December 16, 2016

Does your garage need two single doors or just a large double door?

Single or double door

You’ve been designing your new home and you’re at the garage. One developer is showing you plans with a large double door. Another one comes to you with plans that have two single doors. Which one should you use? That all depends on the design of the rest of the home, and depending on that you’ll want to complement your garage accordingly. Some look better with two singles, others with a double. The following rules of thumb will help you make a decision about which style of garage door will best fit your home’s style.

Width matters

If you intend to park two cars in your garage, you need to have a structure that is a minimum of 18 feet (5.5 m) wide and at least 22 (6.7 m) feet deep. This is the same no matter if your garage is attached or detached. For two single doors measuring 8′ X 7′, you must have a garage that is at least 22 feet wide. Stepping up a little bit, with 9′ (2.7 m) wide doors, you’ll need your garage to be a minimum of 24 feet (7.3 m) wide, if not wider, depending on whether you want a front access door rather than one on the side.

Of course, the type of car or cars you plan to park in your garage will also inform your decision. Do you have an SUV or a truck, a wagon, or a compact car? This will affect what types of doors you will need. There will need to be some extra space so that you can open doors and maneuver comfortably when both cars are in the garage.

These issues are the technical restrictions related to the size of your garage you must consider. The style and exterior features of your door are also considerations as is the total budget you have for this project.

First let’s consider the practical issues you’re facing

  • Climate

    With two single garage doors, you can cut down on how much cold air can flow through your garage. This will help reduce your heating costs, especially if you only minimally heat your garage: typically, between 45 to 50°F (8 to 10°C).You can make the same calculation about the humidity. The hotter and more humid, the less airflow you want into the garage to cut down on cooling.

  • Two single doors won’t leave you stuck when something goes wrong.

    If something should go wrong with your door, such as a torsion spring the difference between one 16‑foot (4.9‑meter) door and two smaller doors is apparent. With two doors, you can always open the other one.

  • More doors or more cars?

    Fitting three compact cars in a garage with a 16‑ to 18‑foot (4.9‑ to 5.5‑meter) double door is much easier than fitting them all in when you’re dealing with two doors. There will be much less maneuvering involved.

  • What about three doors instead of two?

    In places where the cost of land is lower, such as in parts of the United States, it is not uncommon to see a triple door garage. Typically, the space behind the smaller door is used by residents to park a motorcycle or perhaps a small boat. If this is your intention, ideally you will need a garage with at least 900 ft.2 (84 m2).

What about the appearance of your door?

  • Different strokes for different folks, however….

    Most architects and designers agree that if your garage is located at the front of your home, two single garage doors provide a more interesting appearance, thereby heightening the home’s general appearance. From a street view a double garage door tends to dominate the view and can obscure your home’s architecture.

    If you’re set on the double door though, its commanding presence can be lightened by some exterior accents such as a pergola for creeping vines or potted plants placed both sides of the door.

  • When nothing but a carriage‑house style will do

    Then there’s not much of a choice. You will have to go with the two single doors. Such garage and door set ups hearken back to a rustic pastoral era and are only suited to doors that are 8‑ or 9‑foot wide.

Shouldn’t two doors cost more than one?

Actually, the costs for materials are pretty much the same for two single doors or one double door. The real difference in costs comes when you want two electric doors. An electric garage door opener will raise costs, especially if you need two. Additionally, the discussion here doesn’t take into account carpentry expenses for adding a wall between the two doors.

If you’re set on the double door, you won’t require a door opener with more power (ex.: ¾ HP). No matter the garage door’s width, the most important thing is for it to be well balanced. This means the counterweight, or the spring system, has to work properly. An 8 to 10 lb. (3.5 to 4.5 kg) door is a good weight for the counterweight system to work well. The door opener’s motor does the same work that you’d do using your hand. Just remember to be careful because door openers are able to lift a lot more than your 10‑pound door, and if it comes down on your foot or anything else in the way, it will hurt.

In conclusion…

Feel like you’re ready to tackle your garage door purchase? To get started, just contact us at 519-942-1956. We are happy to discuss the variety of models and styles of doors and openers out there. You can also ask for a free quote online if you wanted to get started right away. We are here to provide you with guidance on the best choices for your house and budget.

Finally, if you want to see how your door will look, you can visualize mockups using our design center. It’s a powerful tool that can help you design and create your own door or doors or peruse through images of examples that can inspire your choices.

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