The first rule when shopping around for garage door is to know the size. Fortunately, many homes are built with standard sizes for the garage. And most pre-fabricated garage door sizes are cut to fit them. Do-It-Yourself garage door kits often measure seven feet tall and eight to nine feet wide for single-car garages. Two-car garage doors measure at 16 feet wide.
Here are a few tips when determining how big or small a door you need, or when you need to have it customized:
1. Take the necessary garage measurements. There's more needed than just the width and height of the opening. You also need to measure the sideroom, or from the edge of the opening to the nearest interior corner. This area will hold the vertical tracks.
Another important space is from the top edge of the opening to the interior ceiling. Also known as the headroom, this space will hold the garage door opener and the garage door itself for flip-up and canopy types. Standard openers require at least 12 inches of space, but there are available options for shorter headrooms.
The backroom is the length starting from the interior side of the opening up to the back wall. This will help you see how much space you have left of the ceiling when the garage door is fully open. This is very important if you plan to hang storage units or bicycles from the ceiling.
Although slightly minimal for many garage doors, pay attention also to the vertical clearance of the driveway and interiors. Depending on the mechanism and size of the door, you will need some space for the door to swing up and over. This is not a case for sectional roll-up doors, which does not need this kind of space to open properly.
2. Take note of the height of the vehicle. This is more of an issue of mechanisms, and not garage door sizes. Canopy type doors would not suit well for those with tall vehicles or would need the full vertical clearance of the threshold. Folding doors may not suit well for wide vehicles since you would want to free up the horizontal space.
3. Take note of the other items in your garage. Shelving and overhead storage need to be considered, as they will have to share the space with the tracks and interior mechanisms.
4. Take note of the garage's purpose. This will help you decide if you needed added features. People who use the garage as a workshop will appreciate the additional natural light brought in through windows. A small door cut in the door will come in handy if you use the garage door other than for bringing in or out the vehicle.
Customized garage door sizes are the better option if your carport measurements do not match available pre-cut doors or if you are after a particular design not readily available. The first step is to get the measurements right.
Many manufacturers right now offer estimation on the door size, the materials, and the installation of the door and the garage door opener in one neat package. If you are not planning to install the door yourself, there's always a way to secure the garage easily and effectively.