How to Measure for a Garage Door

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  • Author Justin White
  • Published August 4, 2019
  • Word count 509

If you’re replacing your current garage door or building your dream home from the ground up, you’ll need to have accurate measurements of the space in which you’ll be installing the new doors. Before you choose what materials and style you’d prefer, knowing the amount of space you have to work with will help you make the right design decisions.

Standard Garage Door Sizes

The most common garage door widths are 8’, 9’, 16’, and 18’. The most common heights are 7’ and 8’. While most residential garage doors will fall into one of these categories, custom size garage doors are available. Therefore, you should take accurate measurements of your garage so that the perfect sizing can be ordered or fabricated for your home. It’s great if you have existing garage doors; simply take the measurements of your current doors in addition to the headroom and depth of your garage. For new doors, follow this guide for measuring the space.

Start with the Width

Take the measurement of the width of your garage opening. This is from inside jamb to inside jamb.

  • Use feet and inches for the clearest and simplest account of the size.

  • Use a 25’ tape measure to make sure that you get an accurate measurement without having to stop along the way, make marks, and continue.

Move Onto the Height

Take the measurement of the height of your garage opening. This is from the floor to the bottom on the header.

  • Measure from the floor up to header in three spots; left, center, right.

  • Take note of any irregularities, which would indicate a slope in the floor.

Check the Headroom and Sides

The headroom of your garage is the area between the top of the opening and the ceiling. It’s important to get this measurement because it will be necessary to determine the proper track configuration and spring system. Depending on available space, high lift track might be an option to allow for car lifts. If there is not a lot of space, low headroom track might be required. All of these factors influence the type of spring system used, whether it be standard extension spring or a standard torsion spring. The side room is the space along the width of your garage between the opening and the walls. This is important to assure room for the track, as well as a side mount opener if you choose this style.

  • Take note of any obstructions, like a light fixture.

  • On each side of the doors or opening, measure the width from the opening to the walls.

Measure the Depth/Backroom

Taking the measurement of the depth or backroom of your garage may require the most coordination. It’s the distance from the opening to the furthest point at the rear of your garage.

  • It’s measured along the ceiling.

  • It’s important for installing the horizontal track of the door.

  • It’s important to assure enough space for a traditional garage door opener.

  • The opener will take up more length into your garage than the tracks.


Justin White is the VP of Marketing for Mid-Atlantic Door Group, Inc. The company opened in 1973 and now consists of (3) official Overhead Door™ Distributors and (7) warehouse locations throughout Maryland, DC, Virginia and Pennsylvania. After spending time in the field with fellow mechanics, Justin found his niche in marketing, along with a specialty in residential garage door sales, installation, and service.

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