Whether you are updating your home garage or even building a new garage, you have to make a lot of design decisions. Should your space feature a lot of overhead room above the door, you may hesitate to use a traditional opener. After all, how is it mounted? This blog aims at providing an answer to those who wonder if there is an alternative to the traditional, overhead openers.
We are going to look at openers installed beside the door, or wall mounted system, and determine whether it is a good answer for your needs.
Many new garages and homes are built with “cathedral” ceilings, meaning ceilings that are far above average heights and usually in the 10 ft. (3 m) area and higher. This is often done to allow for unique design elements, but when it is in the garage, it is usually to create a lot more storage space.
Yet, most door openers on the market are central mount or “trolley” type systems. These don’t work out well for high ceilings and so the “Jackshaft” opener is a better choice. With a compact size – typically 16 ¼” high by 6″ wide by 6 ¾” deep (41 cm X 15 cm X 17 cm) – it is as effective as the trolley design, but offers a more aesthetic and functional installation.
Who Needs One?
Not all garages require this sort of opener. You should consider it when the floor-to-ceiling distance in your garage is over 10 ft. (3 m) and your garage door is 7 ft. high (2.1 m) or more.
While you might still opt to use the traditional trolley style, it means you are putting your safety at risk over the long term. How? Well, these would require hanging brackets of two feet or more from the ceiling and angle brackets that can loosen over time as the door is opened and closed, causing vibrations. This is not a safe approach, and so it is best to go with the wall mounted system.
Also, if you insist on a trolley mount with the higher ceiling, you would have to install unsightly tracks along the graceful slope of the ceiling, ruining the good looks of the design.
Is It As Safe?
Of course, it is not just about looks, and the wall mounted styles are just as safe as the trolley designs. They come with the same photoelectric reversal functions, will also use remote controls that operate on the Security+ 2.0 (rolling codes to protect security), wall mounted control panels and backup battery power options. These systems can also have MyQ technology for those who want home automation and the ability to access their opener from their laptop, phone or other mobile device.
Are There Limitations?
Actually, there are a few issues to take into consideration before choosing the wall mounted design. The first is to be sure you have enough space. This would mean at least eight inches on one side of the door. The other is to consider if you require torsion hardware. These are springs over the door that are required if you are relying on a shaft to hold the door’s springs. This will be used by the opener to lower or raise your door.
If you meet both of these standards, you still need to consider the balance of the door. Proper balance enables anyone to easily lift or lower a door (which is called a perceived weight) and it should be between eight and ten pounds.
What About Costs?
Is a wall mounted system more expensive? The simplest answer is yes, but keep in mind that the many advantages more than make up for any cost differences. The differences are not all that substantial, though and for a professional trolley installation, like model 8355 (½ HP, belt drive) you can expect to pay up to $400, while the 8500 wall-mounted opener will increase the cost by around $175 more.
If you would like to learn more, just contact us anytime at (613) 547-4566. We are happy to provide you a no-obligation online quotation, or you can also come to our showroom. We will go over your options and help you choose. Our online design center and image gallery are also helpful resources when choosing a new opener and/or door.