With warm, sunny weather, cool breezes, and the relaxing sound of ocean waves just a short distance away, it’s no wonder people choose to live on the coast.
Paradise has its drawbacks though! As you look into investing in your home’s curb appeal with an updated, custom garage door, you may be surprised to find that your coastal location can impact the materials and designs you choose.
Our Guide to Coastal Garage Doors outlines different materials we recommend for the coast and some inspiration as you begin to design your exterior space.
How a Coastal Climate Affects Your Garage Door
There are two main weather characteristics in a coastal environment that can cause damage to your garage door.
- Intense heat and sunlight.
- Extreme moisture and salt in the air.
Extreme Hot Weather
Intense, direct sunlight tends to fade the color of your garage door more rapidly than a shaded home. When the wrong material or color is used, you may find yourself needing to repaint or stain your garage door more often.
In severe instances, heat warping can occur as a result of your garage door being in direct sunlight. Heat warping is when your garage door actually starts to cave in because the metal structure starts to expand from the heat and it fights against the cool air inside your garage space.
Extreme Moisture & Salty Air
When a wooden garage door is facing intense sunlight or extremely humid weather, it’s going to absorb the excess moisture and start to expand, or warp. When this happens, your home’s security, insulation, and overall curb appeal are compromised.
Especially in a coastal environment where you have salty air and lots of moisture, your garage door hardware and tracks are susceptible to rust. In order to help prolong rusting from happening, Artisan uses aluminum decorative hardware with the same black powder-coated finish.
Choosing the Best Material for Your Coastal Garage Door
Down below, we’ll outline some of the best coastal garage door materials that extend your door’s lifespan and prolong the effects of intense sunlight and salty air.
You’ll notice that none of these garage door materials are made with real wood because wooden garage doors are likely to absorb moisture and become damaged in coastal environments.
Vinyl carriage garage doors are one of the best exterior doors for coastal areas because they’re naturally insect, moisture, and rot-resistant. And maintenance for this material is minimal compared to wood. You’ll simply need to wipe down the exterior and clean any hardware at least once a year.
At Artisan, we have two garage door series that are made from vinyl – Prelude 2 and Symphony. Both are extremely durable choices and can be customized to complement a variety of home styles and aesthetics.
Wood composite doors are very eco-friendly because they’re made from recycled and sustainable materials. Although these doors are made with wood fibers, they consistently outperform traditional wood doors.
Wood composite doors are also moisture, weather, insect, and rot resistant, which makes them a great choice for a beach house garage door. And just like vinyl doors, these doors are virtually maintenance-free.
So, you’ll get the real-wood look without getting the real-wood maintenance.
At Artisan, we have a Benchmark and Benchmark 2 series that are made from wood composite. Our Benchmark series uses Tricoya wood which is great in extreme weather conditions because it won’t crack or degrade like other wood products.
Faux wood or urethane composite garage doors are very similar to wood composite. Urethane composite doors are made by putting wood pieces together in a rubber mold that creates a wood grain on the exterior.
Just like wood composite doors, this material is also sustainable and water-based making it another eco-friendly choice. As a bonus, these doors are great for climates with high sun exposure and high temperatures.
Our urethane composite doors include our American Farmhouse, Quartet, and Rhapsody series. Our American Farmhouse door can be customized to a wide variety of stain colors, to either pop out from the rest of your home or seamlessly blend in.
Both the Quartet and Rhapsody doors mimic the look and feel of classic garage doors, but come with low maintenance in the long run.
Aluminum or Glass
Incorporating lots of glass and aluminum creates a modern and contemporary look for a new coastal garage door style. And in extreme sunlight, you wouldn’t have to worry about this type of door absorbing excess moisture or the stain fading.
Glass garage doors can be tinted or obscured so you still have privacy in your home and won’t have neighbors or people walking by peering into your garage. The material is very low maintenance and won’t need to be repainted or stained down the road. You should simply wipe the windows down whenever you see necessary.
At Artisan, we have one glass garage door called the Panorama series. This garage door is sure to stand out from the rest and boost your coastal home’s curb appeal.
Additional Maintenance Tips
These maintenance tips are not fool-proof ways to keep your garage door from rusting or fading in the sunlight. But by following our tips, you’ll extend the lifespan of your garage door and keep it looking like new for longer.
- Inspect your door annually. No matter where you live, inspecting your garage door on an annual basis makes sure you’re proactive about any issues or needed repairs on your door. You can download our garage door maintenance checklist to get a better idea of what to look for.
- Clean Frequently. Especially in a coastal environment, where sand and salt are constantly in the air, it’s best to wipe down your garage door and its hardware to avoid it getting dirty or starting to rust. We recommend adding a spring and fall garage door cleaning to your calendar.
- Refinish as Needed. Because of the intense sunlight, you’ll likely need to refinish your coastal garage door to revamp the color. Stay proactive and touch up any smaller chips or dents with your paint. Also, we suggest adding a layer of Turtle Wax as a protective coat that also adds a shine to your door.
Find Inspiration for Your Coastal Garage Door
Now that we’ve covered the logistics of the best exterior doors for coastal areas, we’ll dive into some stylistic ideas for you to get some inspiration from.
Choosing Light or Neutral Colors
Just like when you wear dark clothing in the summertime, dark stains and colors on your garage door are going to absorb and attract heat. Which is going to cause damage to your garage door in the long run.
We recommend customizing your door with light or neutral colors. Our American Farmhouse series can be painted in light greens or blues. These colors are more common for beach house garage doors because they resemble nature, the sky, and the ocean. To add additional texture to your door, choose a driftwood stain over a solid stain.
Our Symphony series, or any vinyl garage doors, provide a clean and classic white look for your home. This is a very popular coastal garage door style because it indicates a light and airy vibe for your home.
Let in Natural Light
As we briefly touched on already, a popular style for coastal homes is to let in as much natural light as possible. This helps keep the space open and welcoming so it’s more in tune with the surrounding environment.
Even if you’re not ready to go with a glass garage door, you can still customize your door to have as many windows as you’d like! Choose from a variety of window styles based on the aesthetic of your home.
Beach House Inspired Decorative Hardware
Artisan original decorative hardware was designed specifically with coastal garage doors in mind. We’ve created a line of handles shaped like pineapples, crabs, whale tails, and flowers. These handles should be placed where your double doors connect so they look both aesthetically pleasing and functional.
This blog was originally published on September 14th, 2018, and was updated on August 7th, 2023.