Copper clad garage doors

Traditional to Modern: How Garage Design Has Evolved

December 21, 2018

The intricacies of garage door design and manufacturing have been changing and progressing for generations. With a long and illustrious history, these skills have evolved from quite simple roots to the incredible custom garage doors we see today.

While we won’t travel back several millennia to the BC era, when Chinese gatehouses were used to store chariots during the Jing Dynasty, we will take a brief look at how the design of garage doors has evolved over the more recent years.

A Brief History of Garage Door Design

Unsurprisingly garage doors really entered the mainstream around the same time as the automobile. The earliest depiction of the commercialization of garage doors dates back to 1902, when American manufacturers began publishing advertisements for their products in various catalogs. Known as “float over doors,” these early garage doors were single panel doors that were designed to swing overhead — which is where the term “overhead door” eventually came from — via a hinge that would then slide the door inside the garage itself.

Soon thereafter came sectional doors, which were comprised of multiple sections, as opposed to the single monolithic panels of their predecessors. These doors did not require any clearance outside of the garage while opening and make up the majority of residential doors you see today.

An Evolution of Materials

All the way up to the 1970s, most garage doors were made of wood. As home ownership continued to boom, many people switched to cheaper materials like aluminum, vinyl and composite. These mass-produced, “cookie-cutter” doors were a staple of the modern home before designers and architects began to once again embrace the customizable properties and natural beauty of wood (link to wood vs steel blog post). This has allowed designers to work intricate patterns into doors that are simply not possible with pre-made aluminum and steel doors.

Header Walk Thru Garage Doors

Traditional Meets Modern Styles

Carriage style garage doors are the most traditional of garage door styles, because of their history. They are modeled after the doors used in carriage houses hundreds of years ago. While many designers pulled away from these doors as suburbia expanded from the 1950s-1980s, many new houses today are being built to replicate early Colonial and Victorian styles. These types of doors can be opened like modern sectionals or be designed to swing, slide or fold open as their predecessors did.

Most doors can also include complementary walk-thru additions, like wicket doors and other custom additions to traditional doors, but the most modern of all is the option for hurricane-rated garage doors. These doors maintain their original beauty while combining the strength and durability required to be placed in areas that suffer from harsh weather.

Do You Prefer Traditional or Modern Designs?

Cambek specializes in creating custom garage doors that fit any home. Whether you are going for a traditional or modern look, we can help make your design a reality. Not sure on a style?

Take a moment to peruse our galleries of some traditional and modern doors we have created for an array of tastes and styles across the country.

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