Commercial garage doors

Buyers in the market for a new garage door for a local business, will find a plethora of choices in the marketplace today. Having so many different door types, and options, it can quickly get confusing. The experts at AmPm Door Services are here to help.

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– Commercial garage door repair
– Door Installation / Replacement
– Garage door springs / Cables
– New garage doors / Openers

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Commercial garage door

Similarities & Differences Between Residential and Commercial Garage Doors

Let’s first understand the main similarities and differences between residential and commercial garage doors. There are numerous similarities, obviously, but also some notable differences. While the basic function of the two is very much alike, the workload is definitely not, and that is they factor that drives the most significant design differences.

Commercial Garage Door Are Used Much More Frequently

Garage doors installed in commercial or industrial applications (think of an automobile dealership service entrance, or a factory loading dock) are used much more frequently, being cycled up and down perhaps 20, 30, or even 50 times a day, compared to less than a handful of times in typical residential applications. Clearly, high strength and durability are key characteristics in commercial door applications, and thus commercial doors are usually made more solidly, in terms of construction, which also means heavier weight. The other door system components, including springs and hardware, are also beefed up to withstand the increased duty cycle and load placed on them.


Beauty normally being less of a concern in most business applications, the variety of designs in commercial doors is usually not as broad. However, sometimes one will come across unique door types, for example, all-glass doors being suitable for new automobile showrooms but which are never seen in home application. Wooden doors are rarely used in commercial application, since businesses prefer low maintenance over the attributes of wood which may be more attractive to a homeowner. One might also see different lift types in commercial use, for example vertical or high-lift types, as opposed to standard lift setups designed for the relatively low headroom available in a typical residential garage.

Most commercial doors are of the familiar sectional type, but one might also come across rolling steel doors, or even “rapid-roll” doors made of PVC or some other flexible, impact-resistant material. Commercial doors can also offer, in some cases, a higher insulating value.

Door Material

Garage doors come in different choices of materials, usually a type of wood or metal. Each type of material offers advantages and disadvantages for the consumer, so the choice may depend on which particular qualities are most important to the buyer.

Wood doors can be very appealing to homeowners, due to the visual attractiveness of their natural appearance, and the possibility to match the architectural design or style of the home. Several different types of wood are available, which vary in their characteristics. The cheapest is basic plywood, which is relatively light and thin, and may come with a veneer of hardwood on the exterior for improved appearance.

Cedar is often preferred for its inherent resistance to rot, and may be painted or stained. Higher-end wooden doors are often made of redwood, such as mahogany, which is heavy and expensive, but also strong and durable. The principal downside of wooden doors is the need for regular maintenance (painting or staining, and sealing) to maintain the finish and prevent decay.

Metal doors are usually made of steel, but sometimes aluminum is utilized in door construction. Metal doors are generally very durable, and don’t require a lot of maintenance. These doors may be of single-layer construction, having quite low insulating value, or double-layer construction with a layer of insulation in the middle. Steel doors are moderately susceptible to rusting over time, in particular if scratched or dented. Aluminum does not have this problem, but can dent more easily. It should be noted that sheet metal thickness (measured in “gauge”) varies, so all metal doors are not created equal. The overall construction, as well as the thickness and number of layers are all relevant considerations in assessing strength and expected durability of the door.

Door manufacturers have also gotten quite creative in providing alternatives to traditional wood or steel. For example, steel doors can be made to resemble elegant wood designs by using vinyl or fiberglass overlay material having the desired wood-look pattern and shade. These offer the advantages of steel construction, at a lower price point than actual hardwood. Vinyl also resists rusting, fading, and denting – but it cannot be painted over. However, even with these and other options available, wood and steel remain the most popular choices with consumers.

Insulated vs. Non-Insulated

Buyers with a garage attached to their home or business, and especially if the space is heated, will generally want to look at insulated doors for their ability to keep warm air in, and cold air out, which saves energy and improves interior comfort. On the other hand, if the door is installed in an unheated outbuilding, or for seasonal use only, this feature will be less important, and non-insulated doors may fill the need quite adequately.

The choice of insulated vs. uninsulated doors really depends on the intended use of the garage, and to some extent, its placement in the home. If the garage serves as a storage area, one should consider what is stored there, such as canned food, drinks, paint, water hoses, or devices that may contain water (e.g. pressure washer), all of which may be intolerant of below-zero temperatures.

If one plans to use the garage as a year-round workshop, playroom, or exercise room, those would be vital considerations. If there are bedrooms located immediately above the garage, an insulated door will help keep the bedroom floor warm and minimize temperature variations in the room. Finally, an insulated metal door also tends to be a little quieter in operation, offering better sound insulation, too, and perhaps a more attractive interior appearance.

The two main types of insulation are polystyrene sheets and foamed-in-place polyurethane. The foamed-in-place variety will provide higher R-value, i.e. better thermal properties, for a given thickness, by expanding in place and filling all the voids inside the door completely. This also promotes better noise reduction.

Windows and Hardware

Windows are another key design choice for garage doors, probably the most important one after material, color, and perhaps the design of the door itself. Garage door windows not only improve the appearance and accentuate the door (and the home) but also serve to let natural light into the garage.

There are many window types and designs to choose from, allowing the buyer to customize the appearance to suit their decorative taste, and to fit well into the overall design of the home. Choices include the shape and number of windows, as well as the glass type which can be clear, frosted, or tinted. Buyers may also find specialized or even customized glass designs available, including non-transparent glass if privacy and security are concerns. Double-pane (insulated) windows are also an option for optimal energy efficiency.

As a finishing touch for added charm and curb appeal, buyers may consider adding decorative hardware to the garage door. The choices are truly endless, from traditional country-style to modern-looking, in black, brass, and multiple other styles and colors. Finally, while not a feature of the door itself, decorative outdoor lighting can be added to accent the door’s appearance.

One Door or Two

If the garage is already built, this is a difficult one to change. But for new construction, or during major renovation (adding a garage, perhaps), buyers with a double-garage, for example, will be able to consider whether they prefer one large door (typically 14-16 feet), or two small ones (typically 8-10 feet each). The choice really comes down to design taste (the look you prefer) more than anything, but as expected, there are some pros and cons.

In the event one door fails to open, having a second one isn’t a bad thing, perhaps giving access to at least one vehicle, and providing extra assurance to children using the garage as the main point of entry into the home after school. A smaller opening during cold weather can help the garage retain heat when opening and closing the door. However, one wide single door does offer improved maneuverability, allowing for some creative parking when needed, and perhaps leaving room for accessory vehicles (e.g. lawn tractor, motorcycle) to pass at the side. Whether one double-door or two, there isn’t a big difference in the overall cost.

Special Features

Certain situations command attention to additional, non-standard, garage door features that buyers may choose from. Buyers with young children who will be frequently around the garage, for example, might opt for pinch resistant panels or hinges which are designed to prevent fingers getting caught between the door panels when closing. Also, if spouses wake up and leave at different times, or the family has teenagers that tend to come home late at night, a buyer could consider an extra-quiet door that won’t wake other people up.


Our sales professionals are specially trained to guide buyers through the entire selection process, helping to find the right door for every application, at a price that suits the buyer’s budget.

The garage door specialists at AmPm Door Services, are always available to offer friendly advice on these and other choices with respect to your new garage door installation, based on your budget, style preferences, and other considerations. We have been selling, installing, and servicing garage door openers for many years. We service and repair all brands of garage door openers, and can also supply any parts and accessories you may require.