Custom Wood Garage Doors

Posted by Sayward Rebhal | G+ | Oct 10, 2013
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 Photo: Manuela de Pretis/ 

There really is nothing that compares to the natural luxury of rich, warm wood. Decks, doorframes, and furniture all seem to look their best when left unpainted, simply stained and allowed to display their inherent beauty. Many people mistakenly overlook their garage doors when it comes to incorporating the organic grandeur of real wood into their home’s exterior design, but custom wood garage doors often provide that final touch that can elevate a home from “merely average” to “absolutely impeccable”.

Imagine, for example, a pair of outdated 1970s garage doors, stuck on the front of a classic Colonial-style house. Regardless of the perfectly manicured landscaping, the pretty brick path, or the regal red door, that garish garage will stick out like a sore thumb. Like a big angry zit on the tip of the nose of an otherwise lovely face.

Now imagine that same home, same lawn and brick and regal red door. But instead of that awful off-white vinyl, the garage is faced with gorgeous mahogany, styled after stable doors and inset with a row of multi-pane windows. Much better, right?

Custom wood garage doors come in all shapes and sizes, and can be made to suit any style of home. Many manufacturers use a tongue and groove face with overlay designs, which allows you to create almost any look you can conceptualize. Some common options include carriage-style doors, standard paneled rolling doors, old-style swing-out doors, doors with windows, and garage doors inset with walk-through doors, to name a few. A meeting with your local manufacturer can help you decide which style and features are right for your home.

Wooden garage doors can be fashioned from a number of species, but hemlock, Douglas fir, and mahogany are the most popular. Other common choices include western red cedar, walnut, alder, or teak. Each of these can be stained in various shades, in order to match the overall look of your home.

But beautiful as they may be, wood garage doors are not without their downside. For one, they are undeniably costly. Prices start around $2000 apiece, and that’s for non-custom wooden garage doors. The custom doors discussed above will come it at around $7,000 each. Luckily installation is relatively inexpensive, and should run under $3-$400.

Another drawback to wood garage doors is the upkeep. Real wood is susceptible to rot and weathering, so it has to be painted or stained and sealed every few years. Of course if it is maintained correctly, wood will last for decades.

Finally, most wood garage doors offer poor energy conservation, as compared to their engineered, retrofitted counterparts. Steel and vinyl doors usually come equipped with additional insulation, which traditional wooden doors lack. However, many wood door manufacturers are beginning to offer products with energy-efficient insulation, so this is not as much of an issue as it used to be.

The bottom line: custom wood garage doors are expensive, and they require maintenance, and they may not be as efficient as some other options. But they’re also undeniably elegant, and they elevate the curb appeal of a home by leaps and bounds. Hey, nobody said luxury was easy!

Sayward Rebhal writes for

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