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The Differences Between Commercial and Residential Garage Doors

Unless you work with garage doors in a professional capacity, most garage doors probably look pretty much the same to you. While all garage doors have the same essential function, each category of door is different. One of the most important distinguishing categories is whether a door is commercial or residential.

In everyday life, you can easily differentiate a commercial from a residential garage door due simply to the type of building it’s attached to. The importance of this separation mostly comes into play when repairing or replacing garage doors.

Some DIYers who have experience with one of these types of doors may assume that they can figure out tasks for both types of garage doors. Unfortunately, this assumption can have consequences that affect the door’s warranty and function as well as the building’s security, efficiency and safety.

In this blog, we explain the main differences between commercial and residential garage doors and why these categorizations matter.


When it comes to garage door appearance, aesthetic appeal tends to be more important for homes and other personal residences than for commercial or industrial buildings. Because residential garage doors compose a significant portion of the building’s facade, these doors tend to be made to have a greater visual impact.

To enhance appearance, residential garage doors may have extra design features like windows, designs and multiple color options. These features can ensure that the garage door looks like an integrated part of the residence’s facade and reflects any unique architectural features of the home.

Since functionality is more valuable in an industrial setting than appearance, commercial garage doors tend to look plainer. Most commercial doors are conventional roll-up or flat designs in a basic color like white. Any custom design changes tend to be in door color.

Height and Width

Perhaps the most obvious difference between commercial and residential garage doors is their size. The standard for residential garage doors is seven feet high and between eight and nine feet wide. Some residential garage door options extend as tall as 12 feet high for homeowners with RVs, but these doors are special order.

The size of a commercial garage door depends on its application. If the garage door is part of a trucking depot, for example, it needs enough clearance for semi-trucks to easily drive in and out. In an industrial setting where oversized machinery is used, a commercial door may need to be even larger.

While homeowners can install larger commercial doors on garages that they design themselves, most do not due to the cost difference, which we’ll discuss in a later section.


Residential garage doors come in numerous materials, from wood to steel. The correct material choice for a particular home’s garage depends on the homeowner’s preferences and budget. Some of these materials have great curb appeal, like wood, while others last significantly longer, like steel.

The climate where the home is located may also factor into the choice of material. For example, a home in a tornado-prone area is more likely to have a sturdy metal door rather than a fiberglass one due to the risk of dents and breakage from debris.

Commercial garage doors are generally made of either aluminum or galvanized steel. These materials are highly durable, so they offer the security and longevity often prioritized by commercial clients.

Opening Capacity

Residential garage doors are designed to be opened a few times each day. The predicted lifespan of the garage door opener is partially based on this estimate of how often the door will be opened. These openers can wear out much more quickly if opened many times a day over a long period of time.

Commercial garage doors, however, are intended to be opened and closed frequently. These doors may operate more quickly and efficiently. The average commercial door opener can withstand heavy usage for at least as long as a residential door opener can withstand daily usage.


As mentioned in the “Height and Width” section, there is a significant cost difference between residential and commercial doors. Commercial doors cost much more to install and to repair than residential doors because commercial doors are:

  • Designed for commercial-level security
  • Fitted with an industrial opener as discussed in the previous section
  • Often custom sized according to the building schematics

This difference in price is one of the reasons why so few commercial doors are used residentially.

When you approach an issue involving a garage door, take a moment to evaluate the type of door, especially if you’re replacing or installing a new garage door. In most cases, even if you have relevant experience with the type of door in question, you’ll want to consult with a garage door expert on the project.

For commercial and residential garage door service, repairs and installation, trust Shank Door. With over 50 years of experience in the garage door business, they can help you with any questions or concerns you may have.

6 Ways to Improve Garage Door Safety

It’s hard to imagine that your garage door could pose a safety hazard under the right circumstances. Nevertheless, countless people find themselves seriously injured due to a malfunction or a lapse of judgment when dealing with their garage doors. Injuries caused by automatic garage doors are responsible for a significant number of emergency room visits each year.

This isn’t to say that garage doors are inherently dangerous, but they must be treated with plenty of care and caution. The following tips will help ensure that your garage door not only remains in excellent condition but also stays safe enough to use without injury.

Keep Your Hands and Fingers Away From Pinch Points

Your garage door features a variety of joints and crevices that could serve as pinch or crush points. These include areas where garage door panels join together. It’s all too common for homeowners to inadvertently place their fingers between panel sections while attempting to manually pull down the door, resulting in serious hand or finger injury.

If you ever need to manually close or open your garage door, it’s much safer to do so using the garage door’s attached handles or by grabbing a safe gripping point as indicated by the garage door manufacturer. It’s also a good idea to avoid placing your hands and fingers between cables, hinges and other sections of the garage door that could pose a crush or pinch hazard.

Keep an Eye on Your Garage Door Cable

Like other parts of your garage door, the cables can get worn out with enough time and usage. Rusted, frayed and/or kinked cables are often a ticking time bomb, with each day bringing them closer to the brink of failure. Steel cables in these states lack the structural integrity needed to support your open garage door.

If your garage door cables appear to be in bad shape, you should have them replaced by a professional as soon as possible.

Maintain and Test Your Safety Sensors

A typical garage door weighs anywhere from 250 pounds to 400 pounds — that’s a lot of weight for your automatic garage door opener and your garage door springs to support. As your garage door closes, the last place you want to be is in its immediate path, since the sheer weight alone could pose a crushing hazard for anything or anyone underneath.

For this very reason, just about every garage door opener comes equipped with a built-in auto-reverse feature. This feature uses a pair of infrared safety sensors to detect objects within the garage door’s path, allowing the door to automatically reverse direction and avoid crushing any objects that happen to be in the way.

It’s important to have your safety sensors checked and tested on a regular basis to ensure that this feature remains functional. Over time, the safety sensors can get covered in dirt and grime, which could allow the garage door to reverse on its own.

Have Your Garage Door’s Balance Checked

Keeping your garage door properly balanced is also important for preventing injuries. A garage door can lose its balance due to a gradual loss in spring tension, often resulting in one side of the garage door falling farther than the other. This causes the garage door to get hung up in its own tracks as it opens or closes. Too much tension due to improper spring adjustment can also cause the door to drift open.

If your garage door appears crooked or you’re having a hard time opening and closing your garage door, you may want to have your technician check its balance. If necessary, the technician can also rebalance your door, restoring it to its safe operation.

Leave Spring-Related Repairs to the Experts

You may be tempted to adjust or even replace your own garage door springs, but there’s a good reason why you should leave these tasks to the professionals. For the average do-it-yourselfer, performing maintenance on garage door springs can be a dangerous task due to the potential for injury.

Torsion springs are especially dangerous to handle since they’re kept under tremendous tension. A sudden breakage can easily result in serious injuries, especially if it occurs during the middle of an adjustment or removal.

If you need new springs, you’re better off having your garage door technician take care of the installation and maintenance. Your technician will have the tools and training needed to safely deal with your garage door springs, plus you’ll have peace of mind knowing that the job was done correctly the first time around.

Don’t Skip Out on Regularly-Scheduled Maintenance

Skipping out on regularly-scheduled maintenance for your garage door not only makes it unsafe to be around, but it can also shorten its overall lifespan. A properly designed and well-maintained garage door can last for several decades. It’s usually a good idea to have a technician take an up-close look at your garage door at least once a year.

For more information on improving garage door safety, get in touch with the helpful pros at Shank Door today.

IntelliG® Pro Series Model 4024

IntelliG® Pro Series Model 4024The Model 4024 provides intelligent design for the homeowner that wants powerful and fast performance with superior design and the ultimate in conveniences to fit their busy lifestyle.

Belt or Chain Drive*

  • 140V DC motor with Soft Start & Stop control
  • Opening speed: Up to 9.0 in/sec †
  • Motion detection lighting
  • Lifetime Motor/Screw Drive Rail Warranty**
  • 2 light bulbs (Genie LED light bulb recommended; 100 watt max if incandescent used)
  • Maintenance free Screw Drive Rail
  • C-channel rail for strength & aesthetics
  • Compatible with Aladdin Connect™ smart device system
  • Interstate Batteries Battery backup compatible
  • – no external repeater box or bridge needed
  • Assembled in USA
  • Accessories

Special Features

  • Power Plus motor provides power to operate almost any residential garage door.
  • The super strong 140V DC motor allows for quiet, smooth operation with soft start and soft stop, and plugs into a standard home outlet.
  • The Model 4024 has a maximum opening speed of 9.0 inches per second*** to provide speedy exits and entrances to the garage.
  • Integrated motion detector provides added convenience and security with two bulb lighting system for maximum brightness. Genie LED light bulb recommended (100 watt max if incandescent used.)
  • Pre-assembled rail is ready to install. The lightweight power head allows for one person installation.
  • Auto Seek Dual Frequency System helps ensure the opener will respond regardless of nearby frequency interference.
  • GenieSense™ Monitoring and Diagnostic Technology: Delivers the power needed at every movement of the garage door and continuously monitors the operation of the door, stopping operation when significant changes occur. GenieSense™ minimizes noise, wear and tear on the door, and improves overall safety.
  • Pre-programmed remote is ready to use out-of-the-box. (Simple steps to change programming if desired.)

Standard Features

  • Safe-T-Beam® Non-Contact Reversing System

Puts an invisible beam across the door opening. The door stops and reverses to open position if anything passes through the beam.

  • GenieSense™ Monitoring and Diagnostic Technology

Provides safety by continuously monitoring operation of the door, stopping the operation to alert you when significate changes occur.

  • IntelliCode® Access Security System

Superior encryption technology (also known as rolling codes) that prevents piracy of the radio signal that opens your garage door by continually seeking a new code from billions of combinations.

  • HomeLink® & Car2U® Compatibility

Works with ALL HomeLink and Car2U systems regardless of when those systems were made. No additional external repeater box or compatibility bridge needed.

What Garage Door Repairs Should You Leave To The Pros?

If you have a do-it-yourself attitude, there are likely plenty of projects around the house that you feel completely confident in tackling yourself. You painted your living room, no problem. You changed the lever on your toilet, which was a breeze. You even patched a small hole in your living room’s drywall. But, what about your garage door?

When it comes to the mechanism that makes this heavy entry door go up and down, you might want to take a pass on fixing it yourself. Why? Some of the more common garage door repairs are best left to the professionals. Take a look at what these repairs are and why you need an expert to handle them.

Full Replacement

You need a new garage door, and you found one online. You also found a video on how to replace it. It seems easy, right? Wrong. There’s a reason why there are trained professionals in this area. Replacing a garage door isn’t exactly a simple process. Because a garage door is the largest moving piece of equipment in your house, compared to other home DIY fixes, such as painting or hanging a picture, this is a major project.

Not only can the pros install the door for you, but they can help you to pick the one that works best for your home. Keep in mind, just because something looks ‘good’ online or in the big-box store doesn’t mean it will work for your specific situation.  The professional door dealer will come out and field verify all measurements before you order!

Electrical Issues

Unless you have training in handling the various components of your home’s electrical system, this is one problem that you really can’t afford to fix yourself. Electrical-related accidents are responsible for 5 percent of all job-related fatalities each year, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). And that’s among specialists who are trained to work with electrical systems.

Now imagine what could happen when an untrained person (that’s you) tries to work with live wires. Never try to rewire or fix the electrical components of your garage door opener. This is a job for the professionals. Doing it your self could result in burns, electrocution, or worse.

Springs and Cables

It may seem like making simple adjustments to the springs and cables on your garage door isn’t a major job. But these are parts that could easily snap and injure you. Adjusting these to the wrong tension may make them break, dropping the door down on you. Another possibility is that you could get hit with a flying spring or metal cable.

Along with the physical dangers of making these adjustments on your own, there’s also a high-cost element. If you break the parts of your garage door, replacing them entirely may cost you more than a professional adjustment would have. When it comes down to it, leave this one to the experts. They have the know-how and the tools to do it right the first time.

Panel Problems

One of the panels broke, fell off, or cracked. It’s just a cosmetic issue. At least, that’s what you thought. Fixing a panel on your garage door may much more than simple aesthetics. It may also include an underlying structural problem.

If you attempt to fix it yourself, you may end up damaging the door more than it was before. You also won’t know if you’ve actually gotten to the root of the issue. It’s possible that the panel broke or cracked because of a door malfunction. A pro can take a look, evaluate the situation, and provide the proper solution for the problem.

Does your garage door need a professional upgrade or repair? Call the knowledgeable experts at Shank Door at 1-800-480-4134 for a consultation about making your garage door safe and secure.

Updating Your House’s Façade With a Garage Door

Your garage door takes up a lot of visual space on your house’s façade, so it has a significant impact on the curb appeal of your home. Just as the size of the garage itself can influence the decision of potential buyers, the look of the doors can help draw their attention. Even if you’re not selling your home anytime soon, make over the look of your house by replacing the garage door.

Evaluate the Façade of Your House

The first step in updating your house’s façade is evaluating it. Walk around on your block and evaluate your house’s exterior from different angles. Pay attention also to how your house looks when you see it from the street from the first time. Likewise, note what visual impact the garage door has from the street.

From there, it’s important to evaluate how you want to improve the exterior of your house. Perhaps you have a simple ranch style, but you want to make it look more modern. Conversely, maybe you have a Victorian-style home and you want to emphasize the ornate aspects of the style.

In fact, there are many styles, ranging from ultra-modern to historical, as well as provincial styles, such as Cape Cod, Georgian, and Victorian. The set style of a house can help drive the decision in garage door styles.

Settle on a Door Style

Once you’ve noted how your garage entrance interacts with the look of your house, it’s time to choose a style for your replacement door.

When considering the door style, Better Homes and Gardens recommends choosing a door that suits your house’s architecture. Indeed, it should offer some complement to the façade. Think about the specific architectural elements in your home you want to emphasize. For example, maybe you want to echo the windows with glass panels in the door.

As you work on making your decision, consider whether you want a stock or custom door. Naturally, stock doors are the most budget-friendly, but they offer limited design options. Full custom doors are more expensive, but you can choose exactly the look that best complements your house. You can also choose semi-custom doors, which are a cross between the two in looks and price.

Choose a Color Scheme

Besides style, another important consideration for your garage door is the color. According to the color you choose, the door can accent the façade or blend in with it.

If your garage door takes up a lot of visual space as seen from the street, you may want to choose a color that matches the house. You can still accent the door’s architecture with the same color as the house’s trim.

Conversely, you may choose a garage door in the accent color itself. This works well if the rest of the house makes a strong visual impact. In this case, the garage door can help highlight the architecture of your home.

Consider your Material Choices

our choice in material impacts not only the look of the door, but also its durability.

Budget options include aluminum and vinyl. Aluminum doors don’t rust, but they’re easier to dent.  Vinyl doors require minimal maintenance and are almost dent-proof. Fiberglass doors are a little more expensive, but they don’t dent, rust, or crack. These materials work well with  contemporary style houses.

Wood is the traditional material for garage doors. Wooden garage doors offer a distinctive profile, making them ideal for provincial and historical homes. You do have to perform yearly maintenance on wooden garage doors to keep them looking fresh. That said, you could choose a wood composite door, which features the beauty of natural wood with minimal maintenance.

Give your house’s façade a facelift by replacing your garage door. Use these tips to pick out a door, but talk to the experts at Shank Door about which garage door will best complement your home’s exterior and for professional help installing the door.


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