Garage Door Styles

Susanne Clemenz | Improvement Center Columnist | December 14, 2011

While the double-car, windowless, automatic garage door may be practical and comes standard with many homes, door design today gives homeowners an array of choices for upgrading the look of an exterior.

5 gorgeous garage door styles

  1. Raised panel: Perhaps the most common, recurring, "framed," raised panels of uniform size and design characterize this door. Typically, panels are 8-feet wide by 4-feet tall. Natural wood, steel, aluminum and plywood materials are all options. While color schemes lean uniform, rather than contrasting, custom paint colors make just about any look possible. Raised panel garage doors complement traditional and ranch style homes.
  2. Carriage style: Imagine a carriage house from the 18th or 19thcentury, and you'll have an idea of the traditional look that carriage-style garage doors are meant to invoke. Think of rectangles, squares, Xs and Vs juxtaposed with gentle arches, elegant woods and double-doors--often with working handles, pulls or iron rings. Colonial white, barn door red or natural wood are among the most popular finishes.
  3. French or country style: Similar to carriage doors, French and country garage doors--or French country, if you like--contrast geometric shapes. They are often made of high-end wood with decorative hinges and handles. While many French door designs have windows, some sport panels of frosted glass for the entire length of the door, lending an elegant, custom look. Other French country designs mimic shutters: horizontal wood slats run vertically for most of the door.
  4. Contemporary: Some contemporary garage doors combine frosted glass panels and an aluminum foundation to lend an Asian or modernist aesthetic; the final look depends on surrounding architecture. These doors add extra light to the front of home at night. Still other contemporary doors add bold lines, shapes and patterns created from metal or glass.
  5. Craftsman: The sturdy, side-by-side strips or panels of cedar that characterize Craftsman garage doors on the outside suggest Americana. They're all modern technology on the inside, however. Steel foundations, polystyrene insulation and low-e glass windows make these garage doors gems of energy-efficiency. Colors include natural metal, powder-coated bronze, unfinished cedar or black and white.

Estimating the cost of a new garage door

Once you've shopped around and found the style that best suits your home's architecture--and your household budget--the final step is to find someone to install a garage door. There are several ways to do this:

  1. Choose a local, custom garage door manufacturer, who also handles installation.
  2. Buy your garage door at a "Big Box" retailer, such as Lowe's or Home Depot. You'll sacrifice high-end customization, but you may save money; you can also count on a good warranty
  3. Here at Home Improvement Center, you can search for a licensed contractor, who specializes in garage door installation. Provide your contact information and we'll have a professional call you.

Garage door installation should cost roughly $300 to $500. Expect for standard double, unpainted plywood, flat-panel doors to start at $300 or $400. For a sturdy steel door, you'll pay $800 or more. As with all things custom, expect the price to increase, in this case to at least $3,000 for high-end garage doors. Add $150 to $300 for the garage door openers you'll need.