An Intro to Barn-Style Garage Doors

Is this hot trend a good choice for your garage?

Posted by Caryn Colgan | Feb 02, 2010
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Do you have a Craftsman-style home or carriage house that needs a fetching new garage door? If so, consider installing a “barn door” garage door to complement the country feel of the property. Is your home a near-perfect copy of many of your neighbors' homes? Garage doors that look like barn doors will set your property apart from cookie-cutter neighbors.

No longer just for the farm, barn style garage doors (also known as “carriage house doors”) are a hot trend for urban and suburban communities. They’re a fun, affordable way to enhance curb appeal and property value or simply give your home a facelift – all for much less money than the cost of an exterior remodel. Read about the different types of barn garage doors available on the market today.

Barn Style Garage Doors -- Installation

Barn style garage doors are an attractive upgrade, whether you hire a contractor to custom fit the doors for new construction ... or retrofit into an existing structure. These doors are available in your choice of roll-up overhead door, sliding, or swing-open varieties,. To preserve the authentic vintage appearance while injecting a little modern convenience, some manufacturers make barn garage doors that appear to slide but actually roll up.

The carriage house doors may include windows, in either plain or beveled glass, to allow natural daylight into your garage.

Choose the material you prefer – wood or metal. Either type may be insulated to help control the temperature of your garage. Insulation is especially important for doors installed in attached garages (so cold or hot air doesn’t end up seeping into your home) or any garage  that serves as living or working space, such as guest quarters, a home workshop, or a home office.

Barn Style Garage Doors -- Wood

Wood, the traditional barn door material will add to the overall authenticity of your new garage doors. Doors made of natural wood (such as redwood, cedar, or hemlock) can be painted or stained in a wide variety of colors, to either blend in with the existing architecture or add a contrasting pop of color. Often homeowners want to draw the eye away from the garage door. However, interesting wooden barn garage doors can quickly become a key feature of an otherwise bland property.

While wood is beautiful and natural, it does require more maintenance than steel options. Prone to fading, sagging, and cracking, wood garage doors must be painted or stained every couple of years. Wood is generally not the best option in very wet climates since it tends to rot and attract undesirable insects. 

Barn Style Garage Doors -- Steel

The most common material used in modern barn-door garage door manufacture is steel. Heavy-gauge steel (24-gauge as opposed to 28-gauge) is durable and strong, meaning it won’t crack, rot, or sag. Good quality polymer-coated steel garage doors require little to no maintenance. As for appearance, designers and homeowners will be pleased with the variety of options available. Whether you're looking for a barn door or carriage house door, steel can be embossed in the customary X-style -- or any other design you wish.

This article was updated November 14, 2017.

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