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Garage Door and Opener Terminology

Automatic Opener – Quick opening mechanism that does not use an electric motor/operator

Aladdin Connect – Opener accessory manufactured by Genie Company that allows you to open, close and

check the open/close position of your door from a computer, tablet or smart phone.

Ball Bearing Roller – A garage door roller that runs in the garage door track that is manufactured with ball

bearings for smoother operation.

Battery Backup – A small ,typically 12 volt, battery that provides power for an electric garage door opener

to work in the event of an electrical outage.

Belt Drive – A type of garage door opener that utilizes a belt that is driven by an electric motor to

automatically open/close a garage door.

Bracket- Also called jamb brackets, used to attach the garage door vertical tracks to the framing on

either side of the garage door opening.

Bottom Bracket- Fixture that attaches to the bottom of the bottom panel and carries the door roller,

typically has a stud that the garage door cables attach to.

Cable- Wires twisted together to form strands with the strands then being twisted to other strands to

create cables. Cables are used to actually lift a garage door as it opens.

Car2U –  Product manufactured by Lear to provide a Home Automation system. This system will allow you

to program your car control buttons to open your garage door and or gate opener.

Chain Drive – a type of garage door opener that utilizes a chain driven by an electric motor to

automatically open/close a garage door.

C.H.I. – Garage door manufacturer  made in Arthur, IL

Clearance – Head clearance is the amount of space from the top edge of the garage door opening to the

ceiling of the garage. Side clearance is the amount of space from the sides of the garage door opening to

the side walls of the structure.

Clopay – Nationwide Garage door manufacturer base out of Ohio.

Commercial Door – a garage or overhead door used in commercial apllications.

Counterbalance – to balance with equal weight or force.

Craftsman – garage door opener system manufactured by Chamberlain, labeled for and sold at Sears.

Drum – mount to the ends of the spring bar and provide the winding and unwinding point for the cables

as the garage door opens and closes.

Door Balance – counter weight or force applied to a garage door allowing for easy opening and closing.

Door & Access Systems Manufacturers Association (DASMA): North America’s trade association for

manufacturers of garage doors, rolling doors, vehicular gate operators and access control products.

Double Car Garage – garages designed for two cars to be parked side by side typically at minimum 20×20

or larger. Could have one large overhead door or two small overhead doors.

Direct Drive: opener system that utilizes a stationary chain in a steel rail with a traveling motor carriage,

as opposed to a stationary motor that turns the moving chain.

Emergency Lock – An exterior lock to open the garage door from the outside. 

Extension – extension springs mount above the horizontal tracks, older style spring system.

EZ-Set –  torsion spring system manufactured by Clopay that utilizes a gear box that winds the springs

using a socket attached to a drill.

Full Vertical Lift – a type of track set up that allows a sectional door to ride up the wall vertically without

the use of horizontal tracks. Requires headroom of the height of the door plus 12” inches at minimum.

Full View Section: sectional garage door panels that are full view clear panels on each section.

Guardian: a garage door product company that is well known in Australia and New Zealand that opened

a North American headquarters in Santa Fe Springs California in 2011. Manufactures openers and other

garage door components.

Gauge – the measured weight of steel used in the production of garage doors and garage door

components including springs.

Gear –  component in a garage door opener usually made off plastic that is round with teeth. The gear is

driven by the motor and turns the chain, belt or screw as the garage door opens and closes.

Genie: company that manufactures garage door openers and garage door opener accessories under the

same name along with Overhead Door Openers and Legacy Openers.

High Cycle Spring: most standard garage door springs have a life cycle rating of 10,000. A High Cycle

Spring can be 20,000 or more life cycles. The High Cycle springs are designed with the same “IPPT” rating

(inch pounds per turn) but is a larger spring in wire gauge and length. This longer heavier spring has less

stress on the spring when fully wound, thus leading to more life cycles and longer life expectancy.

High Lift – garage door track system that allows the garage door to open to the highest level possible,

allowing for maximum head room in the garage when the door is fully open.

Hinge –  garage door hinges allow the garage door to pivot at each section as the door opens and closes.

Hinges are made of different gauge metals for different weight doors and are numbered for their

position on the door. The hinges help maintain the proper gap between the garage door and the frame

work for the garage door opening as well.

Horman – a German based company that manufactures garage doors, garage door components and

garage door openers.

Home Link – Mobile home automation system that allows you to open and close your garage door and

entry gate along with arming and disarming alarm systems and turning lights and household appliances

on and off from three buttons integrated inside your automobile.

Idrive – Wayne Dalton garage door opener system now under the name of Home Run Holdings, no longer

manufactured by Wayne Dalton.

International Door Association (IDA) – provides programs and services to door and access system dealers,

formed in 1995 when the Door and Operator Dealers Association and the Far Western Garage Door

Association merged.

Insulated Door – a door that has been insulated to help with energy loss. The R rating depends on the

product used to insulate the door and the thickness of the insulation.

Injected foam: foam that is sprayed between the panels of a garage door section to provide insulating

properties with a high “R” rating.

Inside Lock – a garage door locking system that can only be locked and unlocked from inside the garage.

Jack Shaft – a garage door opener system that eliminates the need for an overhead carrier rail system as

the garage door is opened by way of a motor attached to the spring bar, only used with torsion spring


J-Bar –  A “J” shaped bar (Looks like Hockey Stick) that attaches the garage door to the garage door

opener carrier.

Keypad – wireless keypad that allows opening and closing of the garage door by entering a selected code

on the keypad.

LiftMaster – manufacturer of garage door and gate openers for residential and commercial uses.

Linear – manufacturer of residential and commercial garage door and gate openers as well as radio

control and access control systems.

Lubricant – oils and grease used to lubricate garage door systems.

Lock: garage door locks come in many styles from slide bars to keyed locks for controlling access to your


Logic Board: electronic circuit board built into a garage door opener that communicates the commands

from transmitters and other devices to open and close the garage door. Similar to circuit boards within a

computer that recognize commands and prompts to perform certain tasks.

Low Headroom Track: this system is a double track design that allows garage doors to open and close in

a situation where head clearance is a problem using standard garage door tracks.

Long-Stem Rollers: rollers with stems longer than 4” inches used mostly for commercial doors or very

large heavy residential garage doors.

Manufacturers: companies that produce and make garage door and opener products.

Marantec: German based company that manufactures garage door openers and accessories. Opened an

America based plant in 1997 in Gurnee, Il.

Metal Rollers: garage door rollers with metal wheels, can be with or without ball bearings.

MyQ –  home automation product manufactured by Chamberlain and LiftMaster that allows you to open

and close your garage door and turn lights on and off via a smartphone, tablet, or computer.

Nylon Roller – Garage door roller with wheels made of nylon material.

Overhead Door – term used to describe a garage door, but also a company that manufactures and sales

garage doors, garage door accessories, garage door openers and garage door opener accessories.

Plastic Rollers – garage door rollers with wheels made of plastic material.

Rail: the rail is the part of the garage door opener that attaches to the motor and the header of the

garage door. The rail also houses the screw, belt, or chain that actually opens and closes the garage


Roller – the component of the garage door that helps hold the door in place and travels in the tracks as

the garage door opens and closes. Rollers can be made of metal, plastic and nylon and can be with or

without ball bearings.

Roll Up Door: usually used for commercial applications, the door does not utilize horizontal tracks as the

doors rolls around a cylindrical coil spring.

R Value – the value of thermal resistance use in the building and construction industry.

Residential – term use to describe uses for homes as opposed to commercial applications.

Screw Drive – a type of garage door opener that utilizes a screw attached to the opener motor that drives

the garage door when opening and closing.

Short Stem Roller: a garage door roller that has a 4” inch long shaft. Used for most standard residential

garage doors.

Single Car Garage – a garage designed and built to accommodate only one vehicle.

Spring – typical garage door springs are either extension or torsion springs that provide the

counterbalance for the weight of the garage door, making the door easy to open and close.

Steel Back – this refers to a door with steel panels on both sides with foam insulation between the two


Stile – metal brackets that provide structural support for the garage door and mounting locations for


Strut – metal reinforcement pieces that attach horizontally across the inside of garage door to add

strength to the garage door. Prevents sagging and bowing to wide heavy garage doors.

Smartphone Control: home automation programs available that allow you to open and close your

garage door from a smartphone or tablet.

Torque master – counterbalance spring system designed by Wayne Dalton where the spring(s) are

contained inside a steel tube that is mounted above the garage door opening.

Torsion Bar – steel bar mounted above the garage door opening that holds the torsion spring(s) with a

drum mounted at each end of the torsion bar.

Track: garage door tracks are made of steel and help support the weight of the door as the door opens

and closes and hold the door in place. The tracks also carry the rollers as the door travels.

Transmitter – transmits a radio signal that opens and closes the garage door, the garage door remote is

the transmitter with a receiver located within the garage door motor housing.

Trim: wood or vinyl molding around the garage door opening that helps to create a seal between the

garage door and the garage door opening frame.

Two Car Garage: a garage designed for two vehicles at minimum 16’x20’ but can be larger.

U-Value: measure of heat flow through insulation or building material: the lower the value, the better

the insulating ability.

Universal Remote: a garage door remote that can be programmed to work with many different garage

door openers and even different brands of openers.

Weather-strip: rubber seal or gasket that helps prevent wind and moisture from entering through an

opening, like a garage door or window.

Wind Load –  the ability of a product, garage door, to withstand high speed winds, such as hurricanes and


Vertical Track: the section of track that runs vertically beside the sides of the garage door opening.

Vault Lock: lock system that allows you to enter through the garage door if the opener or remote stops

working. Lock and cable system that attaches to the garage door opener emergency release cord

allowing the door to be disconnected from the opener trolley from outside the door with the door


Z-Bearing Roller – rollers with ball bearings that are sealed to prevent dirt, moisture and other

contaminants from harming the ball bearings.

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