If you’re working on a renovation project or building a new business structure, adding garage doors can be a great choice. It adds accessibility and can increase your business value, too.
Of course, whether you’re restyling or adding new doors, there are certain factors to consider in buying the right commercial garage door system.
To help with that, we’ve created a guide covering the essential factors in choosing commercial garage door operators. Hopefully, this information can make it easier for you to choose the door and opening system that suits your needs.
Trolley garage door operators are common; perhaps you’ve heard of them? This is the LiftMaster MT model.
Residential vs. commercial garage doors: what’s the big difference?
Residential garage doors are used differently than commercial doors. Even if you have a garage door at home, it may be nothing like what you need for your business. For one thing, residential garage doors offer several designs and material options for both aesthetics and quality.
Size and weight
A commercial garage door is generally much heavier than one installed in the average residential garage. They’re used for businesses that do a lot of loading and unloading or that have to move large vehicles or equipment on a regular basis, for example.
This means a more powerful system is needed to keep the garage door functioning and ensure that it can handle the workload.
You’ll also typically see a higher operation cycle count for a commercial garage door. For example, while your home garage door is only opened twice a day, perhaps, your commercial door on the loading dock could be going nonstop all day long.
A business has much more traffic than a home—in fact, the average commercial door cycles (opens and closes) 25-50 times each day, which means it will get exponentially more use than a residential door. You’ll also want to consider energy efficiency here, since it’s being used so often. Along with power considerations, that will ensure you get the best door system.
Does horsepower matter?
Horsepower is typically determined based on the size and operation of a door. For example, since commercial garage doors are heavier and larger, openers for those doors tend to provide more horsepower than systems installed in residential garages.
These loading dock garage doors are the G-1000, 8’ x 8’, in Heron Blue by Garaga.
Commercial system types
Typically, commercial garage door operators come in two types: trolley and jackshaft. The preferred installation location (ceiling or wall) will determine what is best for your needs.
This opener is installed on the ceiling, typically centered on the door itself. There is a rail that runs along the ceiling to escort the trolley, which connects to the door to move it up and down. It’s a common choice for standard doors that lift because it lifts the door upward.
This is a wall-mounted opening system that is usually installed alongside the garage door on the wall. It has a torsion bar that rotates to lift and close the door, which makes it a better choice for all door movements, not just vertical.
Check out these popular models. On the left is theLiftMaster GH and to the right, you’ll see a LiftMaster LJ8900W model jackshaft garage door operator.
To check out the features you’ve just learned about, explore all the models of garage door operators from LiftMaster. Their selection can help you get a visual of all the options available for your commercial business.
Think about the needs of YOUR commercial garage door
You’ll want to consider critical things like:
What will the door’s primary use be?
Does construction or material(s) matter?
What budget do you have to work with?
Do you need one door or multiple?
Before you buy anything, you’ll first want to figure out what exactly you need. Your industry, type of building, traffic flow, and the exact use of the door will all impact your decision, and are important to consider.
You’ll want to make sure that you stay within budget, but you’d be surprised how much an efficient garage door operating system can improve your daily operations when you choose the right one.
Apartments, condos, and other shared properties
The number of cycles per day will depend on the number of units (or parking spaces) you provide at your property. For example, if you have 100 people parking in the garage, you can assume that the door will typically be used about 200 times each day. This is assuming they leave once in the morning and return in the evening, though, which isn’t always accurate.
Warning: The amount of cycles your door sees could impact the cost and power of the systems that are available to you.
You’ll also want to offer a timed close option and a pneumatic reversing sensing edge. This sensor is essentially a hose installed along the bottom weatherstripping. When activated by touching an object, the sensor reverses the door and pushes it back open to prevent injury or damage.
Municipalities and dealerships
Buildings like these that need unobstructed space and that want more storage will typically choose to use a jackshaft garage door opener. In addition to the opener, it’s important to install safety features to protect your business, customers, and vehicles:
● A loop detector, which is installed under the floor to detect when vehicles pull into the garage or bay.
● A mid-stop option so garage doors only open as far as needed. For example, if you just need some fresh air but don’t want to let out all the heat in the winter, a partially open door is better than having to open it all the way.
Car washes have garage doors, including for protection from the elements and security for the business. Of course, all car washes are different and will have different needs. In any case, these businesses all need water-resistant operators because the dampness and humidity can often damage the electrical components otherwise.
Of course, the location and construction of your building may also influence whether you want doors or operators. For example, if you are trying to control traffic flow, doors can come in handy. They can also help reduce noise and insulate the space during the washing process.
Consider your environment, location, and the construction of your building to figure out what you need. After all, it looks much better when you choose an opening system and the complementing accessories that fit your property and give your business a good impression.
Have you noticed that fire stations typically have doors made of glass? The reason is to allow firefighters to have a better visibility when leaving the station in a hurry.
From our full view collection, check out the G-4400 garage door model, 14’ x 16’, Anodized extrusion.
Bear in mind that fire stations have their own specific design requirements for efficiency and safety. After all, when seconds count, firefighters need to be able to answer the call without missing a single one. That’s where having quality door systems can come into play.
This blog, which discusses the features of LiftMaster’s smart garage door systems and their benefits to firefighting, comes from FireRescue1, a community network dedicated to helping firefighters. In the blog, they discuss that although there are several benefits to having a good garage door operator, the two biggest perks are:
● Equipment and personnel safety
● Theft/vandalism protection
We even have operators that feature a control panel to adjust the speed at which the door opens for emergencies in fire stations and other facilities. It even allows for opening all the doors from a single access point for added convenience and speed.
Every business is going to have different needs. Warehouses and other nonspecific commercial spaces often have unique considerations, including size, layout, and how you’ll be storing items all come into play, as does the quantity and volume of what you’ll have coming and going. These can all impact finding the right garage door operator.
This is why working with a specialist can be a great choice for your new garage door or opening system (or both!).
Want to learn more about it?
There are a lot of technical terms at play here, but it doesn’t have to be confusing. Hopefully, our guide has given you some insight to make your decision easier.
Whether you’re renovating an existing building, or you need a brand new door and operator installation, we’d love to help. Check out our impressive collection of commercial doors that suit just about any industry or application.
Get inspired by real projects we’ve done for other clients in our image gallery. And if you need assistance, ask for one of our garage door specialists to help you decide and answer any questions you have.
Contact us at 902-455-5469 now to discuss your needs or pay us a visit in person. If you’ve already got an idea of what you want, we’ll simply email you a quotation!
This is the LiftMaster GT model, designed specifically for heavy-duty industrial use.
Garage door operators are not DIY-friendly!
Already know which electric garage door operators you want for your business? Contact our certified garage door experts to have your system installed properly and get your garage door functioning sooner than later!
Of course, safety always comes first. That’s where we come in. Overhead Door of Nova Scotia can install your opening system properly and hire an electrician to make sure that the wiring and outlets are properly installed.
NOTE: Every LiftMaster commercial system includes a standard security system that is designed to increase safety and reduce the risk of injuries. Consider all the systems that come with various operators and learn more so that you understand your system and its safety features.
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