True carriage doors, the kind that actually swing open on hinges, are expensive, custom-made items that few people consider practical these days. But you can still get that old-world look with the convenience of a modern overhead door by upgrading to a carriage-look door, like the one by Clopay that we installed here. Each door has four foam-filled steel sections that slide up and down on tracks. The applied rails, stiles, and braces are made of a rot-resistant composite. To complete the look, we added black steel handles and faux strap hinges.

Installing these doors should be done by professionals. Each panel weighs over 100 pounds, and the springs can pop loose unexpectedly with dangerous results. In one day, for between $600 and $800, a pro can make sure the new springs and tracks are mounted correctly so that the door will operate smoothly and keep its warranty. Here is an overview of the basic steps my crew and I took on installation day.

This pair of overhead garage doors, from Clopay's Coachman Collection, Series Two, look like old-fashioned carriage doors.
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    Tools List

    • drill
      Impact driver, for driving screws through hinges and brackets
    • locking pliers
      Locking pliers, used to hold open the door while the spring is attached
    • ratchet wrench
      Ratchet wrench, used to tighten nuts on machine screws
    • ladder

    Shopping List

    Sectional garage door, hinged panels that roll on tracks

    Assorted garage-door hardware and tracks, used to support the door in doorway opening

    Decorative hardware,to mimic handles on traditional outswing doors