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The Top Three Challenges to Planning for an Overhead Sectional Door

The Top Three Challenges to Planning for an Overhead Sectional Door

July 22, 2020

Top Three Challenges Headroom, Sideroom and Backroom for Overhead Sectional DoorsOverhead sectional doors first hit the market in the 1920’s. Since then, alternate designs, construction materials and custom options associated with this type of overhead door have expanded far beyond what was originally offered. However, there are three key challenges that must be addressed while planning for an overhead sectional door regardless of how simple or complex the door is.


First and foremost, headroom is the single most important part of planning for an overhead sectional door. An opening’s headroom is the clearance space measured from the top of the opening to the underside of the lowest obstruction. An obstruction is anything that exists in this space such as the ceiling, a fan, a light fixture, HVAC ducts, etc. Whichever obstruction is lowest defines your available headroom.

Overhead sectional doors must have adequate headroom space to fit the track, springs and motor installation. Without enough headroom, an overhead sectional door will not be applicable and cannot be installed. How much headroom you need for a specific application will depend on the door weight, size, and design intent such as installing above a drop ceiling. This information is project specific so please contact ArmRLite with questions regarding headroom requirements before specifying an overhead sectional door.


Sideroom is the area to the left and right of the opening. This is where the vertical track and side mounted operators are installed and must be free from any obstructions. For ArmRLite overhead sectional doors, Sideroom for 2” track is minimum 4 ½”. Sideroom for 3” track is minimum 5 ½”. On larger or heavier doors, sideroom may require more than 5 ½”. Sideroom for motor clearances should be discussed with the installer supplying the operator. If two or more doors are to be installed side by side, ArmRLite recommends a minimum of 12” of sideroom between the two openings for manual operated doors. If the openings are large, the doors are heavy or if a side mounted motor will be used more than 12” may be required. ArmRLite is available to help with clearance requirements when specifying our doors.


Finally we get to backroom. Backroom is the space measured from the opening back into the room. This is the space your horizontal tracks and trolley type operators will occupy. Without enough backroom an overhead sectional door cannot be installed. There must be enough space to mount the horizontal tracks and operator without obstruction.

Headroom, sideroom and backroom form the foundations for a successful overhead sectional door installation. While there are additional considerations such as a leveled floor and flush header and jambs, if there is not enough clearance allotted for the assembly from the start than the installation cannot happen.  Contact us today regarding your unique project and for help in determining clearances when specifying an ArmRLite overhead sectional door.

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