What to know about Garage Doors/Overhead Doors

Garage Doors 101

Knowing and understanding the physics and engineering of application and installation of a garage/overhead door is imperative to functional, reliable and most important safety. From the lift system applications to the spring assembly. From the size and weight of your door, all of which must be taken into consideration to insure your door functions and operates to industry standards. Here at Overhead Door Solutions (ODS), we take the time to cover all this information so that you can have a better understanding and find the right door and application for you! See the diagram and descriptions below to help you better understand your overhead door!

There are numerous parts to your garage door. We have highlighted some of the main components that make your door operational.

Below you will find a complete list of the main parts of your garage door and opener

 - Garage door sections > typically 4/5 + sections per door depending on your door height.

  Sections will come with end stiles and center stiles to support the sections and the stiles        are used to connect the sections together with the hinges. They are also used to mount  

  struts and operator brackets

 - Struts > long channeled metal supports used to support the sections while the door is in 

   the open position. These struts can be used to reinforce the sections when damaged or  

   may be required to meet state insurance standards in high wind areas such as coastal 

   fronts with periodic hurricanes. 

 - Garage door vertical tracks > holds the door in a nearly vertical position with a minimum  

  upwards pitch when closed and assists in maintaining a smooth transition to the  

  horizontal position when open.

 - Garage door Horizontal tracks > holds the door in a horizontal position with a minimum  

  upwards pitch when open. The horizontal tracks are mounted to the jamb and vertical  

  tracks with the assistance of a flag bracket. The horizontal tracks will have a standard 

  radius of 12" on residential 7' door height, and 15" radius on a 8' or taller residential or  

  commercial door of supported by a steel punched angle(  

  called back hang) These support the doors weight and help keep the tracks in a constant 

  position. Whence given the name Overhead Door.

 - Cables > Cables are usually hidden behind the vertical tracks. Made up of a 7 wired  

  braided cable. With a loop connected to a  

  stud located on the outside of the bottom bracket. The top end of the cables will recess  

  inside the outer rim of the cable drum using a cable stop to secure inside drum.

 - Hinges > There are several types of hinges ranging in styles, sizes and gauges( steel 

  thickness) used on a garage door. The most common are narrow/wide body numbered 

  hinges: #1, #2, #3 , etc. The number increases as the door height increases.

  The #'s represent the position of the hinge on the door when building the door. Starting on 

  top of the bottom section, you will use a # 1 hinge. As the door is built up, the roller 

  positioner hinges will increase in depth to follow the vertical pitch of the tracks allowing for 

  a closed seal between jamb and the garage door. The # 1 hinges are also used across the  

  door to allow the sections to transition through the tracks radius.

 - Rollers > The rollers are an interictal part of the garage door. There a several roller types,  

   pinned, bearing, metal and nylon are the most common. the more bearings usually result in     a smoother and quieter door operation. Upgrading from metal to nylon rollers will  

   significantly reduce the noise in your door opening and closing.

 - Springs > Contrary top popular belief, the springs not the opener, are the muscle behind  

   the garage doors operation. There are several different types of springs 

  (Torsion, Extension, etc.) used to lift a garage door. While the torsion is a coil spring that 

   winds and unwinds. The extension will stretch and compress. When replacing springs on 

   your garage door, you will need to know the weight and height of the door to determine the 

   # of cycles of the springs you would like to have. Cycle life of the springs will determine  

   how long they should last. There are usually 2 standards to pick from. Normal and high  

   cycle. Whether 1 spring or 4, there are always several options to choose from to meet your 


 - Torsion tube > The torsion tube is a long tube that is used to hold the springs and it rolls 

   through the bearing plates on the sides of the door. It rolls as the springs wind and unwind 

   as the door opens and closes.

 - Bearing plates > Bearing plates are specially made plates that connect to the horizontal  

   tracks and mount to the header of the garage door frame. The hold the torsion tube in 

   place and with the bearings, allows for the tube to roll smoothly while the door opens and