A short history of garage doors

As car ownership began to grow in the early 1900s, so did the demand for somewhere to store and protect vehicles. Along with the development of the garage, the doors on the garage have evolved over time.

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Early garage doors

The first garages that came into existence resembled carriage houses that stored horses. As simple structures, they also had a door designed to keep the car safe and protected from the outside elements.

According to inman, the very earliest garage doors were derived from simple paired swinging doors on Victorian-era carriage houses. They were known as biparting doors and worked a bit like a barn door. They were attached to the garage with strap hinges that opened outward. Although they were fairly basic, these doors featured recessed panels, decorative battens and even windows.

Sliding tracks

With the earliest garage doors, a number of problems persisted. Heavy use resulted in wear and tear, with creaky hinges and broken screws. Although you might call in garage door repairs in St Albans specialists such as http://garagedoorsrus.co.uk/garage-door-repairs-st-albans/ to fix doors nowadays, it was the design of the actual door that was the main issue back then.

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The invention of sliding doors along tracks revolutionised garage door design, but even that had its limitations.

Overhead doors

It wasn’t until 1921 that a new style of garage door came into being that is still in use today: the overhead door. Invented by C.G. Johnson, these doors could be lifted upward, folding parallel to the ceiling of the garage. Doors of that time were heavy, so it was just five years later that C.G. Johnson came up with the idea of an electric door opener, which took away the need to physically lift the door yourself.

Although the electric door opener revolutionised garage doors, the safety aspect was an initial concern. Refinements have been introduced over the years, with the inclusion of sensors to reduce accidents from mis-use of the opener.

Door materials

Initial garage doors were made of wood. This had its limitations. In addition to being heavy, wood was prone to rotting and warping. As technology advanced, galvanised steel garage doors became popular in the 1970s, followed by fibreglass, composites and vinyl-covered aluminium. Increasingly, garage doors are made to reflect the individual style of a property and the front door of the home.