10 Jun 2019

It is just a garage door…?

It is well established and understood by self builders, architects and developers that well designed and attractive garage doors add to the overall feel and value of a property.

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Agarage door can often be one of the largest moving objects on a house, making the choice of garage door a key decision. Thinking about what is involved when building a garage or retro fitting a garage door is often left quite late which means having to make unwanted compromises.

How might your garage and garage door affect the neighbourhood; is your property in a conservation area or does your local authority require planning permission? It is important to make enquiries not to be caught out. Changing any aspect of the front elevation may mean you require planning consent. If a door opens outwards it may cross onto pavement when opening and closing which could cause a problem for a passer by so a slide round or roller door is more suitable.

Many factors need to be taken into account when considering the design of a garage, including not only the garage door design and type but perhaps also whether a side door is required and its layout.

How do you intend to use the space? Do you need wall space or ceiling space? How big should a door be to allow cars to fit into the garage without the space being too tight?

Many articles have been written providing an overview of the pros and cons of the many different styles and types of garage doors available. There are options to suit most budgets starting at a few hundred pounds to several thousand, depending on the quality and specification. There are no right or wrong choices but one should aim to choose a design that will be appropriate to what is to be achieved.

There are a great variety of very good mass produced garage doors to one-off handmade garage doors to suit almost all garage designs and openings.

Garage door types available?

You may like to look at side hinged, up and over, roller, metal insulated overhead and side sectional garage doors and curved side sliding round the corner doors that can meet the most challenging design requirements.

Doors are mainly manufactured from steel, aluminium, timber and even glass. They can be manufactured from a variety of materials to suit a house, outhouse, or dedicated block of one-off garages. Some manufacturers will provide an open for infill system that can be clad in a material of your choice or specification although the weight of such cladding needs to be considered.

Sizes to consider

It is generally considered good practice to allow a minimum of 2400mm in width and 2250mm in height for a garage door, if space allows, for each car. Most manufactures have sizes to suit most openings and doors can also be made to order to suit a particular opening. Leading manufacturers amongst others include Hörmann, Rundum Meir, Cedar Doors, Novoferm, Teckentrup, Garador, SWS, Wessex, Chamberlain.

Unusually, Rundum Meir is able to help design and manufacture bespoke door systems that are curved both convex and concave or even 14m wide as one door curtain in either extruded aluminium or timbers such as oak, iroko, sapele, cedar and others. When choosing finishes it is important to think about maintenance which may depend on location and local weather conditions.

Automation has become reliable and more secure over the years and makes using garage doors very convenient. Most remote control systems use the advised 868Mhz, together with changing code signal remote controls, digi pads and even finger scan technology. Automation needs to auto-reverse when it meets an obstruction according to set forces which is an industry standard. Ask whether garage doors have finger trap safety protection and weather seals.

Security and safety

It is always worth considering alarming your garage. In addition, ask the supplier what security features the garage door has. Some doors have multipoint locking systems, anti-lever devices, electo-magnetic locks, thrown latches, anti-drill lock barrels, all of which make it harder for an opportunist burglar.

Having considered all of the above, one might come to the conclusion that a garage door might not just be a garage door. Detailed planning can result in a satisfying long-term investment and decision.

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