December 16, 2016

Two single garage doors or one large double door?

Single or double doors

You’re in the middle of designing your new house and some developers are showing you designs of homes with one wide garage door while others are suggesting designs with two single garage doors. Which of the two designs is the most appropriate for your home?

Here are some insights that will assist you in making the best decision based on your needs as well as the architectural style of your house.

How wide is the garage?

Whether your house has an attached or detached garage, if you plan on parking two cars in it, the ideal size of the garage should be at least 18 feet (5.5 m) wide by at least 22 feet (6.7 m) deep. If you intend to put two single 8′ x 7′ garage doors, the garage must be at least 22 feet wide. If you are thinking about 9′ (2.7 m) wide doors, the garage should be at least 24 feet (7.3 m) wide, or even wider if you want an access door on the front of the garage instead of on the side.

Make sure you consider the type of vehicle you want to part there (whether it’s a sedan, SUV, van or small RV). Additionally, you need to reserve enough interior space on each side for storage space along the walls. The narrower the garage, the more difficult it will be to open car doors on both sides of the vehicle at the same time.

Those are the technical specifications about the size of a garage. Your final decision will depend on the budget that you’re able to devote to the project.

Let’s first look at the PRACTICAL points

  • Cold and humidity

    Having two single garage doors will reduce the amount of cold air that flows into your garage which will reduce your heating bill if you slightly heat your garage, between 45 to 50°F (8 to 10°C).

    The same type of analysis can be done if you live in a hotter and more humid climate. Less humidity in your garage will reduce your air‑conditioning costs.

  • In the event the garage door malfunctions

    If you have a 16‑foot (4.9‑meter) door and there is a major breakdown, like a torsion spring break, your two cars will be stuck in the garage. If you have two single doors, you can at least get one of them out.

  • Three small cars

    If you own three small or compact cars and you’d like to park all 3 in the garage, a 16 to 18‑foot (4.9 to 5.5‑metere) double garage door will be satisfactory. If you have 2 single doors, parking will take all sorts of maneuvering and headaches.

  • What about a triple garage?

    In most plans from real estate developers, it is harder to find a double door (16 feet) with single door (9 feet). But triple garages are found more often in the United States or in areas where the cost of land is lower. Normally, the smaller door is used for parking a motorcycle, an ATV or even a fishing boat. Overall, this requires a garage of at least 900 ft.2 (84 m2).

Now let’s consider the APPEARANCE side

  • Everyone has different tastes, but…

    Any designer or architect will tell you that if the garage is on the front of the house, having two single garage doors will give a better look, thus enhancing the overall appearance of the home. From the street, a double garage door is very noticeable and all anyone sees is the garage door instead of the overall architectural design.

    However, the harsh visual aspect of a double door can be softened by installing a pergola, placing two large pots of plants or flowers on each side of the door, or by putting up a trellis over the door where ivy plants can climb.

  • A carriage‑house style is what you want

    You really have no choice but to opt for 2 single garage doors. This style of door, reminiscent of yesteryear, lends itself only to 8 or 9‑foot wide doors.

Isn’t it more expensive to have 2 single garage doors?

The cost of material is quite similar for two single garage doors and one double garage door. The major difference in expense comes when we talk about the cost of a second electric garage door opener. This doesn’t take into account the carpentry costs associated with building a narrow wall between the two doors if you opt for two doors over one.

Please note that if you opt for a double door, you don’t need a more powerful door opener (ex.: ¾ HP). Whatever the width of your garage door, it must be well balanced, meaning the spring system (counterweight) must do the work. This means the door should weigh from 8 to 10 lb. (3.5 to 4.5 kg). The motor of the opener only does what you would do manually with just one hand. However, be careful! Door openers can lift much more and just as easily push down the same weight, so watch your foot or anything else that gets in the way of a door that’s lowering.

In conclusion…

If you are ready to get started contact us at 717-901-4056. It will be our pleasure to explain the whole range of doors and door openers available on the market. We will also advise you on the best choices to make based on your needs and budget. Additionally, you can send us a request for an online quotation.

Lastly, if you would like to visualize your next garage door, take the time to use a Design Centre like ours. There, you can create your very own garage door! We also have an image gallery online where you can get inspiration.


I am building a garage, 26 ft. wide on the garage door end. The foundation is poured concrete, 10 inches wide. So the usable width inside the garage will be 24 ft. 4 inches. I want to install two 10' wide by 12' high garage doors. Will have enough room on the left, center and right side to install there doors? The framing will be 2x6 stud walls.

Hello Mr. Fitzgerald, it's a little hard to answer properly without asking you quick questions. Could you please call us? Here are our phone numbers: York: 717-767-1419 / Mechanicsburg: 717-901-4056

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