When Is A Garage Door More Than Just A Simple Shelter For A Car

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    The garage door opens the dining area of this container house to the comfortable outdoor space.

    Photo courtesy of Kevin Walsh Photography for Prefabulous Small Houses

    Garage doors have come a long way in design and use since they first were invented to shelter the early cars coming on the scene in the early 1900s. Early on cars were parked in barns and fee-based garages. But with the inconvenience of getting to the garage came the first personal garages. These were originally sold by Sears Roebuck mail-order catalogue and generally looked like carriage house, swing out doors.  In 192 C. G. Johnson invented the first garage door with an overhead operation and then in 1926, the first electrically operated overhead garage door.  It wasn’t until the mid 20th century that houses began to be designed with an attached garage and after World War II, with multi-car garages. 

    In those early years of the development of the garage door they were generally all used for the storage of automobiles (and household tools) and improvements came in the form of materials – from wood to metal and glass, and then sensors were created to avoid having the door come down on objects including cars, children and pets.  Garage doors have also become more available in a variety of designs and colors, as well as custom ones. According to the United States Department of Energy 63 percent of all housing today has a garage or carport.

    In recent years…

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