Placement of Overhead Doors

Pole Barn Guru Blog

Where, oh Where, to Place Overhead Doors

My long term readers may have believed I have pounded overhead doors to death. Ha! I say – there is always more to talk about when it comes to overhead doors!

We’ve talked about door widths, avoiding 8 and 14 foot width doors as they are not usually the most practical design solutions.

Then there is door spacing – three feet from a corner and three feet in between being the happiest for prevention of door dings and being able to utilize precious wall space.

What prompted this article was a recent request for a price quote on a new post frame building from one of our clients. He writes, “I want a 28 ft. x 32 ft. x 10 building.  I want a 9 ft. door and a 16 ft. door in the north 32 ft. side.”

As requested with the 28 foot being the width and 32 feet being the sidewall length, an interesting phenomenon is probably going to occur.

Imagine, if you will, precipitation. Be it snow or rain, it is going to come off of the 32 foot eave sides and either run down one’s neck, or pile up on the ground in front of the doors.

I happen to know this building is to be located where the white stuff (when it falls) is not light and fluffy, it is more like white concrete. And when it comes, it is not unusual to see six or eight inches of it.

Let’s say, for sake of discussion, there is a six inch snowfall. The snow builds up on the roof until whoosh, bang – it is now in a nice not so neat pile on the ground in front of the overhead door. The pile being somewhere in the vicinity of three feet wide and two feet high, and way too heavy to easily shovel out of the way.

Not a fun picture.

Now, leave the four corners of the building exactly where they were previously, and spin the roof 90 degrees. Now the overhead doors are in the 32 foot wide gable endwall. When the snow slides off, it slides to each side and only the snow which naturally falls on the ground has to be dealt with, not a roof’s worth.

 

Considering a new post frame building with overhead doors? If so, look at how you might place the doors so as to avoid extended shovel duty. You will be glad you did!

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2 thoughts on “Placement of Overhead Doors

  1. Bill

    Have you ever attempted to install an overhead door in an end wall (gable roof) that is higher than the eaves? I have a client with an RV and needs a higher door, but doesn’t want the higher eaves when tying the roof lines together with his house.

    Thanks,
    Bill

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      Good Morning Bill. Due to the constraints of construction methods it would be a very difficult task to say the least. Large vehicles require large doors. Large overhead sectional garage door require a certain amount of “headroom” (the distance from the top of the door opening to the nearest obstruction, be it a ceiling or rafter/trusses etc). The larger the door, the more space is needed to accommodate the spring-line, the cable drums, and the travel of the door. could it be possible to build a building with the opening height equal to the door height? Maybe. Though it would require scissor trusses and a roof with a very high pitch, along with the building being relatively wide in relation to the door width. Your friend would prefer the look of the different eave heights. One option might be to consider a Bi-Fold or Swing-up door that is finished to look like a sectional door. One of our designers could give him an idea of what is possible if he’d like to call in for a quote. 1-866-200-9657
      Hope this helps.
      Thank you!

      Reply

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