Monthly Archives: September 2013

Custom Carriage House Garage Doors

Most major garage door manufacturers offer a line of doors in the Carriage House style.  These doors are normally more expensive than the base metal panel garage door, but for the extra money you get a striking enhancement to your home’s curb appeal and general overall appearance.

Carriage doors come in various materials and window and hardware treatment.  Most people think of natural wood when considering this type of door, but you can get the same style in a composite material or stamped steel that will give you the look of natural wood.

Most wood garage doors are constructed of Western Cedar or Clear Hemlock Fir.  The construction can be a combination of wood, insulation and composite material as well.  If you are considering purchasing this type of garage door, your best bet is to call a reputable garage door company and let them give you an overview of the options available.  Trying to research information available on the hundreds of style and material combinations on your own can be a daunting task, so we recommend you save yourself a lot of time and just give your local company an call.

If you do decide to go with natural wood, be aware of the recommended maintenance requirements of this material.  Here is information from a major garage door manufacturer concerning finish of their wood carriage house garage doors:

The finish on your door must be inspected for discoloration and coating delamination every 12 months and more frequently if exposed to direct sunlight or harsh environmental conditions. The door must be re-coated with a layer of exterior grade, UV resistant, clear protective topcoat at least every 2 years for maximum longevity. In locations of severe weather exposure, more frequent maintenance may be required. We recommend Minwax® Helmsman® Spar Urethane or Minwax® Clear-Shield™.  We recommend a Minwax® gel stain or high quality exterior-grade latex paint. Gel stains tend to be more vivid than paints in final appearance; however exterior-grade latex paints tend to last longer.

Custom Composite garage doors

If you decide against natural wood, a composite option is available.  Here is some info from their website on a composite door from Coplay, one of our recommended suppliers.

Full cladding and overlay faux wood Carriage House doors combine the beauty and texture of natural wood with the energy efficiency of an insulated steel door.


composite door construction

composite door construction


Canyon Ridge® Collection Limited Edition Series carriage house doors are constructed of an energy efficient, durable steel core and finished with full composite cladding and overlays that have the appearance of authentic wood doors. The cladding and overlay materials are molded from actual wood pieces to replicate the natural texture and intricate grain patterns of the species they emulate.  These two layers are attached to an Intellicore® polyurethane insulated steel door for added strength and energy efficiency.  The end result is a distinctive, customized wood-look door that is often indistinguishable from the real thing.

Canyon Ridge® Collection Ultra-Grain® Series doors featuring Intellicore® insulation technology present a  smart choice for homeowners. Clopay’s Intellicore is proprietary polyurethane foam that is injected into a garage door, expanding to fill the entire structure. The result is a door with incredible strength and durability. Its dense insulation also produces a quieter door, while it’s industry-leading 18.4 R-value provides year-round comfort and improved energy efficiency.

Steel Carriage House Door

You can get the ruggedness of steel construction and still retain the look of a traditional wood carriage door.  It provides a good combination of features and value.  In addition to fine detailing and low maintenance, General Doors, another of our recommended suppliers, offer many features in their steel carriage garage door like:

 Natural woodgrain texture with a beaded panel design

  • Unique center bead creates authentic old-time swinging door look
  • 24 gauge hot-dipped galvanized steel skin   (17% thicker than 25 gauge steel)
  • Durable 2-coat baked-on polyester paint finish
  • 2” thick sections assembled using Tog-L-Lock fastening system
  • Resilient bottom weatherstrip in aluminum retainer to minimize air infiltration
  • Heavy duty hardware and standard design full leaf hinge



How To Save Money on a New Garage Door

If you are considering replacing your old garage door here are a few things for your consideration that could save you some money on a new garage door

These tips are for those of you on a budget.  If you are fortunate enough to have an unlimited amount of money to spend on your new garage door,  you should not have to read any further.  In that case your biggest problem will be having to choose among the almost unlimited styles and colors of doors available.  We will cover that topic for you in a later post.

Can You Install the Door Yourself?

If you have a bit of skill in this area and some time on your hands, you might consider buying your door and installing it yourself.  This can lead to some savings.

Downsides to a self install:

  • You might be surprised at the amount of savings you will receive.  Many reputable garage door companies will be getting the garage door and all the hardware at a reduced cost, so the installation costs you save might not be as much as you would expect.
  • Preloading  and releasing the tension on a torsion spring can be extremely dangerous to the uninitiated.  We do not recommend the homeowner try this.
  • Getting the job done right, and maintaining your warranty.  A good local overhead door company will provide a guarantee on their work, should anything go wrong later.
  • Disposing of your old door.  The overhead door company that installs your new door will haul off your old door as part of the installation cost.  Removing and recycling your old door can be a problem for DIY’ers.

Shop around – get some quotes.  This is much easier to do than the first option and is a no brainer.  You should get a couple (or more) quotes from local overhead door companies.  Get some references while you are at it.  Make sure your quotes are for the same product and services.

Don’t pay for features you don’t need

  • Insulation. If you live in a very temperate climate, you might not need as much insulation in your door that you would in harsher climates.  Be aware that insulation also provides noise reduction as well as temperature control.  An uninsulated garage door will create more noise during operation.
  • Style.  There are some really beautiful custom and carriage style doors available.  Yes, they would look great on your house, and even though a new custom door can totally change the curb appeal of your home, if you are on a budget, you might want to consider a more standard model.
  • Garage door openers.  If your door is lightweight and you won’t be operating it more than a normal amount, you probably won‘t need an industrial type door opener.  Belt drive openers will provide a quieter operation but will normally cost more than a chain drive model.  If you don’t have a room over the garage, you might not be too worried about the extra noise.   The more expensive models will have a batter backup system to allow operation when you experience a loss of power and an automatic closer when you drive off and forget to close the door.  You should review these options and choose those that you feel  you have to have if you are on a budget.

Pick a reputable garage door company.  If you are not careful, you could save a little money up front, only to shell out a lot more later if the garage door is not a quality product or the installation is not done properly.  Steich Overhead Doors have been in business in the northeast Pennsylvania area for more than 30 years, and we will gladly give you a competitive estimate.  Guaranteed no sales pressure. Give us a call at 215-795-2500.