Though its classic Craftsman details and unique silhouette give this home an undeniable presence, the plain-vanilla garage doors diminish its charm. In fact, the exterior presents somewhat of a split personality: One side seems open and welcoming, vibrant and lived-in, while the other appears closed-off, even unfinished. This fundamental lack of balance makes an unimpressive impression from the curb.
By providing the visual anchor that was sorely missing before, the new garage doors tie the house together. The exterior is unified and balanced, thanks to replacement garage doors from Clopay's Coachman Collection. The carriage-house garage doors, which match the colors, clean lines, and divided-lite windows present in the rest of the home, look like they've always been there—a worthy goal!
There's a fine line between matching and monochromatic sameness. True, the existing garage doors don't necessarily look out of place, but they don't look right at home either. While the bold Spanish-style architecture commands attention, the garage recedes into the background, even though it's one of the more visible elements on the structure. If anything, the garage doors stand out not for the impact they make, but for the impact they don't make.
Designed to resemble traditional, outward-swinging carriage-house garage doors, the replacements pictured here roll up and down with the ease and convenience of a standard overhead garage door. As for aesthetics, the two-tone finish of the doors echoes the colors of the siding and trim, integrating the garage with the rest of the house. Note an even more practical feature: Although these may look like wood doors, they are, in fact, made of durable steel and composite. This points to an important consideration: Before you commit to any garage door, be sure you understand the maintenance required to keep it looking good and performing well.
If you're a fan of modern architecture, you've no doubt heard one of the most tired knocks against it: Contemporary homes give off a cold and impersonal feeling—at least in the view of certain critics. Pure white and completely unadorned, the door design here does little to dispel that old notion.
Sleek and sophisticated, with frosted glass set into grid-like aluminum frames, the new garage doors don't simply match the architecture—they enhance it. Whereas the old doors ensured a dark garage interior, the translucent replacements let in natural light during the day and emit a warm, welcoming glow when lit from inside at night. Concerned about privacy? Bear in mind that manufacturers like Clopay offer a range of customization options for glass garage doors, including tempered, insulated, and tinted glazing.
Given that these garage doors account for roughly 40 percent of this home's facade, the flush-panel design seen here does nothing to grab attention or add visual interest. Worse, the doors' plain-white finish fails to reinforce the warm notes struck elsewhere—by the trim, for example, or the stone veneer foundation—leaving the home without a cohesive aesthetic and without a bond to unite the different exterior elements in a satisfying way.
The panel design and warm tones of the natural wood replacement garage doors match perfectly with the stained entry door. The result? Visual harmony. The success of the makeover offers a reminder: When deciding which type of door would be best for your garage, it can be immensely helpful to take cues from the style and construction material of the existing front door. Curb appeal always benefits when the garage door and entry door are alike in look and feel. That way, the home exterior strikes one clear and consistent design note, not a jumbled chorus of different ideas.
Here, the garage door lies at the foot of a long, wide paver stone driveway that sets a grand expectation for that first glimpse of the home. The house doesn't disappoint: The combination of stone and clapboard siding, coupled with the wood shake roof and an array of charming details, offers much to entertain the eye. The same can't be said, however, for the stark white garage door that boasts none of the appeal of the rest of the house.
With the new garage door in place, visitors to the house become familiar with its stylistic hallmarks well before they reach the front door. If you're wondering what type of door could produce a similarly dramatic transformation for your house, you're not alone. That's why visualization tools like the Clopay Door Imagination System are popular with remodelers. After you upload a photo of your home, the tool lets you see how different garage door designs would look once installed—a huge advantage given that, when it comes to curb appeal, there's no such thing as "one size fits all."
Get the help you need for the home you want—sign up for the Bob Vila newsletter today!