Overhead Garage Door

6 Factors to Consider When Choosing an Overhead Garage Door

Garage Doors

6 Factors to Consider When Choosing an Overhead Garage Door

An overhead garage door opens vertically and is positioned parallel to the ground when opened. It is practical and can be installed without the need for clearance.

1. Overhead garage door: principle and advantages

An overhead garage door is built in one piece with a metal panel. The overhead door is equipped with a lockable central handle on the front and is guided by rails (suspended or not, depending on the type and configuration of the garage). It rises by a movement from bottom to top, more or less facilitated by the distribution of its own weight.

Unlike horizontal sliding garage doors and swinging doors, no floor clearance (inside and outside) is required for opening: only the ceiling area is used.

Note: a second handle can be integrated into the panel as a pedestrian door (called a wicket door).

2. Overhead garage door: overhanging or not overhanging

An overhead garage door can be of two types.

Overhead garage door

The overhead garage door may or may not use ceiling-mounted guide rails (plastic guide roller). The door is stable, and its opening movement overflows to the outside (the door leaf goes out, making it impossible to park a vehicle next to the door). The counterweight of the door facilitates the opening.

It is recommended for garage opening onto a large yard.

An overhead garage door without overhang

The door opens without overhanging the exterior. It does not represent a hindrance or a danger for the user and pedestrians (possibility of parking at the threshold of the garage). Guide rails are installed on the sides, and two lateral articulated arms allow it to be held in an open and horizontal position.

It can have a manual or motorized opening and is recommended for garages facing the curb.

3. Materials and finishes of an overhead garage door

Overhead Garage Door

Overhead garage doors can be made of several materials.


They are mostly made of metals because of their intrinsic qualities (lightness, resistance to break-in and solidity). They are painted, galvanized or plasticized, and their leaf can be cassette, horizontally or vertically grooved, plain, two-tone, wood imitation, etc. This material requires little maintenance. If the door is not lined (insulation of about 14 to 40 mm), the insulation is not optimal.

Wooden doors

Wood is mainly used on cottage-type houses, covered with wood siding or in eco-construction. The blades, of varying species, integrate a metal frame. Their maintenance is similar to any wood joinery. This material provides good insulation, and it is solid and stable.


Like wood doors, PVC is mounted on a steel frame. The insulation is superior to steel and inferior to wood. Strength and burglary resistance are low. This material is economical and light but is not widely used for overhead garage doors.

Good to know: a light source can be integrated into the garage door. Glazing (rectangular, square or round) is installed on the door leaf and is distributed proportionally across the width of the door. The glazing is made of hard foam (polyurethane) or acrylic.

4. Overhead garage door: sizing

Overhead garage doors should be sized according to

the height and width of the opening frame;

the overhang (height and space under the ceiling or the lintel);

the available space on the sides (spandrel);

the space available on the outside (overhanging door or not).

A good measurement guarantees an easy installation. The standard dimensions of a garage door are 200 × 240 cm.

5. Overhead garage door: locking

Overhead garage doors can be equipped with several types of locks:

with standard safety cylinder (flat key, simple protection);

with cylinder with point key (better protection);

One-point locking (standard locking);

Two-point locking (more secure system);

three-point locking (top of the range).

Please note: the security levels can be listed by number (increasing according to quality).

6. Motorization of an overhead garage door

The motorization of an overhead garage door can be remote and fixed to the ceiling (requires ceiling space and a good lintel height) or on the door panel (the motorization is more compact and discreet).

Good to know: the motorized opening of the overhead garage door can be done with a code pad or a remote control (fingerprint reader for high-end models).

Where to find an overhead garage door?

Overhead garage doors are mainly distributed with standard dimensions, but it is possible in renovation or exclusive construction to have a custom-made garage door. Garage doors are available in DIY stores and other stores dedicated to construction, on the Internet and from JTN Garage Doors.


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