Understanding the 5 Types of Garage Door Lifts to Avoid Big-Big Mistakes

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

Mixing the textures on the façade of your house is a great way to make a unique look that has a lot of visual interest. But when you get a new garage door, you want to make sure your new installation adds to the look. This arching garage door in the Prestige XL Design works seamlessly with the other architectural details. And the Chocolate Walnut finish with Pinhead windows matches the other brown window accents perfectly.

The excitement is already in the air. You're finally building the home of your dreams and, with it, the garage of your dreams! Whether it will be an attached or detached garage, just for cars or something more, we can't wait to help you make it perfect!

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

So many businesses and historical innovators have changed the world--and it all started in a garage! Who knows what amazing innovations you could come up with in your garage…?

Your garage isn't just where you store your car; it can become an office, a woodworker’s paradise, a home gym, or even a great place to sit back and hang out. Building or renovating a garage can be well worth the investment. It's not just a handy extra room, but a nice garage will even add to the value of your home if you plan on selling it!

Renovating the interior and picking the best garage door to suit your home's style is the fun part. But knowing how the door operates will ensure you choose the best option for your space. Let's explore the 5 types of garage door lifts and how they work!

Lift Hardware #1: The High Lift Door Operator

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

What an elegant home! The style of this modern estate is accentuated by this beautiful pair of 1-car, black Vog garage doors And just look at those sleek windows installed above the doors; don't they match fabulously with the style of the front door?

What is a high lift garage door operator? Getting a high lift operator means extending the track so the garage door travels higher up the wall before retracting the door. This allows you to maximize the headroom, increasing it by at least 12″-15″, in your garage. Plus, it stops the door from blocking light from windows, like seen in the picture above.

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

High lift hardware allows for anyone in this comfortably renovated garage to enjoy the breeze or just the view while keeping the room open even when the door is closed. This California all-glass garage door adds a stylish industrial edge, while the high lift hardware makes the space more functional.

You need High Lift hardware if…

  • You need a regular or taller than average ceiling height to make a comfortable living area in the garage.
  • There are windows installed about your garage door.
  • You need extra ceiling storage options to increase the amount of storage in the garage.
  • A car lift will be installed in your garage, meaning you need a larger than average ceiling clearance.
  • You have future renovation plans. One day, you may want to revamp your garage into a workspace, gym, or entertainment center. Getting a high lift operator now can save you from having to address low headspace issues later.

A technical drawing of a High Garage Door Lift

This is how it works. The high lift garage door track extends up to the ceiling and pulls the door in with the angled track.

What does it look like to install High Lift Garage Door Hardware?

Each kind of door operating system will come with its own stresses on the hardware. A high lift system lifts the door higher before retracting it into the garage. This means it will work slightly differently than a standard track, and some parts will differ.

1. The tracks:

No matter what hardware you install, it's going to look a little different for every project. What you will notice is the increased length of the track when compared with standard garage door hardware. This means that the door height will closely match your ceiling height. The tract could even be several feet longer than a standard one.

2. The torsion spring:

There is a common misconception that the garage door opener opens and closes the garage door. In actuality, it's the torsion spring that lifts the door. The torsions spring is under extreme pressure, especially with high lift doors that need an extra lift to open. That's why your garage door must be balanced properly to ensure it operates safely.

3. The garage door opener:

A house with a Flush design garage door in Black.

If you plan on using the garage often, you don't want rails right over your head. Plus, standard garage door openers aren't compatible with windows above the door, like seen above this contemporary Flush Design garage door style in Black.

What do you do then? Invest in a wall-mounted garage door opener.

If you want a door opener that's quieter than an older chain drive, has security measures like automatic locks, sensors, and has enough power to drive a high lift door, then we recommend the LiftMaster 8500W. You can even connect it to your phone, smart device, or computer with the MyQ app for even more amazing features.

Lift Hardware #2: Inclined Garage Door Tracks

A classic kid's drawing of a house

You've seen how kids draw a house; you probably drew a few of these little homes yourself! If your garage has this kind of roof, you likely have vaulted or cathedral ceilings. If you want to install a garage door, you'll need inclined tracks.

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

What a stunning home façade! If you want this contemporary garage door in the Eastman E-12 Design in Claystone with Ice White overlays, you'll need a track that can follow the slope of the roof. That means you need an inclined track!

A technical drawing of the Inclined Garage Door Tracks

High lift and inclined tracks look very similar. What are the differences between these two track styles?

  • Difference: An inclined track extends above the height of a standard garage door track like a high lift track. However, the inclined track continues to hug the wall, even as it reaches the ceiling. A high lift track will still pull the door away from the wall.
  • Similarity: Both doors need a well-balanced torsion spring to ensure the door will open safely and smoothly.
  • Similarity: With an unusual slope in the garage roof, you'll also need a wall-mounted garage door opener, like the LiftMaster 8500, as a standard ceiling unit cannot be installed.

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.

These garage doors from the Townships Collection are made to look like classic swing doors Here shown the Eastman E-11 design. Its classic shape is even more stunning in Moka Brown with Desert Sand overlays. But it's the 4 vertical-lite Panoramic windows that finish the design.

You need Inclined Tracks when:

  • The garage features a high cathedral ceiling.
  • The garage ceiling is vaulted.
  • The garage door operates in line with the slope of the building's roof.

Lift Hardware #3 and #4: Front or Rear Low Headroom Hardware

You need Front or Rear Low Headroom Lifts if:

  • That garage is unusually short.
  • If you're renovating a detached garage built in or before the 60s with old swing doors, this was when only 2 inches of headroom were required for these buildings.
  • Have more questions? This FAQ can help!

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

Wow, this California full-view garage door really opens up what could be a cramped room! This tiny, detached garage had less than 10 inches of headroom is necessary for a standard lift to be installed. This hardware made the door installation practically seamless, and now this garage is a beautiful place to retreat from the stress of work…

A technical drawing of a Low Front Headroom

When is Front or Rear Low Headroom Hardware required to install a modern garage door?

  • FRONT low headroom garage door track is required when: there are only 7 to 10 inches of headroom.
  • REAR low headroom garage door track is required when: there are only 5 to 7 inches of headroom in your garage.
  • How do these options differ from a standard lift? A specialized low headroom lift works by lifting the garage door one section at a time from the top. Making the transition from closed to open position smooth when space is limited.
  • Couldn't I just install a wall-mounted garage door opener? Despite what you might think, when you have very low headspace in a garage, you MUST install a ceiling-mounted garage door opener. However, you should know that about 8 inches of that garage door will extend over the door opening. If you're looking for a garage door opener for your low ceiling space garage, we recommend a new LiftMaster 87504-267 garage door opener. It's the next evolution of the well-received LiftMaster 8550.
  • This often is not the FIRST choice. This garage door track is what you install when no other garage door tracks safely fit in your garage.

Lift Number 5: The 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.

Now, this is a unique home. Those arched garage doors are making a resurgence in interior design, and these traditional Classic MIX Design garage doors suit this style perfectly. What's equally interesting, though, is the roofline. This particular garage has two kinds of garage door lifts, an inclined track on the left and a standard track on the right.

You can utilize a Standard Garage Door Lift when…

  • There are approximately 10 inches or more of headroom in the garage.
  • You need special extension springs instead of a torsion spring system. Extension springs are installed over the 2 horizontal door tracks. However, most specialists still recommend the torsion spring opening mechanism.
  • You want a lot of garage door opener options. With standard tracks, you can easily get the new LiftMaster 87504-267 installed, the upgraded version of the well-received LiftMaster 8550?

Final Things to Consider While Building or Upgrading Your Garage

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.

What a beautiful swing door effect for a completely modernized garage door in the North Hatley SP design. The Ice White color and the Richmond Arch windows complete the illusion alongside the meticulously curated decorative hardware

To insulate or not insulate…

It can be easy to simplify this choice by comparing the costs. After all, insulated garage doors are less expensive than insulated ones. However, sometimes it's not that simple.

Consider some facts before making a choice!

According to House Beautiful, heating and cooling is your home's largest source of energy consumption. Up to half of your home's energy usage goes to heating and cooling. To save money on energy costs, you need to make sure your windows and doors are properly sealed and that you have ample insulation.

But my garage isn't heated! While that is true, the garage can still be a major weak point in your house for air infiltration. And it may be letting out the air you want kept in.

In an article by Green Builder Media, they explore the effectiveness of spray foam like polyurethane, which offers the highest level of installation effectiveness (measured by R-value) per inch. Choosing to get proper insulation, like GARAGA Standard+ with an R-16 R-value, can decrease your monthly heating and cooling expenses for 25 years or more. Not to mention, it will also keep your garage more comfortable.

A new garage door adds value to your home!

Did you know that a quality garage door could last your home for more than 25 years and add a great resale value? A new garage door is one of the most effective home renovations you can invest in! Consider these options to get the most benefit:

  • Get a garage door that has windows for more natural light
  • Get a garage door design that matches the style of the house and isn't too plain
  • Keep in mind that the cost of 1 double garage door should equal the cost of 2 single garage doors. If you have questions about that, read this helpful article, and don't be afraid to play around with style!

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.

The wood textures on this amazing pair of garage doors can make you forget that this is a detached garage! The Chocolate Walnut finish on this Shaker-Flat XL garage door design with Stockton window inserts makes a chic final look.

Get the Right Help When Picking Your New Garage Door--Work with Professionals

Whether you're building the detached garage of your dreams, have decided to turn your old carport into a full garage, or are renovating your attached garage, at ACS Door Services of Sioux Falls, we are here to help.

We have dedicated our lives to the art of building fantastic garage doors and offer the most customizable garage doors and hardware out there. And we know how to work with specific building requirements and challenges for any garage. Get in contact and see if we can make your dream garage renovation a reality.

Contact us at 605-332-5188.

Did you know? Most homeowners only purchase 1 or 2 new garage doors in their lifetime! It can be a little overwhelming trying to figure out who to navigate the garage door market yourself. Whether it's overhead door or garage door openers, and more, we have you covered!

Our helpful team of experts is waiting to help guide you through your project while sticking to your budget.

Hey, have you already discovered the perfect garage door?

Get in contact for a free quotation.

Would you like to design a custom garage door yourself?

You can do that right from your phone with our Design Centre.

Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.

Copyright Garaga Inc. | Privacy Policy and Conditions of Use | Sitemap