Renovating Your Tudor Home? Keep The Look Authentic With A Vintage Style Garage Door

Your Tudor home could be more than a hundred years old or a newly built property that incorporates the traditional features. Either way, when it comes down to repairing or replacing that garage door, you'll want to stick to the vintage style to enhance your curb appeal. Below is a brief explanation of the Tudor style and some tips for making your garage door look authentic—why not try these out?

What is the Tudor Style?

The Tudor name dates back to between 1485 and 1603, when Medieval England was ruled by the Tudor dynasty, including the famous King Henry VIII. At the latter part of the 19th century, the style was brought to the United States. Typical features include the Tudor arch, or pointed arch, and a multi-peaked roof, often having dormer windows. Dormers stick out from the sides of the main roof and have their own sides and tops. Tudor homes typically include a separate garage, once known as a carriage house. Modern Tudor style homes sometimes include the garage built into the main house. The facade is made up of wood beams and stucco work, creating the distinctive "blocked" design.

Typical Tudor Door Styles and Materials

The Vintage Wood Look

Traditional Tudor garage doors are made of wood. If that wood is bit weathered, that's even better. New wood can be made to look old by a process known as distressing. By using stains, sanding some bits down and actually hitting the wood to create small marks, the wood takes on a slightly used appearance. Putting a sealer on the wood prevents moisture from getting into any of the nicks. Cedar and redwood are two of the most common woods used in today's garage doors. Cedar comes in blonde and reddish shades and is naturally resistant to insects and water. Redwood has a distinct reddish color, brought out by staining and sealants.

Using Twin Doors that Open from the Middle

Tudor garage doors usually have two sides that meet in the middle. They open out, one half at a time. This is a holdover from the days when heavy wood was your only choice and lifting a garage door above your head could prove dangerous. Redwood and cedar are still heavy and best suited for the twin door version. In modern Tudor style homes, single-car garages often have one door that opens up. Lighter doors that are easier to lift are often made from plywood, an inner foam core and a layer of eye-pleasing veneer. This lighter door gives you the option of using an electric garage door opener.  Electronic door openers can also often be used on the twin-door variety, depending on the design and available space.  

Adding Embellishments for that Vintage Appeal

Tudor styled wrought iron hinges and door handles give your garage door that authentic look. Wrought iron is formed by heating low-carbon iron in a forge and then pounding it into the desired shape. The method is similar to making horseshoes. The hinges and door handles are heavy and can usually be used only on heavier doors.  Lightweight decorative hinges and door handles made of lighter metals, fiberglass or high-end plastics are also options.

Paned windows also add to the Tudor home look. Vintage paned windows were usually clear to provide much-needed light. The original style had several small panes in a row, or rows, across the tops of the garage doors. Today's windows tend to be larger and come in colored or opaque glass as well as clear. Specially cut glass may also be ordered to fit in the original window frames.

Carriage lamps, also called carriage lights, are usually set in pairs on lamp posts on either side of the garage doors or on the facade surrounding it. The originals were lit with kerosene, but the much safer modern variety is powered by electricity. It's even possible to get solar powered carriage lamps that still have an old fashioned look.