liftmaster garage door openerIf you are looking to install a garage door opener, here are a few things you’ll need to consider before making the move. Take a look below:

Does your garage have electricity? Perhaps the most important component of operating an opener is electricity. Most garages have electricity or wiring set up, unless they are detached garages. Even if your garage has electricity, it is always a good idea to make sure all of the wiring is up to code and working properly before spending the money on an opener.

The clearance issue

How your garage door is set up now will help dictate whether or not an opener will work with your current garage door.

For example, do you have a tilt door or track door? Knowing the kind of garage door you have is important as well. A California style door–though pretty rare in the Midwest–uses single doors that tilt when lifted up. For most people, however, the door goes up overheard on a track. These things will dictate the amount of room you have to install an opener.

Obstructions and spacing. You also need to consider obstructions (i.e. beams) and spacing. If your opener has a chain, belt, or screw, then it will have a rail along the top of the door, which requires about 2” of clearance above the highest arc of the door.

As for room behind the motor, you need to have over around 10’ of space when it comes to normal types of motors, so check and make sure there aren’t any beams in the way.

Other considerations 

So you’ve realized that a traditional garage door opener will not fit your garage. To make things easier, we mapped out a few other things we’ll look for when determining the compatibility of your garage door for an opener:

Jackshaft opener. Jackshaft motors are one alternative but require a torsion spring to install. Typically you’ll find two types of springs on your garage door: extension springs, which stretch on either side, and torsion springs, which go across the top of the door. Knowing this will help you decide if you can install a jackshaft opener. A jackshaft opener mounts to one side of the door and turns the torsion spring shaft. Assuming that you have enough side room, this is a good alternative if you don’t have enough headroom.

An opener off to the side. Another alternative is to install your motor off to the side as opposed to the back, which will give it enough clearance with the door.

Weak door. As always, your door should be in good working shape, not rotting or falling apart. To help remedy this, we can either replace the door or reinforce it to help accept the motor.

Adjusting the track. If the opener will not fit with your door on a normal track, we can also consider installing a double track or low headroom track and in some cases we may even be able to use Quick Closers top fixtures or install a shorter door. Of course this all depends on your budget, which we will gladly review with you in order to make sure you get the price and quality you need.

Here at Omaha Door and Window, we pride ourselves on years and years of experience when it comes to installing and repairing garage doors. With our extensive knowledge, we will do whatever we can in order to ensure that you get the highest quality installation without going over your budget.

If you have any questions about the viability of installing an opener on your garage door, reach out to us and we’ll make sure you get exactly what you need.

photo credit: Lift Master 1/2 HP Garage Door Opener via photopin (license)