Municipalities nationwide are enacting ordinances requiring the use of "curb appeal" techniques to beautify neighborhoods to increase home values. Major contributors to curb appeal, especially in budding neotraditional-style developments, are carriage house garage doors like the Steelhouse Carriage Door manufactured in Tempe by 1st United Door Technologies (1stUDT).
"Architects are designing more and more communities in the pre-World War neotraditional style using nostalgic elements creating strong curb appeal. The character of a carriage house door fits the style of these communities," said David Gibson, President of Collaborative Group Architects Inc. Gibson serves on the City of Gilbert design review board, and helped design Verrado, a unique "home-town" community nestled in the foothills of the White Tank Mountains in Buckeye, Ariz., recognized for its use of timeless town-building principles.
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.
Carriage doors -- reminiscent of the wooden doors on old-fashioned carriage houses -- are a cost-effective way for builders to meet this need. Changing the elevation of the home with expensive brick or other treatments, designing homes with a side-entry garage requiring greatly expanded lot widths, or designing the garage entry into the back of the home which lengthens the driveway and can diminish curb appeal.
Today's carriage house garage doors may look attractively old-fashioned, but they open overhead like any other modern sectional garage door. But, they also offer steel's durability and low maintenance. 1st United Door invented the all-steel carriage house door, and holds several patents earned during its development.
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.
Homeowners are driving the curb appeal trend by actively expressing dissatisfaction with living in homes that do not reflect their personalities. 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.
Tempe, Ariz.-based 1st United Door Technologies, founded in 1999, (firstudt.com) offers a complete line of uniquely designed commercial and residential garage doors. Backed by a management team with more than 150 years experience in the door industry, 1st United Door Technologies continues its commitment to creative ideas and innovations in garage doors.