Garage Door Headroom Requirements
Most people forget about minimum garage door headroom requirements when planing for new overhead doors. Before framing in an opening or replacing an existing garage door always measure the space between the top of the door frame and the ceiling. The proper amount of headroom allows garage doors to move around the radius of the track without hitting the ceiling. Here are the recommended minimum headroom requirements for overhead garage doors.
Residential Overhead Doors
(21 inch sections, 12 inch Radius Track)
Standard Track Manual Operation – 12 inches headroom minimum
Standard Track With Garage Door Opener – 15 inches headroom minimum
Low Headroom Track Manual Operation – 9 inches headroom
Low Headroom Track Using Garage Door Opener – 12 inches headroom
Most residential doors use 12″ radius track to accommodate 21″ and 18″ panels. Commercial style panels are 24″ and typically require 15″ radius track. The larger radius allow for smooth operation as the door curves. This reduces vibration and frequency of cables slipping off the drums. Unfortunately, the increased radius takes up more headroom space.
Commercial Overhead Doors
(24 inch panels, 15 inch Radius)
Standard Track Manual Operation – 15 inches headroom minimum
Standard Track With Garage Door Opener – 18 inches headroom minimum
Low Headroom Track Manual Operation – 12 inches headroom
Low Headroom Track Using Garage Door Opener – 15 inches headroom
If the opening you are looking at has less than 6 inches of headroom you must frame down the opening as a sectional overhead door will not fit. Always plan your opening for the proper amount of headroom as it will save you time and money. Leaving 18″ of headroom is always best when planning for overhead doors. This leaves enough space for commercial sized garage door panels and most types of automatic door openers.