Exploring the Garage Door
Traditionally, the sole purpose of a garage door was to move up and down, so you could get in and out of your home. Now that the garage accounts for 25 to 35 percent of your home’s exterior, you’ll want to choose a door that reflects your individual style and enhances the architectural design of your new home.
With the growing need for space, homeowners are looking at their garage as an extension of their home. They want garages that are designed not only to park their cars, boats and motorcycles, but also to use as a gym, workshop, storage area and much more. Homeowners are also using the garage as their main point of entry, because most conveniently lead into a mudroom.
There is no doubt that architects and designers are spending a great deal of time creating a floor plan that makes the garage a functional space. But for now, let us explore the garage door!
Style & Material
Whether your style is traditional, carriage house or estate, or your preference in material is steel, composite or wood — most garage door manufacturers offer complete lines and countless options for stock and custom garage doors. Aesthetically speaking, you can choose your windows and inserts, color, material and decorative hardware. From a functional perspective you need to check out the insulation and how your door operates (sectional roll downs, tilt-ups or swing).
A tip for choosing the right style: your garage door should not only reflect your personal taste, but should maintain the architectural integrity of your home. One of the most popular styles is the carriage house, which resembles the traditional, swinging barn door styles, but with a convenient twist — they’re available with all the mechanics of a modern garage door.
Don’t forget to bring in the light, by adding windows to your doors. You can choose from arched, rectangular, square and custom designs. Windows are especially important if you plan on using your garage as a living space/bonus room. You can check out all the latest designs and styles by visiting some of the top door manufacturers like Raynor, Amarr, Wayne-Dalton, Clopay and Jeld-Wen. Each manufacturer offers consumers an interactive door selection tool, which allows you to design the perfect garage door for your home.
Once you’ve decided on style, now you need to focus on functionality. The most common materials for garage doors are wood, composite and steel. Each material has its own benefits and varies in cost.
Most homeowners want the look of wood, but since it is traditionally expensive, heavy and high maintenance, they are opting for steel and composite, which can mimic the look of natural wood. The most popular material for garage doors right now is composite, which is light weight, durable, affordable and can achieve a high-quality look in any style.
Trends & Tips
If you plan on using your garage as a livable work or recreational space, you’ll want to consider purchasing an insulated garage door. These new doors can make your garage as warm as any room in your home and are very energy-efficient, especially when you have two or more garages.
Since space is a big consideration, architects and designers are making garages wider and adding bonus rooms over the garage. To add to curb appeal garages are being designed on the side and rear of the home.
If you want the latest and safest in garage door opener technology, than you’ll want to check out the idrive Garage Door Lifter by Wayne-Dalton. This system doesn’t require overhead rails, chains, springs, belts and screws, because the motorized unit is mounted above the garage door directly to the torsion spring shaft. There’s no clutter and it leaves the ceiling open for extra storage. The unit is quiet and is controlled by a wireless wall station.
Be sure your garage door has safety features like entrapment protection (electric eye or door sensors), pinch free joints secure locking, door closing delay buttons and an electronic monitoring system.
When you look at the floor plan of your garage, look carefully at its potential as a usable/livable addition to your new home. Today's garages are not only used to house your automobiles and RV's, but many plans have optional lofts, apartments, offices, gyms and workshops. Don't disregard the square footage your garage offers your new home. In fact, consult your designer and builder about insulating your garage and adding rubber floorings or epoxy covering to make your garage warm and cozy.