Don’t let their unassuming size fool you. Garage door decorative accessories can make a big impression. While larger exterior staples like doors and windows are pretty important, in the end, it’s often the smallest finishing touches that pack the most powerful punch. After all, when you want to create the kind of curb appeal that increases your property value and earns you the coveted title of prettiest home on the block, you need to go above the basics.
It helps to think of your garage door as a cake. While a plain cake still makes for a perfectly good dessert, it just doesn’t have the same irresistible allure without icing and decorations. Like eye-catching edible toppers and swirls of colorful icing, garage door decorations add that something special that instantly makes your house stand out from the crowd.
Now that we’ve covered why decorative hardware for garage doors is a great way to elevate your home’s exterior, let’s take a closer look at what you need to know to pick the best hardware set for your unique needs and taste.
The architecture of your house is a good place to start your search. From modern to antique and everything in between, decorative garage door accents come in a dazzling variety of designs, but not all of them can work for every home. If you have a traditional carriage house door, you want to set your eye on decorative garage door hardware with an old-world feel – think blackened or bronze finishes, rounded spear ends and forged or cast handles. On the other hand, to avoid weighing down the streamlined structure of a contemporary house, it’s best to go with a simpler, industrial-inspired style in stainless steel or polished metal. If you’re feeling stuck, browsing through garage door decorative are pictures online can steer you in the right direction.
Another caveat to keep in mind while you shop is location. Decorative garage hardware is available in stainless, bronze, aluminum, and iron. While all four are durable materials, how long they last and how they perform can be significantly affected by where you live. For example, because iron is more temperamental and prone to rusting than corrosion-resistant stainless steel, it’s not ideal for coastal locations. Aluminum provides similar benefits to stainless steel with more surface design flexibility, while high marks in corrosion resistance make bronze decorative hardware a good material for waterfront areas. Ultimately, since garage decorative hardware is always exposed to the elements, you want to pick a material that can function equally well in every season. Once you choose your base material, decide which finishes look best with the rest of your exterior hardware, and you’re ready to move on to choosing your kit.
The great thing about decorative garage door kits is that they include matching handles, clavos nails, and decorative garage door hinges, so even if you’re a little fuzzy on style, material or finish, you don’t have to worry about getting every detail down to a science. What you do want to pay attention to is quality. Most sets sold at big-box retailers are stamped out of sheet metal, so while their price tags may be low, they lack the depth and dimension of hand-wrought and cast materials. In terms of durability and aesthetics, quality craftsmanship makes all the difference, so a well-made kit from a reputable supplier is well worth the investment in the long term.
Garage Door Decorative Hinges
The biggest pieces in your kit – and so the most visible from the street – garage door hinges should coordinate with the rest of your home’s exterior. With no shortage of decorative hinge styles, it’s easy to find a good fit for any type of architecture, from extravagant Greek revivals to quaint oceanfront bungalows.
In addition to picking a style, you can play around with sizing to create the exact look you have in mind. Decorative hinges for garage doors are available in a wide range of lengths, which gives you complete control over how much of a statement you want to make. As long as the mechanics of your garage door don’t interfere, you can go as long or as short as you want on your hinges. Just remember that their thickness, known as projection, should comfortably clear any trim or molding around your garage door’s opening.
Before you buy:
For a reliable visual of any hinge length and thickness, tape a piece of cardboard in matching dimensions to the front of your garage door. Use a strong temporary adhesive like construction-quality painter’s tape to prevent the cutout from swaying in the wind or falling down. Once you’re finished, walk around your yard and toward the street while keeping your eye on the door to see how a similarly sized piece of hardware will look from different distances and angles.
Tips and tricks:
• Don’t install the hinges too close to the gasket at the edge of your garage door.
• Hinges typically extend to about 25% of the door’s width.
• On double garage doors, hinges can be split between the right and the left side, or you can place them on the left, right, and back-to-back in the center.
Decorative Garage Door Handles
While style and size can sometimes put constraints on the kind of hinges you can buy, garage door handles are one area where you can really let your creativity shine. Situated at the center of the garage door, they draw the eye in, complement the hinges and deepen dimension. Oversized handles in eye-catching shapes – large bronze rings – make a bold visual impact, while vertical spear pulls and delicate twisted handles create an understated elegance.
If you have an overhead garage door that imitates carriage house style, you can recreate the visual effect of functional doors with a few pairs of decorative hinges and dummy pull handles.
Before you buy:
Whichever handles you choose, don’t forget to take the mechanics of your garage door into account. In order for it to function properly, pull handles shouldn’t touch the framing above the door as the door opens. To check how a specific handle size would fit, you can modify the cardboard trick you used to test your hinge size. Instead of making a flat cutout, create a small cardboard box that sticks out to the projection of your favorite handle. If the cardboard clears your garage door’s frame during opening and closing, you’re good to go! If not, you’ll need to look for a handle with a smaller projection.
Tips and tricks:
• Since garage door handles are outfitted with wood screws, if your door is made of vinyl or metal, you might need to make a trip to the local hardware store for sheet metal fasteners instead.
• Remember to choose a material that fits your location.
Garage Door Decorative Kits
While being able to choose from an array of garage door hardware decorative options piece by piece is a plus for creating custom installations, it can be a little overwhelming if you’re short on time or design expertise. We’ve taken the effort out of selecting. Packed with everything you need to finish your project, decorative hardware for garage doors kits make it easy to upgrade your look.
With kits, the hardest decision you’ll have to make is what style you want. Like individual hardware pieces, garage door kits come in all shapes, sizes, materials and finishes. Whether you want old world, rustic, or contemporary, there’s a kit out there to suit your taste. When narrowing your choices down, a good rule of thumb is to stick with the same style as your house. If your garage door is especially close to your front door, you might want to choose a matching finish on the hardware in your kit so that every detail on the exterior of your home stays in perfect
Accessories: the chocolate sprinkles on top of your beautiful cake
Clavos (Decorative Nails)
Garage door decorative clavos are ornamental nail heads set atop nail shanks or screw threads. Available in a variety of mostly traditional shapes and textures, ranging from hammered bronze squares to powder coated iron pyramids, they’re often used as finishing touches on garage.
Tips and tricks:
• To use a garage door hardware clavo as a cover for a screw head, tap it into a pre-drilled hole adjacent to the screw hole.
• Nail shanks on custom handcrafted clavos can vary in length.
• Always pre-drill a hole before tapping the nail in. The pre-drilled hole should be smaller in diameter and depth than the nail shank.
• To protect the finish on the clavos from damage during the installation, use a temporary barrier between the nail head and your hammer or mallet.
• For a better connection to the door, coat the end of the nail shank with a dab of epoxy resin.