Sectional Door Installation Positions and Tips

Domestic Sectional garage doors can be either installed behind or inbetween the structural opening of your garage.

Whether the sectional door is fitted behind or inbetween depends on several different criteria and restrictions with your garage design internally may be the deciding factor. Quite often when the support lintel is sitting on a very deep brick pier and the back of the lintel is not flush with the back of the piers you can be installing the vertical legs inbetween the piers and the spring mechanism above the door behind the lintel - again quite acceptable.

Behind opening installation

Maximises the drive through width and height of the garage opening available as no sub frame is encroaching in the opening.
Easier to install without the inbetween installation kit and cladding to legs and possibly head of frame required. Also less brackets used as fixing directly through the sub frame.
More secure installation as any attack and lever points are situated behind the structural opening and not exposed.
Keeps the installation as insulated as possible as the steel side frame and head infill fascia section are only constructed from single skin steel.
Keeps all tracks and springs out of the way as they are positioned closer to the garage side walls and ceiling.
Could make the garage length available slightly shorter for a vehicle if you are replacing a garage door already fitted inbetween the opening.
Could expose rough brickwork, stonework or blockwork previously covered by a timber frame fitted inbetween.
Can look odd if your brickwork pier returns are very deep.
Also beware of twin garages where the central pier is not the same depth as the corner piers, this can look very odd with one frame leg showing and the other hidden behind the pier!

Inbetween opening installation

Can be installed even when there is no pier with reveal, i.e. when your garage is built directly on the side of your house wall without a pier.
Maximises the overall length available in the garage for a vehicle.
Covers old brick or stonework and damp proof courses when the old frame is removed although you can also install behind any existing timber frames if required.
Slightly more difficult to install and will require the exposed frame legs and possibly the frame head to be clad in timber or Upvc material if it is not installed behind a timber sub frame.
The legs will be either white or dark brown powdercoat depending on the door panel colour chosen but the frame head will match the door colour ordered.
Quite often reduces your available drivethrough width if an existing garage door is operating on an existing 60 or 70mm steel or timber sub frame.
A 100mm allowance is recommended each side for a Hormann, Garador, Carteck or Novoferm sectional door frame installing inbetween.
Not such good insulation when closed as the steel fixing framework is only single skin steel.
There are situations where the sectional door is installed between the piers but behind the lintel if the lintel is not the same depth as the pier returns.
This is quite acceptable and normal as an installation method.


Ideally sectional garage doors have been designed to install behind the structural garage opening and the order size is always the same as the structural opening size (unlike up and over doors). i.e. a 14' x 7' door requires a 14' x 7' brickwork opening.
However, because a sectional garage door does not pass through the opening at all it is possible to install a door larger than the structural opening which means you rarely require a purpose made sectional door unless you want to maximise your width.
For example if your brickwork opening is 2390mm wide (approx. 7'10") and your internal brickwork piers are wide enough you could install a 2438mm wide (8'0") sectional door and the door panels would simply overlap 24mm each side, but the operation would be completely unaffected. Of course you have to consider on the panelled design doors that you do not lose the edge of a panel behind the brickwork as this would not look particularly good. You can also do the reverse and using the same example width above (2390mm) you could install a 2286mm (7'6) wide door and the side leg frame would simply be exposed by 52mm each side. The side frame is actually 82.5 mm wide so once the door is smaller than 2 x 82.5mm (165mm) then you could well be installing it inbetween providing there is sufficient headroom. If you are installing inbetween with a door less than 165mm from the structural opening you would be advised to purchase one of the inbetween installation kits for the extra bracketry required.
Bear in mind in this instance that the side frame legs on a sectional door are produced in only white or dark brown so if you have ordered a special colour then you will not have matching frame legs if they are exposed. Matching steel cover profiles are available at extra cost and simply fit over the existing legs, they are manufactured from the same woodgrain or silkgrain steel effects to match the door panel chosen.


The height of a standard sectional garage door like many garage doors will rarely match the lintel height of a garage and the most common height we encounter is a lintel height of 2250mm (approx. 7'4 1/2"). With this height you can install a standard sectional door of 2125mm (7'0") high and the steel head fascia provided as standard will take up 90mm of the gap leaving only 35mm of infill required which can be Upvc, timber, steel, etc and this is only cosmetic in any case. The steel fascia is always the same colour finish as the door panel. However more recently it is possible to order standard sectional doors and have unusual heights either by a factory cutting down process or adjustments in the bottom weatherseal size, maximizing the use of the height available.

Special sizes

A very comprehensive range of Hormann, Carteck and Novoferm metric sized sectional garage doors on a longer delivery are available which have many intermediate heights and again using the 2250mm lintel height example door height of exactly 2250mm is available. This door would cost you slightly more than the 2125mm high standard UK size door but would of course give you the full opening height (when used with an electric operator) and no infill would be required. Metric size domestic sectional doors are offered in sizes up to 3000mm high and beyond that Hormann Doors offer the 'Combi' sectional door range up to 7500mm high using a commercial door mechanism combined with domestic door panels.
The prices and specifications are constantly changing and we ask you to contact us for prices and details if required.
For further details, drawings or prices on any of the sectional garage doors available in the UK please contact The Garage Door Centre free on (0800) 525442
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