The Anatomy of a Garage Door

Updated on August 30th, 2023
Two-car white paneled garage door and adjacent concrete driveway

Garage doors have a lot of moving parts. From the panels to the springs to the garage door opener, there’s a lot more to them than just a door that moves up and down.

There are numerous mechanisms that work together to create a safe and functional door. In this piece, we’re going to talk about the different parts of a garage door so that next time you get a garage door repair, you’ll have a better understanding of what’s going on.

Parts of a Garage Door


The panels are the visible part of the garage door. They improve curb appeal, have the ability to increase energy efficiency, and provide security protection. There are a couple of different kinds of panels, which we’ll touch on below.

Flush Panels

Flush panels are simple designs with no decoration. If you want your home’s color to pop, flush panels are a good option.

Raised Panels

Raised panels have rectangles that are elevated to add dimension to your door.

Recessed Panels

Recessed panels have rectangles that cave in rather than pop out.

Bead Board Panels

Bead boards have rectangles that aren’t raised or caved in. There are lines that go through the rectangles to form the design.

Ribbed Panels

Ribbed panels have horizontal grooves.

Long Panels

Long panel garage doors are popular. They have long rectangles on the door, typically two per door.

Short Panels

Short panel garage doors usually fit four rectangles across one garage door.

Garage Door Sections

The sections are located where the door bends when you open it.

Some garage doors don’t have any sections. That kind of garage door tilts open instead of moving up. Doors that tilt aren’t very common, but they do exist.

Torsion Spring

The torsion spring is found inside the section above the door. It twists, creating torque. The spring’s torque lifts the majority of the weight of the door and that’s how you’re able to lift up a garage door that weighs hundreds of pounds.

Your torsion spring needs to be able to carry the weight of your door. Without the right torsion springs or with improper installation, other parts of your garage door will experience extra stress (which can lead to premature wearing and faults).

A torsion spring that’s installed incorrectly can also result in your door becoming unaligned. This can lead to the door suddenly dropping, which is obviously very dangerous.

Vertical Tracks

The vertical tracks are the vertical metal beams running on the side of the door, on the inside. The door uses the tracks to slide open and shut.


If you look carefully at the vertical track, you'll find small parts that are shaped like wheels. They're part of the side of your door and slot into the track. These are called rollers. They let your door move up and down the track with ease as you open and close it.


Your garage door hinges are found between two different sections. Their purpose is to make the door bend when you open it. They’re long hinges that go on top of the space between sections horizontally on your door.

Lock Bar

One of the main jobs that your door has is to protect your house from intruders. The lock bar closes your door and prevents anyone from getting inside.


Another important job of your door is to be energy efficient and protect the interior of the garage from the weather. Weatherstripping is vital for this reason. It’s at the bottom of your door to stop drafts, heat, and the elements from entering your garage. It also keeps rodents and pests out.

Fixing weatherstripping is one of the most common and easiest garage door repairs. It’s often a DIY project, but we can handle it for you too.

Parts of the Garage Door Opener

Garage door openers are vital to many people. Let’s talk about the various parts that make them up!

Drive Unit

This is the main bit of the opener. It’s a big box on your garage’s ceiling. There’s a motor inside the box that is what powers the whole opener.


The remote turns the motor inside the drive unit on. There are a couple of different kinds of remotes available. Some are hardwired into your garage.

Others can be kept in your car. If you’re close enough to your door, you can open or close it.

There are also numerical keypads in the frame of the door. You can set a code that will let you in or out of your garage.

There are also smart products being developed that are newer to the market. Smart openers let you operate your door no matter where you are by utilizing a smart device.

Emergency Release Rope

This is another vital part of your unit. It lets you enter your garage if something ever goes wrong with your opener. An example is if the power goes out. It’s a red rope dangling from the carrier.

You may also have a key that will activate the rope so you can manually lift the door.


Sensors are a safety feature that stop your door from closing on something. They detect if something is beneath the door and ensure it opens back up if there’s something below.

Fixing sensors is one of the most common garage door repairs that we get requests for from Parker and Broomfield homeowners.

Final Thoughts From Our Parker Garage Door Installers

Garage doors are more complicated than they appear, and it’s worth learning about how they work since they’re such an important part of your home.

If you find yourself in the position where you need your garage door repaired, we’re here for you. Just look up garage door installation near me and you’ll see that we’re one of the top companies operating in Parker and Broomfield.

We’ve been installing and repairing garage doors for years and know everything there is to know about what makes garage doors tick. And we’d love to help you get your garage door as good as new!

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