Mastering Garage Door Glossary: Terms You Should Know Before Buying

Embarking on a garage door buying journey exposes you to a myriad of industry-specific terminologies. It can be quite overwhelming, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the niche vocabulary. However, understanding these terms is pivotal to ensuring you make the best choices for your home. So, let our knowledgeable garage door team demystify some of these essential garage door terms.

Bottom Bracket

A critical component attached to the bottom section of the door, the bottom bracket is a connection point for the lifting cables.

Cable Drum

Located at the end of the torsion spring shaft, the cable drum winds up the lifting cable as the door rises and unwinds it as the door descends, ensuring smooth operation.

Carriage Doors

A style of garage doors that mimics the appearance of old carriage house doors. They swing out, slide, or fold open, adding a classic touch to the aesthetics of a house.

Cycle Life

A term used to specify the number of times a garage door can open and close before expected wear might lead to necessary maintenance or replacement.

Extension Springs

Unlike torsion springs, extension springs are situated on both sides of the garage door. They play a role in the door’s operation by stretching and contracting in tandem with the door’s movements.


The vertical framing on either side of the garage door opening, typically made of wood or another structural material.


These are the foundational sections of the garage door, often crafted from materials like wood, steel, or aluminum. Their design and style are customizable, offering homeowners a chance to align with their aesthetic preferences.

Photo Eyes

Prioritizing safety is crucial, and that’s where photo eyes come into play. Positioned close to the ground on either side of the door, these sensors detect potential obstructions. If an object or person is in the door’s path, the photo eyes trigger the door to reverse, preventing potential accidents.


Insulation is paramount for garage doors, especially in regions experiencing extreme weather conditions. The R-value is a metric indicating a door’s insulation effectiveness. The higher the R-value, the more insulated the door is.


Functioning as the wheels of the garage door system, rollers ensure the door moves seamlessly along the tracks.

Reinforcement Strut

A horizontal brace that adds structural integrity to the garage door, particularly vital for wider doors or doors that bear the weight of a door opener.

Safety Release

A vital feature in automatic garage door systems, this manual release allows homeowners to operate the door if there’s a malfunction or power outage.

Sectional Door

This type of garage door is composed of sections or panels. These sections are hinged together and move vertically in the opening, then horizontally along the ceiling, guided by tracks and rollers.

Torsion Springs

A pivotal component in garage doors, torsion springs are coiled mechanisms located above the door. They aid in the door’s lifting process. The longevity of these springs is measured in cycles, where a single cycle comprises one opening and one closing of the door.


Garage door tracks are the guiding metal pathways where the garage door travels during its operation.


A handheld device, often referred to as a remote, that sends a signal to the garage door opener to instruct it to open or close.

Vertical Lift System

A door movement system where the door moves vertically and is suspended overhead, commonly found in commercial or industrial settings.


An essential for energy-conscious homeowners, weatherstripping provides a seal at the door’s base and sides. It’s designed to combat drafts and bolster the energy efficiency of the garage, keeping external elements at bay.

Wind Load

The amount of force exerted by wind pressures, either positive or negative. Garage doors, especially in storm-prone areas, might be rated for specific wind loads to ensure safety and durability.

By acquainting yourself with these terms and their definitions, you’ll find yourself better equipped to navigate the garage door marketplace. This knowledge not only streamlines your purchasing journey but also empowers you to engage in more insightful discussions with companies like Tip Top Garage Doors, a team of garage door professionals in Franklin. Call us at 615 671 4056 if your garage needs servicing.

Tom Avraham

Tom Avraham, the founder and CEO of Tip Top Garage Doors-North Carolina, is a respected figure in the garage door industry, known for his expertise and unwavering commitment to quality service. Originating from North Carolina, Tom’s background in Mechanical Engineering has equipped him with the skills needed to excel in garage door mechanics. With over two decades of hands-on experience, Tom has earned a reputation as a trusted authority in garage door repair and maintenance services, garnering the trust and admiration of clients across the state. His dedication to excellence and customer satisfaction has been pivotal in establishing Tip Top Garage Doors in Nashville and Franklin-North Carolina as a premier choice for all garage door needs in the region. Tom’s passion for innovation and his commitment to providing efficient solutions continue to drive the company’s success, solidifying Tip Top Garage Doors Nashville-North Carolina as a trusted name in the industry.