December 16, 2016

Should I Choose a Single Garage Door or a Pair?

Should I Choose a Single Garage Door or a Pair?

When you are designing your new home, one very common decision to be faced with is the type of garage door you should install. A single large door, or a pair of small doors? Many developers will insist on one or the other, with plenty of reasons why they prefer that model. However, you should consider all the factors to ensure that you get the garage door that works best for you. Here are a few things that you need to know to make the best decision between the two, both to fit your lifestyle and to complement your house.

The Size of Your Garage

The first thing you need to know is how wide your garage is. Whether your house has an attached or detached garage doesn’t matter in this case. If you plan to park two cars in a garage, it should be at least 18 feet wide by 22 feet deep. However, if you plan to use a pair of garage doors that are the standard size of eight feet by seven feet, your garage will need to be at least 22 feet wide. And if you opt for slightly larger nine‑feet‑wide doors, to accommodate larger vehicles, your garage will need to be at least 24 feet wide.

This doesn’t account for an additional access door entrance on front of the garage, nor does it account for excess space inside the garage for storage or workspaces. If you want plenty of room to open your vehicle doors or move around in your garage while parked, you may need to consider going even larger, which could change your budget.

Functional Points to Consider

Having two smaller garage doors instead of a large one will help reduce the cold air that flows into your garage. You won’t have as much humidity in the warmer months, either. This can help you save money on heating and cooling bills if your garage is climate controlled.

Having two garage doors means that you have two different systems. If one system breaks, like a torsion spring break, you can still operate the other system to get the other vehicle out or to get inside. However, with one large garage door, the entire entrance will be broken if the system breaks down.

Another thing to consider is how many vehicles you own. If you have compact vehicles like motorcycles or small hybrids, and want to part more than two vehicles inside the garage, then one large garage door will offer you the most flexibility in parking or leaving the garage. There are options to create a "triple car" garage for owners with several vehicles, which frequently includes one large door and one smaller door for motorcycles or other small vehicles.


While everyone has different tastes, there are certain universal laws concerning balance and architectural structure that can make one type of garage door look better than another. Most designers agree that if your garage faces the street, or the same direction as the front of your house, you should consider having a pair of garage doors rather than one large one.

This is because the design allows for a more refined and "built in" look, rather than just creating a wall of metal across part of your home. However, don’t dismay if a larger garage door is your best choice. You can add architectural details such as a pergola or a well‑maintained bit of landscaping to soften the entire appearance.

Consider the style of home you are building as well. If a carriage‑house style is what you want, then you must choose the pair of smaller garage doors. This type of door offers the right type of antique charm for that particular look. A sleek and modern home might be more suited to a large garage door.

Budget Considerations

The biggest difference in the price between a pair of garage doors or one large door is the cost of a second electric garage door opener. There are additional carpentry costs in creating the structure that frames a pair of smaller doors, but in the long run, the maintenance costs are largely the same minus the need for a second opener.

Many people don’t realize that just because you have a larger door doesn’t mean you’ll need a more powerful garage door opener. The only real concern with any size of garage door is that it is well balanced, meaning the spring system (counterweight) does all the work. The motor itself is no more powerful than what you might do with a hand operator. However, the door opener mechanism can lift far heavier loads than a person, so be careful when lowering a larger, heavier door! The weight could be dangerous to a foot, head, or shoulder that got caught in the way.

To Sum It Up

Do you know which type of door is best for you yet? Still not sure? We can explain the whole range of doors and door openers available on the market to help you find the best option, and we’ll be sure to take into consideration your lifestyle and budget. You can also send us a request for a free online quotation.

If you want to see your garage door before you make your final decision, take a little time to use a Design Centre like ours, where you can create your very own garage door. We also have an image gallery where you can get lots of ideas and inspiration. Contact us today at:

  • London: 519-685-9797
  • Mount Pleasant: 905-304-9700
  • Guelph: 519-821-4400
  • Goderich: 519-482-3251

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