With garage doors available in virtually any size, you can be left wondering whether there's a garage door size standard. Garage door size can be important for many reasons. In some cases, you may find that a standard door's height, width and even weight aren't as standard as you thought, just as custom sizes, aren't completely "custom." The right door fits your home, circumstances, vehicle and local codes.
Sizing Up Singles
Standard single-car garage doors measure 8, 9 and 10 feet wide. Standard door heights are between 6 feet and 8 feet in 3-inch increments. A low door accommodates garages with low ceilings or little headroom, such as when you have storage built into the rafters. A garage door's overhead spring system consumes about a foot of overhead space. The door size that you choose may depend on the size of your garage or whether you drive something compact like a Mini or a family-size crossover or SUV. If you settle on a smaller garage door because your current car is compact, for example, you could feel the squeeze if you one day trade up to a full-size car, a pickup or van.
Standard two-car doors typically measure 12, 14, 15, 15½, 16, 18 and 20 feet wide, depending on the manufacturer. Double-car doors may measure the width of two single-car doors but won't have the added foot or so in between for separation and spring hardware, which can result in a tight fit depending on the sizes of the two vehicles parked in the space.
Custom garage door sizes can vary somewhat by manufacturer, as do standard sizes. Custom garage door widths typically increase in 2-inch or 3-inch increments. For example, you may be able to order garage doors at custom widths such as 8 feet 2 inches wide, or 18 feet 10 inches wide.
Hinged, swing-out carriage doors typically come only as single-car doors. They may be available in sizes up to 10 feet wide by 10 feet high, but if you're replacing a double-car door, you could opt for a standard two- or three-door set, with posts in between to fill the opening. Carriage doors have an authentic or traditional appearance; they operate manually or with an automatic opener like their overhead counterparts.
Weighing In on Weight
Typically, garage doors weigh between about 150 and 250 pounds, so if you're replacing a lighter door with a heavier or insulated motor-driven one, the motor and hardware -- springs, chain or cable -- must suffice or be replaced. Insulated steel doors and wood doors are heavier and more durable than single-layer steel doors that don't have a foam core and inner steel skin, and they operate more quietly. In extreme cold or hot areas or throughout the seasons, insulated doors help to regulate the garage temperature -- important if you tinker in there.
Rough-Ins, Seals and Storm Warnings
The rough-in opening for any garage door is the same size as the garage door itself. It's fitted from the inside and finished with an exterior weather seal or molding to keep out wind and rain. Before roughing in or planning for a double-car door in a hurricane area, make sure that's allowed by code; the wider the door, the greater the chance it'll buckle from the pressure of high winds.
Ah-Ha Moments and Cost
If you live in an area with extreme temperatures, opening a single-car door lets less outdoor cold or hot air into the garage than opening a double-car door. Some stores stock certain sizes of garage doors. In-stock sizes may be limited to what's popular or sells well in your area. Stocked items are almost always less expensive than custom or ordered sizes. It can be cost-effective to plan to build a garage door opening to suit in-stock garage door sizes.