Building Modern on a Budget Ep.8 | Glass Garage & Front Door + Painting

Monday, September 28, 2020 -
How we painted our house inside and out and how we installed upscale glass front entry and garage doors while staying on budget

*This post is sponsored by Pinky's Iron Doors and contains affiliate links. 

When we drew up the budget for our custom house and detached workshop, I knew there were a couple areas where I was going to splurge. I was willing to scale back on light fixtures, cabinets, and even forego flooring all together (*spoiler: we sealed our concrete slab instead), but there were 3 big things I wasn't willing to compromise on: stairs (more on those later), garage doors, and a front entry door. We made sure to allow a pretty generous allowance for those line items.

In my opinion, the minimal style of contemporary architecture puts extra weight on the few ornamental elements it does feature. Basically, if your house has gorgeous moulding and dramatic rooflines on the exterior, a generic garage door is less noticeable. But, if your house is a smooth, white box, details as small as the front door knob will make a huge impact on it's overall look. 

I really wanted the front façade of our new home to stand out. I want ALLLLL the curb appeal! And surprisingly, we were able to find the exact exterior and garage doors we wanted, stayed within budget, and for less than you might expect. Check out the build video below for the whole process, or keep scrolling for the overview. 

Garage Doors

The garage attached to the house is only 2-cars wide, but one half is considered a "tandem", which means it's double deep. That way we get the capacity of a 3-car garage, but it only looks like standard 2-car from the street. However, like any other 3-car garage, we needed to purchase at least two overhead doors and openers. 

The detached workshop is technically a large RV garage (although we don't own an RV). The opening on the west side is 12' x 14' and the shorter, East side is 10' x 10'. Unfortunately, no matter what style/quality you choose, when you're buying an overhead door of that size, you're gonna have to fork over some serious cash. Our budget included $12,000 for all 4 doors. 

The biggest budget buster was the fact that I was determined to find doors with LOADS of glass (shocking, I know). I had my heart set on a wide, "full view" door for the front of the house and cool, smooth panel doors with vertical windows for the rest. 

Both Bryce and I looked around and got quotes from almost every door manufacture who sells in Arizona. It took quite a bit of digging, but we finally found a local garage door company, named On Track Garage Doors, who was able to provide all 4 doors, 2 openers, and professional installation for $10,870. 

Over $1,100 under budget! 

*HUGE money saving tip for you: When we first started researching "full view" garage doors, we were only finding aluminum framed doors. They are beautifully thin and modern looking, but they are ridiculously expensive. Like, $6,500-7,000 for a basic 16' x 8' door, and as much as $9,000 + if you want it insulated (a necessity here in the Arizona desert). I finally discovered the manufacturer C.H.I. Overhead Doors , which produces a flat panel steel door called "Skyline Flush", which allows you to customize each panel individually, including adding four wide windows on every level. The frames are slightly thicker than you see with aluminum models, but the design allows you to add a good amount of functional insulation and the best part, THIS OPTION IS HALF THE PRICE! No kidding. We scored our 16' x 8', glass garage door for only $3,800. 

Front Entry Door

If you've been following along with our DIY Modern House Building journey, you know I love glass. In fact, we ordered and installed 48 windows between house and shop. I know glass isn't the most practical material, but I have desperate need for daylight and clean lines, which glass fulfills in spades. 

I was hoping for an oversized steel framed front door to coordinate with the black steel awning we plan to install over the entryway. Luckily, "iron" doors are actually quite popular here in the Phoenix area due to our warm and dry environment. I talked to several Arizona-based door companies, but no one fabricated a style with the minimal, modern look I wanted. 

I looked around online and ultimately, I discovered Pinky's Iron Doors, located not too distant Los Angeles. I was thrilled to discover they have several modern styles with thin frames and large panes of glass. I pretty much LOVE everything they sell! 

We ordered the "Air 4" in black with clear, low-e glass. Surprisingly, the extra large, 42" x 96" door cost only $2,592. I know, that sounds like a lot of money (because it is), but that's actually a smoking deal for an entry door of that size! We would have paid that much or more for a wood or high quality fiberglass door if we had gone that direction. 

And just look at it!  *Cue all the heart-eyed emojis. 

Its a little unorthodox to have a completely clear front door, but when you see it nestled in among all those large, black framed windows on the front of the house, it looks like it was meant to be. 

I guess my rock throwing days are done ; )


While we're talking about curb appeal, nothing makes a bigger impact on the look of a building as the paint scheme. We chose the color Alabaster for the stucco wall, and "Iron Ore" for the accents and trim. Both colors are from Sherwin Williams and we used Duration Exterior paint. 

Not that is was our choice, but if I could give you one piece of advice regarding building your own home, DON'T paint a 1,200 sqft shop and two-story house during an Arizona summer! 

When the air temperature is 115+ degrees, not only is it miserable for the humans, but the paint doesn't like it either. We had a lot of trouble with the paint drying too quickly as it was sprayed. We had to change our technique several times and ended up using WAY more paint than I think we needed. 

On the exterior, we used about 40 gallons of primer, 50 gallons of Alabaster and 15 gallons of Iron Ore. 

As we moved to the interior of the house, I naively thought it may be a little less hellish since we weren't working in the direct sun. 

I quickly discovered that since we had to mask off all the windows and doors and we were atomizing all that water-based paint into the air, we basically turned the house into a giant greenhouse/ humidifier. 

Our house is just about 2,600 sqft and the attached garage is an additional 650 sqft. We were able to spray the entire interior, ceilings and all, in 3 (long) days. One day for primer, and one day for each coat of paint. 

We went with Sherwin Williams Duration Interior in the color "Pure White" for both the ceilings and walls. Typically, the ceiling is painted with a true flat paint and the walls will often receive a slightly higher sheen like eggshell or satin. I'll be honest, we just didn't have it in us to tape and mask off every wall and ceiling twice, especially in the 19' tall great room. We decided to go with a sheen called "matte" everywhere. Matte is just one tiny step above flat. It pretty much looks flat (which I like) but it's a little more scrubable and easier to live with. 

Painting the entire and exterior of our house and shop ourselves was one of the physically hardest things I've had to do before, but when I stand back and look at the results, it was totally worth it. 

I can't wait to cover those unfinished areas covered with stone and Corten steel siding! It's finally starting to look like the vision I've had in my head for almost 2 years! 

Since our Modern House Building series is titled Building Modern on a Budget, let's get down to the brass tacks. Time to talk money. 

Although the overhead and front entry door were indulgent, they miraculously came in on budget. We spent $10,870 for garage doors, and after receiving a small sponsorship for my Pinky's front entry door, we paid an additional $2,028. 

At this point, we have drawn $193,539 from our construction loan

Paint was SHOCKINGLY more expensive than we expected. We were hoping to spend between $6-8k on materials but ended up having to fork out nearly $10,000! All those trips to Sherwin Williams to buy more paint started to add up and we began to help offset some of the expense from our construction loan and paid $2,826 out of pocket. 

We have currently spent about $37,358 out of pocket - that we know of ; ) If you're curious about the rest of the numbers, check out the Building Modern on a Budget series on the Pneumatic Addict YouTube channel and make sure you subscribe! 

If you like that, you'll love these ideas:


Let's be friends! Follow along so you don't miss a thing!

No comments

Powered by Blogger.