Unique Garage Doors:
Tips for Standing Out in Your Neighborhood
You see your garage door
every time you pull up to your house, so why not have something original and
inspiring to come home to? No matter how nice the exterior of your house may
be, a bland or downright ugly garage door can drastically detract from your
home’s curb appeal.
Fortunately, there are
plenty of unique options that will have you looking forward to pulling into your
There are several different types of wood you can choose from including cedar,
redwood, fir and meranti to give your garage door the high-end custom look that
your neighbors will envy. You can also get prefinished doors that come in a
variety of stains. A particularly unique approach is to get barn-looking doors
that open out instead of up. If you have a more traditional house, garage doors
with curved or clipped frames can add a level of distinction and classiness.
Double arches work especially well for two-door garages.
Steel is a great choice if you want a nice-looking and insulated but
low-maintenance garage door. You have the option to choose what color you want
and to add windows if desired. You can also get a carriage house steel door
that looks like swinging stable doors but still moves up and down like your
standard garage door. Steel doors are less expensive than wood doors and are
If you have a contemporary-style home, aluminum garage doors can be a great
compliment to the sleek look you’re going for. They are relatively inexpensive
and don’t require a lot of maintenance. They are also lightweight which makes
them easy to open and close.
Fiberglass garage doors are much more flexible than other options so they
aren’t as susceptible to warping and cracking as other materials. They are also
durable and have great insulation. However, they can begin to deteriorate when
exposed to cold temperatures and strong winds can also be a problem since
they’re so lightweight.
conventional wisdom is to have your garage door blend in by matching its color
to that of the front door of the house. But going with a different color is a
great way to make your garage door stand out. Both metal and wooden garage
doors can look fresh with just a few coats of paint. Here are the steps you
need to take when painting your garage door:
1) Clean and tape the
Make sure you thoroughly clean the door with a soap and sponge before you
begin. Rinse it off with a garden hose and, once it has dried, use painter’s
tape to cover any handles, windows and trim that you don’t want to be painted.
2) Strip the door
You’ll want to get rid of any existing paint before laying down a fresh coat. You
can use a wire brush to do this or a palm or circular sander (don’t forget to
wear a dust mask and safety goggles while sanding). Use a paint scraper to get
rid of any rust.
3) Prime the door
Primer is a specific type of paint that goes on before the finish coat that
prevents the old color from bleeding through. Oil-based primers work best with
exterior wood and metal.
4) Paint the door
Buy a latex exterior paint. A wool roller works best since foam ones can cause
more inconsistencies and bubbles. Use an angled brush for the cracks and edges.
Once the paint dries, add another coat.
Garage door screen
If you want to
personalize your garage door beyond choosing the material and color, there are
several different companies that make screen prints that cover your entire
garage door. You can get anything ranging from your favorite sports team’s logo
to a print that makes it look like there’s a giant alligator in your garage.
The possibilities are only limited by your imagination (and most likely your neighborhood’s
home owners association guidelines).
Do you have any other
suggestions for personalizing your garage door?
Angelo DiGangi is a Home
Depot on-the-floor sales associate in the Chicago suburbs and a frequent
contributor on garage door topics for Home Depot’s website. Angelo also provides tips to
homeowners on garage door openers for Home Depot.