With suburban lot sizes shrinking and vehicle size growing, new home curb appeal has changed drastically over the past few years. Many front yards have become not much more than a two-car driveway with a walkway leading to a hidden front door because of narrowing lots. When you drive through any new subdivision outside the big city you will quickly realize that garage doors have become the focal point of most homes’ exterior.
How your home presents itself to passersby says a lot about yourself and how you live, and first impressions count. With your garage doors being the first thing visitors will notice when they pull up to your home, it’s important that they look good. When it comes time to replace your old garage doors, or if you’re building a new home, you need to put some thought into how those new garage doors are going to represent you to the world.
When you are having custom garage doors installed, whether on a new home or as a renovation, the first question you will have to consider is the material the doors will be made out of. In the good old days, when garages faced onto laneways behind your home, the choice was either steel or fence board. Construction materials have come a long way since then, and you will most likely be offered the choice between pressed wood and vinyl.
With its textured grain and versatility (stain or paint) wood garage doors can give a classic look to the front of your home. If you choose to go this route, however, be prepared to put in a little effort and understand that you will get what you pay for. If you want a true wooden garage door that exudes class and elegance, you are going to have to pay a bit more for a solid wood door. Most wood garage doors provided by builders and suburban contractors are made out of pressed particleboard. These manufactured wood doors will have a similar grain look to them, but are nowhere near as solid and durable. Also, remember that any wooden garage door, whether its solid or manufactured, will require considerable upkeep, needing to be painted or stained at least once every three years, if not more often.
Vinyl garage doors, on the other hand, provide a durable, maintenance-free alternative to wood. Although not nearly as rich looking as wooden garage doors, vinyl doors can be made to fit any decorator’s demands. Vinyl garage doors are also very durable, putting up with just about anything you can throw at them, and, unlike wood, they require very little maintenance during their lifetime. If your garage receives a lot of sun, you may notice some color fading over the years, so if vinyl garage doors are the option you choose, you may want to consider a lighter color.
Once you have chosen the materials for your garage door, you can then get down to the business of selecting a particular style. Most garage doors these days roll upwards, folding slightly section by section as they rise to the garage ceiling. You can still find, however, doors that will either upwards or to the side as a solid piece. How your garage door opens will depend greatly on how much room you have for the garage door to open and close.
Other style options to think about include the look of your garage doors. Do you want your garage doors to have the standard panel look, or would you prefer your garage doors to look like the doors of a Victorian carriage house stable? You will also want to consider what kind of windows, if any, you would like to have in your garage doors: circular, square or rounded to resemble the rising sun?
When it comes to the materials and style of your new garage doors, the choices are both endless and personal. Take the time to think about how you want your garage doors to look from the street. With your garage being the focal point of your home’s exterior, what do you want it to say about you and your lifestyle? By taking the time to make these decisions, you will be guaranteed to be happy with your new garage doors.