Garage Door Buying Guide for Ranch-Style Homes


Like any other large fixture on your home’s exterior, your garage door should complement the style of your home. If you own a ranch-style home, certain garage doors work better than others. In this guide, we’ll explain what a ranch-style home is and which garage door types and materials are best suited for your home. 

Ranch-Style House Characteristics

The origin of the ranch home can be traced back to the Spanish Colonial architecture of North America, which often featured structures with wide eaves and low rooflines. The ranch home, as we know it today, emerged in the 1920s and experienced a significant boom after World War II. 

Its customizability and ease of construction made it popular among returning soldiers looking to start a family. By the 1950s, nine out of every ten newly constructed homes in the U.S. were ranchers, and their looks varied from region to region. Their popularity did not begin to decline until the 1970s when homeowners began to veer toward two-story homes again. 


Ranch homes are characterized by the following exterior features:

  • Low-pitch roofline
  • A mixture of exterior materials, most typically wood, brick, stone or stucco
  • Side-gabled, cross-gabled or hip roof 
  • Overhanging, deep eaves
  • Big windows
  • Glass sliding doors
  • Patio in the back
  • Attached garages

As for the interior, ranch homes generally include:

  • Separated bedrooms 
  • Open-concept dining room, living area and kitchen
  • Modest architectural details and adornments 
  • Full basement

Ranch homes come in a variety of types, including: 

  • California: Originally created by the architect Cliff May for his own personal use, the sprawling California ranch-style was designed to harmonize with the Californian landscape. Its influences include Spanish Colonial architecture and the Arts and Crafts movement. These homes are typically L or U-shaped. 
  • Suburban: This style of ranch home became popular during the post-WWII boom. In essence, these homes are simpler, smaller versions of the California-style ranch. They’re typically built on top of concrete slabs and contain tract material. Like the California-style home, suburban ranch homes also have open-concept floor plans. 
  • Split-level: Although these homes look just like suburban ranch homes from the outside, they actually have three levels on the inside. In split-level homes, the front entrance leads into the primary living space, kitchen and dining room. Then, on one side of the house, a half-staircase leads up to bedrooms and down to additional living areas. 
  • Raised: Also referred to as split-entry homes, these houses got their name because, when entering the front door, you have the option to either walk up or downstairs. In raised-style homes, recreation rooms, garages and other utilitarian spaces tend to be below the bedrooms, kitchen and primary living space. 
  • Storybook: Alternatively called Cinderella ranches, storybook ranches stand out for their ornate exteriors. Unlike the plain exteriors that characterize the majority of ranch homes, storybook ranch homes feature diamond-shaped window panes, exposed rafters and ornamental trim. 

Garages for Ranch-Style Homes

When shopping for a garage door for your ranch-style home, you should learn about the many different styles available and determine which one will go best with your home. Ranch homes generally combine classic and traditional elements, and there are many styles that will complement your design. 
Some garage door types that generally suit ranch homes include:
  • Traditional (Raised Panel): For homeowners wanting a simple design, traditional raised-panel doors are the go-to option. This style tends to go well with ranch homes, as it has few details and a simple overall appearance. Some homeowners choose to spruce these doors up with windows, accents and the color of their choice. 
  • Carriage House:Carriage house-style doors are a good choice for ranch houses with more detailed exteriors. These popular doors can make a ranch-style home look more classy and elegant. If you’d like a door that will boost your home’s return on investment and boost its appeal, a carriage house-style door is worth considering. 
  • Contemporary: If you own a modern-looking ranch home with a bold exterior and clean lines, a contemporary garage door may be a perfect choice. Their distinct appearance will serve as a great focal point. Contemporary garage doors can also be personalized with different colors and materials to make sure it matches the rest of your home’s exterior. 

If you really want to take your ranch home to the next level, consider one of the Clopay series:

Value Series

The Clopay Value Series is a great way to enhance the appearance of your home. It comes in 24 or 25-gauge steel with a sturdy two-inch steel frame and is made to look beautiful and last for many years. You have a choice between many different colors, styles of panels and decorative windows, allowing you to design a door that boosts your house’s curb appeal and suits your budget. 

Some other benefits of the Value Series include: 

  • Shiplap/tongue-and-groove section joints: These joints help keep out rain, snow and wind. 
  • Bottom weather seal: The bottom weather seal is in an aluminum, rust-proof retainer that will help keep elements from coming into your garage. 
  • Safe-T-Bracket®: This helps to prevent serious injuries that could result if the bottom bracket were taken out while the door was closed and under tension. 
  • Nylon rollers: Nylon rollers allow for smooth, quiet operation. 
  • Galvanized steel hinges: These hinges are reliable, durable and secure. 
  • Outside/inside grip handles and step plates: Grip handles and step plates make it safe and easy to operate your door manually.

Value Plus Series

The Value Plus Series models feature insulated garage doors that both enhance your home’s appearance and increase its energy efficiency. Like the Value Series, these doors are also available in 24 or 25-gauge steel, but they also come with polystyrene insulation in thicknesses of 7/8 inches or 1-5/16 inches. 


These models offer good insulating R-values, security and strength, plus a beautiful appearance and quiet operation. Like the Value Series, the Value Plus Series models are available in many colors, panel styles and decorative window options. 

The Value Plus Series offers many of the same benefits as the Value Series, including the tongue-and-groove/shiplap, replaceable bottom weather seal, Safe-T-Bracket®, smooth, quiet nylon rollers and durable and secure steel hinges. The main benefit the Value Plus Series offers over the Value Series is the polystyrene insulation, which provides energy efficiency, quiet operation and comfort throughout the year. 

Consider the Garage Door Material

In addition to the style, you’ll also need to choose the material of your garage door. Some options to consider are: 

  • Aluminum: Aluminum garage doors offer many of the characteristics of steel, including long-lasting finishes and faux wood texturing options. Aluminum is also cheaper and lighter than steel, although it is also more susceptible to dents. 
  • Wood: The earliest garage doors were made from wood, and this material is still popular with homeowners who desire a more traditional look. Wood doors provide warmth and come in a wide variety of styles, but require regular maintenance and refinishing. Wood is a decent insulator and provides better insulation than steel doors, but insulated steel doors provide much better energy conservation. 
  • Wood composite: These doors are made from recycled wood fibers. They’re as strong as steel, have the texture of wood and can be stained or painted. These doors are more resistant to splitting and rot than solid wood doors. 
  • Fiberglass: Garage doors made from fiberglass comprise a very small fraction of the market. Its panels are encased in frames made from aluminum and are more dent-resistant than thin steel doors. Although very light, fiberglass does not insulate well and can easily fade from exposure to the elements. However, it is less susceptible to corrosion from salt water, making it a preferable choice for homes near the ocean. 
  • Steel: Steel doors provide a multitude of benefits, including security, safety, durability, attractiveness and good value. 

Steel Garage Doors 


Steel is the most popular garage door material, and it’s not hard to understand why. Some of the most significant benefits of steel garage doors include: 

  • Good value: The upfront costs of purchasing and installing a steel door is generally less than those associated with traditional wooden doors. Steel doors last longer than those made out of natural or other synthetic materials, require less maintenance and will retain their attractiveness for many years to come. If the door is made out of modern galvanized steel, they won’t rot or rust, either. 
  • Security and safety: A steel garage door is strong. Would-be thieves will be unable to find the normal weak spots associated with fiberglass, wooden and certain composite garage doors. Additionally, if your home experiences a fire, it will not affect your steel garage door. Your steel door will provide you and your family with a safe route of escape if your other exterior doors are unusable. 
  • Energy efficiency: Good insulation comes standard with steel garage doors and will help ensure your garage stays comfortable no matter the outside temperature. Poorly insulated garage doors cause a garage to get too hot during the summer and too cold during the winter. It will also affect the area directly above the garage, and if there’s a living or workspace above, the A/C or the furnace will be needed to complete with the temperatures in the garage below. With a steel garage door, your heating and cooling bills will be lower. 
  • Beauty: The panels on steel garage doors can be easily molded and stamped into shapes that are attractive. They can also be installed with window panels of practically any style. Plus, since a steel garage door will require painting less often, it will retain its beauty for a long time. 
  • Less maintenance: Perhaps the worst thing about garage doors is that they seem to fail at the most inconvenient times. While people are often familiar with some of the benefits of steel garage doors, few are aware that, despite their immense strength, they are relatively lightweight. This means the door puts less strain on the opener mechanism, meaning it will last longer. 

Consider Which Style Best Complements Your Ranch-Style Home 

Many garage doors are available in one of the four panel styles: traditional short, traditional long, flush and ribbed. For most ranch homes, the traditional long style tends to work the best, although one of the other three may work as well, depending on the characteristics of your ranch home: 

  • Traditional short: Traditional short panels work well with homes that have traditional styling. 
  • Traditional long: This classic panel style works well with most types of homes, but it looks especially good on ranch homes.
  • Flush: Flush panels are an ideal choice for contemporary homes, as well as some transitional-style houses.
  • Ribbed: Ribbed panels tend to complement homes in the transition style, as well as utility structures. 

Consider Which Color Best Complements Your Home

When choosing a color for your garage door, keep the following tips in mind: 

  • Don’t match the color of your garage door to the color of your front door. Your front door should be your home’s focal point. It’s an area where a statement can be made, so if you’ve picked a bold color, painting your garage door the same color may have an overwhelming effect. 
  • Try to match your garage door to your home. This will help your garage door blend with your house — and may even make it appear larger. The trim around your garage door can also be painted to match the trim around your front door, which will help create a seamless appearance. 
  • If you want to boost your home’s curb appeal, don’t strive for uniqueness. Garage doors painted an unconventional color or multiple colors tend to have less curb appeal than doors painted in a single neutral color. If you’d like to sell your house, keep this in mind. 
  • Consider the material of your garage door and your home. What material is your home made of? Certain materials are best complemented by certain colors. 
  • If you’re doubting yourself, opt for the safest choice.The safest and most popular approach is to match the color of your garage door with that of your home’s windows and trim work. 

If you opt for a model from the Clopay Value Series and Value Series Plus, the beautiful colors available to you are: 

  • Standard White 
  • Almond Desert
  • Tan
  • Sandstone
  • Chocolate

Pick the Right Garage Door for Your Ranch-Style Home


If you’re a resident of Toledo, OH or one of its surrounding counties, Quality Overhead Door is the company you’ll want for all your garage door needs. For over 30 years, we’ve been providing Toledo residents with the best service possible, with reliability, responsiveness, trustworthiness and high-quality products. 

We provide top-tier repairs and maintenance on all makes and models — even if you bought your door elsewhere. Plus, we also provide a free estimate before installing a new garage door and a warranty once it’s finished. We do this to make sure our customers are satisfied throughout the process. 

To schedule a service, fill out our contact form or give us a call at 419.578.8700.

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