What You Need to Know About Wall-Mounted Garage Door Openers & Ceiling Heights Not to Make Expensive Mistake

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

A glass garage door adds to the visibility and versatility of a space. You can turn your renovated garage or three-season room into a functional indoor/outdoor space. When closed, the glass garage door provides natural lighting inside while giving a clear view of what’s outside. When the garage door is opened, your indoor lounge space now extends outside and lets the relaxing breeze flow through. Don’t worry about unsightly garage door hardware cramping the style of your space. You can hide it with functional design elements such as a decorative wood plank ceiling. The garage door opener is very low-profile as well. Here is the California full-view garage door, 18' x 8', with Black aluminum frame and Clear glass.

There are lots of details to think about when renovating your garage and even more when building a brand new one! There are so many options for customizing your space.

Garage door professionals are just a phone call away to answer all your questions about garage doors and garage door openers. Don’t hesitate to give them a call to help plan your project!

There are two things to be aware of: your garage dimensions and the garage door clearances you are working with, which will both play a big part in how much headroom you have and what type of garage door opener will work best for your garage.

We’re here to answer five FAQs about garage specifications, wall-mounted garage door openers, and garage door installation. Keep these things in mind when you’re shopping for a new garage door.

With this information about garage door headroom, you can make an informed decision on what garage door openers will work for lower or higher garage door headroom space.

Fact 1: Overhead Doors: What headroom measurements are above your garage door?

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

You must consider all surrounding angles when looking for a new garage door as pictured here. This allows a custom fit for the garage door in the existing frame.

How much headroom clearance is above your garage door? This is the distance from the garage door opening to the tallest point in your garage. Both garage door size and the range of door movement must be accounted for when sizing the garage door.

Fact 2: How much space do you have? You need to know the measurements of your low headroom garage door and what dimensions are considered to be “low headroom.”

When the typical lift found in most garages does not fit in a space, this is considered a low headroom dimension.

8 ½ inches above the garage door header is required for extension springs while 10 inches is necessary for torsion springs. Anything less than that is considered low headroom.

Common low headroom garage door situations:

  • Homes with low garage ceilings (frequent with older homes)
  • Fresh builds in which the architect failed to plan for space above the garage door
  • Ventilation, plumbing, or fire protection systems causing obstructions
  • Parking garages, underground buildings, or other structures made of cement

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

Low front headroom is pictured here. There is virtually no space above the garage door tracks which would require a wall-mounted garage door opener.

Do You Have Front Low Headroom or Rear Low Headroom?

The difference in front and rear low headroom is where the spring and drums are positioned. “Front” indicates they’re mounted in the front, close to the door, while “rear” contrastingly indicates they’re mounted in the rear at the end of the garage door tracks.

Notice the difference between low headroom front vs rear garage door

There are a few differences between front and rear low headroom systems. You can see that front-mounted springs and drums require a little more clearance than rear-mounted drums. Both systems use two top tracks stacked together.

Low headroom garage doors require certain types of hardware.

Two-track systems are typical for low headroom hardware, and the garage door slides on a system of two tracks stacked together.

If your garage door has four panels, the top panel runs into the upper track, while the bottom three panels run into the lower track, adding to the space-saving (or small-space accommodating) ability of the system.

Fact 3: Low Headroom Garage Door Installation: How does it work?

If you’ve ever had an overhead garage door installed, you’ll have an idea of how low headroom garage doors are installed. Other than the garage door opener and springs being mounted to the side of the garage door, the installation process is relatively the same with low headroom garage doors as it is with standard overhead garage doors. You will also use different hardware for a wall-mounted system.

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

In this home, the garage is built underneath the house using a concrete foundation. Adjusting the height will alter the headroom of the garage. Pictured here is the Village Collection A Design, Plank base, 9' x 7', in Cherry with Cascade Inserts for windows. These garage doors are mounted with a low headroom system.

Fact 4: Wall-mounted garage door openers and how they can fit with your project

Jackshafts are wall-mounted garage door openers that are positioned immediately adjacent to the garage door. These garage door openers are primarily made for ceilings that are too high for standard garage door openers.

The garage door opener opens and closes the garage door by pulling on the torsion bar to open and close the door along the track.

Wall-mounted garage door openers are more adaptable than ceiling-mounted garage door openers. You can find them paired with different types of lifts such as standard, high lift, low front headroom, and inclined track lifts.

They are popular in industrial or commercial settings, though increasing numbers of people are choosing them for their residential garages. In these cases, a rear low headroom system is best.

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

If you want a wall-mounted garage door opener that saves you space and is low-maintenance, the LiftMaster 8500W model wall-mounted garage door opener is a good choice. LiftMaster garage door openers use myQ technology to give you the ability to keep track of your garage door from your phone.

Optimal storage in your garage ceiling starts with wall-mounted garage door openers.

Installing a wall-mounted garage door opener will give you the maximum amount of ceiling storage by giving you a different option for where the associated hardware is positioned8 – out of the way.

If you need to utilize ceiling storage, various products to hang your belongings from the ceiling can help. Check out these organization features found in Family Handyman:

  • Cargo nets are ideal for lighter items like sports balls or outdoor chair cushions.
  • Storage lifts are good for heavier items like boxes of seasonal décor.
  • Coated garage hooks are great for hanging your kids’bicycles or some lawn equipment.
  • Ceiling-mounted racks work great to organize your storage totes.

You can remodel your garage into something other than just a grimy garage and use a wall-mounted garage door opener to keep space functional and appealing.

Converting your garage is a great way to add a purposeful room to your home and create a home office or guest suite. It would also be fun to make an indoor/outdoor entertainment space.

There are endless possibilities for customizing your garage space to work with what your family needs.

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

It doesn’t even matter if your garage isn’t a perfectly square shape because this can make the space even more unique, such as with this angled rec room. Using a glass-paneled garage door makes lets in lots of natural light in this example from HGTV’s website.

These garage conversion ideas are brought to you by Budget Dumpster:

  • Kids' indoor/outdoor playroom
  • Mother-in-law suite
  • Guest room
  • Creative art space
  • Home office
  • Extra family living space

What about an outdoor bar? Turn your garage into a sports bar to make your neighbors jealous and set up a large flatscreen to catch the game with your friends.

Keep your garage door opener hidden by using a wall-mounted garage door opener and keep the design themes flowing.

Q5: Wall-mounted Garage Door Openers: What amount of space do they need?

Wall-mounted garage door openers can work with any size space! All you need is the right mounting system and hardware.

No matter the dimensions surrounding your garage door, a wall-mounted garage door opener can be used to open and close the door.

For garage doors with extremely minimal headroom, the wall-mounted opener can be mounted with an alternate mounting kit to accommodate the space you do have for a garage door opener.

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

Two gears make up the alternate mounting system. It helps wall-mounted garage door openers function how they’re supposed to and mount easier into your garage door system.

There must be a minimum of 8 ½ inches of space next to the garage door to accommodate the alternate mounting hardware.

Design Your Garage Door Today!

The best part is designing your custom garage door. You have many models and colours to choose from for the perfect garage door to make your home pop from the street view.

Regional Doors & Hardware gives you 3 garage door styles that offer something for everyone. These styles are Traditional, Carriage House, and Contemporary. Browse our wide range of garage doors to find your perfect design.

There is a big variety of available colours to help you create the look you’re going for. Think about what an upgrade a new garage door could be!

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

If you like neutral colour schemes and timeless features, Traditional garage doors in white will match any house colour. These particular garage doors were customized with discreet overlays and hinges. Hicklin garage doors are made-to-order for each customer, no matter the garage door size. Pictured is the Princeton P-11 design, 9’ x 8', in a crisp Ice White colour with sharp black hardware and 8 lite Panoramic windows to let in some convenient natural light.

The Garage Door Visualizer allows you to see your designs come to life before ordering.

We have an online Design Centre so you can view many different garage door designs and colours. Everything from windows to decorative hardware can help create your custom garage door look.

Preview your garage door designs before you order by superimposing virtual designs onto an image of your house. What better way to see if your new garage door will work with your colour scheme? You can really create your own custom garage door.

What comes next?

Call us at 905-684-8161 to schedule your full-service overhead door and garage door opener consultation and installation!

Your garage door will be put in by experienced professionals from our team who can accommodate all your garage door service needs from installation to repairs.

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