Move over, front door, the garage door has become America's favorite entryway. For better or worse, we're more likely to go in and out of our homes with the click of a remote than the turn of a key.
Unlike the detached one-car structures found at the end of driveways 50 years ago, today's two- and three-bay garages are wholly integrated into the home's footprint. They occupy a prominent chunk of prime visual real estate as well: about 33 percent of an average street-side facade. Yet, for many years garage doors remained stuck in the Dodge Dart era, just blank slabs of stamped steel or painted plywood.
That began to change about 10 years ago as custom manufacturers began adding carriage-house door details, such as X-shaped braces and decorative hardware, to rival the hinges and handles used on entry doors. It was a design revolution that has since filtered down to home centers, where you can now get distinctive garage doors in wood, steel, fiberglass, vinyl—even glass—to match almost any architectural style, including ones that predate the auto.
So if your garage is due for a face-lift, read on for tips on getting the right door type, material, and look for your home and budget. It's an upgrade you'll appreciate with every click of that remote.
Similar to shown: Carriage House Door Co. model 305i in insulated steel with composite overlay trim. $2,000;