This door is usually taken for granted every day and not really given a second thought. No, it's not the front door, back door, or side door. Give up? It is your garage door. This large moving object keeps our vehicles safe and warm in the winter, it can act as an attached storage locker or even a makeshift workshop.
Whether your overhead door is attached or detached, it is still a part of your home. The look and feel of the door plays directly into the aesthetic of the house itself. They can be made from a number of materials including:
Some building codes require that door be made from specific materials or are able to stand up to specific wind forces. Be sure to check with officials in your area to be sure you are not violating any building codes.
For the home, they are most commonly available in a single panel (think: small door that fits one car) or as a sectional piece (think: large door that fits two cars). These doors are available several different styles ranging from classic to modern. The most popular residential garage door styles are:
- Carriage House
- Craftsman Style
- Cottage Style
- Coach Style
- Raised Panel
While regular doors in the home operate on the simple functions of locks and hinges, garage doors are bit more advanced. Using motors, springs, steel cables, tracks, rollers and panels; they have many moving parts. The biggest difference arises in the panels of the door itself. Some doors are composed of a single panel that swings up and out. The multi-panel doors slide together forming what appears to be solid door but in fact is made of several panels. These panels are aligned on a track that allows them to retract directly and back into the garage space without having to swing out in front of the garage space like the single panel doors do.
These panels not only move but also feature windows inserts to allow for style and natural light to enter the area. They come in a variety of styles and sizes each designed to match the style and décor of the home. These features are found in residential as well as commercial doors (you may see these driving through some commercial areas to help warehouse employees see more easily and reduce lighting costs).
An important fact to remember for garage doors attached directly to the house, especially in areas where the weather can get quite cold, is that your garage door must also act as insulation. A high quality door will seal off more open air space than a cheaper, low quality door. Garage doors are measured just as other insulation materials are, based on R-value. The higher the R-value, the better the door will be at keeping things warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
Most modern overhead doors are installed with sensors that detect objects within the path of the closing garage doors. The sensors send an invisible beam to each other. If an object or person breaks this beam, the door will stop moving and begin retracting back up. When this does not help is if you have a vehicle parked halfway in the garage and the beams are still able to make contact with one another due to the open space between the front and rear tires of the vehicle.
So the next time you click that button to open or close your garage door, stop and think for a moment about how easy it makes life for you.