple maintenance and a fresh coat of paint, you can have them looking like new again.

Prep the Panels

Thoroughly clean each steel panel using a degreaser or TSP substitute to remove built-up dirt, grime and chalky oxidation. Rinse well. Scrape off any loose paint with a wire brush or paint scraper. Sand lightly to rough up the surface for better paint adhesion.

On bare metal spots, apply a primer coat first. For aluminum panels, scuff up the surface before painting. On wood panels, sand smooth, patch small holes and prime before painting.

Painting Process

It’s best to remove panels and lay them flat for painting, if possible. This allows you to fully coat both sides. If removing them is not feasible, prop panels open fully to access the backside. Use masking tape for clean lines along panel edges and hardware.

Apply at least two coats of quality exterior garage door paint using a brush, roller or sprayer. Allow proper drying time between coats. A satin or semi-gloss sheen usually provides the most durable finish.

Maintenance Tips

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Here are some tips for keeping your 16×21 garage door panels looking their best:

  • Inspect panels and hardware yearly. Tighten any loose fasteners.
  • Lubricate rollers and hinges with light oil to prevent rust and wear.
  • Seal any gaps with weatherstripping to stop moisture intrusion.
  • Wash panels occasionally with a power washer on low setting.
  • Touch up paint chips quickly to avoid rusting.
  • Reapply sealant or paint every 2-3 years for maximum protection.

When to Call a Professional

For damage beyond just paint and surface rust, you may need a pro’s help. They have the skills for panel removal, repair or replacement. Professionals also have commercial sprayers to efficiently paint doors on site without removal.

With regular upkeep and a fresh coat of paint every few years, you can keep your 16×21 garage door panels in tip top shape. Proper maintenance protects your investment and keeps your garage looking its best.

16×21 Vs 18×21 Garage Door Panels Comparison

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When shopping for new garage door panels, two of the most common sizes are 16×21 and 18×21. What’s the difference and which is better for your home? Here’s a detailed comparison of these two panel dimensions.


Visually, panels in 18×21 size look a bit more modern and sleek compared to 16×21. The slightly narrower width and taller height creates a streamlined look. However, the difference is quite subtle and most people would be hard pressed to notice unless panels were side by side.

Door Size Compatibility

16×21 panels are suitable for a wider range of garage door widths, as they come in 12, 16, 18, 20 and 24 foot standard widths. The narrower 18×21 panels are more limited and fit door openings ranging from 14 to 20 feet wide.

Number of Panels

With 16×21 panels, doors usually require 6-8 panels for a standard 2-car garage. An 18×21 door would need 1-2 fewer panels, as each one covers more vertical area. Fewer panels means faster installation and lower cost.

Wind Resistance

Some manufacturers claim their 18×21 panels may provide up to 15% better wind load resistance versus 16×21. This is due to fewer horizontal seams when using the taller panels. However, real world performance under wind likely depends more on overall door construction.


Both sizes offer similar insulation options from basic single sheet steel to sandwich or polyurethane insulated cores. The thermal efficiency comes down to panel material and thickness more than dimensions.


With a larger surface area, 18×21 panels weigh a bit more on average than 16×21. This may require heavier springs to open and close smoothly. But for most residential doors, the difference is marginal.


There is not a major price difference between these two common replacement panel sizes. Larger 18×21 panels may have a slight premium over smaller 16×21, but cost per square foot is comparable.

In summary, 18×21 panels offer a slightly more streamlined look and fewer total panels needed. But 16×21 works with more garage door sizes and provides nearly equal performance. Consider the pros and cons for your specific needs.

When To Replace Old 16×21 Garage Door Panels

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Over time, your garage door panels can wear out and may need replacement. Determining when to swap out old 16×21 panels for new ones depends on a few key factors.

Visible Damage

If your panels are badly dented, rusted, rotted or cracking, replacement is likely needed. Severe damage that impacts integrity and function means panels have reached the end of their lifespan.


Typical steel garage door panels last 10-20 years before showing signs of wear. Older wood or low gauge steel panels may need replacement sooner. If your panels are dated and you’ve gotten your money’s worth, proactive replacement can prevent future headaches.

Energy Efficiency

Poorly insulated old panels lead to higher heating and cooling costs. Swapping single sheet metal panels for new insulated ones provides much better temperature and sound control.


Do your panels look outdated or clash with other exterior updates? New modern panel styles and designs can drastically improve your home’s curb appeal.

Safety Issues

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If panels are sticking, not aligning right or functioning inconsistently, replacement should be a priority. Proper operation ensures garage door safety for your vehicles and belongings.

Frequent Repairs

Having to continually realign, lubricate, or otherwise maintain old panels hints that their useful life is ending. At a certain point repairs become inefficient compared to new panels.

Home Resale Value

Updated garage doors and panels can significantly boost your home’s value for prospective buyers. It’s smart to replace panels before listing your home.

To decide whether to replace or refurbish 16×21 garage door panels, weigh all these factors. Preventative panel replacement saves money long term by avoiding costly future repairs or damage.