Like other exterior doors, garage doors are becoming an integral part of a home's architectural statement while providing security and protection against the elements. The biggest trend, according to manufacturers, is the shift to the garage door as fashion statement, rather than just a commodity product.

Recognizing that nearly one-third (or more) of the front of many homes is taken up by the garage, homeowners are putting a little more thought into the door that covers that space. The style that is currently finding favor is the carriage-house garage door. “More and more homeowners are really looking for the extra styling that goes into these doors. It gives more character to a home,” says Beth Tillotson of Overhead Door.

Carriage-house doors, as the name implies, traditionally were placed on the outbuildings where horse-drawn carriages — and later, the first automobiles — were stored. They swung, folded, or slid open, and were crafted from various types of wood.

The old-fashioned appearance of these doors has been reproduced with roll-up operation by many manufacturers, both stock and custom, for several years, but they have primarily been made from wood. “Carriage-house garage doors as we have known them are beautiful, but they're expensive and hard to maintain,” says Richard Brenner, CEO for Amarr.

To sidestep this maintenance and cost issue while still lending a traditional flavor to homes, several manufacturers are now offering carriage-house garage doors in a steel or steel composite construction. Most have a wood-grained surface to give the look of a natural wood garage door, even when painted. “They're virtually maintenance-free, but you have the look of a high-end carriage-house door,” says Clopay's director of residential marketing Pat Lohse.

Steel or steel and composite carriage-house garage doors offer many decorative options: glass lights, decorative straps and hinges, and the appearance of a traditional folding, sliding, or swinging carriage-house door.

courtesy Overhead Door

Overhead Door. Constructed with the maker's Thermacore metal-foam-metal layered system, the Renaissance Collection garage doors provide an R-value of 12.76. Fourteen designs in carriage-house door styles are available, and all feature a wood-grain finish on the steel sections and moldings. (800) 929-3667.

courtesy Clopay

Clopay. The Coachman Collection of steel garage doors is available in three styles and features a wood-grain embossed steel exterior in white, almond, or sandtone. White wood-grain embossed PVC overlays create a carriage-house design. Constructed with interior and exterior steel layers, the garage doors have a 13/8-inch-thick insulation layer that provides an R-value of 6.5. (800) 225-6729.

courtesy Jeld-Wen

Jeld-Wen. The Carriage House Series of composite garage doors offers a wide range of styles, including classic swing, traditional craftsman, and modern designs with deep-relief panels and wood-grained patterns, with or without window grids. The garage doors are constructed from a durable composite material throughout. (800) 877-9482.

courtesy Summit Door

Summit Door. Designed to provide a quality carriage-style wood garage door at an economical price, the Builders Choice Collection features a four-layer construction and polystyrene insulation. Five designs are available in paint- or stain-grade wood facing options in standard heights and widths with several glass options. (888) 768-3667.

courtesy Amarr

Amarr. Featuring the maker's DuraSafe pinch-resistant design, Classica Collection steel carriage-house garage doors are available in four styles: Lucern, Valencia, Santiago, and Tuscany. The wood-grain patterns are pressed into the steel exterior of the garage door, rather than applied in an overlay. A choice of six decorative glass window designs and two closed-top designs are available. (800) 503-3667.

courtesy Chamberlain Professional Products

Chamberlain Professional Products. The Lift-Master EverCharge Battery Backup System is designed to maintain garage door functions during power outages and features a trickle charge that plugs directly into the garage door opener system. Continuous service to the opener, remote control, keyless entry, and control panel is maintained. (800) 323-2276.

courtesy Wayne-Dalton

Wayne-Dalton. Available in three styles — the Estate, Contemporary, and Traditional collections — Designer Series steel carriage-house garage doors are constructed with a pinch-resistant design. Glass light options are available. (800) 827-3667.

courtesy GADCO

GADCO. Part of the Presidential series, the Lincoln carriage-house garage door is one of eight wooden styles available in the line. The doors are available in 8- to 18-foot widths and 7- to 8-foot heights. Each door comes standard with 2- or 41/2-inch insulated glass lights in arched or square designs. (800) 323-0813.

courtesy Raynor

Raynor. The American Rivers Collection of wood carriage-house garage doors includes the Vermilion, Columbia, Potomac, and Savannah models. Each is constructed from a solid 13/8-inch-thick Douglas fir frame with a stain- or paint-ready exterior. (815) 288-1431.

courtesy Designer Doors

Designer Doors. Tested to withstand 140-mph winds and impact capacity, the Hurricane Frame garage door features a solid clear Doug fir frame captured with exterior plywood on both sides. A variety of wood species and options like simulated divided lights with impact glass are available. (800) 241-0525.

For more product information, visit, Hanley Wood's interactive product catalog.