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Garage Door Styles and How To Choose The Right One For Your Home

Garage Door Styles and How To Choose The Right One For Your Home

Garage Door Styles and How To Choose The Right One For Your Home

Garage doors today are much more than a way to protect your cars or hide unsightly items stored in the garage: the door itself is a powerful exterior design feature. Styles range from traditional to carriage house to contemporary doors… or a combination thereof. But how should you choose?

Well, let us help...

In earlier articles we discussed tips for choosing garage door material and color. Today, let's talk about style.

Among garage door manufacturers, three general style categories are available:

  • Traditional
  • Contemporary
  • Carriage House

Pretty straightforward right? Nope. It's not quite that simple because variations within each category abound.

For instance, a homeowner might choose a rather 'traditional' garage door but then include vintage hardware (hinges, handles, step plates) to give it a bit of old fashion charm. Take that EXACT same door and INSTEAD of hardware, include windows arranged vertically down one side of the door and... VOILA, it has a contemporary or mid-century modern flair. Get the idea?

For the sake of simplicity, however, let's define the three basic styles...

1) Traditional Garage Doors

When it comes to garage doors, 'traditional' refers to doors that are manufactured with either steel or wood. Next, the door can be customized with panel styles (i.e. short, long, flushed, raised), windows (i.e. rectangular, square, arched, decorative) and, of course, color. For instance, Clopay's classic doors have a variety of factory finish paint colors such as white, almond, tan, gray, black, mocha, and chocolate, as well as stain-grain wood like cedar or redwood.


So, if your home has a 'traditional' vibe, in most cases you'll want to choose a 'traditional' garage door too.  And, if other embellishments enhance the look, go ahead and jazz up the design with windows and hardware. Just don't go overboard with decorative door accents that detract from your home's overall curb appeal.

2) Carriage House Garage Doors

The look of carriage house garage doors can be deceiving. From a distance, they mimic the design of old fashion, swing out doors (think 'barn doors') when ACTUALLY they're modern overhead doors that go up and down... NOT out.

But will a carriage house garage door look right on your home? Maybe... maybe not.


If your home has a contemporary or mid century modern design, a carriage house door just won't look right. Period.

Whether or not a carriage house door works with a typical St. Louis ranch or Colonial style home is a 'maybe' but... Be-Very-Careful! It all depends on other exterior details like siding, shutters, windows and the garage itself.

Where carriage house doors work really well is with styles like Bungalow, Craftsman, Farmhouse, or even Tudor and Victorian homes.

But no worries.  We have a way to create computerized garage door design renderings for customers and these visuals help homeowners decide if a carriage house door (or any other style for that matter!) fits their architecture. When in doubt, ask for these images BEFORE installation.

3) Contemporary Garage Doors

'Sleek' best describes contemporary doors. And just like traditional and carriage house styles, steel and wood doors CAN be designed for plenty of contemporary flair with flush panels or window mosaics.


Glass garage doors, however, are THE quintessential choice among fans of the contemporary category.


And did you know that panel choices include dozens of glass options like clear, tinted, mirrored, colored, frosted, etched?

But wait, there's more.

Glass doors are normally framed in aluminum and these frames ALSO have a range of colors -- black, white, bronze etc. Even seamless glass is an option among some manufacturers too.

Contemporary garage doors, like traditional and carriage house doors, are completely customizable with color, texture and material.

Key Takeaways:

  • Since garage doors make up (and take up!) a significant portion of your home’s facade, choose the style wisely.
  • Choose a garage door that seamlessly coordinates with your home's overall style. Don't forget to integrate color and construction material too. Shoot for a cohesive architectural form for maximum curb appeal.
  • With three categories of garage doors from which to choose - traditional, contemporary and carriage house -- you can further tweak, define and customize the look of your new door with panel design, windows and hardware.
  • If you're wondering how to select a new garage door with the hundreds of options available today, you're not alone. The sheer number of combinations for garage door styles (and materials, colors and add-ons!) can be overwhelming. But it doesn't need to be... here's the process: pick a style, choose the material, select a color, determine options (if any) like insulation, windows, and hardware, And now you're done but...
  • Did you know that we can create realistic computerized renderings of what your new garage door will look like BEFORE purchase and installation? Yep, we can. Just ask!

For answers to other common questions, go here: Choosing A New Garage Door: Frequently Asked Questions

Next Steps:

Wondering if you can revamp your old garage door with a thorough cleaning, tune-up or repairs? Or maybe a replacement door with an upgraded style, color and technology is best? Well, if you’re wondering these things, just call a reputable company like ProLift Doors.

If you live in Greater St. Louis — or any surrounding communities including West St. Louis County, South County, St. Charles and St. Charles County — give us a try. We know ALL about garage doors so you don’t have to… we’re, experienced, professional and friendly too! And new door estimates are always free!

Reach us at 636-362-6960 or visit our website to chat online, email questions, or book an appointment.

Outside of Greater St. Louis, Missouri just call 888-754-3063.

Other Helpful ProLift Articles:





Editor's note:  Updated 5/5/2020

More Resources:

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