Wall-Mounted Openers and Ceiling Height: The 5 Most Important Things to be Aware Of

This full-view garage door is in the California, 18' x 8', Black aluminum frame, Clear glass.

A cozy interior with a view out into the backyard is a staple of this glass modern garage door. Hang out inside while the little ones enjoy the sunshine. In warm weather, pop the door open for a larger space to socialize and have fun. The wood planks cover up the garage door tracks and the garage door opener can barely be seen. This is an 18' x 8' California full-view garage door with clear glass and a black aluminum frame.

Have you been thinking about redoing your garage? Maybe you are building a new home and want the perfect garage to go with it. No matter why you’re thinking about garage doors, there are several things to consider.

Not everyone knows all the jargon about garage doors and openers, which can make it hard to understand things fully. That’s okay. It’s not uncommon to have some questions. Garage door professionals can provide you with the information you need.

It’s no surprise that garage door clearances and garage dimensions can be confusing. Do you know what headroom is and how it impacts the garage door opener you install? We’ll answer those questions and get you on track to a better knowledge of all these topics.

To get you started, check out five of the most common questions about headroom, garage height, wall-mounted garage door openers, installation of garage doors, and all the other subjects you may want to know more about. While you browse potential garage doors for your home, we’ll give you the details you need to have available so you can choose the right option for your needs.

As you read, you’ll learn more about the subject of garage door headroom. In addition, we’ll share all the options for garage door openers depending on whether your garage door headroom is limited or not.

Question One: What does garage headroom refer to and why do I need to know about it before choosing an overhead door?

A helpful illustration to see where are all of the locations to look at when measuring a garage door.

Use the picture above to see all the measurements you should take when selecting a new garage door. You can be sure the garage door you choose fits perfectly and will easily open when you need it to.

Garage headroom clearance indicates the area from the top of the opening of the door to the ceiling. It’s very important to know about garage door size and door movement so nothing gets in the way of letting your garage door open or move up.

Question Two: How do I know my garage door is low headroom and can a low clearance overhead door be used?

Low headroom is what happens when a typical lift doesn’t have enough space to operate. Standard lifts are the most common for house garages, but they aren’t right in every scenario.

When talking about low headroom, the area over the garage door used for extension springs is no more than 8.5 inches. For a garage door header with a torsion spring, this space isn’t over 10 inches.

Some locations where low headroom is common include:

  • Older houses where the garages may have lower ceilings
  • New homes if the designer or architect didn’t leave sufficient room over the garage door
  • Ceilings with extra features like a fire system or a series of vents
  • Constructions made largely of concrete, such as parking installed under the ground

Here's a technical drawing of a low headroom garage door.

Wondering what low front headroom looks like? Check out the image above. You can see there’s very little (or even now) room in between the garage door tracks and the ceiling.

Front low headroom? Rear low headroom? Does it matter?

Headroom can be limited in the front of the garage or toward the back. The main thing that distinguishes the two is where the garage door springs and drums rest. So, a front low headroom situation means the springs are at the front of the space.

Notice the difference between low headroom front vs rear garage door

Look at the image above to get a better idea of what rear or front low headroom looks like. You can see that the drums that hold the cable aren’t in the same spot. In addition, low headroom hardware is included, which is two tracks that sit over each other.

A low headroom door is an option, but you’ll need to be sure the right hardware is installed along with it.

What you need is low headroom hardware, sometimes known as dual- or double-track systems. These are made for low headroom in tandem with an overhead garage door. Two tracks are used, and they sit one under the other.

The top part of the door uses the upper track, but the three other areas use the additional track. The extension or torsion spring systems are identical. The use of two different tracks makes the top move faster and needs a smaller amount of space.

Question Three: How are garage doors installed in low clearance spaces?

The good news is that a low headroom garage door is put in place the same as any overhead door. However, the springs and the garage door opener simply go in a unique area. So, what makes the situation different? The top roller brackets, bottom brackets, horizontal tracks, and other hardware are unique.

These garage doors are in the Village Collection, A Design, Plank base, 9' x 7', Cherry, windows with Cascade Inserts.

A house with walls made of concrete can be expensive, which means lowering the height inside is a common choice. This impacts headroom so make sure you are aware of this. In the image above, you see the 9' x 7' Village Collection A Design in cherry with a plank base and windows with Cascade inserts. Get a gorgeous wood finish with the intricate patterns available from Village Collection garage doors.

Question Four: Do I need a wall-mounted opener and what makes it distinct?

A wall-mounted opener, which you’ll sometimes hear called a jackshaft, is a specific type of garage door opener. It’s made to be used with sloped or cathedral ceilings and a high lift clearance.

What makes it different? The garage door opener connects to the torsion bar on the door to operate rather than using a traditional rail track.

Something else unique is that a wall-mounted garage door opener can be used with all different types of lifts, including inclined track, low front headroom, high lifts, and typical lifts.

You might be more likely to see these in businesses, but that is changing as more are adopted into houses. However, a configuration with a front low headroom may not be the best option.

A picture of the LiftMaster 5500W wall-mounted door opener with all the accessories it's coming with

Ready to take advance of a highly popular wall-mounted garage door opener that garners great ratings? Look no further than the LiftMaster 8500W model. It’s great for saving overhead garage space and has few maintenance needs. As a garage door opener from LiftMaster, you also benefit from myQ technology so you can view and control a garage door from a device, no matter where you happen to be!

Make use of extra storage space in the overhead garage

One of the best things about a jackshaft is how much overhead garage space you can utilize. Without a central rail and garage door opener up above, you can use that space however you desire.

Want even more utility? Check out various products to hang your items from the ceiling. Family Handymanalso offers some other useful ideas for you.

  • Hang lightweight cargo nets for small-item storage.
  • Place storage lifts made for garage ceilings for outdoor furniture and boxes.
  • Place tools and bikes on coated garage hooks.
  • Use mounted racks on the ceiling for heavy-duty latching totes.

Want a garage to use as entertainment or living space? A wall-mounted garage door opener can assist!

Are you interested in a garage that you use for a media room, craft room, or another living space? It could be the ultimate way to spruce up your home and give you a space to entertain the people in your life.

Find inspiration, a spot to relax, or any other space you need in your garage

A beautiful garage conversion into a light-filled living space.

Garages don’t have to be symmetrical to be useful. Make a gorgeous chill-out spot that everyone wants to spend time in. The garage door lets in light for brightness and calm. Take a look at other options on HGTV’s website.

Budget Dumpster, best known for offering dumpster rentals to businesses, families, and contractors in the US, also has a few awesome garage conversion ideas:

  • A space to do art
  • Somewhere for the kids to play
  • A living space for in-laws or tenants
  • Space for an extra bedroom
  • An inspired area for an office
  • Or even a room for the family to hang out

Want something nobody will ever expect. You could turn your garage into the best pub in your neighborhood and watch a game or film while you have a pitcher of beer with your pals. The video above will give you a place to start!

For aesthetic appeal, a wall-mounted garage door can help. It’s less visible and more likely to be overlooked.

Question Five: For a wall-mounted garage door opener, how much headroom is enough?

Any space will do! Alternative mounting kits remove that concern. You can place a wall-mounted opener anywhere!

Most say that two inches is the minimum space over the garage door to place a garage door opener. However, there are options if you don’t have that luxury.

Both garages with low and standard headroom can use a wall-mounted opener. The garage door opener can be mowed lower and placed under the torsion bar using an alternate mounting kit. That makes these openers perfect for everyone!

Alternate mounting kit if your wall-mounted garage door opener cannot be installed to the torsion bar.

As you can see there, an alternate mounting system includes dual gear systems. The shaft is installed over the opener. It works well for jackshaft openers where the torsion bar isn’t appropriate for direct installation.

What measurements do matter? At least one side of the garage door needs 8.5 inches of space to hold the shaft collar and casing of the opener.

Ready to see all your garage door options?

The next part is fun! You can select a color and design for the garage door. Choose wisely and the garage door can make your home look great and stand out from the neighbors.

At Barmac Garage Doors, we provide 3 garage door styles, which are contemporary, traditional, and carriage house. Go modern, go vintage, or make things a little rustic. No matter what, we offer a wide range of garage doors so you can find something perfect for you.

Countless hues are also available. Try white, beige, brown, black, or something more colorful. No matter what your home looks like, there’s a door to complete the look.

This garage door is in the Princeton P-11 design, 9' x 8', Ice White doors and overlays, 8 lite Panoramic windows.

Want something traditional and crisp? Check out white traditional garage doors with discreet hinges and overlays. Just like our other doors, these are made custom to match your vision. Window designs, garage door sizes, and hardware can all be chosen. This image shows the 9’ x 8' Princeton P-11 design with ice white overlays and doors as well as eight lite Panoramic windows.

Get digital while choosing the right garage door!

Take some time to visit the Design Centre on our website? Check out all sorts of garage doors in different colors and designs. Include windows and decorative hardware until you’ve built a dream garage door for all your needs!

Even better, you can upload an image of your home and see exactly how the garage door appears on the front. Make use of your creativity when you create a garage door completely tailored for your home.

Is it time to get that new garage door installed?

Whether you need a new overhead door or installation of a garage door opener, we can help. Reach out to us at 416-661-5151!

Professional garage door technicians will handle the installation of the new garage door. Our team is also comprised of experts who can handle all your garage door needs, whether you need installation of a garage door or a few repairs.

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