garage door with windows

How to Design Custom Wood Garage Doors for Colonial Style Homes

February 8, 2024

Colonial style homes, with their symmetrical facades, central doorways, and multi-pane windows, exude a timeless elegance that continues to captivate architects and designers alike. While many of these homes didn’t originally come with an attached garage, newer built models (as well as renovations of older models) have integrated modern custom wood garage doors into their classic designs. Doing so requires designers to know the best ways to design a garage door for colonial homes to maintain their historical charm. How can architects, builders, and home designers design custom wood garage doors that complement and enhance the architectural integrity of colonial-style homes? 

Understanding Colonial Architecture

Before diving into garage door design, it’s crucial to understand the defining features of colonial architecture. Originating in the 1600s, this style of home has evolved quite a bit, but even newer iterations retain several core architectural characteristics: 

  • Symmetry: colonial homes often feature a balanced arrangement of windows and doors. 
  • Centralized Entrance: the centrally located front door is a hallmark of this housing style. 
  • Multi-pane Windows: windows with small panes, often in a six-over-six or nine-over-nine grid, add to the colonial charm. 
  • Classic Materials: wood, brick, and stone are traditional materials that offer a sense of warmth and durability. 

Designing the Right Wood Garage Door for A Colonial Home

When designing a garage door for a colonial-style home, it’s essential to echo the above architectural features to achieve a cohesive and intentional look. Here’s how to incorporate colonial elements into your custom wood garage door design: 

Garage Door Panel Styles

  • Raised Panels: opt for raised panel designs that mimic the look of traditional colonial doors. Consider using a symmetrical layout that reflects the balanced aesthetics of the architecture. 
  • Recessed Panels: for a subtler appearance, recessed panels can provide depth and interest without overwhelming the design. 

Garage Door Window Styles

  • Grid Patterns: incorporate multi-pane windows with grid patterns that match the home’s existing windows. A six-over-six or nine-over-nine grid can replicate the classic colonial look. 
  • Placement: windows should be placed in the upper section of the garage door to mimic the symmetry and proportion of colonial facades. 

Garage Door Decorative Hardware

  • Iron Hinges and Handles: adding wrought iron or blackened steel hardware can lend an authentic colonial feel. Choose designs that mirror the period’s hand-forged appearance. 
  • Strap Hinges: for a more rustic colonial look, strap hinges can add character and historical detail. 

Colonial Garage Door Color and Finish Options

  • Wood Stains: select wood stains that complement the home’s exterior color palette. Traditional colonial homes often feature natural wood finishes, so consider stains that enhance the wood’s beauty. 
  • Paint: if paint is preferred, choose colors historically accurate to the colonial period, such as deep blues, greens, or classic white. A high-quality paint finish will ensure durability and aesthetic appeal. 

Additional Garage Door Features

  • Custom Carvings: For a truly custom touch, consider incorporating wood carvings or decorative elements that reflect motifs found in colonial architecture, such as rosettes or fluted trim. 
  • Lighting: install period-appropriate lantern-style lights on either side of the garage door to provide illumination and enhance the colonial ambiance. 

Create a Custom Garage Door for a Colonial Home

Designing a custom wood garage door for a colonial-style home requires a delicate balance between historical accuracy and modern functionality. By paying careful attention to panel styles, window designs, decorative hardware, and finishes, architects, builders, and designers can create garage doors that not only match but elevate the home’s colonial charm. The result is a seamless blend of past and present, where tradition meets contemporary convenience in perfect harmony. Remember, the goal is to enhance the architectural beauty of the colonial home while ensuring the garage door stands as a testament to thoughtful design and craftsmanship. 


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