The Ultimate Buyer’s Guide to Contemporary Garage Doors

Sometimes, our houses need a significant overhaul. In this case, it might be time to redo everything — the roof, the siding, the windows, the doors and more. In other cases, however, it’s much simpler than that. Maybe the majority of your house is in good shape, and you just need one small change to spruce things up and get your home looking fresh and exciting again. In situations like these, we think a simple garage door replacement is often the way to go.

Garage doors are often a prominent feature on the front of your house, and yet we somehow find them easy to forget about in conversations about home remodels. While it’s true they might not be as flashy as other hot-ticket items, they still have a lot to offer, both regarding function and aesthetic value. That is why they make such an excellent candidate for replacement if you’re looking for a change, but aren’t quite ready to redo your entire house.

However, like any major decision, choosing a new garage door is an intimidating chore. There are so many options, and it can be difficult to know which is the best choice for you. That’s why today, we want to walk you through some of the top options available so you can feel better equipped to make the right decision for your house.

What Are Modern and Contemporary Styles?

When you set about updating your garage doors, you’ll no doubt want an updated and current look that will age well and won’t leave you looking impossibly dated in just a few short years. To do this, you might immediately assume you’ll want to look for a style that’s modern or contemporary, right? After all, aren’t those just two different terms for the same thing?

Not quite, actually. In reality, these are two separate terms that refer to different things. Because it’s important to understand the terminology you’ll be working with, let’s look at what each of these terms means.

1. Modern

We might easily assume this is just a generic, throwaway term that refers to a design from the modern day, but this isn’t true. “Modern” refers to a specific period and a particular style of architecture. Modern architecture — in our case, garage doors — is a style that gained popularity in the 1930s and flourished during the mid- to late-1900s. Frank Lloyd Wright, perhaps most famous for his home design called Fallingwater, was a huge pioneer and influencer of this style.

Just a few of the hallmarks that set this style apart include:

  • Asymmetrical lines and composition
  • Frequent reliance on geometric or cylindrical shapes
  • Flat roof lines
  • General preference for whites and creams
  • Overall streamlined look characterized by the absence of ornament or moldings
  • Glass and metal frameworks that frequently create large windows in wide horizontal bands
  • Heavy use of reinforced concrete

While not every modern space will make use of all these different style choices, these are some of the frequent trends you’ll notice among many modern designs.

2. Contemporary

Contemporary, on the other hand, does not refer to a specific time. Rather, this term refers to whatever style of architecture is presently “in style.” In other words, contemporary architecture is always changing because the current trends and styles are always changing. One might easily define contemporary style as “whatever is currently popular.”

An important note to clarify is that, at least for now, modern styles are contemporary. That is to say, modern designs are currently fashionable, making them a contemporary style. In this way, there is currently a good bit of overlap between the two terms, even though this will not always be the case.

Choosing a Contemporary Garage Door Style

Of course, it’s not as simple as having only one style of contemporary garage door. While that might make things easier for you, it would also be far less interesting. Instead, many different types of modern garage door designs all exemplify different parts of the modern style. This way, everyone can pick a style and design that best fits their home and their personal aesthetic.

Let’s look at just a few of the major differences and the different style choices you’ll want to make going forward.

Modern Garage Door Materials

What are modern garage doors made out of? As it turns out, there are a few popular options you’ll want to decide between as you look at what door will be best for you. No one material is the best, as every material has benefits and drawbacks, and you should base your decision on the qualities and personal preferences that are most important to you.

1. Wood

Wood garage doors bring a natural beauty and elegance that’s hard to resist. They feel traditional and classic, while somehow avoiding the feeling of being old-fashioned, making them a versatile choice that can fit well with older styles of homes and more contemporary designs alike.

Wood garage doors do take a little bit of extra work, as you will need to repaint or re-stain them every few years to maintain their appearance. Additionally, real wood might not be the best choice if you expect your garage door to withstand rough treatment regularly. For example, if your door will frequently encounter heavy amounts of snow, ice, wind, road-salt and blunt force accidents, wood might not be the ideal material for your setting. Instead, you might want to opt for a slightly sturdier material.

If you’re willing to perform a little bit of maintenance, however, and if you expect your garage door to live a fairly calm and quiet life, a wood door is an excellent choice. It brings so much organic charm and character to your home you’ll be sure to enjoy for years to come.

2. Steel

If your garage doors are going to need to withstand rougher treatment, we recommend the steel option. These doors are typically built to take a beating and can withstand much harsher treatment than an ordinary wooden door. They require less maintenance, as well. Because they’re so durable, they’ll only need an occasional cleaning or touchup job every so often, if that.

Worried steel will automatically lock you into a more industrial look, with little room for customization? Don’t be. Steel can come in many different looks. If you have your heart set on a more wood-based look but need the higher level of durability, steel can even come in a faux-wood appearance, among many others.

3. Aluminum

Another option is aluminum, which grants you a wide range of color and other customization options. They offer the benefit of peace of mind, as they require almost no maintenance. One of the significant drawbacks, however, is that they’re often less insulated. If you’re worried about extreme temperatures, that will certainly be something to keep in mind.

Contemporary Garage Door Designs

While it would be impossible to discuss every feature of every single contemporary garage door design you might encounter while shopping for your new doors, there are a few common threads you’ll begin to notice as you shop around. Let’s look at a few of the common trends in several different categories.

1. Colors

In years past, color options were much more limited. Many homes stuck to the basics and chose either white or almond. Now, however, color options vary much more widely. While more neutral tones of white, gray and wood stains are probably the most common, there are many more colors as well. Choose from a variety of different wood tones, blacks, grays, whites, creams and more as you select the garage doors that will work best with the rest of your home.

Keep in mind every style of door will have a select set of color options available, so if you fall in love with one specific color, not every door may offer it, and vice versa.

2. Features

Contemporary garage door designs have a lot to offer. While every design is different, they tend to be more durable, more convenient and more functional than designs of the past, all while maintaining an attractive aesthetic. Some of the excellent features you’ll likely experience with your contemporary doors include:

  • Smooth opening mechanism
  • Sleek, modern design
  • Ease of maintenance, in varying degrees depending on the specific door you select
  • Heavy-duty durability
  • Effective insulation

3. Windows

Traditional garage doors often have a row of multiple small windows along the top. Many contemporary designs follow this pattern as well, although some doors break away from this tradition. Some modern designs feature windows positioned vertically down the side of the doors. Other doors feature large panels that act as windows, taking up a good percentage of the door. Some doors may not even have windows at all.

Staying Within Your Budget

Staying inside your budget can be tricky on any big purchase, and garage doors are no different. However, buying garage doors is nothing to stress out about. If you’ve never purchased garage doors before, you might be expecting to pay astronomically high prices. In reality, however, we think you’ll be surprised by just how affordable garage doors can be. They come in a wide range of prices, so no matter what size budget you’re working with, you’ll be able to find something that’s just right for you.

If you’re concerned about the cost, one of the ways to cut back on the price is by choosing a more affordable door style. Another option is to complete the installation yourself. We don’t recommend DIY installation unless you feel very comfortable with tools and have done previous installations before, however, as it’s all too easy for something to go wrong.

The price of your garage door will likely vary based on several different factors, including the door you buy, the amount of labor required, your location and more. A rough average of the price you can expect to pay, however, is just slightly under $1,100. For more specific estimates, contact your garage door providers and browse their individual products.

Most Popular Contemporary Garage Door Styles in Charlotte, NC

If you’re looking to upgrade to a more modern garage door design in Charlotte, NC, you’re not alone. Plenty of other North Carolina residents have been making the same choice, so you’re in good company. Let’s look at some of the contemporary garage doors that have been popping up around Charlotte, NC.

1. Modern Steel

This sleek design looks right at home in almost any modern homes. Mix things up from your typical garage door design with the windows along the top and the neatly spaced-out panels to enjoy the fresh twist this door offers. The surface of the door is smooth steel for a streamlined look, and the windows come in a variety of design options that let you choose the appearance you like best. A variety of colors and finishes also give you plenty of aesthetic options to help finish off this modern steel look.

2. Canyon Ridge Collection Modern Steel

Searching for the strength, durability and easy maintenance of steel, but the classic appeal of wood? Look no further than the Canyon Ridge Collection Modern Steel. These doors offer all the benefits of steel, combined under a faux-wood finish. Choose whether you want your windows down one side of the door, both sides, spaced out evenly along the door or nonexistent. You’ll also get to choose from a variety of different finishes and colors, letting you truly design a one-of-a-kind door for yourself.

3. Reserve Wood Collection Modern Series

If you think it’s impossible to beat real wood when it comes to sheer style, texture and class, let us point you in the direction of the Reserve Wood Collection Modern Series. These doors offer spectacular insulation, a gorgeous wood finish and many design options to choose from. Choose your window positioning, your wood finish, your accent strips and more, all while maintaining that sleek, modern look you’re looking for in your contemporary home.

Visit RCS Carolinas and Shop Contemporary Garage Doors Today

Looking for wood, steel or glass garage doors in Charlotte, NC? Stop by RCS Carolinas today and find the garage door you’ve been looking for. We offer a vast array of designs, from modern designs to more traditional styles. Whether you’re looking for a streamlined minimalist look or an elegant carriage-house door, we think you’ll be able to find something you like.

Selling high-quality Clopay doors isn’t the only thing we do, either. We also offer garage door repairs and installation. So if you aren’t looking to replace your door quite yet and are just looking for some repairs, we can help you out there as well. And if you already purchased a door and are just looking for a bit of assistance with the installation, we’ll be right there with you.

Browse our full selection of garage doors today, and remember to think of us as your one-stop shop for everything garage doors — from buying to installing and even maintenance throughout the years to come. Get a quote today to get started with your garage door buying experience.

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