The dreaded front loader! Yep…the dreaded garage that takes up roughly 35% of the front of your kick ass house. Whether it’s steel, aluminum, wood or some other material…anything that owns that much store front, should look great. Not all budgets are the same and not all homes need to be investing in custom wood doors because depending on where you live and the style of your home, the return on investment may not be there.
Let’s talk about two schools of thought when it comes to garages:
- The goal is to camouflage the door and have it blend with the paint color on the house. This is a popular choice as it’s not overly expensive. You keep what you have and we try to blend it in.
- Or, we double down on the 35% frontage and make those doors a focal point all their own. This can happen when home owners have the budget to do it right. Typically, a painted carriage door with windows that is stylistically correct for the architecture. Or, a solid wood garage door that is stained to coordinate with the other elements on the house.
Many times, in cities, the lots are not big enough to allow for a side garage. Enter…the front loader. And in these cases, we attempt to draw the eyes to the porch by using tricks like landscaping, lighting and other decorative elements that actually lead the viewer away from the garage and straight to the front porch. When budget allows, we will still make the front porch the show stopper, but the garage can be beautiful, too. Your decision will mainly result from the amount of clearance in your garage, both around the ceiling for tracks and in the entryway for a swing out or up. However, choosing the design of your door can be more difficult. You might want to coordinate with the style of your house with the help of brick&batten. However, let’s look at different materials that can be used.
So let’s break it down.
- Real wood carriage doors: These are beautiful doors that could live on the front and take curb appeal to the next level. We recently stumbled across a company called Real Carriage Doors and got lost in their gallery of beautiful images! If you are in the market, this is a great place to check out! By far the most beautiful and authentic material for garage doors, wood doors unfortunately carry a high cost with them. They stand up well to wear, but need frequent refinishing and don’t last as long as other doors. Wood and wood composite doors are very easy to customize and range from mid-price to expensive. Wood composite will achieve the same feeling as wood while weighing less and has a smaller price tag. They’re best for large double doors.
2. Steel: The best steel doors are made from two layers of galvanized steel. They’re also lower maintenance than wood, but they do rust and are prone to dents. To minimize risk to your door, choose at least a 24 or 25 gauge steel one, or one with a fiberglass overlay which will resist rust and dents.
3. Aluminum: Because aluminum is extremely lightweight, this material is best for extra wide double doors. The newer models are sturdier and heavier than previous versions of aluminum doors, and the laminated panels are dent-resistant. Aluminum also comes with a steeper price tag if you choose the doors with heavy-duty frames, but you can find cheaper options that have panels made of other materials. These, however, will easily dent.
4. Vinyl: Vinyl doors are known as the “kid proof” garage doors because they’re extremely hard to dent or break. They’re similar to fiberglass in their construction, but are more durable and only require an occasional hose-down. The only downside is that vinyl doors come in considerably fewer colors and designs.
Whatever your budget, brick&batten can help you pick the right door for your style house and will save your curb appeal!