Carriage Doors Versus Roll-Up Doors

Photo: Jesus Rodriguez/Flickr

If you’ve been thinking about installing new garage doors, consider in depth the appearance and function you'd like your new doors to have. Swing-out carriage house-style and roll-up doors are very popular choices among consumers. This article will compare the merits of carriage house-style garage doors versus roll-up doors; while both can add value to your home and increase its “curb appeal,” the doors themselves offer significantly different advantages.

Carriage House Garage Doors


No matter what material they are constructed of, carriage house garage doors are a stylish choice for homeowners who wish to add a touch of old-world sophistication to their property and their garage. These beautiful doors are visually reminiscent of actual carriage-house doors; before the invention of the automobile, carriage houses were used to store a home’s horse-drawn carriages. Modern carriage house garage doors are distinguished by their pleasing design features, as they feature a group of even-numbered rectangular windows at the top of the door. In addition, wood carriage house doors typically have two strong metal handles at their center for easy access, which may be complemented by attractive decorative hinges.


Carriage house doors can be constructed of wood or steel. Although some homeowners prefer the natural beauty of wood, steel carriage house doors have the added benefits of being low-maintenance and durable, making them a good choice for homes in climates with more extreme seasonal changes. Steel carriage house doors can also be insulated via the use of composite, thus saving your garage and the vehicles inside from getting too drafty even in colder weather. Since carriage house doors are always the swing-out type of garage doors, they are also a good option if you want to keep your garage ceiling space free for storage or other purposes.

Roll-up Garage Doors 


If you don’t plan to use your garage’s ceiling for storage ... or you have limited outdoor driveway space that cannot accommodate swing-out doors, a roll-up door may be a better choice. They are much easier to open and close since they “roll up” quickly (as the name implies), as opposed to carriage house doors, which need to be opened by hand every time you use them. What’s more, roll-ups do not require any clearance space whatsoever to open. If you want the convenience of an automatic garage door, a roll-up door is probably your best bet.


Whether automatic or manual, roll-up doors also tend to be sturdier.

The Verdict: Curb Appeal vs. Convenience

Although you will find a larger selection of materials for sectional roll-up garage doors -- including aluminum, fiberglass, wood, composite, and steel -- the “curb appeal” of roll-up doors will not be as high as that of carriage house doors. If you’re willing to forego aesthetic considerations for convenience, however, roll-up doors are a great choice for a variety of home styles.

Are you still debating the merits of carriage doors versus roll-up doors? Contact a garage door professional to discuss which is right for your home. 

Get Free Quotes

Looking for a Pro? Call us at (866) 441-6648

Top Cities Covered by our Garage Door Pros

Get Free Quotes
  • Service Needed
  • Zip Code
Get quotes from qualified local contractors