How to Turn Ordinary Garage Door Hinges into Decorative Carriage Hinges

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Garage doors are often one of the most overlooked exterior décor features of a home. However, you can turn the ordinary into the extraordinary by adding hardware to give your garage doors a carriage house look. You can turn yesterday's drab garage doors into doors that give your garage a high-end, stately look of a rustic carriage house. In fact, after you add the hinges you may find yourself tempted to add extras, such as matching carriage-style door lifts and pulls with decorative designs, such as a lion or a horse.

  • Examine your garage doors to see where existing hinges are placed. More than likely, there will be a "butt plate" on the far sides of the frame for the garage door. If the current butt plate is silver, you should consider painting it black to match the carriage-look finish of black hinges.

  • Determine how many hinges you will need to add. For example, if there are three current hinges on each side, you should add three carriage hinges to make the look consistent.

  • Explore and decide on a hinge style. The most typical designs have a rustic look, embellished with a fleur de lis design, endings that look like an evergreen tree, or end designs that look like a sword.

  • Choose a color and finish for the hinges. Most ready-made hinges are made of metal and come in powder coated black, copper, silver or pewter finishes and have a stamped or hand-forged look. Black is a popular and traditional choice because it has the striking, unmistakable look of a carriage house.

  • Select between a magnetic hinge or a screw-in hinge. If you have steel doors, you have the option of using magnetic hinges. This will make installation easy because all you have to do is place the hinges on the garage door. Test the door with a magnet to make sure that magnetic hinges will adhere. If your doors are made of wood, all you will have to do is drill small holes and screw the hinges onto the door.

  • Purchase the quantity of hinges that you will need from a local garage door hardware retail supplier, or shop on the internet. Most hinges range from 12 to 16 inches in length.

  • Take a photo of your garage doors with you if you hop for hinges in person. Make notes on the measurements of existing butt plates. This will help the salesperson to assist you to pick the right size, design and color for your carriage hinges. You will also have a nice before and after photo record of your project.

  • Install the hinges based on the packaging directions and any advice you get from your hardware retailer.

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