Los Angeles Gates & Garage Doors

Guide to Garage Door Clearance


If you’re installing a garage door at your Los Angeles residential or commercial property, it’s important to understand garage door clearance requirements in order to ensure that you are ordering/purchasing the proper garage set up. Both torsion spring and extension spring based garage door openers have specific minimum door clearance requirements to be installed and operate safely. Here’s a guide to garage door clearance requirements, as prepared by the garage door installation experts here at Los Angeles Garage and Gate.


Garage headroom clearance describes the difference between the distance between the garage door’s opening and the ceiling. When most garage doors open, they roll back up on their horizontal tracks. The top of the garage door needs room to make that door. The majority of normal garage doors fit with extension springs neet at least 10 inches of headroom. Torsion spring garage doors usually need at least 12 inches of headroom due to the brackets that hold the torsions bar in place at either end.


Certain garages don’t have the standard garage door minimum headroom requirements, instead requiring double low headroom tracks. These have a top roller that runs down the higher horizontal track, with the other rollers rolling down the lower horizontal track. The top part of the door makes a quicker turn when opening. With this, torsion spring garage doors need at least 9.5 inches of headroom, while extension spring garage doors need at least 4.5 inches of headroom. While it is possible to have torsion springs in garage with only 5 inches of headroom, this will require the mounting of the torsion springs on the back of the horizontal tracks, which can be quite difficult.


Sideroom describes the space between the side of the garage door opening and the side wall. This area is where the horizontal bracket are attached. Torsion spring doors additionally need room for each end of the of the torsion bar. The sideroom requirement for extension spring AND torsion spring doors are usually around 3.75 inches. Low headroom garage installations need more headroom than normal doors, with torsion spring garage doors needing extra room for the cable and cable drum mountings on the exterior rather than interior of the tracks, with a minimum of 6 inches of sideroom.


The depth of the garage describes the distance between the top part of the door and the closest obstruction at the back of the garage. The garage door needs room to totally roll up – usually the calculation is the height of the door, with about 18 inches added, which gives room for the door as well as all horizontal track securing hardware.

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