If you’re planning on building a new home, one important factor to carefully consider is what size you want the garage and garage doors to be. For existing doors, you’re generally limited to whatever size the existing opening is. It is sometimes possible for a construction company to slightly widen the existing opening by a foot or so if you need to be able to fit a larger vehicle in your garage. There are also some cases where you may be able to make the existing opening a bit taller.

However, this is generally not an easy process and tends to be quite expensive since you’d need to raise the load-bearing beam above the door while ensuring the garage remains structurally sound. If you do plan on changing the size of your existing garage door or are building a new home or garage, this guide will explain all you need to know about available door sizes and how to choose the right one.

Standard Sizes for Single- and Two-Car Garages

Both single and double garage doors come in a fairly wide range of sizes, and the “standard” size varies in different parts of the country. The majority of single doors are between 7 and 10 feet in width. Single doors on older homes are usually only 8 feet wide, but you’ll almost always find 9- or 10-foot-wide doors on newer homes since vehicles have gotten quite a bit bigger over time. Most double doors are 16 feet wide so that you can easily park two vehicles side by side. You can also find some double doors that are up to 18 or even 20 feet wide as well as some that are only 12 feet wide.

The average height for both single and double doors is 7 or 8 feet, but you often see 10-foot tall doors on custom-built homes. It is rare to find single doors taller than 10 feet, but you can find double doors that are anywhere from 12 to 16 feet tall. However, you will usually need to custom order the door if you want anything over 12 feet tall.

More and more larger homes are being built with three-car garages. In this case, you have the option to either install three single doors or one single and one double.

How to Determine What Size of Door Will Work Best

When planning out how large your garage and garage door should be, you obviously want to consider the size of your vehicles. The majority of cars are between 5.8 and 6 feet wide. That means you’d only have 6 inches of clearance on each side of the vehicle if you chose a 7-foot-wide door, which is why we’d usually recommend going with a door that is at least 8 feet wide. If you want to park two cars side by side, you’ll definitely want at least a 16-foot-wide door.

Most full-size pickup trucks range between 6.3 and 6.8 feet wide, whereas SUVs are typically anywhere from 6 to 7 feet wide. For larger vehicles like this, we’d recommend opting for at least a 9-foot-wide single door. If you want to be able to easily park two larger vehicles side by side, you’re probably better off going with a 20-foot-wide door so that you have additional clearance. However, most standard doors are only available in widths up to 18 feet, so you may need to custom order the door if you want it to be wider.

If you plan on parking an RV, motorhome, or camp trailer in your garage, you’ll obviously need to choose a taller door than you would if you’re only parking a standard vehicle in the garage. The average height for standard Class C motorhomes and Class A RVs is approximately 10 feet. However, some can be up to 12 feet tall, so you’d want to choose a door that’s at least 12 to 14 feet tall. Class B motorhomes are a bit shorter and typically range between 7 and 9 feet tall, so a 10-foot-tall door would be sufficient.

When it comes to RVs and motorhomes, one thing to note is that the heights we listed are just averages. Some of these vehicles can be quite a bit taller, and the average height doesn’t take into account things like rooftop air conditioners and any aftermarket additions. This means you should always measure your vehicle just to make sure that you choose a door that is sufficiently tall.

To make sure that you choose a large enough door, there are some fairly easy rules you can follow. One is to make sure that there is at least 6 inches of clearance or headroom between the top of your vehicle and the door. If you think you may ever need to put a cargo holder or roof rack on your vehicle, you should account for this and choose a door that is at least a foot or two taller. If you plan on parking two vehicles side by side, you should also make sure that you have at least 2 feet of clearance between two vehicles. This is why you’re usually better off choosing two single doors instead of one double door if you have two larger vehicles like trucks or SUVs.

Other Factors to Consider When Choosing a Garage Door

When deciding what size and type of garage door or doors you want, cost is usually an important factor. If you want a double-car garage, installing one double door will almost always cost quite a bit less than two single doors. What size of door you choose will also impact the total price. Opting for one of the standard sizes will always be a lot cheaper than if you want a non-standard size. Not only will you usually have to custom order a non-standard size, but you’ll also have to pay more for some of the components, like the springs and tracks.

The type of springs the door uses is another thing to consider. Extension springs are less expensive, but they aren’t all that strong and are only really recommended for smaller or lighter-weight doors. Torsion springs cost more but can lift much more weight. They are also much sturdier and will usually last longer than extension springs. Extension springs are typically rated to last for 10,000 opening and closing cycles, which is usually the equivalent of around seven years. Torsion springs should last for at least 15,000 to 20,000 cycles, and some are rated to last for up to 30,000 cycles or more.

The material the door is made of is also an important factor to consider. Steel doors are one of the most popular choices, but they tend to be somewhat heavy. Vinyl is another popular choice that will last a long time and is much more resistant to dents, scratches, scuffing, and other damage. A wood garage door will offer a beautiful, classic look, but also cost you more than any other option.

With 45 years of experience and counting, ADS Automatic Door Specialists is the most trusted garage door company in the San Diego area. We install residential and commercial doors and can help you determine which option is best for your home or business. We also offer expert repairs and maintenance, so give us a call for all of your garage door needs.

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