If you’re looking to replace your garage door, you’ll have to measure for the new one. While measuring is easy enough, it helps to understand the importance of each dimension. The new door will require a certain amount of space around it for the rails, torsion spring or extension springs and the automatic opener. A tight space could mean a search for customized parts to make the door and mechanisms fit. Too little space may mean re-thinking the entire project. Here is a guide to measuring for your new garage door installation.
Height of the Opening
Measure from the floor or cement lip on the floor, where the door will rest when closed, up to the top of the opening, inside the jamb. Make sure you mark down your measurements and log them to the closest fraction of an inch. Most rough openings for standard residential garage doors are about seven feet.
Width of Opening
This is the inside opening from side to side. Like the height, measure the inside of the jamb. Together with the height, this is the size of the door itself, made to fit within the jamb.
From Jambs to Walls
Now take the measurements for the side walls of the garage. Start at each of the side jambs and measure out to the side walls or the nearest obstacles such as pipes, ductwork, hanging tools, shelving or an entry door. The minimum space for your rails is going to be about three and a half to four inches. Make sure the wood of the jamb is in sturdy shape. Same goes for the header jamb.
Top of Opening to Ceiling
You’ll need to measure the distance from the top of the opening to the ceiling or floor joists if the ceiling isn’t finished. This is where the spring is going to be fastened. At a minimum, you’ll need 10.5 inches over the door for extension springs and 13 inches for a torsion spring. Depending on the type of door you plan to install, you may need up to 18 inches of headroom. Wood doors tend to take up more room above the header jamb. Also, account for another 3 inches in header room for the electric opener.
Ceiling Toward the Back Wall
Since your open overhead door will be resting along the ceiling, you must have enough room there to accommodate the height of the door, the rails and the opener. Generally, this will be about 18 inches more than the height of the door itself. Measure the ceiling from the front wall towards the back. If the garage or space is relatively short, you may not have enough room, but that’s pretty rare.
The more complicated your garage space, the more tricky the garage door installation may be. If you have drop down stairs or tight clearances, you might need customized hardware. Don’t forget, the floor where the door will rest must be even. Big gaps spell problems.
We highly recommend professional help with this project. ACS Overhead Doors is here for you. Our trained and experienced staff know exactly what to look for, how to measure for the perfect fit and can give advice for those unusual situations as they arise. We love the challenge of difficult jobs, so give us a call today or schedule an appointment online right here. We’ll make your project easy for you!
Whether you are designing a new house or remodeling the one you have, your selection of a garage door can make or break the home’s curb appeal. Fortunately, you have such a large pool of styles and materials to choose from that you can easily find a garage door to enhance the beauty of your home. In fact, with so many options out there, your only difficulty may be in narrowing them down to the one you like the best. To arrive at your final decision, there are several things to take into consideration.
Your budget will probably determine your preferred style. You can pay a lot for a carriage house style that actually opens like French doors, especially when it comes to automating them. However, going with horizontal panels and overhead opening, you can choose from a large variety of styles. You can choose from the minimalist, barely textured panels, all the way up to raised or sunken wood-grain panels that have the feel of Victorian era architecture, to even a carriage house design but with the overhead functionality, to name just a few. These are all quite attractive and popular. You can see samplings of them here. The addition of windows lends yet more style to the doors plus natural lighting inside the garage. If you feel windows might be a security risk in your neighborhood, you can always have faux window features instead.
For materials, you’ll need to decide between steel, aluminum, vinyl, fiberglass, glass, natural wood or wood composites. Each type of material has its advantages. Vinyl is tough and the only maintenance requirement is to wash it with the hose from time to time. You can custom paint steel and wood so they always match your house paint perfectly, but you will have to repaint or, in the case of stained wood, re-stain them regularly. Steel is prone to rusting in coastal areas, whereas aluminum is not. Wood composites allow for insulation where natural wood may require more expensive framing to create the space for insulation. Fiberglass is economical and non-rusting, as well as less subject to denting, which can occur with metal doors, or cracking with wood. Glass has a retro service station charm.
Regardless of the style you like best, your new door will probably open with a torsion spring. It’s a fine, efficient system and takes up very little space in your garage compared to more exotic open/close methods. Your only concern with a torsion spring is the potential for injury and damage should it break, which becomes a concern with older springs. As these springs wind up tightly, a break can cause them to strike out with deadly force. To prevent this, we suggest you upgrade your spring system to one that sheaths the spring in a tube. Remember, a tubed spring is a tamed spring.
Most modern garage doors can accommodate insulation which will help save on heating and cooling bills. Since the steel, aluminum, vinyl, fiberglass and wood composites are thin, they are constructed on a frame that can be filled with insulation, either polystyrene or polyurethane. If you go with polyurethane, you can enjoy a higher R value with a thinner frame. Insulation also acts as a sound barrier, so you’ll probably want it no matter what style of garage door installation you choose.
ACS Overhead Doors serves Bell County and the surrounding areas with the utmost dedication to quality and excellent customer service. Give us a call or use our convenient online estimate request form to contact us today!