Just a few years ago a garage door was just a door to hide stuff in the garage, now it’s an entry statement, a gateway to a man cave or a design element to your home. Scottsdale and Phoenix Arizona are great places to see the transformation because of its rich history of unique desert architecture that spans over many types of architectural themes and design concepts over the years. In Old Scottsdale we have examples of early carports and single car garages next to and attached to the house. Most of these covers did not have large doors to close them up. These were places for the transportation equipment, lawnmowers or bikes. They were mostly open spaces with roofs on them. The structures with doors, had doors that either swung out or in. That function drove the design. The Z’s and X’s in those doors were not there for looks, they were there to help keep the door from sagging on the ends. Now we know those designs as Carriage House styles. Sounds better doesn’t it?
As the automobile became more precious and perhaps the toys more expensive, a place to keep them safe, out of the weather became increasingly important, thus the custom garage was born. In Scottsdale you can see different types of old style garages. Most are separate buildings. Smaller ones had one opening with the more affluent having two, some houses have even 14 car garages. Swing doors in these garages became a problem because of the amount of space it required to operate. Because of this the old school aluminum sectional garage door was created. Early designs, like carriage doors, were made of wood and took on the look of squares or rectangles. Spring systems were developed to lift them up. The doors themselves became lighter since they were made out of metal or a new material called fiberglass. Though the basic rectangle and square designs stayed the same.
Most of today’s home designs include a garage area where 2 doors are the norm, or one large door to allow two cars to be stored. But what about the design? Now they’ve become part of the homes design, character and overall curb appeal. A garage now takes up about 1/3 of the home’s space, so designers are looking at a garage door as a major element in the look of a home. The designs of squares and rectangles are now cliché’ and being replaced with the older designs of Z’s and X’s. The materials of metal and fiberglass are again being replaced by wood, but also Azek, PVC, Permex, and many other new composite materials, or custom treated or tempered materials to add that rustic or new age look. The idea of what garage door is supposed to do has also changed. In the beginning the door was only supposed to go up and down, but now it has become a structural element in the design of a house with a tested design pressure rating, and insulation element, a security door.
In every way a garage door is an architectural element of a home design and should be given as much thought as the front door or window. Take a look at some of the pictures, tell me which one you prefer or take a tour through your town and notice the different styles of doors. Today, the garage door does more than just to hide your stuff.