Carriage style garage doors have become increasingly popular and we can definitely see why…but they don’t suit every home’s style. Standing the test of time, they were around before cars and the traditional garages we see today. When people used horse and carriage to travel place to place they needed a barn type structure for storage. The barn doors would swing out wide enough that the carriages would fit inside. Now, we continue to use carriage garage doors but in a different way. On the quest for more information, brick&batten has learned a ton about garage styles!
What features does a garage door need to be called a Carriage Door?
Originally, carriage doors had some kind of intricate woodwork with cross planking and large handles. Though you can get them to swing outwards, bifold, or even slide, most doors are made to open upward like a traditional garage door. However, they still have the classic style, interesting details, intricate woodwork and hardware, as well as a variety of window styles across the top.
What types of materials may be used on a carriage door?
Wood is beautiful; however, carriage style doors are made of wood, aluminum, steel, metal, etc. Choosing the correct garage material is key to a long lasting, happy door! Your environment plays a big role in what material is best, so we always recommend talking to your local door company for suggestions.
Will a carriage style door look right on my home?
To be honest, not always… some homes can’t pull off carriage doors no matter how beautiful!
YES- Tudor Home:
If you are in a tudor home, a carriage style garage door can add even more character. A tudor has a ton of personality with uneven high pitched roofs, intricate chimneys, and odd shaped windows. Adding a carriage style door just adds to the interest and beauty!
YES- Craftsman/ Bungalow:
A craftsman/ bungalow home pairs with wood detailing that adds to the design. The extra millwork, low pitched roof lines, and covered front porch add to their sense of charm. A carriage door, also charming, works well with this style home.
YES- Spanish Colonial/ Mediterranean
A Spanish Colonial has Mediterranean touches with possibly a tile roof and arches above doors and windows. Usually there is an abundance of iron detailing and heavy wood, some with shutters. This makes a carriage door with prominent hardware a no brainer!
If you are lucky enough to have a victorian home, then you absolutely need a carriage style garage. No other type of garage makes sense… the homes were built when carriages were commonly used for transportation, so carriage doors are historically and aesthetically appropriate.
Ranch style homes are making a big comeback! Don’t be tempted to throw on a carriage door in every case. Paired with green landscape, flowers, mulch, window shutters, possibly window boxes, wood details, etc. a carriage door looks beautiful! Paired with harder landscape including rock and succulents, modern windows, and entry door, a carriage door will look out of place, fast!
SOMETIMES- Traditional American Colonial
This one is tricky because a carriage style may or may not complement a Colonial home depending on where the garage is located. A carriage style is perfect for a detached or separated garage. If the garage is front and center, probably not. If the garage is side load or has dormers, it may work.
NO- Mid-Century Modern
Absolutely not! If you own a mid-century modern home, don’t get lured into the beauty of a carriage door. It just doesn’t work. These homes were built in a different era and one needs to be respectful of that! These homes look best with simple steel or plain wood, and specific window placement on the garage door.
Contemporary homes pride themselves in simple lines and open space. A carriage style garage is intricate, fussy, and heavy. Even if you have a front loader, if you own a contemporary, you need a full view garage or a steel garage with a simple window pattern. Stay sleek!
So, be mindful of your house architecture before choosing to purchase a carriage style garage door. Carriage doors are beautiful and functional but need to be considered on the correct type of architecture.
At brick&batten, we see and study houses everyday. Many people are asking for a new garage and want to SEE before they commit to expensive changes. We partner with you to help make these big decisions so you’re not going at it alone. Offering you a visual of your home’s potential, with simple curb appeal changes, makes you the expert moving forward.