In most homes, the garage door is front and center in terms of visual impact. Your garage door makes an important aesthetic statement and it’s likely used more than once a day, making reliability a must. If your garage door is due for an update for any reason, you have more options than ever before in terms of style, material and features.
For most homes, contemporary styles are the best fit. In this guide, we’ll discuss everything you need to know to choose the perfect contemporary garage door in North Carolina.
What Is a Contemporary Garage Door?
Generally, a “contemporary” or “modern” garage door refers to whatever is most current and popular at the time. The best contemporary garage doors are designed with current trends in mind, but can also blend in seamlessly with multiple architectural styles. There are a number of current trends to look for in garage doors today, including:
- Bold earth tones: Look out for colors inspired by dust and earth, like terracotta, deep sunset orange or forest green. These muted yet powerful tones can make a striking addition to homes with a more daring look or add cultured appeal to more conservative designs.
- Industrial aesthetics: Metal frame doors in black or silver with fiberglass panes add a sleek, modern industrial look to the garage. Reinforced and glazed glass lets in light while remaining semi-opaque to protect your privacy.
- Multiple materials: It’s becoming more common to see garage doors made from more than one material for both aesthetic and practical purposes. A door made from aluminum, composite wood and fiberglass will be more durable and visually appealing than an aluminum-only door, for example.
- Better energy efficiency: The use of multiple materials can also lead to better insulation at a more affordable price point.
- Extended living space: More homeowners are realizing their garage is square footage that can be used for more than just storing vehicles. Contemporary garage doors can make a garage feel more like a living space by offering softened natural light that makes the space feel like a natural extension of your home.
- More connectivity: Contemporary garage doors now offer more digital connectivity than most people expect. Your garage door can now be operated from an app or even controlled with your home automation or vehicle systems for exceptional convenience and security.
- More customization: For those who want a unique appearance for their new garage door, there has never been a better time to customize. From the insulation level to the number and arrangement of windows, you have more options than ever to create a look that meshes with the design of your home.
Contemporary garage doors have more to offer than increased curb appeal. A new garage door has the potential to change how you use your garage space, save you money on energy and increase the value of your home, should you decide to sell.
Contemporary Garage Door Materials
There’s more to picking a garage door than you might realize. The choices you make will impact the cost, functionality, features and style. However, materials are the natural starting point for your decision-making. The material you choose will have a huge impact on price and durability, so understanding your options is a must. Contemporary garage doors are typically made out of:
1. Natural Wood
When you want to project luxury and class, there’s no material like natural wood doors. While they are commonly paired with traditional-style homes, wood doors can bring an air of elegance to more modern homes without looking out of place. Wood can be left natural or take on staining or painting, depending on the look you’re going for.
Natural wood garage doors are more affordable than most people think, but that affordability comes at the cost of maintenance requirements. Wood doors need to be repainted and re-finished every few years. They are also more susceptible to chipping, so families with kids who will play in the driveway might want to consider a more impact-friendly material. Natural wood is also susceptible to warping in high-humidity areas, but advances in coatings have made this less of an issue in recent years.
2. Composite Wood
Composite wood is even more budget-friendly. Composite doors are typically constructed from a wood frame and covered with fiberboard sheets. The higher quality the door, the higher the density and durability of the fiberboard. Composite doors can also convincingly imitate real wood through the use of overlays and grooves.
This type of wood door offers better insulation than natural wood, as the core of the door is generally filled with polystyrene insulation. However, composite wood shares some of the drawbacks of natural wood, such as vulnerability to humidity and impact damage.
Steel is the most popular material for contemporary garage doors. These doors come with a mid-range price tag and are very low-maintenance. They are also available in the widest array of style options, whether you’re looking for a painted door or one with a texture that imitates wood.
When shopping for a steel garage door, pay attention to the gauge. The lower the number of the gauge, the thicker the steel. High quality steel doors are often made with multiple layers of steel and insulation.
While steel is susceptible to rusting, quality doors come with coatings that make the material almost impervious to humidity.
Aluminum doors are the most lightweight choice and are very affordable. They also have the benefit of being rust-proof without the addition of any coatings. However, aluminum is much easier to dent than steel, making it less kid-friendly. The lightweight nature of this material also results in garage doors with less insulation.
Modern Garage Door Designs
Residential modern garage doors come in more designs than ever before. Because your new garage door is going to be a focal point of your home for years to come, it’s important to consider the following elements of design:
Whether you’re going for a solid paint color or a wood-like finish, you’ll have to consider what color your door should be. Contemporary garage door designs generally come in neutral tones from crisp white to beiges, grays and browns. Many people opt to match the color of their front door or a particular piece of trim, although this may not be the best design decision if your front door is a bold color like red or yellow.
Even if your home doesn’t have significant wood accents, a wood-imitating door can add sophistication and curb appeal. Brick homes, for example, look fantastic with a wood garage door.
One of the most important questions when reviewing contemporary garage door styles is the type of paneling you want. The most common type of paneling is the traditional raised panel. Another popular choice is recessed paneling, where the framing of the door stands out further than the individual panels. For an exceptionally sleek look that exemplifies the overlap between architectural modernism and contemporary style, consider flush paneling which is completely flat.
Many modern garage door styles have multiple styles of panel available. You may be able to choose from one panel per horizontal section or decide to go for a design with four or more panels per section, for example.
Windows in garage doors serve two purposes: aesthetics and better lighting. Many people simply like the way windows make their garage door look, especially if the front of the home has similar windows or could use more. The most common way to incorporate windows is in a row at the top of the door, but some doors come with options like a column of windows on one side, or even full window coverage.
If you use your garage for anything other than parking, such as a workshop or laundry room, the additional light can make the space more inviting and reduce the need for artificial lighting.
Modern Garage Door Features
In addition to looks, there are a variety of features available in modern garage doors that you should consider when making your decision. These features affect how your door will function and how durable it will be:
1. Wind Resistance
A garage door is a large, flat surface, making it more susceptible to wind than other doors. Even if your area is not particularly well-known for weather events involving wind, you want a garage door that can withstand long periods of high winds and strong gusts. North Carolina has specific requirements for garage doors in high-wind zones, with a minimum wind resistance doors have to meet. Doors with windows often face stronger restrictions.
The requirements can be complex and challenging to interpret, but most garage door manufacturers view wind resistance as a critical selling point. Clopay, for example, provides an in-depth guide to understanding wind codes, so you can confidently choose a door that is up to code for your area.
A garage door’s level of insulation can make a big difference in the comfort of your garage and your energy bills. While opening the garage door will always result in an influx of hot or cold air outside, having adequate insulation reduces fluctuations overall. When it’s cold outside, door insulation keeps in more of the warmth absorbed from the adjacent rest of the house. When it’s hot outside, insulation will allow the interior of the garage to heat up less.
If you use your garage for anything other than parking, good insulation is a must. Even if the garage only houses vehicles, better insulation can make a significant dent in your energy bill.
Modern garage doors are operable with the touch of a button, but there are even more features in the opener that many people don’t know about that can make your door more responsive. For example, some doors and openers can connect to home automation systems that allow you to control the door remotely.
Likewise, some doors are compatible with the on-board smart systems of certain vehicles. Others interface directly with your Wi-Fi, so you can control the door with an app — which comes in handy when you accidentally leave the door open. Or, you can go for an opener with an auto-close functionality, so forgetting to close the door never becomes a problem in the first place.
How Much Does a Modern Garage Door Cost?
First, it’s important to consider this home improvement project in terms of return on investment. When you’re about to spend a significant amount of money on a project, you want to know that it will add value to your home, and garage door replacements do just that. According to Remodeling Magazine, garage door replacement provides the second-highest ROI in the South Atlantic region at 86.1 percent.
There are many factors that will affect the cost of your contemporary garage door, such as choosing higher end materials or opting for significant customization.
The most expensive doors can cost multiple thousands of dollars, while you can choose the other end of the spectrum at just a few hundred. As with any product, you get what you pay for, so the less you pay for your door, the less durable and well-insulated it will be. It’s also worth noting that the cheapest doors almost never meet wind codes.
You also need to consider the cost of the door opener. Many options come with a standard opener, but that’s not always the case. If you are replacing a lightweight door with a heavier one, such as going from aluminum to steel, you may need a new opener with more power to handle the extra weight. Alternatively, you may just want an upgraded opener with better features.
When you’re shopping for a modern garage door and aren’t sure about the costs of certain door types, it helps to choose your installation company first, so they can help you narrow down your choices. You can let them know what your budget range is, and they can provide you with options that fit, so you don’t have to waste time separating the doors you can afford from the ones you can’t.
Contact Marvin’s Garage Doors for Contemporary Garage Doors Today
If you’re looking to install a new garage door in northwestern North Carolina, Marvin’s Garage Doors is here to help. We have been serving Winston-Salem, Wilkesboro and all of Piedmont Triad since 1970, and it shows in our expertise.
We are proud to be a Clopay Master Authorized Dealer, carrying a wide range of their quality doors in contemporary and other styles. With 12 of the best base models and countless customization options, we can help you find the garage door that suits your style and budgetary needs.
To learn more about your options, contact us online. If you have an idea in mind, you can request an estimate directly. Or, if you’d just like to envision how a certain door would look on your home, you can use our Door Imagination System to bring your vision to life. Wherever you are in the process of shopping for a new garage door, Marvin’s Garage Doors is your top resource.