Overhead garage doors generally are equipped with either torsion springs or extension springs. Extension springs are the most common type, especially for single stall garage doors. These springs stretch alongside the overhead door track when the door is closed and assist in the lift of the door when it is being opened.
Torsion springs mount on the header above the garage door. They are wound springs, which means that they do not stretch in the same way that extension springs do. Because they do not expand and contract like the extension springs, they are a safer choice for a homeowner. Torsion springs also provide a more balanced tension on your garage door, which will allow it to raise and lower with a smoother motion than extension springs.
Extension springs generally come as the standard option for most single stall garage doors. If you are looking for the best option, for both safety and operation, the torsion springs will be the clear choice. However, there may be occasions, when headroom is a factor, that extension springs may be the recommended option. It is always a good suggestion to ask what the spring options are for your installation and the overhead door you are considering.