Nice vs. Necessary

© 2004 Door & Access Systems
Publish Date: Winter 2004
Author: Joe Hetzel
Page 70

DASMA Technical Director

Nice vs. Necessary

Q: “Customers occasionally ask me about the insulating value of garage doors. How can I know when to sell a door based on market requirements versus technical requirements?”

Joe: I’m occasionally asked the question about “nice” (market-driven) versus “necessary” (regulatory-driven) garage doors.

Here’s a good rule of thumb. If codes or other regulatory provisions do not require a particular aspect of a product, it is important to meet the customer’s specific needs based on the intended use of the garage door.

A good case-in-point is thermal performance for residential garage doors. Currently, if a garage is not continuously heated or cooled, there are no standard requirements governing the thermal performance of the garage door. However, special requirements may apply as part of a building code or architectural specifications for the project.

A homeowner may want to have a localized heating or cooling device in the garage. The device might reduce the heat or take the chill off of the air while, e.g., someone briefly works in the garage.

In this case, the garage door is not required to provide a certain level of energy efficiency but is more of a convenience for the homeowner. Thus, the level of the door’s thermal performance should be worked out between the installing dealer and the customer.

Always be sure to account for product safety, and always supply products that meet applicable codes and regulations. But if codes and regulations don’t apply, the sky’s the limit as to creativity of product design and use.