What to Know About Colonial Cuts

Garages with colonial cuts require a little more care when choosing designs, but there are plenty of options for you!

When choosing a garage door, it’s important that you take your entire home into consideration, especially the area right around your garage door. For some homes it could be an arched garage door frame while others have colonial cuts (also called dog ears and angle cuts) around their garage doors. Colonial cuts can impact the overall garage door design and energy efficiency. If you have this type of garage door frame there are some factors you may want to consider to ensure your new door has the best fit.

Colonial cuts can affect the weather seal.

Colonial Cut over Window

Weather seal is the vinyl flap that is placed around the outside frame of a garage door. It helps to stop the air infiltration around the opening of the garage door. It is nailed and back caulked to the frame and should rest flush on the garage door to function properly.

On a standard rectangle garage door frame, the weather seal doesn’t touch the windows, but with the position of the weather seal on the garage door frame, colonial cuts can become problematic. The weather seal will overlap the window and ultimately become less reliable to eliminate air infiltration.

You should avoid decorative hardware if you have colonial cuts.

If your garage has colonial cuts along the garage door frame, you should avoid decorative hardware. The hinges and straps lay flush on the door but as the garage door opens and closes, the decorative hardware has to pass along the weather seal. The constant rubbing on the weather seal can eventually cause the weather seal to fray and tear, allowing air infiltration to affect the energy efficiency of your garage door and also result in heat loss.

Additionally, the weather seal tends to rub against the window insert which can cause the weather seal to deteriorate more quickly and ultimately not allow for a weather tight seal.

Know which window designs will work best with colonial cuts.

Designs for Colonial Cut Garages

When choosing your garage door, it’s important to consider which window design will work best for the colonial cut. You don’t want part of your window or garage door design to be blocked by the angle of the cut. You also don’t want to lose the reliability of the weather seal if the vinyl runs over the window. Windows that have an arch look good with this kind of garage door frame because the window isn’t blocked by the cut in the frame.

You have several options here. Arched simulated divided lites allow the weather seal to properly seal the door while making sure the window design isn’t blocked by the colonial cut. The curve of the window means the window won’t be obscured by the colonial cut and the simulated divided lite offers a smooth window pane, unlike the window insert. Going for a windowless look actually complements the dog ear architecture nicely. When choosing a windowless garage door, be sure the design doesn't get lost behind the weather seal. A custom design in the window pane (such as dutch corners on the blue vinyl composite door above) can match the colonial cut and play off of the angular design.

Don’t love the colonial cut look?

Some homeowners just really can’t fall in love with the colonial cut design and want to change to a traditional rectangular opening. While this isn’t something that we do at Precision (we stick to garage doors), we want to help you make informed choices regarding said garage door. Reaching out to a reliable, licensed and insured local contractor is a good place to start. Our customers have received quotes of $800–$1200 per door depending on the size and number of doors from contractors they've received estimates from.