Uncle Bobs Tips

Garage Doors

Garage Doors

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To help you truly appreciate the perfect garage doors, I'll use a metaphor. You know that feeling you get as you are giving the last rub, the final "wax on, wax off", to your freshly washed or polished car? The jubilation that begins to froth and bubble inside, giddy from the eminent prospect of taking that step back and drinking in the complete satisfaction of owning such a beautiful piece of machinery. Well, putting on those garage doors is the same thing. The haven is built (and if it isn't, learn all about wood garage kits and plans quick), and the details almost all in place. The "cherrywood" crowning this sundae are coordinated garage doors.

Most companies use quality craftsmanship from yesteryear and matching styling options as their key selling points. These are important things to look for when purchasing your garage doors, but not everything. Here's the breakdown:


Whether you've built it from scratch or had it made to order, once that garage is in place, it's just as much a part of your house and landscape as any other. As such, you'll probably want to keep it along the same lines as the rest of your property. There's nothing that ruins a perfectly good garage more than mismatched settings. Let the style of your home be the guiding hand to your garage doors' design. What time period does your house depict? What direction does it occupy (horizontal or vertical)? What layout- ranch, split level, cottage, contemporary…? Does it have special details that should/can be included in your door plans? Are there specific colors and shading you would like to repeat?

A word on time periods:

Houses are often designed after a specific era. Colonial, Victorian, Neoclassic and romantic are just a few examples. Each category has its own details that are unique to that period. Roofs, doors, windows, trimmings and materials are some of the characteristics that will vary with each era. For each style of home, the most quintessential garage doors can be created, as well. For example, Colonial Revival style (characteristic symmetrical façade, decorative front entrance) should have similar garage doors (i.e. symmetrical windows, vertical orientation, decorative molding). But don't worry, just because the neighbor down the street likes a certain style of molding, shade or material doesn't mean you are bound to those specifics. It's just a general guideline. Read more about architectural time periods.


What type of mechanisms are you looking at? Do you prefer your doors to slide, lift up, or fold open? What kind of space constraints are we dealing with? Is the garage directly under a bedroom (in which case, noise is a consideration)? If choosing overhead, does it operate by remote control? What type of hinges are used- double or single? For safety and convenience, get to know your mechanisms well.


Regulars to UBT know how I feel about these projects, but for those of you new to the fold, I'll fill you in. Any contractor, architect, or homeowner will agree, there's no material on earth that gives you a better combination of quality and style than wood. If designed properly, wood garage doors literally last you a lifetime, and, with just a little bit of forethought, can withstand all types of weather. As far as design options, there's no competition. Wood garage doors can be fashioned after any time period (except Stone Age, I suppose!), and the sky's the limits when it comes to trimmings, moldings and textures.

Also, remember insulation when designing or purchasing. Insulation helps to keep out the cold, and protects against the constant barrage of bikes, baseballs, and basketballs!

Most places have a design your own door option on their website. This is a useful tool because it shows you all the options and details involved and enables you to see what your doors will look like in real life before you make your final decisions. Buying or building, your garage doors can be the finishing touch to your home masterpiece.

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