A Quick Guide to Garage Door Styles and Design Options

January 28, 2022

When it comes to custom garage doors, there are few rules to follow. Most designs can be brought to life, and while there are design trends and ideas to follow, the limit is really what you can imagine. Some rules and guidelines exist, but how much you follow them is up to your particular garage door project. 

Having said that, there are some garage door styles and design options that can act as a starting point for most custom door designs. These should be thought of as guidelines, and they can be a great jumping off point for a truly unique and one-of-a-kind door. 

These are the most common design themes for garage doors. 

Raised and Recessed Panels

Raised panel garage doors are designed in a grid pattern. Thicker pieces of wood are used and beveled edges or other details are milled into it, giving the appearance of raised panels coming off the door. It gives the door a detailed look that is uniform and clean. This is a common garage door design that is seen on many homes. 

Recessed panels are the opposite of raised panels. Instead of cutting beveled edges around certain sections, cuts are made into the wood to create a grid of “indented” panels. This is another common door design that has a uniform look and is suitable for many homes. 


Bucks are optional pieces of trim that can be added to a variety of garage door designs, particularly on carriage doors. These pieces of wood trim can be arranged in a variety of patterns both around and on the face of the garage door, giving the door a more detailed look. Bucks are generally placed on diagonal slants in the shape of an “A,” “V,” or “X.” When combined with raised or recessed panel designs, they add an extra depth and texture to the face a wooden garage door. 

Contemporary Designs

Contemporary (or modern) garage doors come in a wide variety of designs. They are heavily known for their sleek, minimalist look that often features clean lines, intricate window placements, and smooth panels without raised or recessed areas. These doors are also often painted a variety of colors, while more traditional designs opt for pure wood stain. 

Carriage Garage Doors

Carriage doors are striking additions to both historic and modern homes. These inspired recreations look just like authentic carriage house doors, but they operate like and have all the features of modern overhead garage doors. They are a unique way to integrate architectural themes and decorative glass without sacrificing operational integrity. They can also be designed to match front and service doors, shutters, and gates. If you prefer carriage style doors that slide, swing, or fold open, the way the originals would have, these designs are the right choice for your door. 


Ready to start designing a garage door? Have some ideas in mind? Get in touch with CAMBEK today for a free consultation.

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