How to Measure for a New Garage Door

How to Measure for a New Garage Door

How to Measure for a New Garage Door

If you need to choose a new entryway, it’s vital to understand how to measure a garage door for replacement. Accurate measurements ensure your doors will fit as expected and help contractors give you a more precise estimate for your new residential or commercial garage door.

Garage Door Measuring Guide

Follow these steps when it’s time to replace or upgrade your doors.

1. Capture the Entry’s Width

Measure the widest point of your door’s opening. You should also check your door jambs to ensure they’re in good condition, squared and defect-free.

2. Measure the Opening’s Height

Find the highest point between the opening and the floor and note its distance. Inspect the floor for any damage or areas that aren’t level.

3. Get the Sideroom Measurements

Measure to the left and right of the door’s opening from the mouth to the nearest wall or obstacle. You’ll need about 4 to 5 inches on each side for mounting the vertical tracks. The center post should offer a minimum of 10 inches of width for two-door installations.

4. Find the Headroom Clearance

Record the distance from the top of the door’s opening to either the nearest obstruction or the ceiling. For most doors, you’ll want at least 15 inches.

5. Capture the Backroom Clearance

Measure the distance between the door’s opening and the back wall or nearest obstacle, such as a lighting fixture. For a sectional-style residential door, you’ll need a minimum of the door’s height plus 18 inches for a manually operated door. When using an overhead opener instead, add 50 inches to the door’s height to find the minimum clearance requirement.

Special Considerations for Commercial Doors

Clearance requirements for commercial models vary significantly based on the door’s style and height. Generally speaking, you’ll need:

  • Backroom width equal to headroom space for coiling doors.
  • Backroom equal to the door’s height plus 23 inches for a 2-inch track or 25 inches for a 3-inch track — and more if you install an overhead operator.
  • Clearance of 4 to 6 inches per side for a manually operated door.
  • Clearance of 5.25 to 9.5 inches per side for doors operated by a chain hoist.
  • Clearance of 14 to 18 inches on at least one side for motor-operated models.

Request an Estimate From American Overhead Doors, Inc.

American Overhead Doors, Inc. is a family-owned company with over 30 years of industry experience, five-star reviews and customer praise. Our well-qualified team can help you with professional garage door replacement, residential door repair services and commercial repairs.

Take the next step and request a custom estimate today, or call us at 860-347-1507 for personal assistance.

How to Open a Garage Door Without Power

How to Open a Garage Door Without Power

Losing power to your garage can leave your home vulnerable or make it difficult to move your car. Knowing how to safely open and close your garage door when you don’t have power and what to do when your power comes back on is essential.

Opening the Door Manually

Take the following steps to manually open your garage door when your unit loses power due to wiring issues or a power outage.

1. Unlock Your Door

The first step you should take is ensuring your garage door is unlocked. If the door is down, locate the latches or lock on the outside. You will be unable to manually open the garage door without power if it is locked.

2. Start With the Door Down

It’s best for your garage door system if you start moving the door from a closed position. It’s dangerous to disengage your garage door opener when the door is still halfway or fully up. If the door’s spring is bent or broken when you release the opener, the garage door could slam down on anyone or anything underneath it. 

If the door is open, you can move it manually by carefully pushing on it until it begins to slide down. Try to get the door to touch the ground. If it’s being stubborn, lower it as close to the ground as possible. 

If you can’t move the door low enough, hiring a technician is best. Pulling on a stuck garage door could damage the unit and the door might be stuck because its sensitive components require repairs.

3. Unplug the Automatic Opener

Disconnect the power to your automatic door opener before you continue to avoid damaging the electric component. Unplugging the opener allows you to work on the door without any surprises. If the power comes back on suddenly, the door could start moving on its own.

4. Pull the Emergency Release Cord

Pull the Emergency Release Cord

Once you have closed the door and found the release, you’ll want to pull on the emergency release cord. The cord is designed for this type of situation, allowing you to manually move your garage door.

The release cord is attached to the center rail of the door’s track and has a red handle to make it easier to identify. It will hang down from the door trolley at the front of the door. 

If you are having trouble finding the emergency release cord, start by locating the trolley, the power device that opens and closes the garage door. The trolley connects to the carriage of your garage door power opener, which automatically moves the door when you have power. Pulling the release cord will disconnect the door’s trolley from its carriage. 

5. Manually Move the Door

Once you free the garage door, you can manually move it to an open position and return it to the down position. Move the garage door using these techniques:

  • Opening the door: Pull from the bottom of the door instead of the middle or any other position. Lift the door until it stops moving. Make sure the door stays in place before you let go completely.
  • Closing the door: You can pull on the door from the outside until it closes. If your garage door has a lock, remember to lock the door manually before you leave.

If you feel significant resistance when you try to open the garage door manually, you might have a broken spring. The spring is the component that allows the opener to lift the door — if the spring is broken, it will be difficult or impossible to push the door up.

Be cautious if you’re trying to open the garage door manually from inside. A broken garage door is a safety hazard that should be handled by a professional, and you will want to avoid an accident or mishap. If you can’t move the door manually and suspect that the issue is a broken spring, you should call a professional garage door technician to look at the unit.

Reconnecting the Automatic Opener

Once your power returns, you’ll want to reconnect your automatic garage door opener. Follow these steps to do so safely.

1. Pull the Emergency Release Cord

To re-engage the door’s carriage, slowly pull the cord toward the door. As you pull the cord, the spring will compress so the door mechanisms can connect. You will be able to use your garage door’s electronic components after this.

2. Reconnect the Trolley

Next, you’ll need to connect your trolley to the carriage so you can use the garage door’s automatic operations again. Run your garage door opener through a complete cycle to ensure the trolley connects.

Have the door move up and down to complete the entire cycle. You should hear a click when the carriage and trolley connect. You should be able to start using the automatic functions after this. 

What if the Garage Door Fails to Raise or Lower?

If you can’t raise or lower the door manually, it might have other issues than the loss of power. The problem could be related to:

  • The age of the door: If your older door has wear and tear that keeps it from opening, it may be time to replace it with a new one.
  • The size or weight of the door: A heavier or wider door is more challenging to work with. Try to find someone who can help you move it.
  • The spring mechanism: If the spring is damaged, the door will be difficult to lift. You should seek repairs if any component of your garage door is failing.

Safety Concerns for Garage Doors Without Power

Suddenly losing power can damage your garage door. If the springs are worn or damaged, the door becomes a hazard to anyone attempting to use it manually. Here are some safety tips for engaging a door that has lost power:

  • Only use the garage door if you have to: Keep it closed until you regain power if possible.
  • Be careful with raising the door: When your door loses its automatic function, the mechanisms that ordinarily hold it up can’t turn on. Without those mechanisms, it may be prone to falling unexpectedly. 
  • If the door has a locking mechanism, remember to use it: When the door loses power, so does its electronic lock. The door will lack security until you regain power, so be sure to lock it manually.

Get Your Garage Door Repaired With American Overhead Doors

Get Your Garage Door Repaired With American Overhead Doors

Do you need a reliable, knowledgeable technician to repair a garage door? We provide services for commercial and residential owners. Please request an estimate if you have questions about our services and contact us if you would like assistance with your garage door!

Benefits of MyQ Technology

Benefits of MyQ Technology

An automatic garage door opener makes it easy to operate your garage door without keys or even getting out of your car. If you haven’t changed your garage door opener in a while, you may be in the market for a new one. In the past, these devices simply opened and closed your garage door. Modern garage door openers have some exciting new features, such as Wi-Fi access and connectivity to LiftMaster’s MyQ technology.

Having a smart garage door opener provides many benefits to your house by making it more safe, secure and convenient. MyQ technology allows you to operate your garage door opener from anywhere in the world. All you need is a smartphone or another mobile device to connect to your garage door opener and the LiftMaster MyQ app. Explore some of the benefits of a Wi-Fi garage door opener to know how myQ technology can add value to your home.

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What Is MyQ Technology?

LiftMaster MyQ is the technology created by the Chamberlain Group that connects your garage door opener to your smartphone through cloud-based software. You can monitor or operate your garage door from anywhere you have a Wi-Fi connection, whether you’re at home or on vacation. Even though a new garage door opener typically has Wi-Fi capabilities, you can also configure your existing opener with the Chamberlain® Smart Garage™ Control. Consult your local garage door technician about the best option for your property.

With the myQ app, you can:

  • Connect your Wi-Fi garage door opener with smart devices and platforms, such as Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.
  • Receive real-time notifications from your garage door opener.
  • Operate your garage door from your smartphone or another mobile device.
  • Create recurring schedules to have your garage door and lights operate at certain times of the day.

This program works by connecting to your garage door opener and the photo-eye sensors through your home’s Wi-Fi connection. You can have the myQ system installed by a professional garage door technician. After you have your wireless garage door opener installed, you can use the cloud-based app to monitor your garage door and operate it accordingly.

What Are the Benefits of Liftmaster MyQ?

Benefits of Liftmaster MyQ: When you invest in a brand-new garage door opener with LiftMaster myQ Wi-Fi technology, you can add value, security, convenience and safety to your property.

When you invest in a brand-new garage door opener with LiftMaster myQ Wi-Fi technology, you can add value, security, convenience and safety to your property. Explore the ways that having myQ technology in your home can make your daily life easier.

1. Monitor Your Garage Door From Anywhere in the World

MyQ technology gives you access to up to two garage doors and 16 myQ-enabled accessories from wherever you are, whether you’re on vacation in another country or down the block from your property. Instead of waiting until you’re at home, you can open or close your garage door while you’re in the car coming or going from your errands. The myQ app also allows you to monitor your garage door’s activity and operate it as necessary to give you peace of mind throughout the day.

If you spend all day wondering about whether you closed your garage door, you’ll be distracted from work or errands. Your myQ-enabled garage door opener helps you stay focused in the following ways:

  • Receive real-time notifications about your garage door’s activity: The myQ app alerts you through your smartphone when your garage door opens and closes, or when your garage door opener’s lights turn on or off. That way, you know when your kids arrive at home or when someone tries to enter your property without your permission. You can even customize the notifications you receive.
  • Check on your garage door anywhere, anytime: With the myQ app on your smartphone connected to your Wi-Fi-enabled garage door, you can always make sure that your garage door is closed and secure. As you leave your house in the morning, you may have the nagging feeling that you left your garage door open. You can check your garage door wherever you are, so you can have peace of mind and be present at work or on vacation.
  • Close your open garage door from where you are: If you happen to leave it open, you can close it with the tap of your phone screen. Then you can go back to whatever you were doing, whether you were working on an important project at work or cheering your child on during a soccer game. You also don’t have to rush home if you’re stuck in traffic, so you can drive safely and be attentive to the road.

2. Have an Additional Layer of Security for Your Home

Have an additional layer of security. Some of the ways myQ technology can keep you living space safe include: connection to your security system, real-time notifications, recurring schedules, and protect your packages form theft and bad weather.


You may have a security system in your house that protects your loved ones and valuables from theft. MyQ technology is another way for you to make your property even safer. You may have property in another part of the world during the cold months, and you’d need to keep your primary residence safe while you’re traveling. Some of the ways myQ technology can keep your living space safe include:

  • Connection to your security system: Smart myQ-enabled garage door openers are compatible with your security system, whether you have Vivint,, Ring, Apple® HomeKit™, Resideo, Clare or IFTTT. If your older children are home alone, you can keep them safe by monitoring your garage door activity at all times. Your security system can also alert the authorities if your garage door is opened without your permission.
  • Real-time notifications: Since you can get alerts to let you know when your garage door opens, you can take the appropriate actions to deal with intruders who you didn’t want in your house. It can also make sure your home is safe while you’re on vacation, which usually attracts intruders.
  • Recurring schedules: If you’re ever on vacation or out of the house at night, it’s helpful to have the lights on in front so your neighbors think that someone’s home. Intruders may try to break into people’s properties when it’s dark because they know that no one will see them. You can prevent theft by setting up a schedule for your garage door or lights. When the lights turn on at a reasonable time at night, people might still think you’re home.
  • Protect your packages from theft and bad weather: When your packages are on the doorstep, they’re vulnerable to damage and theft. Amazon Key works exclusively with myQ technology to allow Amazon delivery personnel to take your packages safely into your garage instead of leaving them in front of your house. You can open the door for the delivery person and close it after they leave. If you have a myQ-connected garage door camera, you can also make sure they get into your garage safely.

Besides your myQ-enabled garage door opener, you can also get myQ security cameras and locks installed on your garage door. Consult your local garage door technician to find out what security options are available for your property.

3. Make Your Home Safer for You and Your Loved Ones

Since your garage door is the largest opening into your home, you need to make sure it can safely guard your family and valuables. MyQ technology can help reduce the risk of injury or damage in the following ways:

  • Alerts and notifications: Smart garage door openers will have a beep alert and flash the lights to let you know the garage door is operating, so anyone who’s home can be aware that someone else is entering the house. You and your loved ones will also know if someone is trying to get into your home without your permission. With real-time notifications, you can know about any activity in your house and get the necessary help immediately.
  • Automatic closure: An open garage door can let intruders, harsh weather conditions and pests into your living space. You can set up a time when your garage door will automatically close, in case you or the kids forget to close it, to keep the inside of your home safe.
  • Lighting control: Instead of fishing for your keys or navigating your front lawn without lighting, you can see your way around your property with lighting control. Besides controlling your lights to prevent people from breaking in, you can also set up your smartphone to connect to your garage door opener lighting so you can safely enter the garage after being out late after dark.

4. Get Started Right Away With the Simple Setup

Get started with simple setup. To take advantage of this convenient operating system, you only need to download the free myQ app after installing a Wi-Fi-enabled garage door opener.

MyQ-enabled garage door openers feature simple-to-use and advanced operating systems to monitor and control your garage door from your computer, smartphone or tablet. To take advantage of this convenient operating system, you only need to download the free myQ app after installing a Wi-Fi-enabled garage door opener. Once you first install the myQ operating system, there are no subscription fees or service charges.

Chamberlain® Smart Garage™ Control allows you to use myQ technology with your existing garage door opener, making setup even more convenient. Keep in mind that it’s best to invest in a new garage door opener, especially if yours is old or damaged. If you’re getting a new garage door, you should consider upgrading your garage door opener to handle your door’s weight and style. The myQ app works best with Wi-Fi garage door openers.

5. Conveniently Access Your Home Through a Mobile Device

Connecting your garage door to your smartphone allows you to open and close it anywhere, anytime. In the past, homeowners would have to be home for deliveries or services to let people inside. Accessing your garage door from a mobile device comes in handy when you have to:

  • Let expected guests into your home: With the myQ app, you can let people inside while you’re on vacation or at work. All you have to do is open and close the door with a tap on the screen. If you don’t want to have your door automatically open during a scheduled time, have them call you when they arrive, and you can “buzz them in” by opening the door for them. 
  • Bring your kids home inside safely: Maybe your kids forgot their keys and they need to get into your house after school. Instead of leaving a spare key outside your house or leaving work early, you can schedule a time for the garage door to open so you can conveniently let them inside. You may also want to open it for them through your smartphone.
  • Access your garage door from your vehicle: Besides connecting to your garage door from your phone or mobile device, you can also operate it from your vehicle. When your myQ garage door opener connects to your vehicle, you can safely access your door without using your hands. It also uses geofence technology to alert your garage door opener of when you’re close to home, so it can open and close automatically when you arrive or depart. You can also get in-car notifications like you would on your phone.
  • Share entry codes with others: Instead of copying keys and handing them out to people who need to get into your house, you can set up access codes for them. The myQ app allows you to share limited control over your garage door opener with up to five users. Send them a user invite and set up their guest profiles on the myQ app. You can manage how and when they can get inside, allowing you to remain in full control of your property.

6. Connect Your Garage Door Opener to Other Smart Devices in Your Home

The makers of myQ have partnered with many of the smart home brands and platforms that you’re probably already using in your living space. Whether you want hands-free control or voice activation with your garage door opener, you can easily make your house “smarter” with myQ technology. You can also get notifications about your garage door from your other smart devices, so you don’t have to have your phone nearby.

The myQ app is compatible with Google Assistant and other artificial-intelligence-powered virtual assistants, such as Amazon Alexa or Apple® HomeKit™. With this exciting feature, you can open and close your garage door with your voice. Instead of being limited to your smartphone, you can also access your garage door through your smart speakers, such as Google Home or the Amazon Echo. As long as your smart device can hear you, you can open, close or check on your garage door.

Get a Smart Garage Door Opener With American Overhead Doors, Inc.

Get a smart garage door opener with american overhead doors. We supply, install and maintain residential garage door openers and can help you set up the myQ app. Contact Us.

If you want to take advantage of all the benefits of a Wi-Fi garage door opener with LiftMaster MyQ technology, reach out to our team at American Overhead Doors, Inc. We supply, install and maintain residential garage door openers and can help you set up the myQ app. You may also decide that it’s time for you to get a new garage door for your home to change up its look or make the entrance even more convenient.

Besides installing your garage door opener, we’ll also help you maintain and repair your garage door opener so it continues to work for many years. You can request an estimate online or contact us for more information about our garage door products and services. You can also visit our showroom in Middletown, Connecticut to see our garage doors and openers in person.