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6 Practical Garage Door Alternatives

A collage of different garage doors.

Traditional garage doors are the standard nowadays, but it doesn’t mean you need to be stuck with this style for your garage. While it can be functional for a wide range of purposes, other door styles can be more practical and effective in achieving the aesthetic goals for your home.

There are many stylish and practical door styles that can take the place of the traditional residential garage door. Check them out below.

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1. Roll-Up Screen

Garage with a roll-up screen door.

One of the best ways to save money on your garage door is to simply install a roll-up screen instead. If you don’t feel the need to have a very secure garage door, then you can make use of one of these screens.

The screen will keep the sun out of the garage and can also protect you from pesky insects. It is remarkably easy to install, as well, making it one of the simplest options that you could consider.

The problem with the roll-up screen is that it will not provide a lot of protection for your belongings. This isn’t a door that you can lock.

If you are the type of person who keeps a lot of equipment or tools in your garage, then you may want something a bit sturdier to protect your important items. Regardless, this is something that can save you a lot of money.

Compared to a traditional garage door, this roll-up screen is going to be quite inexpensive. You’ll be able to buy one for a small amount of money and can then make use of it right away.

Installing it is very easy and it won’t take a lot of skill to get the job done. If you are looking for an easy solution, then this is definitely the easiest one.

If you buy a roll-up screen hardware kit, it should even come with instructions on how you are supposed to install it. You’ll be able to hang it up in a matter of minutes, and your new garage door alternative will be ready.

The option being shown here makes use of magnets to open and close. It’s a really easy door to use and rolling it up is simple, as well.


You will be able to install this roll-up screen very easily. It will block out the sunlight when it is down and it will keep the insects at bay.

Rolling the screen up and down feels natural, so you won’t have a problem making use of it. This is a cost-effective option that is becoming a popular garage door alternative.


This isn’t really much of a garage door, and it isn’t going to keep your belongings safe. Someone could very easily break into your garage if you simply had a screen for a door.

This is also not going to keep your garage very warm in the winter months. It is an affordable option, but it may not be the best option for your garage.

2. Barn Doors

Garage with a barn door.

You may want to give your garage a little bit of a down-home feeling. If you make a barn door for your garage, then you can definitely achieve a very country vibe.

There are a few ways that you can go about this too. You could decide to build your own door or you could buy an existing barn door and have it modified to fit your garage.

If you are looking for garage door alternatives to save money, then you likely won’t want to buy a barn door. It depends though, as it is possible to buy old barn doors inexpensively and then restore them.

The most common option would be to take on the task of building a barn door for your garage. This will involve taking some measurements and cutting some wood.

Those who are comfortable with using carpentry tools will be right at home with building a barn door. You can also choose to buy a barn door hardware kit from major hardware stores.

This will make installing a barn door simple, and it will come with a barn door. This option is a bit more expensive, but you will have everything that you need.


Making a barn door for your garage is a versatile option that you should consider. You can either buy a barn door to install, or you can decide to make your own.

Either way, you should be able to get a really nice door for your garage. It will be very practical, and you’ll have the ability to match it up nicely to the visual style of your garage.


This option is either going to be labor-intensive, or it is going to cost you some money. You should still be able to pay for a barn door and have it be less than a traditional garage door.

The amount of money that you will save may not be too high, though. If your goal is to save money, then going the DIY route is likely the best option.

3. Carriage Doors

Garage with a carriage door.

If you want to build your own door for your garage, then a carriage door is going to be a great option to consider. Carriage doors are undeniably charming and can provide your garage area with a welcoming look.

As long as you have some woodworking and carpentry skills, making one of these doors won’t present too much of a challenge. If you are a DIY newbie, then taking on a task like this might be a bit too much.

It really isn’t that bad, though. Making a carriage door will involve building a door frame and then cutting boards to build the actual door itself. You’ll be adding some hinges to the doors and using a latch in the middle to close the two sides together. It’s a simple but elegant design that will look really nice if you put enough effort into it.

Some people decide to make windows for their carriage doors, as well. You could have a little window at the top of each door, or several little square windows if you feel so inclined.

It really depends on how much work you want to put into it. Adding the windows in can definitely add to the aesthetic appeal, so keep it in mind if you’re feeling like you want your project to turn out perfectly.


This is a garage door alternative that will turn out nicely if you have the right carpentry skills. Carriage doors are really charming, and you can stain the wood or paint it so that it will match your garage.

It can look like a professional door with enough elbow grease. If you have the time and the know-how, then you should definitely give this a shot.


This isn’t the easiest solution to your garage door problem. It isn’t too tough to learn how to do this, but not everyone is great with a hammer, saw, and nails.

If you don’t have the confidence to pull this off, then you may want to turn elsewhere for a garage door alternative. Otherwise, this is a really good door style that you’ll want to keep on your radar.

4. Sheet Metal Doors

Garage with a sheet metal door.

It may seem like an odd option, but many people decide to make a door for their garage out of sheet metal. This is a really inexpensive option that can save you quite a bit of money versus buying a traditional garage door.

In order to do this properly, you will need to be comfortable with cutting sheet metal. The sheet metal will need to be cut into the right size and then made into a door that will fit your garage. It shouldn’t be too arduous to install some hinges and a handle.

There are two ways that you can go about doing this. You could try to emulate the typical roll-up garage doors that everyone has on his or her garage.

This might be a bit difficult, but it is something that you could possibly do. The easiest route to take would be to build a simple swing door.

The swing door will be able to swing outward on the hinges, giving you access to your garage. Some people choose to use a simple latch to secure these types of doors to garages.

This won’t create an airtight seal, but it will allow you to close up your garage. This option will take a bit of work but it should be really affordable overall, assuming that you have the right tools to work with the sheet metal.


This is a very affordable way to make a garage door. It allows you to avoid the costly event of needing to buy a traditional garage door. You’ll need to have some DIY skill, but that is true for most of the alternatives on this list.

It is an option that is dependent on your own skill and whether or not you can make it look nice.


The look of a sheet metal garage door is not going to be incredibly appealing, in all likelihood. It is possible that your door could turn out nice, but usually, these garage doors are best when you don’t care too much about how the garage looks.

This also isn’t simple to do if you have never worked with sheet metal before. You’ll want to make sure that you have enough time to get things right before proceeding.

5. Sliding Doors

Barn-style sliding garage doors

Source: Real Carriage Doors

A sliding garage door works just like a sliding door in the house. It has a track on both sides of the door and will slide down the track manually or at a push of a button.


Sliding garage doors save you space, allow for more versatility, and are known to be secure and durable.


Sliding garage doors can be more expensive than the other alternatives. It’s also the least weather-tight garage door option and can be heavy to operate.

6. Folding Doors

3-panel wood folding doors for the garage

Source: Real Carriage Doors

Folding garage doors can be bifold, 3-panel, or 4-panel. They’re a great way to connect and divide the indoors and the outdoors.


Folding garage doors don’t reduce the height of your garage.


Folding garage doors need space to operate and can put a stress on the house structure.

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