Tag Archives: headroom
High lift garage door track is used to maximize the headroom above sectional overhead doors. Unlike standard lift track which curves back horizontally just above the opening, high lift track lets the door travel further vertically. High lift garage door track frees up a lot of space. This is useful for residential and commercial buildings where overhead doors in the open position are in the way.
Overhead doors are easily hit with fork trucks and other equipment in commercial applications. Storage facilities and warehouses that don’t utilize high lift track may find themselves routinely replacing garage door panels. Although a high-lift conversion kit may cost you money upfront, it will likely save you or your company in the long run. The main advantage to high lift track is the ability to maximize the space that was wasted by not getting a taller garage door.
Calculating Maximum High-lift
Finding the correct amount of high-lift track to install is fairly easy to calculate. Since the spring line on a high lift assembly uses about 12 inches of space we need to subtract that amount from our high-lift garage door track calculation. High lift applications use special drums that are much larger than standard lift drums in most instances. If you don’t give the drums enough space they will scrap against the ceiling during operation. The formula for calculating the maximum amount of high lift you can use is (Floor to Ceiling Height) – (Rough Opening Height) – (12 inches) = (Maximum High Lift)
- Measure from the floor to the nearest obstruction on the ceiling (ex. 144 inches)
- Measure the rough opening height of your door (ex. 96 inches)
- Subtract 12 inches from that figure to account for the spring line (144-96-12=36 inches)
- The most high lift you can use in the example above is 36 inches or 3 feet of high lift.
What Type of Garage Door Opener
Since high lift garage door track makes the door move up the header further before curving a standard garage door opener will not work. The rail or beam of the operator would bolt into the header and block the door from raising. Jackshaft motors avoid all of this trouble by mounting on the side of the door. High lift track applications require manual operation or jackshaft side mount operators.
The minimum recommended space to install highlift track is 24-inches. If you have less than 24 inches of space use 15-inch or 18-inch radius track instead of highlift. Installing less than 12 inches of high lift track is a waste of time and money. High lift kits range in price by the size of the door and amount of highlift that must be installed. Call your local garage door dealer for a custom quote on this type of conversion. Most dealers offer free site evaluations and quotes for high lift installation.
Most people forget about minimum garage door headroom requirements when planing for new overhead doors. Before framing in an opening or replacing an existing garage door always measure the space between the top of the door frame and the ceiling. The proper amount of headroom allows garage doors to move around the radius of the track without hitting the ceiling. Here are the recommended minimum headroom requirements for overhead garage doors.
Residential Overhead Doors
(21 inch sections, 12 inch Radius Track)
Standard Track Manual Operation – 12 inches headroom minimum
Standard Track With Garage Door Opener – 15 inches headroom minimum
Low Headroom Track Manual Operation – 9 inches headroom
Low Headroom Track Using Garage Door Opener – 12 inches headroom
Most residential doors use 12″ radius track to accommodate 21″ and 18″ panels. Commercial style panels are 24″ and typically require 15″ radius track. The larger radius allow for smooth operation as the door curves. This reduces vibration and frequency of cables slipping off the drums. Unfortunately, the increased radius takes up more headroom space.
Commercial Overhead Doors
(24 inch panels, 15 inch Radius)
Standard Track Manual Operation – 15 inches headroom minimum
Standard Track With Garage Door Opener – 18 inches headroom minimum
Low Headroom Track Manual Operation – 12 inches headroom
Low Headroom Track Using Garage Door Opener – 15 inches headroom
If the opening you are looking at has less than 6 inches of headroom you must frame down the opening as a sectional overhead door will not fit. Always plan your opening for the proper amount of headroom as it will save you time and money. Leaving 18″ of headroom is always best when planning for overhead doors. This leaves enough space for commercial sized garage door panels and most types of automatic door openers.