What Is an Overhead Door?

An overhead door is any upward-operating door that swings or rolls open from the ground level, assuming a horizontal position above the doorway when opened. The door may consist of multiple panels or a single unit that operates via an electric opener, manual pulley or another mechanism.

Overhead doors are commonly used as residential garage doors as well as in:

  • Commercial storefronts
  • Warehouses
  • Car washes
  • Service counters
  • Storage facilities
  • Fire stations
  • And more

History of Overhead Doors

As Henry Ford’s horseless carriage began to take the world by a storm in the early 1900s, it became clear that buyers needed a place to store their new Model Ts other than the carriage house with the smelly horses. Thus, the concept of a garage was born.

However, the very first garage doors designed to protect the valuable automobiles inside were not overhead doors. Instead, they were hinged on the sides and swung outward. The massive doors caused the hinges to wear out quickly. Also, the doors were unable to open if snow piled up outside. The initial solution was the sliding track door, a more versatile but imperfect design. After all, this meant the door could only be half the width of the garage itself.

A man named C.G. Johnson had the answer: overhead doors. His invention hit the market in 1921, changing the course of history for vehicle storage. For the first time, a garage door was designed to lift upward and store parallel to the ceiling. It could be the full width of the garage and operate in any weather condition. Johnson traveled the country with a prototype of his overhead door mounted to the back of his Model T to show it off to car owners across the United States.

Only five years later in 1926, Johnson invented the first electric garage door opener. This allowed automobile owners the ability to open their garage doors with a motor instead of by hand, a luxury we take for granted today.

Types of Overhead Doors

The wide variety of overhead doors available today gives you a nearly limitless selection of materials, designs and colors to choose from. But first, you must select an operating style. Some of the most popular options include:

  • Sectional doors: Traditional residential garage doors typically consist of four horizontal sections that allow the door to roll upward on a rounded track until it comes to rest parallel to the ceiling.
  • Rolling doors: If headroom is at a premium, rolling doors solve this problem by coiling up onto a spool above the garage opening.
  • Canopy doors: This term describes an overhead door with a single panel that lifts by moving the top of the door along a horizontal track toward the rear of the garage.
  • Security grilles and shutters: Not all overhead doors are used in garage settings. Grilles and shutters are appropriate for securing storefronts, service counters and other commercial buildings at night. They may feature solid slats or an open-air design that roll upward with a motor or by hand.

Install an Overhead Door in Cincinnati

C.G. Johnson was the founder of Overhead Door Co. over 90 years ago. Today, the company remains one of the most recognized and respected brands in the garage door industry. If you’re ready to install an overhead door in your southwestern Ohio home or business, leave the job to the trusted professionals at Overhead Door Co. of Greater Cincinnati™. We offer a wide variety of residential garage doors and commercial garage doors in Cincinnati in different styles to meet your exact needs.

To learn more about our overhead door products, please contact us today!

Products We Install
Home Garage Doors

We install steel, wood and aluminum garage doors perfect for any home.

Commercial Doors

No matter your commercial garage door needs, Overhead Door Co. of Greater Cincinnati™ has you covered.

Garage Door Repair

Need garage door or opener repair? Overhead Door Co. of Greater Cincinnati™ can help.

Exterior Doors

We install front, storm and patio doors from leading manufacturers.

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