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How Wide is a Garage Door?

how wide is a garage door

If you’re interested in upgrading your garage door or installing a new one altogether, you first need to decide which size is right for your home.

In this article, we’re taking a closer look at a common question we hear from homeowners … how wide is a garage door?

How Wide is a Garage Door?

Are you planning to remodel your existing garage, or build a totally brand new one on your property?

If you are, you’ll need to ensure you get the measurements of the garage door correct. Everyone has experienced the pain of scraping their car on the garage door frame, after all.

So, how wide is a garage door anyway?

How Large are Average Garage Doors?

Garage door sizes haven’t really changed much, even from the days of the Model T car. On average, garage doors are made to be around 8 feet wide. The garage itself will be around 9-10 feet wide and 18-20 feet long. That’s great if your car fits into that space, but with car designs always changing, that average garage may not be enough. 

The sizing of your new garage door will have to suit the car or cars that you have on your property. That’s going to be different for everyone. Parents may drive SUVs, while their neighbors have compact cars. The size of your garage door will need to accommodate that. 

Considering Your Cars

On average, cars come in three different sizes. A compact car will be 6 feet wide and 16 feet long. A large or luxury car will be 6 ½ feet by 18 feet. A van or SUV will be 7 feet by 19 feet. These aren’t exact measurements for every car, but they’re a good place to start. 

If you’re still in the planning stages of your new garage, think about the cars you have. What do you drive right now? You may own a compact at the moment, but are you planning to have kids? If so, you’ll want to build a larger garage door in order to accommodate a larger car. 

If you know you’ll be sticking with the same car, or the same kind of car, for while, get the tape measure out. Get the measurements of your car, and you’ll see just how much room you’ll need for your car. 

Single or Double Garage Door?

Next, let’s think about the type of door you’ll put in your new garage. Will you use a single garage door or a double door? This is again something that depends on the space and the cars you have. 

A single garage door is usually made to be 8 feet wide, although they can be made to be larger. A double door will be around 15 or 16 feet wide. 

If you’re only remodeling or building a single car garage, then you’ll just get with the single garage door. If you’re building a larger garage, then you’ll need to think about whether you’ll use a double garage door or two singles. This is down to preference, as they will make the garage look different when installed. Plus, you may find it easier to drive both cars in and out of a double garage door. It’s a good idea to discuss this with your contractors, so you can decide on the best option for you. 

Don’t forget that this isn’t the only door you’ll need in your garage. You will want a regular door on the side of the building or leading into your home if the garage is attached to the rest of the property. 

Sizing Up the Interior of Your Garage

The size of the garage door you use will be affected by the interior of the garage itself. You’ll need a door that can be easily accessed both inside and outside of the garage, so you’ll need to leave enough room for this in your interior. 

Also, keep in mind that some states do require you to build to minimum dimensions. For example, California requires you to create an interior dimension of 10 by 20 feet. 

What else do you need to consider here? You want to leave enough space to walk around each car in your garage easily. If you want to store things in your garage, then you’ll need to allow for extra space here, too. It’s best to keep storage as far away from the doors as you can, to ensure that automatic garage doors aren’t affected by items kept in there. Finally, consider hot water heaters and similar systems. These are often kept in garages, so you need to make room for these too. Many choose to create alcoves for them, creating more room in the garage for your cars. 

Which Garage Door Style?

Now that you know how many doors you need, and how wide they need to be, you’ll need to pick the right style for them. This is dependent on your tastes and the style of your home, so let’s look at what will be right for you. 

If you have a traditional style house, then single garage doors are usually better as they fit in with the style. If you do need to use a double door, you can add features such as multi-pane windows and panels to make it blend in with the rest of the home.  

Multiple single garage doors will also work with a minimalist style house, as the proportions will work better with the overall look of the architecture. Adding extra details, again such as windows, will again make this look perfect with your existing property. 

Whatever kind of door you use, don’t be afraid to use details around them. Potted plants between doors, and archways above them, will complement them well. A garage door is a large section of the front of your home, so it is already drawing attention. You can lean into that and make this a feature with the right details. 

It looks like there are lots to consider, but it shouldn’t be too hard to pick the right size garage door for you. When remodeling, consider how large your doors will need to be, and whether you need a single or double door. When you’re finished you’ll have a garage that looks amazing. 

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