In the U.S., 63 percent of housing units have a garage of some sort. Are you adding a garage to your home, adding an opener, or upgrading the door you already have? Then you might need to know how to measure a garage door.

Measuring a garage door is easy when you know the right steps to follow. If you do your measurements carefully now, you won’t run into problems when you try to install the door.

Not sure how to do garage door measurements? We’re here to help. Keep reading to learn how to easily measure a garage door!

How to Measure a Garage Door: Your Step-by-Step Guide

Don’t stress about measuring your garage door. Just follow these simple steps!

1. Measure Opening Height and Width

The first and most obvious step is to measure the size of the opening where the door will go. For the best results, get these measurements while you’re inside your garage, not outside it.

Make sure to avoid including the door jamb in your measurements. Start measuring inside the door jamb for accuracy. Keep in mind the height won’t be perfectly even in some cases, such as where the floor is uneven. You might need to level the floor before installing a new door if it’s very uneven.

Don’t worry about investing in any fancy tools for measurements. A simple tape measure will do.

2. Measure Headroom

Headroom refers to the area between the top of the door’s opening and the ceiling. If there are rafters or other features on the ceiling that lower it, measure between the top of the door opening and those instead.

The headroom is where the rail assembly and header bracket components will go. Some garage door styles need more headroom than others, but most of the time, you’ll need at least a foot of space.

3. Measure Side Room

Next, you can measure the distance between the sides of the door and the walls of the garage.

You might have different amounts of room on either side, so make sure to measure both sides even if they look the same. The garage door track will go along the sides although it doesn’t need much room—usually just a few inches will do. Remember to avoid including the door jamb in your measurement.

4. Measure Depth

Finally, you’ll need to measure the distance between the garage door opening and the back wall of the garage. This lets you see how much space you have for the garage door track. You’ll need enough room for the door to slide back when it’s completely open.

Choosing a Garage Door That Fits

Now that you have your measurements, how can you choose a garage door that fits?

Luckily, garage doors come in a wide range of standard sizes. Historically, standard garage doors were a little smaller, at about eight feet wide. Newer homes often get built with larger doors. The size of your garage door opening may depend on how old your home is.

However, standard sizes can run up to as large as 20 feet wide. Once you have your measurements, start by checking for standard-size doors that fit.

If your garage door opening isn’t standard, finding the right garage door is a little harder, but it’s not impossible. You can find custom-built garage doors to fit nearly any opening. Custom doors tend to cost more, but they’re still more cost-effective than trying to change the size of the opening itself.

It’s very difficult to actually adjust the size of the door opening in an existing garage. If you need a door of a much different size, you may actually need to have the garage rebuilt.

Garage Door Installation Safety

If you get a new garage door professionally installed, you won’t need to worry about measuring. The professionals will do it for you. However, if you’re doing the garage door measurements and installation yourself, it’s important that you follow some key safety tips.

1. Replace the Track

If you’re replacing an existing door, it’s important to replace the track too. Trying to save money by using an old track can result in a hazardous situation.

First, you might find the old track doesn’t fit. However, even if it does fit, you’ll probably run into problems later on when the old track doesn’t hold up to use with a new door. Replace both at once to save money in the long run and reduce risk.

2. Follow the Guide

Generally speaking, it’s best to hire professionals for garage door installation since they know how to do it safely. But if you are going to do it yourself, it’s essential you follow the manufacturer’s guide to installation.

Check every step and read closely to make sure you don’t miss anything. This guide will contain important safety information that’s specific to the style of door you chose.

3. Be Careful With Fingers

Hands and fingers are most at risk when it comes to garage door installation. Pay close attention to where your fingers are and keep them out of the way of any dangerous parts.

This applies not just during installation, but anytime you’re using your garage doors. You can make it safer to manually open the door by installing handles on either side of the door.

4. Add Safety Cables

To make your new garage door even safer, you might want to install safety cables that will contain the high-tension springs in case they break. These springs are one of the most dangerous parts of a garage door, so make sure to get them replaced as your garage door ages.

Choosing a High-Quality Garage Door

Whether you install it yourself or hire a professional, a high-quality garage door will be safer and last longer. Investing in a good door will save you money on repairs and replacements in the future.

Now that you know how to measure a garage door, you can choose the best garage door to fit your home. Learn more about the brands we carry here!