5 Different Garage Door Lifts & Why They Should Matter to You as a Homeowner

This is a Prestige XL design garage door, here shown in single size, Chocolate Walnut color, with Pinhead windows.

You like different textures and materials like wood, stone, and other shapes above your garage door? We do too! Love the timeless appeal of the Traditional Style? Let us introduce you to the Prestige XL Design garage door, here shown in single size, Chocolate Walnut color, with Pinhead windows.

You’re finally starting to put your plans to paper. In the next few months, you’ll be breaking ground on your new home with plans for an attached garage. Or, maybe you’ll have a detached garage or some type of home office. Regardless, it’s a great accomplishment.

A picture of well-know companies that have started in their garage.

We believe that all homeowners deserve a garage of some form. They’re great for families and game nights and can produce many great memories. Some of the best stories begin in a garage when it comes to family events.

Regardless of what you’re using the garage for specifically, we can all agree that the pandemic has placed a new importance on the space. There are currently multiple options for giving your garage a makeover. You can turn the space into an office, a man cave, a teenage hangout, a game room, a movie theater, a gym, and many other options. We would say this is far from wasted money.

The most exciting part for many homeowners is adding a garage door that increases the visual elements of your home. However, one of the most important elements you need to be aware of are the five types of lifts for the door. You need to understand the information surrounding these lifts before pulling the trigger on a door.

Did you Know…

  • The type of lift you choose has a huge effect on the stress put on the components for your garage door?
  • The type of lift could make or break the overhead space you have in your garage
  • Depending on the specific type of door and how big, you’ll need the appropriate type of lift

In the following article, we’ll go over all of this information and more to help you make the best choice when it comes to a garage door lift.

When You Want Windows Directly Above the Door, Your Only Option is High Lift Hardware

A picture of a contemporary house with 2 single Vog garage doors in Black Color with Right-Side Harmony window layout

This home has a very modern look, right? Attached are two single, Black Vog garage doors with windows directly above them. Notice how these windows perfectly match the entryway to the home.

High lift garage doors extend the length of your garage door’s tracks. This changes the way the door follows along the wall, making it rise higher before the curve of the tracks.

Installing this high-lift hardware gives you the following benefits:

  • You’ll have around 12”-15” of additional space above the garage
  • When you install the tracks closer to the ceiling, you end up with a significantly higher amount of overhead space. This space can be used for storing items and lifting things off of the floor.

This California all-glass garage door installed in a hip cottage opens up the space between the home and the swimming pool.

Notice how this high-lift hardware gives this space an industrial look? All of the textures come together to completely make the space. It doesn’t matter if you’re using the California all-glass garage door in a cottage or if you have high cathedral ceilings. High-lift hardware is the go-to equipment for several reasons.

The Following Situations Are Examples of When You Need High Lift Hardware:

  • When the door becomes an integral part of the inside space of your home with elevated ceilings, see the picture above.
  • If your garage layout includes windows directly above the opening of the garage door
  • When you want to have efficient storage space above your garage door so you can remove items from the floor, when you have more wall space in your garage, you can make use of the overhead space in a more efficient manner.
  • Do you want to install a lift in your garage? Are you a mechanic by trade or frequently work on your own vehicles? You’ll need high lift hardware.
  • If you think ahead and know that one day you’ll want to convert the area into something more useful, you might want to install high lift hardware. These future plans can include anything from building a man cave, a movie theater, a bar, or an office. Regardless of what your options are, it’s important that you leave the room if you want to build on at a later date.

A technical drawing of a High Garage Door Lift

This drawing gives a perfect example of how a high lift garage door will include a straight track, and the other portion is angled away from the wall only slightly.

How Does High Lift Hardware Look Once All Components Are Installed?

When you install high lift hardware, this changes the way your garage door travels on the tracks that help it move. If you examine the situation, you’re causing the door to move up more than it moves back. As a result, this stresses the components of the door in a different manner. This also means you’ll need to install some entirely new components altogether.

The following section outlines the changes that are made when you decide to install high-lift hardware. This changes the entire landscape of your garage, from the door to the smallest components.

  1. The Actual Garage Door Tracks

    Every installation situation is unique, depending on how your garage is set up. For example, if you have 12-foot ceilings in your garage and a 10-foot high door, this means that the tracks must be 2-feet longer than when you have Standard Garage Door Hardware.

  2. The Garage Door’s Torsion Spring

    Many people make the mistake of assuming that the garage door lift does all of the hard work when raising the door. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. The torsion spring is the component that allows the door to rise. However, this causes intense amounts of pressure, so everything must be balanced properly so your garage door opens the right way and operates in a way that doesn’t put anyone’s safety in jeopardy.

  3. The Garage Door Opener

    A house with a Flush design garage door in Black.

    You don’t want to ruin all the hard work you did to NOT have THE GARAGE DOOR TRACKS RIGHT ABOVE YOU. A garage door opener rail in the way would only negate all of your dedication. If you have a door similar to the one in this picture, you wouldn’t be able to install the rail in the window above. (Flush Design).

Do You Need a Wall-Mounted Garage Door Opener?

We suggest you acquire the LiftMaster 8500W. Why? Well, you’ll receive the following benefits:

  • It operates with less noise than a chain-drive system. If anyone sleeps in or near the garage, they won’t be disturbed by opening and closing.
  • There is an automatic lock equipped on this model. This means much higher levels of security, and you’re covered if you forget to lock the door.
  • It has enough power for high-lift hardware and standard. You can even install vertical door applications if you’d like.
  • You get all the benefits of the MyQ app. Did you know you can control your garage door from anywhere in the world when you have a cell phone signal? Pretty cool, huh?

Does Your Garage Have a Cathedral Ceiling? If So, You Need Inclined Garage Door Tracks

A classic kid's drawing of a house

Most everyone has seen a picture of a house that a little kid has drawn. You remember what the roof looks like, don’t you? Each time your garage door is on the opposite side of the roof of the garage, you’ll need to install Inclined Garage Door Tracks.

This is an Eastman E-12 design garage door, here shown with Claystone color for the door and Ice White color real overlays.

A picture is worth 1,000 words! If your garage door follows the slope of your roof, you’ll need inclined tracks for the door. This is a great example: The Eastman E-12 Design, with a Claystone color on the front door and Ice White for the real overlays Talk about inspiration!

A technical drawing of the Inclined Garage Door Tracks

Inclined Track Hardware and High Lift Hardware are Most Different Because…

  • The inclined version follows the slant of the roof and keeps your door leveled against the ceiling. The high lift brings the door to the ceiling before the curve and leaves a gap at the start of the roof’s pitch.
  • Your torsion spring needs to be just as balanced and efficient as the one for a High Lift since it puts different levels of stress and pressure on the parts as well.
  • When the garage has a high, deeply angled roof, you’ll need a wall-mounted LiftMaster 8500 garage door opener.

These Carriage House single garage doors are in the Eastman E-11 design, with Moka Brown colored doors, and Desert Sand colored overlays, with 4 vertical-lite Panoramic windows and decorative hardware.

Do you like these beautiful Carriage House single garage doors? They’re from the Townships Collection, in the Eastman E-11 design. They have Moka Brown doors with a Desert Sand-colored overlay. You like the windows too? The glass selection is a 4 vertical-lite Panoramic window.

The following situations call for inclined tracks:

  • You need inclined tracks installed when you have cathedral ceilings in your garage.
  • If you have vaulted ceilings, you might as well prepare for inclined tracks as well.
  • Finally, if the door is on the same side as the slant of your roof, you’ll also need inclined tracks.

When Space Is Limited, You Need Front or Rear Low Headroom Hardware

You Need This Hardware Specifically for the Following Occasions:

  • The ceilings are extremely low
  • You’re dealing with old swinging doors on a detached garage or shed. It’s true, during or before the 60s, one-piece garage doors only needed a couple of inches of overhead space. Things were much simpler back then, and construction wasn’t quite as technical as it is now.
  • You can read this FAQ to learn more about Low headroom Lifts and Openers if you’re interested. You’ll find a lot of really useful information that you may not have found in this article.

A picture of an elegant She-Shed with a California full-view garage door in 12x7 size, with Black aluminum frame and Clear glass

The California full-view garage door of this She-shed had under 10 inches for the installation of Standard Lift Hardware. The homeowner also wanted the tracks to be unseen since this was her escape. She wanted the space to be quiet, cozy, and serene. Do you think she got what she wanted?

A technical drawing of a Low Front Headroom

When Should I Choose Front and Low Headroom Hardware?

  • If the overhead space above your garage door is anywhere from 7 to 10 inches, you REQUIRE FRONT LOW HEADROOM HARDWARE LIFT
  • If The overhead space over the door is around 5 to 7 inches, you must have REAR LOW HEADROOM LIFT
  • What makes Front and Rear Low Headroom Hardware Lifts different from Standard Lift hardware? When your garage door has lower amounts of overhead space to switch between the vertical to horizontal positions, the dual tracks move the upper portion of the door. This allows the opener to move the top portion enough so that the lower sections will follow on the lower tracks in a smoother manner.
  • Despite what many people believe, even if there isn’t a lot of space above the door, YOU MUST install ceiling-mounted openers because a wall-mounted version wouldn’t be able to open the door fully. A person can’t be expected to do this job either. However, if you still choose to make this choice, remember that 8 inches of the door will always remain at the top of the opening hole. We suggest the new LiftMaster 87504-267 door opener, the Next Gen of the well-known LiftMaster 8550.
  • Or, when these lifts aren’t your first option, but maybe the last option you have when nothing else is available to fit the space.

The Most Common Lift is Standard Garage Door Hardware

If you enjoy the long-lasting chicness of Traditional Style, these single garage doors in the Classic MIX design will make your eyes smile.

This is an interesting case! The garage door on the left needs inclined tracks, while the one on the right side will be fine with a Standard Garage Door Lift. By the way, did you know Architects and Designers are rediscovering garage doors with an arch? If you enjoy the long-lasting chicness of Traditional Style, these single garage doors in the Classic MIX Design will make your eyes smile.

When Do I Need a Standard Garage Door Lift?

  • When the overhead space above your garage door is ten inches or more, you’ll need a standard garage door lift.
  • If you have the option of choosing extension springs, installed over the dual horizontal tracks or torsion springs. Garage door professionals recommend torsion springs the majority of the time.
  • Would you like to install a ceiling-mounted opener just like the LiftMaster 87504-267? If you’re unfamiliar, this is the next generation to the popular LiftMaster 8550.

Things to Remember Before Breaking Ground On Your Garage and Picking a Specific Door

This garage door is a North Hatley SP design, here shown in Ice White to match the windows and entry door color, with Richmond Arch window Inserts and decorative hardware.

If you want a rustic swinging door effect straight from the 60s, the North Hatley SP garage door design is perfect! In this photo, it has White Ice to match the entry windows and the door as well. The glass option is Richmond Arch inserts and decorative hardware.

Do You Want to go Insulated or Non-Insulated?

When we build things from scratch, sometimes we cut corners whenever we can. This is especially true of our home improvement jobs. However, this may not always be the best idea, especially when it comes to the insulation of the job.

Insulation is an extremely important element when it comes to any construction project. Not only will this drastically affect your level of comfort, but it could play a vital role in the lifespan of the construction as well.

Construction materials can change when it comes to outdoor elements. Boards can warp and shrink, which can lead to your work becoming compromised later. A lack of insulation will only speed up these changes and the potential for damage.

Keep the Following in Mind:

Heating and cooling your house is the most important part of the energy you consume. This actually accounts for up to half of the total energy consumption of your home, according to House Beautiful. One of the best ways to go green is by inspecting where you’re losing hot or cold air around inefficiently sealed windows and doors. The garage door is a major area where you could be losing hot or cold air.

Let’s say your garage isn’t even a heated space. Okay, that’s fine, but you should still act like it is. This could have a large effect on the interior heating and cooling of your home if the garage is attached.

A spray foam, such as polyurethane, can give you the highest R-value per inch in any area you install it. This is according to Green Builder Media. Choosing GARAGA Standard+, which ranks R-16 for its R-value,could be the smartest choice you can make as far as your power bills are concerned. This door has a lifespan of over 25 years and will lead to higher levels of comfort in your home and garage.

Another excellent highlight of the GARAGA Standard+ is the fact that if the door takes on any damage, you can replace certain sections. You may not have to trash the entire door if a severe storm like a hurricane or any other event strikes without warning.

Want to Add Some Visual Appeal to Your House?

A quality garage door should last over 25 years after installation. It also has the best resale value of all DIY projects out of the entire home. You should seriously consider buying a garage door that has the following characteristics:

  • Installed windows. Let in that natural lighting to make your space come alive.
  • Don’t get a bland design or anything that’s plain white
  • 1 Double Door = 2 Single Doors

    Read more on this and choose whichever you think looks the best in your garage.

This is a Shaker-Flat XL garage door design, with Stockton window inserts. The rich Chocolate Walnut color adds a deep layer much needed to enhance all the light colors of this garage.

Isn’t the brick and wood of this home amazing? The texture comes together like no other, and the combination is very unique. You almost can’t tell that it’s a detached garage, can you? The Shaker-Flat XL garage door design has Stockton Window inserts. The rich Chocolate Walnut color adds a deep layer much needed to enhance all these light colors. It reminds us of the fall.

Regardless of Your Specific Project, When You Get Help from the Experts, You’ll Sleep Much Better

Are you:

Overhead Door of Nova Scotia can help you complete any of these projects. We take pride in helping all of our clients with the customization and overcoming challenges during any DIY garage project. We understand how tricky things can get with a custom build, and we’ve got your back. It’s also possible we’ll help you save a buck or two! Regardless of what stands in your way, we’ll figure out an efficient way around it.

Call us when you’re ready at 902-455-5469.

Did you know most homeowners only buy a garage door once or twice during their lifetime? You shouldn’t leave the weight of this decision on yourself alone. Overhead doors and garage door openers are all we know. We can’t wait to help you choose the right characteristics for your DIY project. Getting the style right on your garage door is important, and we can help keep you within your budget as well while making the right choice.

Already got a garage door picked out? Great!

Get your free quote now.

Do you want to try to visualize what the door looks like attached to your home first?

You can make it happen with our Design Centre.

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