How Long Do Garage Doors Last?

© 2007 Door & Access Systems
Publish Date: Fall 2007
Author: Tom Wadsworth
Page 66

Garage Doors and Openers in the Media

How Long Do Garage Doors Last?
Source: Steve Melman, “Study Sheds Light on Home Component Life Expectancy,” Nation’s Building News (NAHB), March 12, 2007.

Garage doors should last 10 to 15 years.

So says the “Study of the Life Expectancies of Home Components,” a new report sponsored by Bank of America Home Equity and conducted by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

The study provides the typical useful life expectancy of the various components of a home, acknowledging factors such as use, maintenance, climate, and technological advances. The research was conducted in the summer of 2006.

By comparison, exterior fiberglass, steel, and wood entry doors will typically last as long as the house stands, while vinyl and screen doors have life expectancies of 20 and 40 years, respectively.

Editor’s Note: It stands to reason that a garage door lifespan should be relatively short. Garage doors are heavy, include many moving parts, and are subject to daily use.

This statistic is not necessarily negative for our industry. It is authoritative information that supports the occasional replacement of the largest moving appliance in the home.

Garage Doors: The 80 Percent Factor
Source: Judy Stark, “Protecting Your Garage Door,” St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times, April 15, 2007.

This story notes that most people in hurricane-prone regions typically focus on putting up shutters over windows. “But what did you do about your garage door?” asks the story.

“Approximately 80 percent of residential hurricane damage starts with wind entry through garage doors,” says the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (

Jeff Burton of the Institute for Business and Home Safety adds, “The larger the door, the more vulnerable it becomes to high winds. A double-wide is more vulnerable than a single.”

Editor’s Note: I don’t recall seeing the “80 percent” statistic before. I’m not sure how the accuracy of this number is determined. Whatever its origin, the statistic supports the case for installing stronger garage doors in high-wind areas. And it appears that the public is gradually getting the message.

Nine Feet Is Too Wide?
Source: Barbara Henry, “Carlsbad Commission Parks Garage-Door Proposal,” North County Times (Escondido, Calif.), July 19, 2007.

In July, the Carlsbad, Calif., Planning Commission unanimously rejected a plan to allow 9'-wide garage doors in home construction projects. The 8'-wide limit, which is thought to make garage doors look more interesting, remains firmly in place. Earlier support for the wider door concept came from residents whose SUVs could not easily fit through 8'-wide openings.

An Aug. 1 commentary in the North County Times called the decision “some of the wackiest reasoning I’ve read about for a long time.”

One commissioner, for example, said, “I think it’s the purchaser’s responsibility to find out if his car fits in the garage.” Another opposed the 9' standard because it might encourage the purchase of environmentally unfriendly, fuel-guzzling vehicles.

Editor’s Note: I fail to see any significant aesthetic difference between an 8'-wide door and a 9'-wide door. Besides, a 9'-wide door looks a lot better than a house with a vehicle constantly parked outside.

GDO Thieves Target Church-Goers
Source: “Car Break-ins, Burglaries,” The News Journal (Wilmington, Del.), March 14, 2007.

If you think your unlocked car is safe in the church parking lot, think again.

State police in Delaware are investigating several car break-ins that led to residential burglaries in which thieves used GDO radio controls taken from the vehicles. One burglary struck the home of a 67-year-old woman on a Sunday morning.

While the victim was teaching Sunday school, the thief went through the church parking lot and stole her remote control and vehicle registration from her unlocked car. The burglar then went to the woman’s home, entered through the garage, and took a large quantity of jewelry.

Editor’s Note: If this story sounds familiar, we reported a similar theft from a church parking lot in Port Angeles, Wash., in the summer of 2006.

We’ve reported extensively about the growing problem of thefts of radio controls. You can be part of the solution by encouraging customers to keep their vehicles locked and keep their remote controls out of view.