Whether you’re building a new home or doing a major renovation, garage doors can add plenty of value. The best garage door styles increase curb appeal and make the most out of driveway spaces. You want to enhance your home’s architecture, rather than have the garage door stick out like a sore thumb.

There are plenty of garage door styles to choose from that can match trims, textures, window placement, and overall profile. You can go simplistic with clean lines and a matte finish. Introduce exotic wood grains and match a grandeur of style fitting for a far-eastern temple.

The possibilities are endless, which is both a blessing and a curse for a homeowner. Deciding on which style is right for your home is a tough job. You can follow the latest trends in home designs and get the most out of your garage by following this guide.

We’ll cover all the major design categories, popular styles, materials, and budget ranges. First, let’s jump into some information about curb appeal.

A Great First-Impression

Strong Garage Door Styles

There is a lot of potential for your garage door to become the most-identifiable feature of the front-end of your home. Make sure it’s a good one by ensuring that it compliments and contrasts the rest of your home. Incorporate it into the overlying theme with your home, enhance it with good lighting and maintained landscaping.

If everything else is taken care of, a strong garage door style will really set the property off. Now, which type of garage door should you get?

The Traditional Garage Door

Traditional Garage Doors

This general category of garage doors encompasses a lot of different styles and looks. Functionally, they’re simple, yet very practical. If you don’t have a specific aesthetic that you’re going for, you can’t go wrong with traditional garage doors. There are a number of advantages outside of the iconic look to them. This is a no-frills answer to needing a garage door to be dependable and functional.

Carriage Style Doors

Carriage Style Doors

These doors never go out of style. Carriage garage doors come as single and double bay doors. You can find them in both swing-out style and faux carriage doors that go up and down like a standard garage door. Swinging doors require more clearance, so they have their shortcomings for big families. Carriage garage doors are iconic, yet less common as classic garage doors these days. They allow for a wide degree of artistic direction and style.

Carriage-style garage entryways go back to the time of the carriage house, which was intended to store horse-drawn carriages. Since the ordinary family ventures by means of car, as opposed to a steed carriage, this style combines new functionality and old nostalgic aesthetics. Since these entryways were initially made from wood, regular completions are frequently mainstream for this sort of garage entryway. Clopay offers regular wood by means of their Reserve line, or the comfort of false wood with Ultra-Grain wraps. Expect garage entryways with materials like composites to be more affordable than wood. https://www.clopaydoor.com/residential/buyingguide/ultra-grain

Home designs going for a historic-style garage look may settle on a painted white with crossbuck boards. An assortment of custom paint and stain choices make it easier to achieve that warm, barn house style.

Window decisions run from the straightforward look of plain glass to the creative look of architect scratched glass with arches. To make cleaning simple, all Clopay’s window additions are removable. Classic Garage Door Style These doors are becoming more and more standard and although not everyone thinks they are as attractive as carriage doors, they are still a great option for many homes. They work for a wide set of purposes, and since they don’t swing out when they open, they are perfect for homes that don’t have a lot of excess space in their driveway for this function.

This makes them a safer option for a lot of families, as they don’t have to worry about the door accidentally knocking into a child when it is opening. One thing to consider with a classic door is the space required for all of the hardware. If you have a lot of extra space above your door that you want to use for storage, you will generally have to give up this space in order to correctly install the necessary hardware to operate your door. If the door is close to the ceiling then this will not be as much of a concern, as there wasn’t much additional usable space there to begin with.

Contemporary Garage Doors

Contemporary Garage Doors

If you’re looking for a certain unique design that matches a custom home architecture, you’ll need a modern solution. The only way to match the sleek and unique look of a modern home is with a garage door that isn’t a traditional cookie-cutter design. Tempered glass panels, brushed aluminum, or retro contemporary slab doors are all excellent examples. Slab garage doors, in particular, offer a high-tech solution that is often overlooked due to the higher sticker price.

Trust us, the value added by the curb appeal will more than pay for itself. The door performs a mechanical dance of folding up into a single panel, instead of multiple separate panels like a traditional garage door. If you’re trying to “keep up with the Joneses”, then a modern, contemporary garage door can really make the difference. A simple side-sliding garage door can make a huge difference in first-impressions of the home.

Craftsman-Style Garage Doors

Craftsman - Style Garage Doors

This garage door style is all about providing that rustic, strong, and natural look to your garage. Craftsman-style doors can be described as a cabin or bungalow experience. They usually come styled with large hinges, handles, and cross beams.

It’s important to have these overlying themes already present throughout the home. Your average suburban dwelling is going to clash with such an imposing garage door. It’s the equivalent of sticking an oversized spoiler on a small sports car. Craftsman garage doors can be made out of composite materials so that you can get the look of a large, heavy door, but without the weight. Selecting the Right Material Each one of the major categories of garage door styles comes with pros and cons based on the material.

Obviously, a Craftsman-style door works best with rich woods, while modern garage doors pair best with aluminum and matte surfaces. Let’s take a closer look at each type of material’s pros and cons with any additional considerations.

Steel Garage Doors

Steel Garage Doors

By default, most traditional garage doors are made out of steel. It’s low-maintenance, relatively cheap, and accessible manufacturing makes it a great choice. Steel garage doors make great candidates for colder climates. They provide better insulation than your average wood door. If cost is a concern, steel is the safest choice. You won’t sacrifice too much in style, thanks to fiberglass overlays providing more flexibility.

Steel garage doors can and will dent, but the cost of repair is inexpensive, often DIY-able. Scratches on steel must get repaired before water can cause them to rust. You can avoid this downside altogether by purchasing steel doors with scratch-resistant overlays on them. The best part about steel garage doors is that lifetime warranties are commonplace. Anything with a lifetime warranty on a home looks really good to future buyers, especially something that can cover one-third of a home’s exterior.

Wood Garage Doors

Wood Garage Doors

Next to steel garage doors, wood is the second most popular material. Wood offers a classic feel and pairs well with all major garage door styles. A wood garage door with upper windows in a carriage style design has a certain charm that many home buyers seek out. It’s anything but difficult to have them made to the size that you need, so on the off chance that your garage entryway opening is definitely not an average or typical size, a custom wood door is the most practical choice.

Likewise, they are solid and can face hard hits from children playing outside. The bad part about wood is that you should restain or repaint them regularly, or else they will start to chip and fade over time. This isn’t unique to wood, but it can quickly look aged when paint is weathered.

They also vary widely in cost. You can pick a natural all-wood garage door or composites to enhance insulation and reduce weight. There’s also a big difference between hand-crafted and mass-produced wood garage doors. Clopay’s Custom Handcrafted Wood Collection Series is a great example of combining the best modern features without sacrificing precision or quality. https://www.clopaydoor.com/reserve-custom

Aluminum Garage Doors

Aluminum Garage Doors

Aluminum is a great alternative to steel garage doors. They are durable, rust-proof, and lighter than steel. Paying the premium for an aluminum-equivalent garage door means saving time and money on the torsion springs. Coastal homes benefit a lot from aluminum garage doors, as the salt water quickly wears down steel and wood doors. Aluminum also is easily recycled, which makes renovations less expensive and environmentally-conscious. Aluminum garage doors can be painted and polished to match the texture and style of homes and businesses.

Aluminum and glass garage doors offer accessible styles of elegance and luxury. Thanks to its light, but strong, characteristic, you can easily incorporate semi-transparent rows of frosted glass in an aluminum frame. This works for both carriage-style homes and contemporary designs. As an added bonus, glass-aluminum garage doors provide additional light for the outside perimeter of the home. This filtered ambient light is often preferred over the common spot or fog lights. Double or Single Bay Doors Considerations need to be made based on the size of the opening for your garage. If your garage is double-wide, you may lean more towards double doors.

They are the simplest solution to wider garages, letting you raise and lower both doors at the press of a button. They’re also easy to maintain if anything goes wrong with the door or the opening mechanism. Double doors are available for any style garage door you want. If you have an especially large carport, you can opt for a barn-style double-door.

Although, it is less practical to choose double doors if you plan on using half the garage for storage or workspace. Plus, with two doors to operate, you’ll have twice the level of maintenance and associated expenses. For those who live in very hot or cold climates, having the entire garage open to the elements each time you open the door can add up on energy costs.

Single Bay Door Advantages

Single Bay Door Advantages

The single bay door design is a great alternative to double doors. This leaves you the option of still being able to access your garage even if the door opener faults. As opposed to the double garage door opener, where it takes a lot of strength to lift the door open. It’s also more energy efficient if you’re going in and out of a single bay door garage. You’ll let in a lot less heat/cold from the outside. For one, they don’t need extra room to swing out when opening. This is a great option for homes that are very space-conscious.

During holidays, you can use up the entire driveway for all your visitors. The more discreet nature of this type of garage door also enhances its presence. The single bay door design is safer for families with small children without the risk of bumping into anyone upon opening or closing.

Garage Door Features to Consider

Garage Door Features  to Consider

After you decide on the basic build and design, consider what type of features are most important to you. Is it important for it to be climate-controlled? Is it important for it to have a paintable surface? Insulation Options Insulating a large room like a garage is an advantage, whether you need to work inside it or not. Insulation can lower energy bills significantly when combined with a single bay garage door will reduce the bite of extreme temperatures. In places like Nevada or Michigan, where temperatures can quickly climb or dip to extremes, having insulation reduces the load on HVACs and furnaces.

Even if the rest of the house is well-insulated, the garage door can be a huge energy drain due to the large surface area where extreme temperatures can transfer into the home. Insulation is also important for controlling humidity and moisture levels inside.

If you own anything that could be damaged by mildew or lose integrity due to moisture levels, you’ll need to consider insulation options. When it comes to garage door materials that benefit most from insulation, all of them benefit, but metal doors have the most to gain. Insulation can also help protect natural wood doors. Lastly, when you insulate a large exterior area of the home, you reduce the amount of outside noise.

This is worth considering if you have an office or bedroom next to the garage. Paintable Surfaces To future proof your garage, you should consider going with a garage door style that is easy to paint. Aluminum doors are not as paintable as wood or steel doors; keep that in mind when looking for contemporary solutions. Paintable garage doors are great for new home builds and transformative renovations. This gives you the most flexibility for creating a cohesive and professional style, rather than a garage door that looks out of place. Paintable surfaces also matter for long-term maintenance prospects. Making it easier to repaint and repair your garage door is a great bonus.

Accidents, weathering, sun damage, and extreme temperatures will test the foundation of any painted garage door. Always use high-quality paint that is rated for your climate and comes with a sufficient warranty. You’ll need to put down fewer layers and repaint less with premium paints.

Garage Door Windows

Garage Door Windows

Windows aren’t a requirement, but they do make garage doors feel more approachable and add more curb appeal. You can add another layer of complexity to your garage door design with these styles:

  • Window arches
  • Rectangular panes
  • Clustered mosaics
  • Lookout windows

Full coverage of windows Introducing windows to a garage door will increase the overall cost, but it’s worth the investment. For example, adding a top row of windows gives you more light and sight. An aluminum and glass windowed garage door eliminates the common feeling of claustrophobia while working inside the garage. This also opens up the ability to fill your garage with plant life without starving them of daily sunlight.

On the outside, your driveway opens up more thanks to the illumination of indoor lighting. When executed well, a garage door with an arch of glass mosaics can resemble that of a historic church. This makes your home more inviting and appears more extravagant, thus fetching a higher value than traditional suburban homes with classic garage doors.

Window Shapes The shape of your windows is about as important as the placement. The shapes can affect how light enters the garage and reflects it outside. Some garage door windows resemble those on the front door of the house or the windows of bedrooms.

There’s a lot of variety across the major garage door brands, here’s a sample of what is out there:

Basic squares: Your standard garage door windows are uniform square pieces that line the top row.

Rectangle windows: Large panes of glass are used to give a classic look to the garage door.

Arc (and double arcs): A windowed arc on a garage door can really make your home stand out. A half-circle cut of glass is either centered up top or paired with another half-circle arc.

Covered glass patterns: Square or rectangle windows are evenly spaced throughout the garage door. The top row can have larger windows to provide vision outside the driveway.

Cathedral mosaics: To nail this style of garage door windows, it is best to measure out the opening you want to fill and either custom order or handcraft the mosaic separately.

Diamonds: Diamond-shaped glass windows reflect a lot of light from the sun. Try not to blind passerby’s from incorporating too many large pieces.

Sunrise-style: This garage door pattern is another way to capture sunlight. The pattern traps the sun’s rays and creates a glow akin to the sun rising above the horizon.

Vertical spaces: Long rectangular pieces of glass line columns to create panels of light for a nice balance of privacy and openness. Glass Tinting Along with the many choices in glass cuts and placements, tinting is also important. There are a number of glass tints that can change how much light passes, the color of it, and its intensity.

Here are some of the many glass tints available:

-Frosted: One of the most common garage door style of glass. Frosted glass retains garage privacy, while providing a decent amount of natural light for the garage.

-Etched: Glass etching is not a cheap option, but it does allow for interesting patterns and controlled visibility.

-Bubbled: Bubbling glass is a unique way to blur windows without heavy frosting. Bubbled glass is interesting to look at and fits well with contemporary garage door styles.

-Bronzing: Bronze tints add warmth to garage doors, pairing well with browns, reds, oranges, and yellows. Bronze tint won’t clash with the sun’s rays.

-Antiquing: This not only changes the tint of the glass, but it also adds an aged texture to the glass. Antique tints do a great job at obscuring outside vision without looking tacky.

-Gray/Blue: Grays and blues make great tinting hues because when applied to glass, it can provide a one-way darkening effect, like with sunglasses or UV coatings.

-Insulation: Windows that are insulated are thicker or utilize two panes of glass with air in between. Insulated glass can also create a soft blur, which obscures vision slightly.

Garage Door Mechanics

Garage Door Mechanics

There’s more to a garage door than meets the eye. For example, you have to sure the proper springs to allow the door to open properly. If you install the wrong kind, you’ll find the either opening inefficiently or not opening at all. You could leave this aspect of garage door installation to the pros, but it helps to know which types of extension springs are required based on your garage door style.

A strong and reliable extension spring allows for smoother, faster, and quieter movement of the door. Custom or Stock Hardware Another important consideration when choosing which garage door style is the required hardware and tools needed. A side-sliding garage door, for example, will require different hardware to install correctly. There’s a lot more planning involved when you order a custom garage door collection.

Stock hardware also comes with the added bonus of having parts that are easier to acquire if you ever need to replace them. For the budget-conscious, ordering doors that come with all the necessary hardware may not be the best choice. Instead, look for doors that use universal pieces and buy them separately at a hardware store. Following Instructions If this is a DIY project, you may want to stick to the instructions included by the manufacturer. For garage doors that are made-to-order, it’s better to hire an experienced professional.

This is because of the higher degree of failure when adjusting the fabrications and installation to fit your garage’s space. This isn’t an Ikea project, you’re going to need to do a lot of calculations on the side to make sure everything works as intended. It is also likely that custom installs will require tools and hardware that aren’t found in your standard toolbox.

Garage door installs also vary by manufacturer’s specifications, so it is recommended that you or the contractor work alongside their instructions. Buying the Perfect Garage Door With all things considered, garage doors can be a tougher decision than front doors. When shopping for the best garage door style, you need to account for the entire home’s architecture and theme. In the case of new home construction, you should leave the garage door last in order of importance.

Decisions on materials and window features should come down to equal parts style and functionality. Subtle characteristics in window shape, tint, and placement exude a premium elegance not found on most home fronts. You can enhance your home’s curb appeal by making the garage door a multi-functional and energy efficient feature.

Do you have a favorite style of garage door? Leave a comment below of your favorite garage door style.
From the humble to the high-tech, all garage doors have their place here.

Window Shapes

The shape of your windows is about as important as the placement. The shapes can affect how light enters the garage and reflects it outside. Some garage door windows resemble those on the front door of the house or the windows of bedrooms.

There’s a lot of variety across the major garage door brands, here’s a sample of what is out there:

Basic squares: Your standard garage door windows are uniform square pieces that line the top row.

Rectangle windows: Large panes of glass are used to give a classic look to the garage door.

Arc (and double arcs): A windowed arc on a garage door can really make your home stand out. A half-circle cut of glass is either centered up top or paired with another half-circle arc.

Covered glass patterns: Square or rectangle windows are evenly spaced throughout the garage door.

The top row can have larger windows to provide vision outside the driveway.

Cathedral mosaics: To nail this style of garage door windows, it is best to measure out the opening you want to fill and either custom order or handcraft the mosaic separately.

Diamonds: Diamond-shaped glass windows reflect a lot of light from the sun.

Try not to blind passerby’s from incorporating too many large pieces.

Sunrise-style: This garage door pattern is another way to capture sunlight. The pattern traps the sun’s rays and creates a glow akin to the sun rising above the horizon.

Vernicle spaces: Long rectangular pieces of glass line columns to create panels of light for a nice balance of privacy and openness.

Glass Tinting Along with the many choices in glass cuts and placements, tinting is also important. There are a number of glass tints that can change how much light passes, the color of it, and its intensity.

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