Very low clearance garage door--can I install opener?

Chris StrombergerOctober 8, 2005

I have an older house and would like to install an opener. It's a sectional wood door. The problem is that with the door open, there is just about an inch (a little less actually) clearance between the door and the ceiling. Is there any way to install an opener in this situation?

Thanks,

Chris

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GDS_

If your door is set up with normal convential track (one smooth continous radius curve) then you can usually install an opener if you purchase quick turn brackets. These are available at any garage door company. They replace the two top V fixtures that you have on the door now, and keep the top section from going up into the high arc that it does now.
You can't install an opener with the space you presently have. If you could buy an opener that utilizes a T rail as oposed to a square tube, you would be further ahead as the T rail can use much tighter available space.
I think Liftmaster is the only one that still offers this. The Chamberlain you would find in the retail stores are now all using a square tube.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2005 at 9:39PM
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over_n_under

I believe there is an opener that fits right on the tension bar and lifts it that way instead of from the center. I have not seen one, however. The motor would mount above the door to the right or left, I think.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2005 at 8:16AM
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doodman

I believe you're talking about the Wayne Dalton iDrive door opener. It looks pretty cool! Check the link below:

Here is a link that might be useful: iDrive web page

    Bookmark   October 10, 2005 at 4:27PM
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Chris Stromberger

Thanks for the info. I ended up just installing a conventional opener recessed up into the garage ceiling. The beams run parallel there so I just fit it in between two beams and cut the drywall away to make room for the track and the motor. Seems to work fine. Was not fun to install though.

-Chris

    Bookmark   October 10, 2005 at 4:37PM
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sdello

Chris, your roof trusses span from front to back? or are these floor joists for a room above the garage? FYI: If you have occupied living space above the garage, the the "drywall" you removed is a fire-rated partition that is mandated by most building codes.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2005 at 4:45PM
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Don_

Even if sdello is right consider yourself lucky that you did not learn about and go with the Wayne Dalton iDrive opener. I can't even tell you how bad that junk is. But it still sells because there is at least one sucker born every day.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2005 at 7:04PM
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kcrobinson_bellsouth_net

I was considering purchasing a Wayne Dalton idrive until I saw Don's posting. Any other suggestions for low clearance garage door openers?

    Bookmark   October 16, 2005 at 10:47AM
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GDS_

Ken

Scroll down to page three and find a thread titled "INFO ON WAYNE DALTON I DRIVE GARAGE DOOR OPENERS'. There are 65 postings in there about all the nightmare problems that people have had with this unit.
You might find it interesting reading.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2005 at 12:26AM
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great_lakes_state

Anyone ever try the side-mounted Miracle Automatic Garage Door Opener?

    Bookmark   October 19, 2005 at 6:55PM
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Don_

I had never heard of the Miracle Door opener until you posted. I hope someone that has one will post their experience. There was an old old door opener like this where the motor moved up and down with the door. We called it the monkey on a pole. It was made by Chamberlain and it died as it should. I wish I had taken pictures. And then they slowly got better.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2005 at 7:16PM
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sdello

The ad here says they have 25 years of proven operation. At $500 (on sale! regular price-$600) it doesn't surprise me that they aren't extremely popular.

Here is a link that might be useful: miracle opener

    Bookmark   October 20, 2005 at 9:17AM
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ffernfam

My boss has two of these miracle units. Both of which were installed by previous owners. they are at least 5 years old. They have worked great for the 5 years she has lived here but now they need repair. Many of the people i called said they had never heard of these units. A few came down and took a look and just said better to replace them because they had no parts to work on these units and had never seen these units before. I called the manufacturer to get names of local repairman that work on these units. The manufacturer gave me a list of who they had sold to locally but not necessarily anyone who might work on them. After 3 weeks I got a guy who said he works on them and now I am awaiting a quote. There are so few options with lo profile garage door openers. I can sympathize.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2006 at 11:20AM
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honeygrand

We purchased two Miracle Garage Door openers approx. 5 years ago. The Kansas City Company that we purchased them from is not longer in business. I have contacted serveral
companies and they either have not heard of them or can not
repair this type of doors. Our doors are in need of adjustments. DOES ANY ONE KNOW OF A GARAGE DOOR SERVICE THAT CAN WORK ON MIRACLE DOORS IN THE KANSAS CITY AREA?

    Bookmark   September 8, 2008 at 2:41PM
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1BadBoy

Very old thread, but is there any new information on "low profile" garage door openers?

    Bookmark   October 20, 2012 at 2:05PM
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snoonyb

On models such as the "Miracle", it is paramount to keep the door springs properly adjusted and the lubrication up to date.
Other than the limit adjustments, the roller tension is about the only critical adjustment that are available.
When this low ceiling problem was encountered, the operator was located 10' back from the full open position of the door and a 10' piece of EMT was adapted to fit the door and "J" bracket.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2012 at 5:30PM
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1BadBoy

Thanks, snoonyb. I'm not sure though that I understand your statement regarding setting the operator back 10' from the full open position of the door along with some type of adapter and "J" bracket.

Would you by chance have any pictures to help explain?

I've got a 7' high door. Ceilings are taller - maybe just under 8' (e.g. 7' 10"). My issue is I have 2 large beams that are parallel to the garage door holding up the floor joists above them (below a garage), which have a clearance of 7' 3". And they sit right at 8'0" from the garage door. Looks like I would be able to install a garage door using low profile tracks, but clearance of an electric opener is questionable as the door and any track would have to fit within that 7'3" clearance when open.

I'm hopeful but looking at other options as well. This is what lead me to this page and my question regarding any new technology that came around since this thread started. Any help or comments is much appreciated!

    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 6:49PM
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snoonyb

I need some clarification.
"My issue is I have 2 large beams that are parallel to the garage door holding up the floor joists above them (below a garage), which have a clearance of 7' 3". And they sit right at 8'0" from the garage door."

Is your garage under a garage?
Are the support beams tandem or do they occur at 8' oc, IE. 8' and 16' respectively away from the garage door?

    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 9:35PM
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1BadBoy

We refer to it as a storage and mechanical area, but yes, it is beneath a garage. For garage support above, the storage area has 2 large beams beneath the floor [ceiling] joists.

Each beam is approximately 8' apart and the beams are parallel to the garage door on to which I want to install the garage door opener. It appears we have about 3" of space to play with beneath the closet beam which seems a bit small. The door and header themselves have more than enough room (maybe close to 8' height), but the track of the opener must go beneath the beam closest to the door. That beam has a 7'3" clearance.

Looking for any thoughts or suggestions as to how, or if, I can install a door opener in this limited space.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2012 at 12:30AM
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snoonyb

Thanks, that helps.
Most door openers are available with either an 8' or 10' track bar.
In this case I would use the 10'.
Mount the included header bracket on the back side, near the lower edge, of the first header away from the door, which then allows the track bar to be held close to the bottom of the second header back and the operator to be hung from the ceiling framing.
Using a 10' length of elec. EMT, slightly flattened, from both sides, on each end, to create a pocket for the provided "J" bar and extension bar. With 2 bolt holes drilled in each pocket end for adjustment, insert each and attach to the door and operator according to the sectional door section of the enclosed instructions, and proceed.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2012 at 8:40AM
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1BadBoy

Thanks for the response, Snoonyb! Although I won't pretend that I understand it all, it makes basic sense. I'll keep the information for when the garage door installer comes and read it over with them. I'm hoping they will make sense of it all and understand what needs to be done. Really appreciate the help!

    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 4:14PM
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alan_s_thefirst

The point about the removed drywall and fire rating (not to mention loss of insulation) is a good one.

If there's enough room, and there really is no other way to do it, you might be able to insulate the recess with something compact like ISOBOARD, and drywalled over.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 5:22PM
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