How to Measure Garage Doors

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To replace or update garage doors, proper measurement is crucial. Furthermore, garage door measurements will help you calculate your garage's clearance level---in other words, you'll know the maximum-sized vehicle that you can pull into the space. Adequate measurement consists of recording more than simple side-to-side and top-to-bottom dimensions. Luckily, proper measurement is relatively simple and can be achieved by two people in just a few minutes, with just a simple tape measure and step ladder.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Paper and pencil
  • Stepladder
  • Use a tape measure to measure the door's opening from side to side near the floor of the garage. Measuring large dimensions of a garage door can be very tricky for one person. Ask a friend to help you hold one end of the measuring tape. Record this first measurement and all subsequent measurements on a piece of paper.

  • Measure the door's opening from side to side again, this time near the topmost part of the garage opening. Measuring both top and bottom width-wise dimensions will let you know if the door warped---if you get two differing dimensions at each point, then your door's opening is slanted or bent, and you should hire a contractor to fix the problem.

  • Stand on a stepladder and measure the door's opening from top to bottom. For this measurement, you can take advantage of gravity, letting the tape measure fall to the ground for easy measurement. However, you'll still want a friend handy to hold the stepladder for safety purposes. With this lengthwise measurement and your previous width-wise measurements, you'll know how large the opening is for vehicle and door replacement purposes. However, additional measurements are also useful.

  • Measure the space between the top of the garage opening and the garage roof while still standing on the stepladder. This is an often overlooked measurement, but it is important so you know how much extra space you have in your garage's ceiling. The ceiling space is vital for choosing a door that does not have track components too large for your garage.

  • Measure the spaces from the sides of the garage door opening to the garage's closest wall. This measurement is important so you know how much open side-space you have available for housing garage door tracks or an electric garage door motor.

Tips & Warnings

  • Take all the measurements to a local hardware store to get advice about the best-sized door for your space.

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  • Photo Credit Image by sxc.hu user Mattox
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