Garage Door is the Iconic Face of a Historic Firehouse Turned Home

Aug 03, 2020
Anthony Carrino at The Home Depot

Design and construction expert, Anthony Carrino

You may recognize Anthony Carrino as the co-host and construction expert from the popular HGTV series, “Kitchen Cousins.” Now he is launching a new online series – – to share the realities, along with the reveals, of home remodeling.

In the first season, Carrino takes viewers through the ins and outs of converting a 1890s firehouse in Jersey City, NJ into a home – his home.

“I’ve put together real, actionable information for homeowners through this series,” Anthony said. “Something to prepare them for what they’re in for and to help them make their own projects successful.”

drone view with NYC skyline of Anthony Carrino's home project

A drone shot of the firehouse with the new Clopay door.

After 20 years of living in condos and apartments, there were two things on Anthony’s must-have list for his forever home: an awesome office and a functional garage.

Garage doors are the iconic face of every fire station, and since this one is included on the National Historic Register, Anthony had to make sure he was respecting the exterior of the building by using products that reflect the period.

Before photo of the Anthony Carrino Project
An oversize commercial steel door and worn windows detracted from the building’s character and energy efficiency.

The firehouse had been used as a construction office before Anthony purchased the building to make it his home.

Exterior shot at dusk of the Anthony Carrino project

After: Carrino partnered with Clopay to design, build, and install a Reserve Extira® custom carriage house door.

With the number of garage door styles Clopay offers, he was able to nail the exterior aesthetic and find a door that would withstand the elements.

Garage door measurements for firehouse project
Original door size

The garage door for this project spec’d out at 11’8” tall x 11’2”wide, exceeding the maximum door size offered in some of the low-maintenance, engineered wood composite models Anthony initially considered.

Clopay’s specialty door team recommended Extira, a moisture- and termite-resistant wood composite material that won’t rot, warp, or crack.

Anthony Carrino's garage door at Clopay factory

Reserve Extira garage door under construction at Clopay’s Ohio manufacturing plant.

It carves, routs, and fastens just like natural wood giving Anthony the freedom to customize the door size and design to achieve the historic carriage house look he was going for, complete with cross-bucks, arched windows, seeded glass, and old-fashioned handles and hinges.

front view of the Anthony Carrino firehouse project
A Clopay garage door is the iconic face of Anthony Carrino’s firehouse turned home.

Cool fact: Extira is the first wood composite product the city’s Historic Preservation Board had ever approved for use on a building.

Custom Wood Saves the Day… and the Fire Pole

What’s a fire house without a working fire pole? There was no way Anthony was going to pass up the opportunity to integrate one into his space.

Anthony Office with Firepole

Notice the custom fire pole in the corner of Anthony’s office.

Since his office is located over the garage, it made the most sense to install it there for a fast exit.

It wouldn’t be a reality remodeling project if there weren’t a few surprises along the way. Add in some historic building character and a bad measurement and it looked like there was a problem, Houston.

The front of the firehouse is actually angled, which meant the garage door track was going to interfere with the space needed for the fire pole safety enclosure.

Instead of going through the cost and hassle of adding a structure to “straighten” the façade, Clopay master authorized dealer Aquarius Door Services suggested decreasing the size of the garage door one inch on each side and building out the trim in the opening to fill the gap.

inside view of garage on the Anthony Carrino firehouse project
Doing so moved the garage door track far enough away from the wall to provide enough clearance for the fire pole enclosure.

That’s the beauty of custom wood –you can make a change without affecting the overall door design…and it didn’t cost a thing.

drone shot of the exterior at dawn of Anthony Carrino firehouse project

Having a private garage in a city is rare – especially one that’s big enough to house two cars motorcycles, a workshop, and even some leftover storage space.

Quality, appearance, and ease of maintenance were three important items on Anthony’s home products checklist. The last, and one many people don’t always fully appreciate, is energy efficiency.

The firehouse has tons of windows and a massive garage door. Insulation and low-E glass were key to help him save as much as possible on utility costs and improve the comfort inside the garage as well as the living space above it.

interior of garage on historic firehouse
Two rows of insulated seeded glass windows let natural light into the garage without compromising privacy.

interior of garage on historic firehouse

Workout Space in Anthony Carrino's garage in firehouse home
The temperature inside the garage is comfortable enough
for Anthony’s fiancée to use it as a space to film online work-out routines for during the stay-at-home orders.

Another convenient feature is the garage door opener installed with the Clopay overhead door. 

interior garage - garage door opener 
garage door opener - temperature 

The LiftMaster 8500W is wall-mounted next to the track, instead of overhead, so it’s tucked out of the way. And it’s integrated into Anthony’s Wi-Fi so he can use his phone to open his garage from anywhere in the world.

 Garage interior with old garage door opener

Compare how open and clean the garage interior is now with the opener tucked away on the wall instead of hanging overhead like it did before.

The garage door is only one aspect of this complete renovation. Truly a labor of love, the results are spectacular. Every room is designed to make a statement.

Anthony Carrino in Living Room with Rossi his dog
Anthony and his dog Rossi relax in the living room.

Kitchen and Dining area in firehouse project
The kitchen and dining area.

entryway of the Anthony Carrino firehouse project

Main entry with stairs up to the main living area. Don’t you love the original exposed brick?

street level entry firehouse renovation
Street level entry.

nighttime shot with traffic of Anthony Carrino firehouse renovation
The firehouse at night.

Take a tour of the firehouse turned home and watch to gain valuable tips on how to tackle every aspect of home remodeling. The 12-episode series goes way beyond what you typically see in an edited 30 minute television home improvement show.

Season one of “The Firehouse Project” is streaming online at The garage door makeover and fire pole installation is featured in episode 5.

theBuildTv graphic

Then, go behind-the-scenes with Anthony as he tours Clopay’s Ohio manufacturing facility to see how his custom garage door is made. Watch the vlog.


Anthony Carrino taking a close up look at his custom Clopay Garage Door
Anthony checking the smooth finish on a Clopay Extira door.

Clopay Plant Tour - Clopay Wood Garage Door Team
Clopay’s wood garage door specialty manufacturing team. (Photo taken September of 2019)


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