Do Up Diary #48 Choosing A Garage Door – Must be gorgeous AND practical!

Hmmmmm. This has proven to be no mean feat. The new garage / workshop built in the last few months here at Moregeous Mansions plays an integral part in our overall house design as it’s going to be so well used. Not only does it frame the rebuilt West Wing on one side, thus is always on view, but it’s more of a creative cottage than a garage. Obviously it’s werll on the way to being gorgeous, with it’s a high vaulted ceiling, large window flooding light in and special reclaimed brick internal wall, because the plan is to hold DIY & design courses here so the space will be used by us and guests all throughout the year. The huge 4m x 2.5m door need to be both fabulous looking and practical. Although I love pretty wooden doors like these ones seen on Pinterest – Gorgeous wooden barn and garage doors – there are obstacles in the way. I can’t have a barn door type slider as there’s no room to either side, our opening is too big to hinge open as a single door and if I split it down the middle, one of the doors when opened will block both access and the view to and from the garden, which I don’t want. An up and over garage door has been suggested, where the opener lifts up manually or electronically and hangs overhead, meaning no space is required outside on either side and no view or access blocked. These are usually quite affordable and can look great whether traditional or contemporary. I could have anything I wanted, wood, glass, metal or a painted finish – 2015-01-26_0003 2015-01-26_0004 – but here’s the thing. We’ve installed a lovely window letting in lots of workshop light which coupled with the mezzanine storage floor means an up and over would block all the light, rendering the window pointless from a practical perspective and making the suspension of the opened door quite difficult and also quite ugly in my opinion. We’ve a big garage but not quite as big as this beast below seen on Gardenista. You can see what I mean by having to suspend the garage door from above on this image, it works in their huge space but would look messy in my smaller one.

Photo by Steve Keating
Photo by Steve Keating

With up and overs out of the equation I had to kiss goodbye to my secret yearning for a burnished, shimmering metallic door, however our south facing garden means it’s probably a good thing as we’d have been blinded every time the sun came out. Granted, that’s not often in Manchester and they seem to cope in California where most of the copper doors I lusted over were fitted!

Copper and brushed aluminium garage doors
Copper door by US co. Avaunt Garages in the US and brushed aluminium by Aus co. Dyers

Then I came across an unusual system designed to run vertically not horizontally. This is a great idea, meaning you don’t need to open the full garage door all at once, but can have access for people of bikes for example. Some are manually opened like the ones made by Rundum and have very few parts which can go wrong, but there is the option to go for a more contemporary automated system like the Vertico or Hormann. I nearly opted for one of these in the deep grey finish but the downside for me was wanting to use both side of the garage / workshop for storage and workspace. For the large door to slide down one of the walls, I’d lose 4m of space – killer blow. Great idea for a super wide opening with limited head room or for garages where no work surface is required, but just not for me this time.Contemporary vertical sliding garage doors So after thorough research, quote gathering and Pinteresting, given all the demands of my workshop / garage space, I’ve arrived at the roller shutter door option. My memories of manually opening and closing the roller door to an industrial unit I rented many moons ago had kinda put me off this option, boy was that thing heavy on a cold winters morning. But to my very pleasant surprise I’ve found a whole host of options with sleek finishes, smooth automated controls and high security features. Plus the roller door option won’t block light coming in from above, take up valuable wall space internally and can be insulated to keep the space warmer. I’ve had a few quotes and it’s also a reasonable and affordable option for my budget, even with a super slick powder coated finish. Contemporary attractive roller garage doors Now I just have to decide on a manufacturer and a colour! With all the surrounding paintwork and guttering in Farrow & Ball’s Downpipe and Ral 7016, I’m thinking a deep grey finish…. which do you think I should choose? 🙂

Hmmmm, which colour to go for!!
Hmmmm, which colour to go for!!

6 thoughts on “Do Up Diary #48 Choosing A Garage Door – Must be gorgeous AND practical!

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  1. I had one of the powder coated roller shutters fitted here at The Berkeley, it was a round £1000 about 8 years back. Down side, I the salt ate it away and it lasted less than 2 years. I have another at a rental block we have ever so slightly more inland, its a dream. Great choice 🙂

    1. Well, we don’t get much Blackpool sea-salt here in Manchester Sybaris, so hopefully that won’t be a problem lol!! Great to hear the inland one worked for you though, all helps me make up my mind. Which colour do you think, grey or cream? Sian x

  2. Hmm, so given the dual purpose nature of the garage (sounds much more like a workroom), have you considered a bi-fold door arrangement. I investigated an automated bi-fold arrangement for a project and upto ~5m span was do-able with 4x sections, remote/electric powered and folding back onto just one side of the opening. With appropriate choice of panel design its relatively easy to give the garage/workroom some character doors with both light and security aplenty.

    The other design which is quite common in the US, but little seen over here that might be appropriate is a split fold door. Built in two panels above/below a horizontal split, when powered up the sections hinge points scissors out collapsing the two panels on top of one another and pushing them up to the top of the aperture. Done carefully this can leave you with a “canopy” atop your void which is great in summer for opening the room up but with some shade available. Making the upper panel mostly glass again will give great lighting in the room as well. This has the distinct advantage of no intrusion into the room in the open position as the “door” is outside the building at all times, so headroom is maximised. The small worm drive motor is all that needs to be located.

    1. Hi Craig, cracking info on your comment thanks 🙂
      Yes, it does appear that they are geared up to exciting garage doors across the pond, maybe because they have much bigger cars and property plots?!
      I looked into bi-folds but it seemed there was much more to go wrong than with a roller door, plus they are much more costly and also the opening and closing mechanism meant moving items if we were e.g. doing upholstery part in and part outside and wanted to close the garage. I may well look at them again after your comments though!
      There are many more options Stateside but I opted out of a canopy style because I wanted to maximise light coming into the workspace and we won’t really need a sunshade option. We don’t get that many sunny days in Manchester and need to grab what we can 😉
      Fab points though, I feel I should add in some more blog pics!!

  3. The scale is a bit out there, but these guys overviews give you some idea of what is possible … … quite fancy my next den/garage being a somewhat plain wall side on a building and opening up, will shut-up most PP objections in the UK 🙂

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