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What is the code minimum ceiling height for a garage?

Monday, November 15, 2021

There is no building code minimum height specification for a garage ceiling. But because a garage nowdays has a motorized overhead garage door, the height of the door combined with the headroom necessary for the track gives you a minimum ceiling height. So a standard 7-foot garage door plus the minimum 14-inches headroom necessary for the track installation means you need a minimum ceiling of 8-foot 2-inches.

    But there is some wiggle-room. “A 'low headroom' track configuration is an option with most doors and can reduce the headroom requirement to as little as 8-inches above the door height,” according to Ed Hoeft, of Lester’s Garage Doors, in Gainesville, Florida. “But, in my opinion, this type of installation causes the door to operate poorly and often ends up requiring more service."

   If you are working with an existing low ceiling, a shorter garage door is one option to consider. The doors are available in 3-inch height increments, with the exception of 7-foot 3-inches. So you could order a garage door that is the existing ceiling height minus 14-inches and be good. 

For the minimum ceiling heights for other areas, click: Basements  Bathrooms  Bathtubs  Bedrooms  Hallways  Kitchens  Laundry Rooms  Showers  Tiny Houses  Toilet Rooms 

Also see Why is my garage ceiling sagging? and Is a ceiling required in a garage by code? and What is code for the fire rating for a garage ceiling?

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 
Field Guide for Home Inspectors, a quick reference for finding the age of 154 brands of HVAC systems, water heaters, and electrical panels, plus 210 code standards for site-built and manufactured homes, and the life expectancy rating of 195 home components. Available at for $19.95.
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Here’s links to some of our other  blog posts about GARAGES AND CARPORTS:

Why is a garage floor sloped?  

What is the difference between a carport and a garage? 

Why are there score line grooves in the concrete floor of the garage? 

What are the common problems when a homeowner converts a garage to conditioned living space, such as a family room?

• What are the code requirements for fire separation between an attached garage and the house? 

Can a bedroom door open into the garage?

Does an attached garage that is only used for storage or as a workshop, and not for parking a car, still have to comply with building code requirements for a garage?

How far apart should electric receptacle outlets be placed in a garage? 

Why is the garage door track a white tube? 

What is the raised metal plate on the floor under the garage door? 

How can I check my garage door to make sure it is safe?   

• Can the a garage door header bracket and torsion springs be mounted through drywall? 

How can I tell if cracks in the garage floor are a problem or not? 

Is tempered/safety glass required by the building code for windows and doors? 

 What is the unusual garage door opener mounted on the wall above the door and marked "Wayne Dalton”?

When were GFCI receptacle outlets first required in the garage?

• Why are most pull-down attic ladders not approved by building code for installation in a garage?  

   Visit our GARAGES AND CARPORTS page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.

Track photo - Ed Hoeft, Lester’s Garage Doors

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