Carriage Style Garage Doors,
Carriage style garage doors are one of the most popular types of door sold today. They are designed to look like the solid wood doors that were found on carriage houses in the 1800s. All the major manufacturers offer carriage style doors, so they come in a large variety of different designs. When you add in the different window and trim options, the number of available choices is staggering.
There are also a number of small companies that produce hand crafted, custom carriage house doors. These are usually made from solid wood, and the look ranges from a simple, plain barn style to the ornate and lavish style found on 19th century mansions.
A "real" carriage house door is made of wood and will either swing, slide, or fold open. Most carriage style garage doors today are made from materials other than wood, though. A carriage house style door can be made of steel, aluminum, fiberglass or vinyl, and yes, the majority of them are really sectional overhead models in disguise.
When made of a material other than wood, carriage style doors will have a textured wood grain finish to make them look like real wood. Many of the overhead sectional models are made to look like they swing or fold open, also. The horizontal joints are concealed as much as possible, and they are made to look like they have one or more vertical breaks where they fold or swing open.
A lot of carriage house style doors also have decorative hinges, handles and locks on the exterior to make them look even more like a real swinging door. Another feature that is used is the cross buck or half buck. These are (again, purely decorative) diagonal braces on the outside of the door. Full cross bucks are in the shape of an "X", and half bucks are in the shape of a "V", a "W", or a "Z".
Where "real" carriage house doors are made of solid wood, carriage style garage doors that are made of other materials have two big advantages. First, they are much easier to maintain than wood. Second, they can have the look of real wood but can have the insulation benefits of multi-layer construction.
Wood is a good natural insulator, but solid wood cannot compete with modern foam insulation. Doors made from other materials can be of the inexpensive single layer design that offers very little or no insulation value, or they can be a two or three layer design that has a layer of foam insulation on the inside. The multi-layer design is much more efficient at keeping your garage at a comfortable temperature.
There are also some companies that manufacture sectional overhead multi-layer carriage style doors with real wood on the outside. The outside layer is supported by a wooden or steel framework with foam insulation in the center, and a layer of steel or wood on the inside. From the outside, all you see is the real wood. The wood can be stained or painted just like solid wood.
When you add up all the different options that are available for carriage style doors, you can see that there are actually thousands of possibilities to choose from. Many small garage door companies will build a custom wood garage door of your own design, and some of the larger manufacturers also offer this as an option. If you want a unique carriage style garage door to set your home apart from the crowd, there isn't any reason you can't find one (or design your own!).
If you would like to learn more about real, solid wood carriage house garage doors that swing, slide, or fold open, take a look at Carriage Garage Doors. They typically cost more and certainly require more maintenance, but nothing can beat the look of a richly-stained real wood door. For more information on other types, go to our Related Pages menu on the right near the top of this page.
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