When installing a new garage door opener for new or existing garage doors, space is always a concern. There needs to be ample room to allow for the opener cartridge itself, as well as the door. Here’s a brief guide to determine how much headroom you need for the garage door system you’re considering.
How Much Headroom Will You Need?
Most standard garage door openers will require at least 15 inches of overhead clearance — 3 inches for the garage door opener and 12 inches for the door and torsion spring system.
So what if you don’t have 15 inches to spare? Is your teenage son back on garage door opener duty? Fortunately, no. But you will need to get a little creative. There are several alternative approaches that will work well.
Jackshaft Garage Door Openers
Sometimes there’s a beam in the middle of the garage ceiling that doesn’t allow for an opener. (This happens a lot in older garages when openers were not yet common). Sometimes you just don’t have a few inches to spare for whatever reason. A jackshaft garage door opener is a great solution. They work just as well as your standard garage door opener, but sit on the side of your garage door rather than the more standardized top. Naturally, you’ll need enough room on the side of the door to allow for the opener, but that usually isn’t a problem. This is a great solution if you don’t have a lot of headroom or just prefer a more spacious looking ceiling for your garage.
A Frame Down Opening Door
A frame down opening door is another option. You can get them at 3 inch increments for no extra charge. That way the garage door opening can be raised or lowered to meet the desired opening height.
A Low Headroom Track System
They design low headroom track garage door systems specifically for when space is an issue. With this option, you can install a door and an opener in as little as 9 inches of space.