April 28, 2017

A garage door with a pedestrian (walk-through) door: the pros and cons

It looks interesting on the Internet, but you’re wondering if it’s really worth it. You tell yourself “Instead of opening my big garage door, I could access the garage through the small one.” Indeed, there are building layouts where using a garage door with a pedestrian door is definitely worthwhile. The most common residential situation is when the garage is located in the basement of a house making a regular access steel door (36" x 78" or 91 x 198 cm) next to the garage door or on the side of the garage is almost impossible.

Pedestrian Door

You can also find pedestrian doors on commercial or industrial garage doors. It is clear that, for energy savings purposes, opening a small access door makes more sense than raising a 16′ x 16′ (4.9 x 4.9 m) industrial garage door.

Sizes for pedestrian doors can vary from one brand to another, but most often, they are 32 inches wide by 78 inches high (81 cm x 198 cm). We strongly recommend using a garage door insulated with polyurethane to insure a solid structure to the overall door system. The thickness of the garage door should vary between 1 3/8" and 2".

So what are the benefits and drawbacks of installing a pedestrian door in a residential garage door?


  • As we said earlier in this blog, if your garage is located in the basement of your house and there is no way to install a regular access door, it becomes practical to have one installed, especially if it is a double garage door, say 16 ft. (4.9 meters) wide
  • In some urban areas where the building density is high, there might not be enough available side space so a pedestrian door should be installed. Even if the garage door is only 8′ or 9′ wide (2.4 or 2.7 m), it is a good idea for safety and especially to keep your belongings in the garage from view.
  • In the event of a prolonged power outage, if your garage is used as a storage area instead of a place to park your car, you’ll find this entry alternative very practical.


  • The main inconvenience is related to the cost of the pedestrian door and the safety system that must be installed to avoid any major damage to the garage door. At times, for a single garage door, the cost of adding a walk-through door is as much as a full garage door system without the walk-through door.
  • If the garage door has an electric garage door opener and the walk-through door is improperly closed, it is critical that the door system has a device to prevent a remote from activating the opener.
  • Pass-through doors cannot be installed on doors of any width. The minimum width is 8  feet (2.4 m) and if you selected a garage door with a rectangular embossed design, there are restrictions on the placement of the rectangles.
  • Lastly, the more openings we create in a garage door, the more the energy efficiency is reduced. If insulation and weatherproofing are important for you, then either accept the facts or look for another solution.

So, you’re ready to get started…

Contact us at 978-741-1600. We know garage doors better than anyone. Working with you, we can see if this type of door is feasible. If needed, we can email you a detailed quotation.

You can visit us at our showroom. It will be our pleasure to explain the complete range of doors available and to advise you on the best choice to make. You can also send us a request for an online quotation.


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