Garage Doors and Curb Appeal


Due to the cost of land, homes are typically built with garage doors facing the street. The front facing garage door can take upwards of a third of a home’s front view, and can have a tremendous influence on curb appeal. Homebuilders have also resorted to the ubiquitous white metal  garage doors to lower the cost of homes. The builder’s emphasis was offering functional and pleasing interior living areas. As home construction became more competitive, homebuilders started to put more focus on the exterior home elements to enhance curb appeal to attract home buyers.


The ubiquitous white metal garage door


Home buyers too began to be more selective when searching for new homes as reported by a recent Professional Builder Magazine survey. 60% of respondents cited curb appeal  as the most important house criteria when selecting a new home. Due to the large space taken up by a street facing garage door, it is also getting attention when renovating a home. In a 2014 Remodeling Magazine survey, the garage door upgrade was ranked fourth in return on investments among 35 popular home improvement projects.

Modern Garage Door Designs

Today, homeowners have a wide selection of modern garage door designs to enhance curb appeal. The prices of garage doors vary depending on the door material used and design. Most manufacturers today offer stock “carriage house” design garage doors. Basic modern garage doors cost between $500 to $1,500. Doors in this price category are typically made of non-insulated and insulated metal core, and with different design options such as raised panels, garage panels stamped with faux stiles, cross-bracings, rails, and garage doors that are printed with wood grain patterns. Homeowners also have the option of adding modern and antique looking decorative hardware like door straps, handles, door knockers, and clavos to enhance the door appearance.

Beauty of Wood Garage Doors

Homeowners can also spend a lot more for premium high-end garage doors costing more than $2,500. These doors are typically custom made like a handcrafted wood panel or solid wood garage doors. Other premium garage door designs include contemporary glass panel doors with mirrored, frosted or tinted glass panels set in aluminum frames. The door design varies from a French door to Japanese shoji style screen to the look of a vintage gas station.


wooden garage doors

Ranch House Doors Cape Cod Collection: Model Surfside RHD-2084


Wood garage door is still considered a premium high-end door, and usually found in luxury homes. The downside of wooden doors is it requires regular upkeep as it is made of natural building material that will deteriorate with passage of time. Despite the downside, wood doors are still in high demand today because the natural beauty of a wooden door is hard to beat. A wooden garage door adds warmth, elegance, and character, and even a rustic curb appeal to a home. Wood is also versatile, and allows homeowners the ability to custom design their own doors to match the architectural elements of their home like matching the front entry doors or matching it to windows and shutters. There’s no other natural building material that offers countless combinations of design customization and visual appearances. This added benefit is especially true for homeowners of historic homes looking for architecturally or historical accurate garage doors which requires customization.

Wood garage doors are typically custom handcrafted from wood like mahogany, cypress, cedar, oak, redwood, Douglas Fir, hemlock, or spruce. Wooden garage doors are available in a wide variety of designs, from carriage style garage doors to a more traditional 4 to 6 panel style doors.

Carriage Style Garage Doors

Custom wood doors can be made to look like carriage style garage doors with fold, or swing-out door designs of past gone era like the turn of the 19th century carriage house doors for sheltering a horse-drawn buggy or old carriage house slider types used in pre-WWII era houses. Although the carriage style doors may look old, they can be made to function like today’s modern overhead garage doors. Modern flush-style wooden doors can also be built with a layer of insulation to enhance energy efficiency.


Ranch House Doors Sconset Swing Out Carriage House Garage Doors

Ranch House Doors Sconset Swing Out Carriage House Garage Doors

Composite Wood Garage Doors

Over the years, residential garage door manufacturers have introduced new door cladding material and technologies to replicate the look of a custom-made real wood garage door. These products include wood grain printing on steel garage doors, cellular PVC wood boards, fiberglass, and composites made with recycled wood or glass fiber and polyurethane resins. However, until recently, none of these products were serious alternatives to natural wood because they lack the realism of real wood. The newer innovation using polymer composite faux wood chemistry utilized by Clopay Canyon Ridge faux wood garage doors and Ranch House Doors Elements Collection have resolved the wood realism problem of older technologies. For example, Ranch House Doors Elements Collection faux wood garage door has brought together the best of real wood’s beauty and polymer composite engineering. The Ranch House Doors Elements Collection faux wood panel is molded from real wood to replicate the wood grain and texture of natural wood. Unlike other older composite synthetic or fake wood technologies that were heavy and looked unrealistic, the Ranch House Doors high definition faux wood panels are lightweight, and mimics most of the original wood details. It even mimics the natural imperfections of real wood like worm holes, pockmarks, cracks, wood knots, hand-hewn marks and wood decay holes up to 1/4 inch deep. Once the garage door is installed, the faux door looks like a real wood garage door. Another distinct advantage over other synthetic and composite material is weight. The Ranch House faux wood is significantly lighter than other composite doors. The lightweight advantage allows usage of cheaper door openers, tracks and other operating hardware.

Faux Wood Garage Doors. Beauty of Wood With Added Durability

One of the best features of faux wood is its durability. It does not have the inherent limitation of natural wood. Because wood is natural, it will deteriorate over time, and must be regularly painted or stained and sealed to extend the life of the door. Another limitation of real wood is it does not take dark colors and extended direct sunlight very well. Real wood doors are also not suitable in climates with high humidity and precipitation. Faux wood panel on the other hand can withstand high humidity and extreme temperature ranges. Another bonus of faux wood is it is environmentally friendly. The faux wood minimizes environmental impact by reducing the use of trees, especially the endangered wood species that the faux wood replicates. Refer to the FAQ section on the pros and cons of real and faux wood.



Ranch House Doors Elements Collection Faux Wood Garage Doors

Ranch House Doors Elements Collection Faux Wood Panel Species

Ranch House Doors offer several faux wood species. They include Clear Cypress, Mahogany, Oak, Ash and Pecky Cypress. The Elements Collection old growth Pecky Cypress faux wood mimics real Pecky Cypress, a much sought after wood due to its beautiful, distressed, and unique pecky holes patterns.  Although the exact cause is unknown, the pecky holes are generally believed to be caused by fungal attacks that leaves long, narrow burrows or cavities in the pecky wood. When cut into panels, it yields an attractive 3-D look unlike any other wood.

Faux Wood Garage Door Cost

Faux wood garage door prices are typically in the $1,800 to $4000 price range. However, the faux wood door costs depends on the garage door design, size and options selected. Faux wood garage door prices are not cheap, but the benefits of owning a faux wood door in the long run may outweigh the cost of and disadvantages of real wood garage doors.


*Article reproduced & edited with permission from the Garage Door Journal