Garage Door Dimensions Explained
A gracious neoclassical style estate in Boulevard Oaks. A rambling ranch from the 1960s in Spring Branch. A contemporary McMansion in Sugar Land. If you’re driving through these landmark Houston neighborhoods, you might notice the evolution of architectural styles, the influence of diverse cultures, and even some evidence of how the city’s economy has grown and changed over the years. Chances are you won’t notice how garages and garage doors have changed until you try to squeeze your SUV or truck into the garage of an older home.
Back when carriage houses were being changed into garages, the average car was only about 11 feet in length, and the garage and its door were designed to accommodate the family’s car and nothing else. Nowadays, new construction with a single-car garage is a rarity. The average car is about 15 feet in length, and many family garage doors in Houston protect not only the family fleet, but also many other valuables, including power tools, sports equipment, and appliances ranging from the furnace to the washer and dryer.
Keeping Pace with Growth
Naturally, garage doors have grown along with the size of cars and garages. Most homes now feature garage doors in one of the many standard dimensions available. At NationServe, you can easily find single-car garage doors in the following sizes:
- 8 x 7: These doors are typically replacements for older, existing garage doors.
- 9 x 7: Although this is the most common size for a single car garage door, if you drive a small truck, SUV or van, these might be a tight fit.
- 10 x 7: This is probably the best size for a modern family’s vehicle. It will give you maneuvering room to fit your vehicle and even leave a little room to roll out a garbage bin, lawn mower, or bike when the car, van, SUV, or truck is parked.
Nowadays, outside of older, inner city neighborhoods, a single-car garage may come as a bit of a surprise to homebuyers. More than 60% of new homes are built with garages designed to accommodate at least two vehicles. Standard sizes for two-car garage doors are 12, 14, or 16 feet wide, and seven feet in height. Generally, people with a three-car garage choose one double door and one single door or three single doors to avoid opening the entire garage when only one vehicle needs to be parked or taken out.
Accommodating Oversized Vehicles
Where does your RV go when you’re not traveling? If you want to park an RV, or any other large vehicle in your garage, you need to consider both the width and height of your door. RVs often require more headroom than the standard seven-foot high garage door. The standard size for a garage door that accommodates an RV is usually 16 feet wide and eight feet in height.
Commercial garage doors are traditionally even larger, to make room for semi-trucks and other large vehicles. A standard size for a commercial garage door is 32 feet by 24 feet.
If you have special requirements for your garage door, visit your nearest NationServe showroom and tell us about your needs. We can design a custom door for you that gives you the dimensions you need along with the durability and curb appeal that you expect from a NationServe garage door. Of course, you will also get expert garage door installation from our Houston NationServe team, with special attention to ensure that the size and power of your garage door opener are appropriate for your custom door.
The Texas government reported that in Houston’s recent hurricanes, garage door failures contributed to about 80% of residential structural failures. Why? Because garage doors present a large surface to the wind, they are particularly susceptible to damage from flying debris and from the build-up of pressure inside or outside the door. Studies of data from previous hurricanes in the United States suggest that the larger your garage door, the more vulnerable it is to wind damage. If your garage is attached to your home, the failure of a garage door will let wind and water attack interior walls, doors, and ceilings.
Garage door damage in hurricanes can happen in four ways. Pressure from a hurricane can:
- Create a suction that causes the door to buckle as it is pulled outward
- Create a suction that causes the door to buckle as it is pulled inward
- Damage the supporting mechanical components causing the door to collapse or fall
- Blow out windows in the garage door allowing wind and water into the garage and pressure to build up inside the garage.
Building codes in coastal communities such as Houston require that your garage door be reinforced to withstand high winds, high pressures and flying debris that can damage your garage door during a hurricane. If you’re in the market for a new garage door, your Houston NationServe team can show you garage doors designed for wind resistance. If you are looking into reinforcing an existing garage door, call us for garage door service in Houston before the next hurricane season begins!
Windstorm Insurance Requirements
Insurance carriers in the Houston area generally issue windstorm insurance as an additional policy to your home insurance. Many insurance carriers will not issue a windstorm insurance policy without a windstorm insurance certificate (WPI-8). The certificate is issued by a windstorm engineer who can certify that all aspects of your home comply with local building codes for wind resistance. Whether you’re buying a custom door from NationServe, or adding wind resistance features to an existing door, we can make sure that your garage door and opener are in compliance with local building codes and insurance regulations.
Reinforcing an existing garage door is not a DIY job. Because of the weight of the door, and the stored energy in the door’s springs, this can be an extremely hazardous job in itself and, if done incorrectly, leave your home unprotected in a storm. For your safety, and the safety of your family, please call NationServe for garage door service in Houston.