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The Many Faces of Steel Garage Doors

by Rachel Lyon, Editorial Director for The House Designers®

The garage door is a major contributor to curb appeal and for most homeowners, it’s a one-time purchase. That means they rarely know what’s available in terms of materials and designs, and they often feel overwhelmed by the options. The durability and low-maintenance nature of steel makes it a popular choice for homes across the board, but do you know just how diverse this category is? Check out the style possibilities steel garage doors offer!

Clopay Classic Steel

If you like a traditional panel look, the Classic™ Steel line delivers. The door shown here has a short panel design with square grilles in the top sections for a bit of decorative flair. There’s plenty of opportunity to personalize!

Classic Panel Garage Doors

The archetypical garage door most people know is the steel panel door. They’re the go-to option for so many contractors and homeowners alike because they’re affordable and accessible, and complement a wide variety of homes. While you usually see the same door—often solid with short panels and painted white—repeated around neighborhoods, there are actually a lot of ways to make panel garage doors your own.

First off, decide whether you want short or long panels. On a standard single garage door, you’d get 16 short panels or 8 long ones. This affects how “busy” the door is, but it comes down to personal preference and you should look at the whole façade to determine what balances well with the house. If you’d like to add windows to the top section, there are dozens of options ranging from plain to those with various grille, caming, and wrought iron patterns, available in rectangular and arched shapes. Finally, numerous standard and custom factory-applied paint finishes impart the long-lasting color of your choice. Panel garage doors may be ubiquitous, but they don’t have to be simple!

Clopay Coachman

Coachman® carriage house doors make a great choice for all sorts of homes! Different patterns with various vertical, horizontal, and diagonal overlays allow you to create the perfect look ranging from neat and clean to rustic.

Carriage House Garage Doors

The popularity of carriage house garage doors continues to rise because they look great on some of the most popular architectural styles—farmhouse, Craftsman, traditional, colonial, etc. They also give homeowners some extra design potential across the whole span of the door, thanks to their overlay patterns.

Original carriage house doors were made of wood, of course, but now the majority are steel. They have the regular overhead operation of a modern garage door even though they’re based on the old-fashioned swing-out models. The classic all-white look has tons of admirers, but if you’re looking to add some contrast to your exterior, opt for a two-toned finish with different base and overlay colors. The “pop” from the street view will definitely get noticed!

Clopay Modern Steel

The Modern Steel™ line is perfect for contemporary and modern homes whether you want solid flush or grooved panel doors, or you’d like to define them with the window pattern of your choice. There are plenty of painted and woodgrain colors, too!

Modern Garage Doors

Although traditional styles dominate the market, modern garage doors also offer plenty of variation to suit all subcategories of modern and contemporary architecture. They tend to be simpler in construction, focusing on sleek bases rather than overlay patterns, and on window placement patterns over decorative window inserts. However, those who want to create an eclectic garage door will still find plenty of funky potential.

Perhaps the best way to make the garage door stand out on a modern home is to give it a bold finish. It all depends on the color of the siding, but we have seen all sorts of high-contrast and highly saturated hues pulled off beautifully.

Clopay Canyon Ridge Carriage House (4 Layer)

For those who want the appearance of wood but don’t want to sign up for ongoing maintenance, Canyon Ridge® Carriage House (4-Layer) garage doors offer a believable woodgrain paint finish over a durable steel base. Composite overlays complete the carriage house look!

Wood-Look Garage Doors

Wood garage doors can be pricey up front, but it’s the regular maintenance that really adds up in terms of time and money. Most homeowners want to minimize that, so steel garage doors with authentic wood looks have taken off in recent years! Woodgrain paint finishes and faux wood composite cladding both come on durable steel bases. Whether traditional or contemporary, a wood-look finish can give your garage doors a totally different vibe and give your façade some oomph it wouldn’t achieve otherwise. To learn more, check out the second part of our article, Beautiful Wood Finishes for Your Garage Door.

Whatever your aesthetic preference, you’ll find steel garage doors that deliver it with the durability you want and need! Clopay® has a wide assortment of doors to outfit every house, and with all the different ways to personalize them, you can definitely give your home its own unique curb appeal. Contact a local dealer to discuss the possibilities!