What if my garage door size is too small?

Your brand-spanking new SUV is just about perfect, right? It’s super powerful, got tons of space and, kind of fun to look down at everyone else on the road.

But when you get your fancy new ride home, a problem becomes quickly apparent. Getting it through your small garage door isn’t easy. In fact, it’s a little too close for comfort.

So what’s the solution? Risk dinging the fenders every time you pull into or out of your garage? Park outside, leaving your baby exposed to the elements? Return your SUV for a tiny Miata?

These are not great options.

Perhaps you should just install a new garage door that will better accommodate your SUV. Wouldn’t that fix the problem?

The answer is decidedly maybe. Before you get too far down this path, let’s discuss standard residential garage door sizes.

One Car Garage Doors

Believe it or not, there’s not a standard size for one car garage doors. There are actually three widths. And while the height is usually 7 feet, single garage doors are available in 8-foot sizes.

In general, single garage door dimensions are:

10′ x 7′,

9′ x 7′, or

8′ x 7′.

The smallest width — 8′ x 7′ — will accommodate many vehicles. The 8 foot width is also a bit more common than the 10 foot width. It will be a very tight squeeze for larger SUV and trucks that have become commonplace in the Atlanta area. A Toyota Prius will slide right into an 8-foot opening; a Ford Expedition might feel a bit snug, especially if you are navigating around bikes, lawn equipment and other items commonly found in a garage.

Two Car Garage Doors

The most common types of garage doors today, two car garage door size can also vary. In general, double garage doors are 7-feet high and either 16 or 18 feet wide. Occasionally we will see 20 foot or small 6 foot “golf cart” garage doors. Both single and double garage doors can be fabricated to custom dimensions to accommodate RVs, carts or specialty equipment.

Three Car Garage Doors

Triple garage doors are rare, even for a really big garage. They may have three individual bays. Unless they have a very large vehicle to accommodate, most homeowners opt for a double and a single door for their three car garage. It’s a more practical option, is more aesthetically pleasing and requires less horsepower to open and close. It’s also more cost effective. Homeowners seem to prefer the ease of driving through a larger opening with one big door. Also it is getting standard to have a three or more car garage with medium and high end new homes.

Fun fact: two car garages are the most popular in the U.S. According to the National Association of Home Builders, 62% of homes built in 2014 included a two car garage while only 6% had a one car garage. A quarter included a three car or larger garage, with the majority of those in Great Plains and Western states.

Should You Install A New Garage Door?

While not technically impossible to install a wider garage door to meet your needs, it may not be practical depending on your home’s architecture. The span above the garage door opening is framed with a long header. The header provides support for the wall above the door.

So, in order to install a wider door, the header will need to be raised. As long as there’s enough room above the opening, this project is fairly straightforward. However, if there’s not much space above the door, you may need to heighten the roof of the garage to accommodate even a standard garage door size.

Keep in mind 7’ high can accommodate a standard full size SUV, but occasionally the openings are framed short, especially on older homes. Think about this before making your purchase. Even when the doors are big enough, make sure the garage is deep enough. 20’ is enough for most situations.

If that new SUV has you considering a wider garage door, let us guide you through the decision-making process. We’re happy to evaluate your home and recommend some options for you. Give us a call today at 678-884-9466 and schedule a consultation for your north Atlanta garage.