When replacing your garage door, there are some things to consider.
All garage doors are not the same, but there are standard garage door sizes. Read on to learn how to measure yours for replacement.
Standard Garage Door Sizes
The standard residential garage door sizes are single-door and double-door. Single doors are wide enough for one car to drive through. Double doors are wide enough for two cars.
While these garage door sizes are standard, there are other configurations available.
You may have a two-car garage that has two single doors with a post between them. A three-car garage may have both a double and single door. The two doors will be separated by a post.
Larger doors can accommodate large vehicles such as recreational vehicles and commercial trucks. Single and double doors may come in varying widths as well.
Measuring a Single Door
To measure a single-car garage door width, stretch a tape measure from one side to the other. Make sure the tape measure lies flat on the ground to get an accurate measurement.
Measure the height from the top of the opening to the ground. Again, place the tape measure flat against one of the sides to ensure accuracy.
You will likely come up with one of three measurements for width:
- 7 feet
- 8 feet
- 9 feet
These are the standard widths for a single garage door. Less commonly, some newer homes may have garage doors 10 feet wide.
The standard height is 7 feet and most doors will be this tall. Some car garage doors, however, may measure 8 feet tall.
Measuring a Double Door
Measure a double door for a two-car garage the same way you would a single door.
Use a tape measure to determine the width and height of the opening. Make sure to keep the tape measure flat. A double door will typically be one of two widths:
- 16 feet
- 18 feet
Again, a double door may be 20 feet wide. A double door might also be smaller, in 12 feet or 14 feet widths.
The 12 and 14-foot widths may be described as one-and-a-half car garages. These have space for a single vehicle with additional storage.
This space may be used for a motorcycle, lawn equipment, or other items.
Garage Door Growth
Newer homes tend to have larger garage doors. Narrower garage doors are generally found on older homes.
The reason is that vehicles have gotten larger over the decades. To fit them, garage doors have grown as well.
A century ago, the most popular car was the Ford Model T. A Model T is 66 inches, or five and a half feet wide. Today, the most popular vehicle in America is the Ford F-150 pickup truck.
The F-150 measures nearly 80 inches wide. That’s more than seven and a half feet. And that’s not counting the truck’s mirrors.
With standard mirrors, the F-150 is nearly 97 inches wide. That’s an inch over eight feet wide!
This is why many newer homes have garage doors nine feet wide. Twenty First-Century trucks, SUVs, and vans are much wider than older vehicles.
Tip: If you are designing a garage for a new home, measure your vehicle first. Better yet, check the vehicle specifications. It can be tricky to accurately measure a vehicle’s width including mirrors.
Garage Doors for Other Vehicles
Recreational vehicles are not only wider but also taller than regular vehicles. So bigger garage doors are necessary.
A standard class A motorhome is 102 inches or 8 and a half feet wide. Mirrors may add another foot to this.
RVs also tend to be taller than other vehicles. As a result, an RV garage door is likely to be 16 feet wide and eight feet high.
Be sure to measure your RV before deciding how big to make your garage door. Installing a door in an existing building may require extensive modifications, such as raising the roof.
Commercial garage doors fit semi-trailers and other heavy vehicles. These vehicles and doors are much larger. A common size is 32 feet by 24 feet high.
Tip: Consider your future vehicle-buying plans when designing a garage. Go bigger rather than smaller. It’s not always cost-effective or even possible to put a bigger door in an existing garage.
Things to Consider
In addition to thinking about what kind of vehicle you’ll park, consider other storage needs.
The garage may house lawn equipment, bicycles, motorcycles, snowmobiles or similar gear.
And don’t forget – you’ll have to be able to open the vehicle doors in the garage. Consider leaving three feet between vehicles to allow for doors.
Finally, take a look at the building codes and zoning. Historic districts may have restrictions on changing the garage door size.