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Energy Efficiancy

Posted by Gareth Jordan on

Energy saving and efficiency are a huge factor in today’s marketplace. Garage doors just aren't what they used to be. They are now eye catching, beautiful and even considered new. In a marketplace where enhanced curb appeal, residential diversity, and non traditional architecture are in demand by designers, there is an onslaught of more unique garage door opener styles. Aluminum, especially steel, and three-section carriage house style garage doors are on the upward trend.

The carriage house door has created some true excitement in the building community. You can't walk on the floor of a residential door or builder’s trade show these days without seeing a profusion of steel carriage house style garage doors being touted for their beauty, functionality, durability, ease-of-installation, and worth in increasing home values.

Some garage door installers and manufacturers report that nearly one-fourth of all new projects are now being specified with carriage house type products. 

This may be a result of builders, architects and municipalities aggressively specifying steel carriage doors for their new and upcoming projects. Garage doors are also more than just practical openings, they often make up the largest percentage of the front of the house and mean a great deal in the appearance of a property. It is, in fact, a home’s fashion accessory. Since contemporary garage doors often take up 30 percent to 40 percent of the front elevation of a home, more municipalities are demanding housing characteristics, which downplay the garage door's large horizontal mass.  Additionally, the architects that illustrate the attention to detail can masterfully design carriage house type garage doors into their client’s projects, identifying the spectacular and dramatic architectural details that enhance the curb appeal of the home.

Carriage doors are a cost effective way for builders to meet this need. Simply adding a steel carriage door selling for $20 to $30 per square foot is a lot less expensive than other alternatives. Builders could change the elevation of the home with expensive brick or other treatments, design homes with a side entry garage requiring greatly expanded lot widths or design the garage entry into the back of the home, which would lengthen the driveway and diminish curb appeal. On the other hand, they could just install a handsome carriage house garage door to make each home look remarkably unique and appealing. Heightening curb appeal in this affordable way translates directly into increased home values. 

Homeowners driving this trend by actively expressing their dissatisfaction with living in cookie cutter housing that cannot show the personality of the owner. With the same front elevations, same tile roofs, same color schemes, and same garage doors, neighborhoods can look plain and uninteresting. Add a few touches of curb appeal with decorative rock, shutters, wrought iron, water features, or an expanse of unique carriage house garage door and neighborhoods grow beautifully in character and value.

Carriage house garage doors offer hundreds of design choices, which can complement other artistic elements in a home's elevation such as window shapes, shutters, and trim. In choosing the look of the door, builders can choose among multiple designs using plant-on board; solid arches; window treatments; and decorative iron handles, knockers, strap hinges and other hardware. Steel doors with steel plant-on boards also offer a clearly defined, wood-grain texture, which matches the door.

Until recently, most steel carriage house garage doors were manufactured with four, 21-inch horizontal panels. Recent manufacturing developments by garage door manufacturer, First United Door Technologies, now allow the doors to feature three, 28-inch panels. This streamlines the look of the door and makes it more design friendly. All of these features lend themselves to excellent theme interpretation, quite useful in the non traditional communities springing up around the Valley. Communities designed in the non traditional are recognized for their use of old-fashioned town-building principles to create closer knit communities. They include a mix of housing types and price points, as well as retail, business and community hubs, like the town square.

There have also been many garage door advancements in regards to energy efficiency. Steel isn’t a good insulator, so to compensate; manufacturers double up the panels and fill the space between them with polystyrene or polyurethane insulation. These types of insulators have made doors so efficient that there often is a 15- to 20-degree difference in a garage after new doors are installed. That can play a big role in heating costs.

While energy efficiency plays a big part in the selection of a garage door, safety is also a key consideration. Safety plays an increasingly important role in garage door design. All new garage doors incorporate many new safety technologies and innovations such as pinch resistant door panels, easy-to-set torsion springs, and advanced reversing mechanisms. These days, garage door manufacturers are up-to-date with the demands of the consumer and the home builder, continually creating better looking and better functioning garage doors. So, no matter whether it’s a new construction project or a remodel, and no matter how far out the ideas are for a garage and garage door design, there’s probably one that can be found. Garage doors today are as efficient, safe and aesthetically pleasing as ever for the energy conscious home buyer.