Do you know how large your garage door is? Although these measurements may not matter to your everyday life, anyone who has owned a large truck or an RV knows that the exact size of your garage is very important! We’re here today to educate you about the size of your garage door, the history of garage door sizes, and what you can expect if you’re building a new garage or fitting a door into an existing wall!

It might surprise you to know that the size of garage doors hasn’t changed much since the carriage house doors of the past! Back when garages were used for storing horse drawn carriages, the doors had a slightly different style since carriages were generally taller than a modern car. Ever since the advent of the automobile, however, garages have remained quite consistent in size. 

The original Model T was slightly over 11 feet long, and modern sedans are normally more like 14 or 15 feet long – because of this, most garage end up being around 20 feet deep, so that you have space to move around the car. The door’s size depends on many factors – if it is a single or a double door, how tall of vehicles you expect to bring in, and simply how large of space is available. For the overwhelming majority of residential garage doors, 7 feet tall is the standard. Many other doors are 8 feet tall, allowing for slightly larger vehicles. Commercial garage doors are normally quite a bit taller than that, and this blog isn’t going to focus on them.  

As for the width, residential garage doors vary somewhat in size. One-car garage doors are normally 8 or 9 feet wide, but in some developments you’ll find even narrower options! Further, two car garage doors are normally 15 or 16 feet wide, but in rare cases can be as little as 14 feet. Even though your cars aren’t nearly this wide, the door has to be large enough to accommodate the space between the cars so that you can open the doors, and most people also use the extra space to either side of their garage for storage – just one of the many jobs that the garage ends up doing!

In general, it is a good idea to assume that each car takes up an interior space of 10 x 20 feet. If you’re building a new garage or converting a space that’s already part of your home, that’s a good estimate – it fits plenty of room for the car, and then space around it to open the doors and use the extra space for storage or whatever hobbyist equipment you own! Keep in mind also that things like hot water heaters, AC units, or mechanical systems sometimes take up space in the garage, and you should plan some sort of alcove or storage closet to store them. 

Now that you know all about garage door sizes! Whenever you hear a garage door technician talking about a 7×16 or a 8×9, you’ll know what they’re talking about. Getting the right size garage door is obviously important, and you should trust an expert to measure your garage door’s opening before installing a door. 

Header image sourced from Steven Corley Randel, Architect. 

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