First Impressions, Simple Statements - Page 3

Renewing garage and entry doors with neighborly good looks and in line with the modern streetscape aesthetic
The dozen configurations of MCM Doorlite Kits offered by Crestview Doors.
The dozen configurations of MCM Doorlite Kits offered by Crestview Doors.

A graphic designer who dabbles in architectural design, Pyne decided to create a custom door that would be completely unique to the neighborhood. After a few weeks of sketching and debating about styles with his wife, the Pynes settled on an ambitious door design faced with 18 one-by-four-inch horizontal strips of deep-red-stained Douglas Fir, and replaced their original doorknob with a long, vertical satin nickel pull-handle. Three days of careful construction followed.

“The door has been a big hit with passers-by who’ve stopped to admire the handiwork,” Pyne says, “and some of my neighbors have even come to ask if I'd consider building them a door as well.”

Garage doors back on track

The original Eichler garage doors slide open manually like a barn door. As they move side to side, the gaps around the edges leave plenty of space for weather elements to creep in. The doors become an issue when the wood deteriorates, when door tracks get stuck, and when homeowners decide they want the advantages of an automated system. At this juncture, homeowners have two options: repair and update the existing doors or replace them.

Two Marin County installations by Northgate Garage Doors illustrate how traditional roll-up garage doors can dovetail well with the Eichler aesthetic when they are re-faced with Eichler siding. Note the visible horizontal lines on each example, a minor drawback.
Above two photos: Two Marin County installations by Northgate Garage Doors illustrate how traditional roll-up garage doors can dovetail well with the Eichler aesthetic when they’re re-faced with Eichler siding. Note the visible horizontal lines on each example, a minor drawback.

Repair makes sense when you want the garage doors to remain true to their original design. It’s not often that tracks and rollers wear out; more often, these parts gunk up with dirt and grime over the years from lack of maintenance, and no longer slide freely. If the wood has warped, or has rot or termite damage, consider rehabbing the door with some fresh siding.

“What I usually do is replace the siding on the doors, by mounting it on the existing metal frames, and rebuild them,” Wilcox says. He most commonly completes this re-facing using one of the three original patterns of vertically grooved Eichler siding available from Eichler Siding.

 

Overtaken by roll-ups

Over the years, many Eichler owners have traded in style for convenience by exchanging the classic side-by-sides for the incompatible designs of traditional metal roll-up doors. Sadly, many of these homeowners have been steered by garage-door companies to unnecessarily buy roll-ups when minor repairs and automation updating were available and more economical alternatives. 

Northgate also installed this custom garage door of anodized aluminum with brushed finish.
Northgate also installed this custom garage door of anodized aluminum with brushed finish for this ‘showcase’ Eichler in Terra Linda.

While these roll-ups offer security, convenience, and protection from the elements, it’s often at the expense of losing a great deal of curb appeal. “The [conventional roll-up] metal doors differ so much from the original modern architecture that they become a distraction,” Klopf says. Today, it seems, roll-ups have overtaken the neighborhoods.

If you presently have these roll-ups in place, to minimize the aesthetic impact they have on your front elevation and the surrounding neighborhood, consider re-facing your roll-up with the same pattern of Eichler siding found on your home’s exterior. Grooved wood siding is commonly applied to the sheet metal using Liquid Nails.

A minor drawback to this solution, however, is the visible horizontal line in the siding that appears every foot or so, top to bottom, to allow the door to roll up and down. A roll-up door with four panels instead of five can help minimize this distraction.