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When The Garage Becomes A Highlight of Your Home’s Exterior

October 28, 2020  —  Written by Chris 

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We purchased our garage doors at a discount from Cambek Designer Doors. All opinions are our own. 

The cold is rolling in quick here, but our exterior renovation is all but wrapped. We’ve been so excited to share all these details (like the gas lanterns we shared yesterday) and are ready to keep that rolling with our garage doors today! And you won’t believe the impact they’ve had. But first, let’s remember where we started:

Yes, I know this picture shows our license plate. On a vehicle long-since sold, with a plate longer-since replaced. So don’t let that distract you from all the awkwardness happening in this photo. Lot’s to unpack, but the garage itself is where we’re looking. The white resin columns propped up an unnecessary overhang whose pitch didn’t meet code. To combat that, it was topped with vinyl instead of shingles so snow and water would runoff better.

Fun fact – the columns weren’t actually attached to anything. They were wedged in place, with some screws added around the edges to keep them from moving around. Not exactly standard procedure. The overhang also leaked like a sieve, because transitioning roofing materials and not maintaining proper pitch will always cause that, vinyl or not.

That picture gives me anxiety, my heavens. But it was a necessary stage in the process, and we’re happy to be on the other side of it! We took out the columns, removed the overhang, replaced and unified the roof material, aaaaaaand… added stone:

And as amazing as that stone looks, the garage doors were unfortunately killing the vibe, big time. We knew the design really needed new doors to become what it could be, so after consulting with Studio McGee (in case you missed it somehow – they made the design plan for our exterior for us) we decided to swap the current metal doors with new doors from Cambek.

Mind blown. This was it. As soon as we saw the first panel going in on the first door, we knew the house we moved into was no more. This house was finally Our house. And when garage doors become one of the highlights, you know it’s good.

We replaced the garage doors in our last home, but commissioning Cambek was a different thing entirely. Each door was designed and built to the exact curve and dimensions of each opening. Even a lot of “custom” garage door companies won’t go that far.

Another challenge we threw at them was our stone. We wanted the doors sealing right against the backs of the stone so there wasn’t a visible weather seal along the edge. Cambek worked in a Reverse Angle Seal, allowing the doors to seal flush to the backs of the stone, evening out the imperfections and creating a super weather-tight enclosure. Details you definitely notice, but don’t notice that you notice. If that makes sense.

Knowing how to get garage doors to end up like what you imagine they should be is intimidating. Cambek worked with us through every step – they spoke with us, with our installer, made sure all of our measurements and mockups were accurate. As for color matching – we simply gave them the paint brand, color name, and sheen of what we wanted (Benjamin Moore, Graphite, Satin, to echo the paneled areas on our exterior) and the doors came perfectly matched.

Of course the doors are part of an entire ensemble. The roof tile, the new windows, the copper cutters, and sconces (ignore the white handrail and old kitchen window – those will both get replaced with our kitchen renovation in the spring).

And while we have almost always worked as we went, updating one thing one year, another the next, so on and so forth until an entire space is done – having all of these exterior details come together at the same time just feels… unified. Accomplished. On purpose.

So there it is. The eye-sorest part of our home, which faced directly toward a main road and was seen constantly, has now become a jaw-dropping moment causing 10-15 cars a day to slow down, to pull over, to take pictures. It’s so fun to look out our window and see people across the street examining our home. Spouses and partners pointing things out to one another and nodding emphatically. Because what this house is turning into, is anything but standard.

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What do you think?

  1. Sammy T. says:

    I love the dark garage color with the copper lights! Such a beautiful look.

  2. Anna Bushmeyer says:

    I was wondering how grey would look with dark bronze on the house we are building… Are your garage doors and windows dark bronze or black?
    It all looks very sharp!

  3. Nicolette says:

    Garage doors can truly make or break a design. We just finished building a detached garage (now starting on the house) and it’s so fun to talk to my neighbors walking by about our progress. Our garage doors also steal the show :)

  4. Karisa Crest says:

    I am here for this level of non-standard beauty! Amazing job!!!

    It’s these types of posts, where you’ve reached a level of ability to make it custom to achieve your end goal, but then spill all the details on the problems you met, how you tackled the situation and created a solution, what the solution was and why it was beneficial. —— this is priceless education and I’m very grateful!

    Keep killin it????????

  5. Susan says:

    STUNNING!!! Congratulations on making your house your home! You have an amazing eye and a keen ability to stay true to your vision and aesthetic even when working with consultants. Thank you for sharing all the details with us.

  6. Donelle says:

    I love you guys! Really! You’re the best!

    But did you get a new advertising method? I am having full blown commercials take over half of my phone screen every time I scroll down! And then if I miss the x so I can keep reading it sends me back to the top of the page and it starts all over… bummer.

  7. Julie S says:

    Well Julia, it is super gorgeous. It all feels RIGHT, doesn’t it? Well done, mon ami.
    I didn’t realize the garages faced the street – I sort of thought the front door/firepit area did, missed that on the exterior tour somehow!

  8. Leanne says:

    Love the stone , love the garage doors! But my favourite thing…. those copper lights/gutters. Oh my word. I have never seen anything like those ( I live in Alberta, Canada ) and they are just stunning. All your choices have made for a beautiful house. Thank you for sharing this beauty with us !

  9. Melissa says:

    Beautiful! Are these made from wood? I’ve been trying a local custom garage door company and they won’t warranty dark paint in their doors. Any challenges with that here?

  10. Carrie Puffinbarger says:

    These are the prettiest garage doors that ever were! And those oversized lights with the copper gutters made my heart flutter. It feels like a supersized carriage house! (Supersized in a good way. Obviously a garage needs to be bigger than a carriage house.) It just vibes right.

    I keep wondering, but never ask, can you enter the garage directly from the house? Or do you have to go out the side door by the kitchen and go in that way?

  11. Ashley says:

    Beautifully done, Chris and Julia! I didn’t expect anything less! We’ve seen these gorgeous views but I would be so curious to see a view from the “rubberneckers” POV! Andi did a phenomenal job on the video last week! Think it would be so fun though to see what your neighbors are seeing from the road with all the landscaping and trees – a pulled back view! Thanks for always sharing your home with us!

  12. Cici Haus says:

    The view of the garage is my favorite of the entire house – and I promise you I’ve never, ever said that before!! It feels like it could have been a converted horse-and-carriage barn from the 1700s. Gorgeous.

  13. I didn’t think I could ever think of garage doors as a design moment but WOW. Those are so good.

  14. Carmil says:

    So- I don’t think I’ve ever been moved to comment on- garage doors–but those are just beautiful!!!
    And who would have thought the vertical planks would tie so well with the horizontal planking happening everywhere else. Not sure if my terminology is correct but that’s what I’m calling it. I love the vertical orientation. Just gorgeous.

  15. Maya says:

    Amazing!!! Like others have said, I find it so inspiring that you unearth the potential in the ugly befores.

  16. Marilee Davis says:

    Wow. I love this!! We recently put in copper gutters on our home too and I’m curious if you plan on letting them turn green as they age or if you’ll try to keep them shiny?

  17. Paul says:

    Wow, Wow, Wow!!! And can we please take note of those copper fixtures? This whole vibe is perfection! Kudos to you guys and kudos to Studio McGee!

  18. Kerri says:

    And you already have your Christmas lights up!

  19. Rebekah says:

    And I spy Christmas lights! Can’t wait to see the house covered in snow with lights outlining the new and improved roofline!

  20. Ronda Rowe says:

    Unbelievable transformation! I can’t get over how you guys took a generic suburban garage and turned it into an elegant showpiece! And you did it by changing the exterior finishes without any true structural alterations. I love it!

  21. Taylor says:

    Stunning!!! Would love to see the inside of the doors, how they lift, and how they are sealed against your stone. Would help to see the functionality of these beauties. Thanks!!!

  22. Kari says:

    Studio McGee knocked it out of the park!

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