Matt and Mary Walker Goddard’s old garage doors were not operating properly when they decided to call a company to check them out.

In the process of learning they had a sensor problem, the Goddards also learned that garage doors much more attractive than ones they had were available.

The design of their old doors was nothing out of the ordinary, just plain white doors, Matt Goddard says.

Getting doors that would add to their Daniel Island home’s curb appeal was something that had been on their radar for a while.

They decided to go for it, he says.

Their new carriage-style doors are not only attractive but can withstand high-velocity winds and are energy efficient, Goddard says.

The couple purchased the doors from All About Garage Doors in Summerville, and owner Robert Gatch says many homeowners are choosing higher-end, decorative garage doors.

Homeowners choosing those doors usually want to distinguish their homes from their neighbors’ homes, or they want to make their residence more attractive to potential buyers, Gatch says.

His customers, he says, don’t seem to be getting the resistance from homeowners’ associations that they did just a couple of years ago.

Carriage-style popular

Carriage-style garage doors with black hardware and a beadboard look are popular, Gatch says. But those who want to see other styles for their homes can visit websites that enable them to custom design their own look.

“If someone brings in a picture of their home, we can also download it and paste a door to it,” Gatch says.

Customers are buying more steel and vinyl doors because they are more durable than wood, he says. Wood can be a bit expensive to maintain.

Accents often include glass because it lets natural light in.

But features are not just about looks.

“Down here, anything that is new construction by code has to withstand a 130-mile-per-hour wind,” Gatch says. “Some doors are insulated to make them more energy efficient.

Most garage doors have an R-value, a measure of an insulation’s thermal resistance, of about 9, Gatch says. Some of the doors he installs have an R factor of up to 17.

Those high-end doors run from about $1,000 and upward per garage door. Many have 15- to 20-year warranties.

“The newest thing out is a dual painting system that makes the door look like real wood grain,” says Stephen Borders, vice president of Southeastern Garage Doors. “That’s probably the hottest thing.”

Different overlays are added to the front of a steel door, he says. Many owners prefer them because they increase a home’s value.

“Garage doors are a substantial part of the home’s exterior,” Borders says. “Why should it be bland and cheap?

“You may start to notice some differences on houses that are just above the basic starter home,” Borders says. “They may not be energy efficient, but they are better looking.”

Buying a garage door that is energy efficient is important only if the garage is insulated, Borders says.

There is no reason to put an insulated door with an R value of 16 to 18 on an uninsulated garage.

Door as an accessory

Like the front door, the garage door is becoming an accessory, says Rodney Mock, assistant store manager of Lowe’s in West Ashley.

They come in a range of colors, with different glasses, retro styles and metal-stamped designs.

But the vast majority of homeowners shopping at Lowe’s are purchasing basic white doors with four panels, Mock says.

“People would be more apt to get something more aggressive if it were not for the HOA restrictions,” he says.