Plain or fancy, the doors have to look right, because they take up most of the wall. Many people thoughtlessly choose two-bay overhead doors in vinyl with a plastic sheen. Too often, the doors are painted in high-contrast white.
Wood requires maintenance, but it offers the most options when new and will age gracefully. Composite wood fiber/polymer material, steel, aluminum, and more are available now, too, in authentic styles and credible finishes. Circumstances and fire codes may suggest good reasons to opt for a wood alternative.
Several garage-door makers offer traditional doors that actually swing out, slide, or fold to open and close. Wicket doors—a person-size door within the large traditional garage door—are also an option. Most of the modern garage doors, however, even one that looks like a cross-braced barn door or carriage door, have horizontal breaks that allow them to retract overhead. Some designs are nearly seamless.
Company websites explain options in material, style details, finish and color, insulation and soundproofing, glass, hardware, and opener mechanism, as well as customization.
These companies specialize in period-appropriate garage doors. Some offer coordinating peripherals that may include windows and glazing, hardware, and driveway gates.
> Amarr Garage Doors (NC): amarr.com Wood, wood composite, steel
> Carriage House Door Co. (CA): carriagedoor.com Wood, steel
> Clingerman (PA): woodgaragedoor.com Choice of wood; AZEK/Versatex; Extira
> Cambek Designer Doors (WI): cambek.com (formerly Designer Doors) Wood; wicket doors; specialty claddings
> Clopay Building Products (OH): clopaydoor.com Wood, steel, aluminum
> Evergreen Carriage Doors (WA): evergreencarriagedoors.com Wood
> Everite (PA): everitedoor.com Wood
> Garaga Inc. (Quebec): garaga.com Steel, steel with wood composite, aluminum
> GADCO, General American Door Co. (IL): gadco.com Steel, wood
> Haas Door (OH): haasdoor.com Composite wood, steel, aluminum
> Hahn’s Woodworking Co. (NJ): hahnswoodworking.com Wood
> Holmes Garage Door Co. (WA): holmesdoor.com Steel, aluminum, wood composite, wood
> IDC, Industrial Door Company (MN): idcdoors.com Wood, wood composite, steel
> Northwest Door (WA): nwdusa.com Wood, steel, aluminum
> Raynor (IL): raynor.com Wood, steel
> Real Carriage Door Co. (WA): realcarriagedoors.com Wood, with swinging, sliding, folding options
> Sunwood Doors (CA): sunwooddoors.com Wood