Essential Design Concepts for Carriage Style Garage Doors

August 15, 2021

Historic carriage garage door recreations have become increasingly popular in recent years across the country. Homeowners who love these wooden garage doors are installing them because of their inherent beauty and traditional style that harkens back to a time when classic architecture was the norm in U.S. homes, in addition to their longevity. That’s why designers and architects are bringing this unique style back. Keep reading to learn about this distinctive style, defined by a few notable features. 

Carriage Door Styles

Traditional 18th and 19th-century carriage doors were designed in four major styles: 

  • Swing doors: garage doors that would open by swinging outward, generally upward or to the side. These types of carriage doors would generally come in one- or two-piece designs. 
  • Sliding doors: one-piece garage doors that would open by sliding to the slide. 
  • Tri-fold doors: multi-panel garage doors that would fold open in three pieces. 
  • Quad-fold doors multi-panel garage doors that would fold open in four pieces. 

The differences in these doors historically were both aesthetic and utilitarian. The ways in which a door opens can impact the space that is allowed for storage. Certain doors couldn’t be used because of space limitations. Modern carriage doors, while designed in one of these styles, do not suffer from these issues. Their design is aesthetic only, and they all open in the same manner: overhead. Choosing a carriage door style is a matter of preference only. 

Finer Details and Millwork

There are many design elements that can be added to historic carriage door recreations. When designing a traditional garage door, many design elements can be incorporated: 

  • Trim styles: no bucks, V bucks, A bucks, and X bucks 
  • Surface millwork: V tongue and groove or flush face tongue and groove 
  • Top sections: curved tops or rectangular tops. Top sections can also feature windows 
  • Hardware: hinges, handles, round or pyramid clavos, slide bar latches, or many other pieces can be incorporated 

Going Custom

Rules are meant to be broken. Even though you are following a set style from a certain period, customizations can be made. When working with a garage door manufacturer who specializes in custom wood doors, the sky is the limit. You can take any of these design concepts and alter them to perfectly fit the style of home where the door will be placed. When designing a carriage style door, find a manufacturer who can help you bring the concept to life. 


Have a specific design in mind? Get in touch with CAMBEK for a free consultation today.

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