Residential garage doors have to look good and perform well. Commercial garage doors (which are often referred to as "Commercial Doors", since they form the entry point to many commercial areas, including garages) on the other hand are designed to work more efficiently and not necessarily to appear as ascetically pleasing. Essentially, many commercial garage doors are built to the same specifications as residential garage doors, just to a larger size. While some homeowners assume that a commercial door is built to higher standards than a residential door, and request a commercial garage door be installed, the majority of the time, the residential door is just as well built and as strong as a commercial garage door.
Commercial Garage Doors
The main difference between a residential garage door and a commercial garage door is the size. The standard Residential garage door is usually seven feet in height, however there are shorter and taller residential doors available. Commercial businesses typically need taller doors for unloading and loading supplies. If you are installing a detached garage with a tall opening, a commercial door may be something to consider, but first make sure that you actually need a commercial door as they are more costly.
While you can spruce up the look of commercial garage doors by adding aftermarket features like glass panels, you’re still going to be very limited in the choices that you are presented with.
Jim Norman of Overhead Door Company of Central Jersey has this to say about commercial and residential garage doors: “There are some options that are available for commercial garage doors that are not available for residential garage doors, often by federal law. An example of this is the commercial electric operator system”.
Residential Garage Doors
Residential garage doors are available in a wide variety of materials including wood, fiberglass, steel, aluminum and composites. Commercial garage doors are typically only made from galvanized steel or aluminum.
Keep in mind that if you are looking to install a stronger garage door, there are many options available for residential garage doors. You can also add structural strength to a garage door by installing hurricane resistant panels and hardware.
All in all, a commercial garage door is probably best left in a commercial setting. Commercial appearing garage doors as well as oversized garage doors can also be against homeowner’s association standards and regulations. Always check with building officials and your local garage door installer to help you to find the best garage door for you and your home.