When you’re working on a residential design-build project, you’re tasked with producing a high quality result with cost and efficiency. You’ll likely guide your clients through seemingly endless questions and specifications, because the more you understand up front, the better you can deliver in the end.

While shouldering the success of a project, you’re tasked with managing needs, expectations, budgets, and schedules. Your clients need to know they can trust you with their design needs, and you’ll build that trust by demonstrating specific knowledge and expertise. Below, I’ll cover many of the garage door options your clients will navigate in order to get the garage door that reflects their individual wants and needs.

1. Panel Styles

Clients will want panels that complement their home. The four main panel options are:

  • Flush Panels: flat texture for subtle style.
  • Long Raised Panels: provide distinction.
  • Short Raised Panels: add depth and dimension.
  • Carriage Panels: enhance character with a vintage feel.

A great way to help clients narrow down their taste is by encouraging them to gather their ideas in a Houzz Ideabook. Houzz allows clients to choose designs they like from an aesthetic perspective, which you can use to inform them on things a picture doesn’t capture: pricing, materials, workload, and timing.

2. Material

The various materials garage doors are available in come with their own pros and cons. While painting, staining, and other types of customization allow for nearly endless final results, a garage door’s material determines how it will function as part of a client’s home.


If your clients are more interested in blending in than standing out, steel is by far the most popular garage door material. Steel garage doors exist at nearly every price point. They are energy efficient, quite, durable, and customizable. Choose steel doors for clients uninterested in performing routine maintenance.


Wood garage doors are a beautiful and classic choice. Sure, they have at higher price points, but clients who choose wood do it for the natural strength, superior craftsmanship, and aesthetic qualities. This material withstands bumps and scratches. Routine finishing or painting is needed to maintain the desired appearance.

3. Color and Texture

There are endless options for color and texture when designing a residential garage door. Some will want their doors to blend in and will want to stand out with a pop of color or accent detail. Steel doors are easier to apply custom color and maintain its lasting effect. Although choosing wood doesn’t exclude those who want to have fun with color.

4. Windows

Letting natural light into a garage space is wanted by most homeowners. Since so many window designs are available, this is another aspect to examine in your client’s Houzz Ideabook. By encouraging a client to collect what they find interesting, beautiful, exciting, or ideal, you’ll be better suited to give recommendations they’ll take to hear.

As a residential contractor, garage door design is an area you can demonstrate knowledge, experience, and expertise. Help clients navigate the seemingly endless decisions by understanding how their specific circumstances narrow many options for them. When this occurs, decision-making becomes easier, and your clients will have a more positive memory of the process.