Buyer’s Guide to Custom Residential Garage Doors in Charlotte, NC

choosing a faux wood garage door

You’ve customized your phone, you’ve customized your car — you’ve even customized your lunch order today. Why not customize your garage door too? 

Since 63 percent of homes have a garage or carport in the United States, customizing your garage door is a great way to set your garage — and your home — apart from the rest. Customizing your garage door allows you to select the materials, colors and style that best fit your home’s architecture — and your budget. 

However, customizing isn’t just about making your garage door more personal. In some cases, garage door openings aren’t a standard size, so customizing your door is the only way to make sure it fits properly. Or, your home’s architecture may require a certain type of door to stay true to its design.

Whatever the reason, customizing your garage door is a great way to make sure you get exactly what you want. Before you select a door, check out our comprehensive guide to custom garage door options.

Designing Your Custom Garage Door

designing a custom garage door

You’ll first need to consider why you want a customized garage door. Why not buy a more standard option? Do you require a non-standard size? Are you looking to increase your home’s curb appeal? Do you have a vision for your home in mind? 
Knowing your motivation for customizing a garage door is an important first step because it helps you focus your search. It’s also helpful because, if you opt to purchase a custom garage door, it’s a good idea to work closely with a professional garage door sales and repair company like RCS Carolinas. Our experienced sales staff can guide you through the design and selection process to help you choose the right garage door for your needs.
If you’re in the market for a new garage door, we always recommend using Clopay’s Door Imagination System. This design tool lets you see how different custom garage door designs will look on your home. We love it because it takes the guesswork out of trying to select a door. As you’re going through this system, it also helps you understand how the different aspects of customization work and what matches your specific needs and wants.

Choosing a Garage Door Style

One of the first things to decide when you’re looking at custom garage door options is what style you want for your home. The style refers to the shape and design of the door. The style you choose is typically based on your home’s architecture — modern, traditional, historic, etc.
In general, you can choose from three custom garage door styles:

1. Contemporary

A contemporary door typically has a lot of glass windows and a wood or aluminum frame. These doors go nicely with a home that’s more modern in its design because they compliment it nicely. Contemporary doors also have some great applications in commercial locations, such as restaurants, hotels and auto repair shops. 

2. Traditional

A traditional-style door typically has a series of raised panels. It’s called traditional because, if you drive around your neighborhood, it’s the most common garage door design you’ll see. It can come with or without windows and can be made from a variety of materials, including wood, steel or aluminum. These doors are a good choice for homes with more traditional architecture., such as ranch-style homes or typical two-story colonial homes.

3. Carriage House

Carriage house garage doors are designed to look like old fashioned swing-out barn or carriage house doors, but provide the modern convenience of overhead garage doors. These increasingly popular doors provide a fresh look to homes of all kinds because they manage to look elegant and rustic all at once. They look great on colonial homes, ranch-style homes, Victorian homes and just about anything in between. Custom carriage garage doors are available in wood or steel, which also makes them an affordable way to improve your home’s curb appeal. 

Garage Door Material & Insulation Options

Garage door material and insulation

Insulated garage doors are great because, when combined with other energy-saving measures, they save you money on your energy bills and help keep your home at a comfortable temperature throughout the year. They’re also important if you use your garage as a workspace, since you’ll want more moderate temperatures while you’re fixing vehicles or working on other home-improvement projects.
Insulation is placed inside your garage door, but what material goes around it is also important to your selection process. When it comes to custom garage door materials, you can choose from: 

1. Wood

Custom wood garage doors continue to be popular because of their beauty. There is nothing like the natural look of a wood garage door to take your home to the next level. Wood is also durable. As long as wood garage doors are maintained properly, they can stand up to the elements in just about any climate. They can also take a beating if you have kids who like to play in the driveway and have a tendency to run their bikes into the door or throw a basketball at it. If you’re interested in a real wood garage door, remember that it will require annual maintenance to keep it looking good and to protect it from cracks or warping that can weaken the door over time. 

2. Steel

Steel doors are a great option if you’re looking for a garage door that’s durable and affordable. If you’re torn between the durability of steel and the beauty of wood, there is a great compromise. By using a combination of steel layers and composite overlays, Clopay offers a steel door that looks like traditional wood. It’s strong, beautiful and less expensive than an all-wood door. Steel doors are also a great option if you’re looking for a door that doesn’t require a lot of maintenance once it’s installed. Other than periodic cleaning with a hose, steel doors don’t require regular maintenance or painting to stay beautiful.

3. Aluminum and Glass

Aluminum and glass doors are a great choice if you’re looking for a modern design. They’re also popular because they let so much natural light into your garage. This is a big bonus if your garage doubles as a workshop. Besides their appearance, these doors are durable and low maintenance. It won’t take a lot of work to keep them looking nice. And, if you’re worried about having all that glass at street-level, the glass can also be customized to ensure privacy from prying eyes. 

Choosing the Right Color

Next, you’ll have to choose a stain or paint color for your new door. Customizing your garage door’s color allows it to blend nicely with the rest of your home’s exterior. 
Many homeowners opt for a traditional white door. White is classy and blends in nicely with just about any home design. It can also be easier than trying to match paint colors, especially if your home’s front door and shutters are painted in a color that would be overpowering in large amounts.
If you don’t want a traditional white door, always consider the colors of your shutters and exterior doors. As a general rule of thumb, if you’re choosing a color or shade of stain, it should complement what you already have. For example, if you have a mahogany-stained front door, then consider opting for a similar stain for your garage door. 
In some cases, you can select a color that pairs well with the color of your siding. But the best way to make your garage door pop is to choose one that compliments the little touches already in place.
Matching and selecting colors to compliment your home’s existing exterior details can be challenging. Let our team of experienced design professionals help. We can provide advice on the best shades and colors for your home. 
When it comes to color selection, you’ll generally need to choose either a stain or paint:

1. Stain

If you’re choosing a wood garage door, then a nice stain is a great way to enhance the beauty of the wood fibers. Stains are available in a variety of light and dark shades, so you can choose one that will coordinate nicely with your home’s exterior. Certain composites and aluminum options can also be covered in a similar fashion, giving you the look of natural wood grain but the durability of another material. Although these are not technically a “stain,” they provide the look of the wood grain. 

2. Paint

Paint can be used on any type of material you’ve chosen for your garage door. There are a lot of colors to choose from, so when you select a door, RCS Carolinas can help you match a paint color with your home’s existing trim, shutters and front door. We also use a high-quality latex paint that won’t need a lot of upkeep or maintenance to keep it looking fresh and new. 

Window Options for Your Custom Door

Each style of garage door — traditional, contemporary or carriage house — can be purchased with or without windows. Some people like windows in their garage door because they let in natural light and add extra visual details to the design. Other people prefer to avoid windows because they don’t want people looking into their garage.
Windows are a beautiful way to customize and add special details to a garage door of any style. And, if you want the benefits of natural light without the risk of someone looking in your garage, you can customize the glass panels, so someone looking from the outside won’t be able to see what’s inside. 
If you opt to have windows in your door, certain styles will also allow you to select where they’re placed. This includes placing them higher up on the door so that someone walking past wouldn’t be tall enough to look in. 

Custom Hardware Selection

custom hardware selection

One final way to customize the appearance of your garage door is with hardware. Well-placed handles or decorative hinges can provide a stunning finishing touch. Although you can technically put hardware on any door, it’s important to make sure you’re selecting hardware that compliments the style of your door. 
For example, if you opt for double handles, these are a great addition to a carriage house-style door because they are reminiscent of the swing-out doors that inspired today’s more modern design. If you opt for hinges or step plates, make sure they also fit the design of the door and, perhaps most importantly, make sure they match each other and are an appropriate length for the door they’re being placed on. 

Do You Need a Custom Size Garage Door?

What are the sizes of garage doors? Typically, standard residential garage doors are available in the following widths: 8′, 9′, 10′, 12′, 14′, 15′, 15’6″, 16′ and 18′. If your door’s width does not fit one of these standard sizes, certain Clopay models can be customized in 2″ increments. 
Variations on standard door heights — which typically range from 6′ to 8′ — are also available. Our experienced sales staff can help with measuring and identifying which doors can be customized to fit the available space. 
If you aren’t sure whether you need custom-size garage doors, we can help obtain accurate measurements and guide you toward the best options for your home.

Contact RCS for Custom Garage Doors in Charlotte, NC

There’s nothing like a new garage door to increase your home’s curb appeal and value. In fact, a new garage door has a 97.5 percent return on investment. It’s a cost-effective way to improve your home’s curb appeal and increase your chances of selling at the price you want. But even if you aren’t moving anytime soon, a new garage door is a great way to spice up your home’s exterior.
If you’re looking for a custom residential garage door in Charlotte, N.C., let RCS Carolinas help. Our experienced sales team can walk you through each step of the process, from identifying the type of door you like to measuring what size door you’ll need. 
Serving the Charlotte area for more than 30 years, we proudly sell a wide selection of Clopay garage doors — including Clopay custom garage doors — and Liftmaster garage door openers and accessories. Once you’ve selected the products you need, our experienced technicians are ready to provide custom garage door installation and maintenance over the lifespan of the door. 
Stop by our showroom or contact us for a free estimate today.

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