Does It Matter Which Way My Garage Door Faces?

The direction of your garage door could cause issues with material and color choices.

We all know the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. But did you ever think that the sun could affect the type of garage door you can put on your home? Knowing which direction your garage door faces and the ways in which it can impact the materials and colors you choose is the very first step in finding the perfect garage door for your home.

Stand outside with your back to the garage. Take out that trusty iPhone and open the Compass app (you know, the one you never thought you’d need). Once you’ve determined which way your garage door faces, check below to see if you need to be concerned.

If your garage door faces North:

Phew! You’re in the clear! Garage doors that face North have limited exposure to the sun throughout the day which allows for most every color and material to be used for your garage door.

A garage door with Northern exposure really allows you the freedom to choose almost any garage door. Opt for a bold curb appeal with a unique black garage door! Overlays add dimension and depth to your garage door but offer the durability of a steel door you know and love.

With so many garage door options, head over to our Learning Center for more garage door information!


If your garage door faces East:

Garage doors that face the East generally remain cooler as they do not get all that much sun exposure throughout the day. However, you’ll need to think about colors and materials depending how far Southeast your garage door faces. Read on.

If your garage door faces the West:

Garage doors that face West are exposed to more sunlight during the hottest parts of the day, causing them to absorb more heat. You will need to think about colors and materials if your garage door faces the West. Read on.

Western exposure requires lighter garage door colors. Depending on the color of your door, you may be required to use a specially made paint by the manufacturer which is made to have Light Reflective Values.

If your garage door faces South:

Your garage door receives a great deal of sun exposure throughout the day. You’ll need to choose your garage door carefully, as a garage door that faces South is met with some restrictions regarding color and material.

Color Considerations

Homeowners with Southern facing doors or extended sun exposure should be wary of dark doors like black, hunter green or painted dark woodtones as they absorb more heat. In fact, some manufacturers will vet your garage direction prior to the sale of a dark door color or have you sign off on paperwork that you understand by purchasing this color based on the direction of your garage, will invalidate your warranty.

We all understand that paint has the potential to fade depending on its exposure to the sun, so choosing the color carefully on a Southern facing door is key. White is always a safe bet, with some manufacturers providing a sample of colors with low LRV (Light Reflective Values) that can be used on their doors. Choosing a dark color on a Southern facing door can lead to permanent warping, overlays popping off on their own or even a physical skin burn from the high heat of a door.

If you are set on having a dark color door with a Southern exposure, don’t worry–we can help you find a material that will work. It may just require additional maintenance to ensure the longevity of your garage door.

Material Considerations

What’s under the paint has a big impact on your door choice, as well. Consider the above color notes in addition to the materials when designing your perfect door.

Stamped steel, as a material, works for all sun exposures but you’ll need to be careful of combining it with dark colors due to heat absorption and potential skin burns. Overlay doors, in which the overlay is a different material than the base (ex: a PVC overlay on a steel door) can be susceptible to warping with extreme Southern exposure, and the varying expansion and contraction speeds may cause the overlays to pop off the door. Wood doors will work with a Southern facing exposure, but may require more frequent finishing. Fiberglass can take extreme heat, but white will tend to yellow more quickly in a Southern facing environment.

A Solution for Southern Facing Garage Doors in Dark Colors:

Hello wood composite! This material can absorb heat better than others, so it’s often better for garage doors that face South and have harsh sun exposure as they can resist fading. Wood composites are a great material for garage doors because you can customize the design to be exactly what you want. They can withstand the elements better than other garage door materials. They require little to no maintenance but you can create a custom look specific for your home without the work to refinish or repaint often.

Your knowledgeable Door Designer can help you determine which way your garage door faces as well as which materials and colors will perform best at your home. However, it will ultimately be your decision when it comes to garage door materials and colors. If you’re investing the money in a new garage door, you want to make sure it looks and performs its best for years to come!