The Horizontal Garage Door; How it all started
In 2011, my wife and I bought a piece of property with an old home on it and decided to tear the home down to the studs and redesign it to our specifications. As part of the redesign, the existing garage space was reallocated to the living space thus requiring us to build a new garage. Being a Civil Engineer who spent decades as a Commercial and Residential General Contractor, I tend to do most of the work on my homes myself so when it came time to start the new garage, I was excited.
While designing the garage, I took a lot into consideration such as the width of the garage and the frustration that comes along with not having enough room to get out of your car sometimes as well as the height as both my wife and I drive SUV’s. I also decided I needed to add a coolness factor so I built my wife a turntable but I will save that for another post.
With my requirements in place I set out to build my dream garage only to find myself at a crossroads when it came to the garage door. Although my garage is a 2 ½ garage, I wanted to fully utilize the height and width for the garage door which, come to find out, was almost impossible in the United States.
“Garage doors aren’t that big”, “Commercial roll ups are not for residential use”, “We don’t sell Horizontal Garage Doors in the United States” are just a few of the responses I received from local garage door companies. So, what does an engineer do when met with resistance? I designed my own.
It is important to note that we do not claim to be inventors of the horizontal garage door concept as horizontal garage doors or around the corner garage doors as they are called in Europe, have been sold in Europe for years. Our claim to fame is that we solved the safety issues for the horizontal garage door design to pass the U.S. UL 325 standards, thus bringing the horizontal door to the North American market.
So basically, the Horizontal Garage Door idea came to us out of necessity as it was a perfect fit for my garage and we loved the contemporary feel of the door. But then our friends and family started encouraging us to take the concept to market and so began a two-year journey of research and development that included fine tuning the operation of the door, forming partnerships with top shelf industry leaders, patenting our concept and passing UL testing.
Now that we have brought the door to market, we are working on new designs and materials that can be used given our door hangs horizontally and thus defies gravity which provides for flexibility and creativity in design and look forward to sharing them with you soon.