Posted on May 4, 2021 By Matthews Garage Doors 
car parking inside garage

Do you have a small garage? Are you hesitating to buy the new door opener because of fear that it will hit you in the head or damage your car’s paint job when opening up, but are not sure about whether there is enough clearance for an overhead system. Don't worry! There are many models available with great functionality and without taking up too much space thanks to their vertical design.

When deciding what type of garage door to purchase, it's important to think about how your current home setup will affect the installation process as well. Here are two of the most common options:

Extension springs

Extension springs are a great option for those looking to save space in their garage. They attach on the top of your tracks and stretch down, which means they take up less room than torsion springs do. Most extensions only need 9-12 inches of clearance before you install them!

Basically, for low ceilings in homes with garages- double-track extension springs are the best option. They measure as little as 5 inches and some need 12-inch extensions but they're typically not too high priced to purchase or install.

Torsion springs

Torsion springs are a more secure option for your garage door. These devices attach to the opener and the garage door, creating tension that pulls up and down on it as you open or close them. Tension is created from mounting torsions on an upright bar above your door opening; usually, 12 inches of clearance will be necessary in order to install this type of device properly while still providing sufficient space once installed. The alternative would require less than 5 inches, but may not provide enough support across all types of doors depending upon their strength or weight distribution when opened

How much space do you have in your garage for an opener?

If you aren't sure whether the garage door opener you like will meet the minimum clearance for your garage, grab a measuring tape and see how tall your garage is from floor to ceiling. With this information, head over to Matthews Garage Doors where our experts can help get all of that sorted out quickly!

When you measure, make sure to account for any obstructions that might get in the way of your opener. For example: 

  • Air ducts
  • Sound systems
  • Sprinklers
  • Lights 
  • Electrical outlets 

The garage should have a storage unit or shelving for items that are too high to be reached in the traditional way. You'll need to take this into account when measuring so you can ensure your new opener will fit!


If you’ve been wondering how much headroom is needed for a garage door, Matthews Garage Doors can help. A lot of people are unaware that there are several different types of doors and each one needs a specific amount of space at the top to operate properly. Our team has experience in installing many styles of overhead doors as well as repairing them when they don’t work right away. We offer free consultations on our services so give us a call today!