How to Choose The Best Garage Door Style & Color For Your Home

With curb appeal and outdoor spring projects on my mind, this is a post I’ve been meaning to share for quite some time. A few years ago, we replaced our dated garage doors and it made a huge difference in the overall look of our home exterior. The updated doors are also much more functional and efficient, making them a good investment. I never shared the process, but get quite a few questions about how to choose a garage door style or color when replacing or upgrading, so click through for my designer guide and suggestions!

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In addition to updating our garage doors, we also replaced the exterior sconce on this side of our home, swapped the existing (damaged) roof for a dimensional bartile roof, and have been focused on improving our landscaping these past few years. Last week, I shared an outdoor guide on how to choose timeless exterior lighting, and that post goes hand-in-hand with today’s focus on updating your garage vignette. You can also find 10 ideas for enhancing curb appeal, here! Ready to dive in?

Before & After

I definitely should have taken close up photos before we swapped our doors, but the existing white doors weren’t in great shape at all. Up close, dents and stains were obvious. The right door didn’t function at all, and eventually the larger door also stopped working. We had a double door (two car) and a single door to replace, as well as a tight budget for the replacement process. I landed on a simple paneled option with glass windows along the top row, which allows a bit of light into the garage while still maintaining privacy. The biggest change, of course, is the color difference…

Choosing the Right Color

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There are three routes you can take to land on the right color for your home, all resulting in different looks: high contrast, monochromatic, and analogous.

High Contrast – This is the direction I selected. High contrast doors become a focal point and add a sharp contrast to the main color of the home exterior. Using my brick home as an example, both a white or black door would provide a sharp, crisp contrast against the muted red brick. It’s a clean and classic look.

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Monochromatic – You can choose a color that exactly matches your home’s exterior- OR go a shade or two lighter or darker. I recommend the latter, for added dimension & depth. This works well if your primary goal is for the garage door to blend seamlessly with your home. Perhaps you’re painting an existing door and you don’t love the style, choosing a monochromatic color will make it blend in, not draw added attention to the door… making it less of a noticeable, focal point. A good way to do this is also by mixing a paint color percentage of your exterior color!

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Complementary – This is an excellent idea for painted homes. Complementary colors are opposite of each other on the color wheel, and are proven to enhance each other. With exterior home colors, this concept is a bit more abstract. A deep navy home would work well with warm wood accents. A historic deep green or taupe home would look beautiful with classic red brick.

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I hope those examples were helpful! Feel free to leave me a comment at the bottom of this post with any color questions. I’m always happy to weigh in.

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Selecting a Style or Material

Once you have a color idea in mind, you can move along to selecting a door style or material. The more intricate or custom the door style, the more expensive the door will be… which is why you see so many basic paneled doors (like mine). They’re more cost effective, but I also think they have a simplistic and classic look. However, there are plenty of stunning custom options if your budget allows! Unsurprisingly, my “designer rule” for selecting a door that won’t go out of style, mimics my design advice for replacing interior doors

Consider the architecture of your home, what feels most cohesive, and I typically recommend avoiding any eased arched panels (sticking to straight horizontal and vertical lines).

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Garage Door Aesthetic Guide

I did want to give you some “safe bets” or favorites that will withstand the test of time. As an interior designer, I consider these more customized doors all to be classic picks… of course the simple panel styles I previously pointed out is also a great option.

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How much does a replacement garage door cost?

It totally depends on the size, material, style, and installation. It can range anywhere from $600 to $12,000. I believe both of our garages doors with installation was around $5k. We used a local company.

Should a garage door match your exterior doors or front door?

I do prefer exterior doors to match, but it’s not necessary. Our front door is the same color as our garage doors.

Is your garage exterior totally finished, now that the doors have been replaced?

Not totally… someday, we’d like to add a trellis above the garage doors and we’d consider resurfacing the driveway (stamped concrete, stained, pavers, etc). Who knows if and when we’ll get to that, but I think it would be beautiful. We also need new gutters.

Can you tell a difference with insulation of your garage during the winter months?

Honestly, not a huge difference in terms of heat. We live in a snowy climate (see the image below) and our garage is not heated, so we don’t spend much time in there during the winter months. I can tell a difference in terms of usability & efficiency with the motor… smart setup in our vehicles and on our phones, they’re easier & quiet to open and close, and function far better than our previous doors.

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Looking for more curb appeal, outdoor, and exterior posts? I’ll link some popular reader favorites for you below…

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Do you have a garage? If so, are the garage doors original? Do you hope to replace them someday? Need help choosing a color? Let me know in the comment section below and I’ll gladly offer insight or my recommendation! Maybe you’ve replaced them already? It was one of the first exterior projects we budgeted for after moving in. Here’s to crossing spring chores and projects off the to-do list this season!

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  1. Good morning! Your garahe doors look stunning against your red brick; I remember when you replaced them, and the instant upgrade in the exterior aesthetic was undeniable. They still look incredible. Our garage door is an original, simple paneled option, but we had it painted when we painted our eaves. It definitely upgraded the look of our home, but I’d still love to replace it with one that has windows along the top. After having one at our previous home, not having that little bit of light makes a huge difference. I notice that we spend a lot more time with the lights on than we ever did before, and I’d love to remedy that. We also need to upgrade our opener. It’s loud, and oh so annoying. If you have any recommendations I’d gladly accept them. We’re still figuring out landscaping with our front yard. The tricky property lines and odd shaped lot confound the planning and design, but we do have a direction we’re moving in. I love all of your recommendations, and smart thought process. Thank you for sharing Sarah!

    1. Sarah Gibson says:

      Thank you, Lauren! They definitely could use a good power wash (soon!), but we’re really pleased with them. Even a few years later, they’re doing great. Our opener / motor is LiftMaster brand and it’s very quiet, syncs to your phone, and we’ve had no issues. I spent this afternoon working on our landscaping and garden. Your property sounds like ours- it’s on a diagonal which makes it super tricky to landscape. Hope you’re having a good week!

  2. Garage doors are high on my to-do list this year, and I’m loving the black you chose. Looks fantastic with the brick! Mine, like your old ones, are white, dented, dirty, and stained. Thanks for the curb appeal inspo Sarah!

    1. Sarah Gibson says:

      Thank you, Kyla! You can’t go wrong with classic black and white with brick. Our old ones had seen better days. They were original to the house. Hope you’re having a good week!

  3. I came to your blog specifically to look for a photo of your garage doors as I am currently in the process of selecting a new one for my house, so this could not have been more timely! Thank you for your tips and insight!

    1. Sarah Gibson says:

      Perfect timing, Katie!! So happy this one was helpful. Good luck with your garage doors!

  4. I love your informative posts! Did the new doors include new motors? There are so many options for motors these days and are a big part of the replacement too.

    1. Sarah Gibson says:

      I’m so glad to hear that, Julie! The new doors did include new motors and they’re much more quiet than our previous ones. They also have smart capabilities and we’re able to open them with our phones. Super handy! Great question.

  5. Hi Sarah! Love this post. Would you mind sharing who you purchased garage doors through locally?

    1. Sarah Gibson says:

      Hi Eliza! Of course- we used A Plus Garage Doors. I actually just received a text from them, saying they’re having a sale right now. Not sure what it entails, but thought I’d pass it along!