What Are the Five Types of Garage Door Lifts and Why Do You Need to Know?

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

A beautiful mixture of materials and traditional design elements can be enhanced by a garage doors that matches that sort of timeless appeal. Pictured here is the Prestige XL Design garage door, shown in single size in a Chocolate Walnut Color with Pinhead windows.

Few spaces in your home can be as versatile and give all the benefits that a well-designed garage can offer. Maybe your existing garage needs an upgrade, or maybe you’re building a new attached or detached garage. Whatever your plans, understanding the five kinds of garage door lifts can help you get the most out of your space.

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

In case you didn’t know, tinkering around in your garage can have some awfully big results! Be sure you take time to design yours well.

If you own your home and don’t have a garage, consider how you could add one. If you do own your home, be sure you’re getting the most out of the space. Garages provide unparalleled flexibility for families and can be used in so many ways.

It seems during the COVID age garages have become more important to homeowners. In some instances, they are spaces used for offices, escape rooms, gyms, or bars. Space that used to be used to store the things you couldn’t put anywhere else now offers great benefits in many ways.

One of the most important decisions when upgrading or building a new garage is choosing a garage door. A well-chosen garage door adds beauty to the front of your home. Your garage door is often the largest single architectural feature of your home. You can improve the curb appeal of your home with your garage door. By understanding the different kinds of lifts, you can also improve the functionality of your interior garage space.

High Lift Hardware Helps When Architectural Features of Your Home Need Consideration

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

The windows above these single, Black Vog garage doors help the garage doors harmoniously match the entry door’s design and call for high lift hardware.

A feature of high lift garage doors is that the track has a longer vertical rise before it begins to curve along the ceiling. Additionally, your garage door is situated more tightly against the ceiling. In this way, the vertical space is opened up and you gain possibly 12” to 15” inches of additional headroom.

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

This high lift garage door hardware seems to add an industrial touch to this space. Even better, it allows the door to disappear above the wooden ceiling. A door like this California all-glass garage door can help open up the space between a room and your outdoor living area or pool.

You Need High Lift Hardware When:

  • Architectural features of your home demand that kind of versatility
  • If your garage design has windows directly above the door
  • If you’re concerned about storage space above your garage door. When you have larger amounts of wall space, you can utilize more wall storage up higher
  • If you’d like to have a lift in your garage for hobbies such as car repair
  • You’d like to have some flexibility for future garage plans and you don’t want your door to potentially be situated too low when open

A technical drawing of a High Garage Door Lift

This technical drawing gives you a sense of how a high lift door track works.

How Does High Lift Garage Door Hardware Look?

A high lift garage door setup changes the way the door moves on the track. Because this affects the weight and stress of the movement, some of the parts will be different from standard doors you may have seen.

  1. Door Track Design:

    Each installation will be unique depending on the design of the garage. Essentially, the garage door tracks will need to be at least two feet longer than a standard garage door installation. For example, if the ceilings of your garage are 12 feet, your door will need to be 10 feet high rather than the traditional 8-foot door. Thus, the need for longer tracks.

  2. The Torsion Spring:

    Though your garage door opener is a critical piece of your garage door installation setup, the real power is provided by the torsion spring. When balanced properly, your spring will help your garage door open smoothly and safely.

  3. The Garage Door Opener

    A house with a Flush design garage door in Black.

    When your garage door tracks are designed to raise your door up high, a traditional garage door opener mounted on the ceiling wouldn’t be appropriate. Additionally, you’d see it through the upper window above this garage door in the Flush Design and that would hamper the modern, sleek look.

In this Instance, You Need a Wall Mounted Garage Door Opener

If a wall-mounted opener is what you need, consider a LiftMaster 8500W. This opener is a great choice for the following reasons:

  • Smooth, quiet operation
  • An auto-lock feature for added security
  • Extra horsepower for high-lift and vertical door installations
  • The MyQ app means you can operate your garage door from anywhere in the world you have phone service

If Your Garage Design Incorporates a Cathedral Ceiling, You Need Inclined Tracks

A classic kid's drawing of a house

Houses drawn by younger kids are fun to look at. Imagine if this one had a garage door on the side of the house. Your garage door can follow the incline of your ceiling and open up your overhead space by utilizing 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.

When your ceiling has a slope because of your roofline design and you want your garage door to match the slope of the ceiling, it requires Inclined Tracks. This beautiful garage door Eastman E-12 Design, shown in Claystone color for the door and Ice White colored overlays travels along the ceiling to maximize the space.

A technical drawing of the Inclined Garage Door Tracks

What is Different about Inclined Tracks and High Lift Tracks?

  • Inclined Tracks follow the slant of your roof, and the door is kept against the ceiling and rests at a slant when open. A High Lift brings the garage door all the way to the ceiling raises your door a bit and the track doesn’t curve until the door is near the ceiling. Though the door rests near the ceiling when open, it is not at an angle, it is flat.
  • The torsion spring will need to be well-balanced and much stronger for an Inclined Track setup because the stress on the parts is higher. The springs help alleviate that stress.
  • If your garage has a very steep roof, consider 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.

These charming, elegant Carriage House single garage doors are from the Townships Collection, in the Eastman E-11 design, with Moka Brown colored doors, and Desert Sand colored overlays. They also include 4 vertical-lite Panoramic windows.

You need Incline Lift Hardware When:

  • You have cathedral ceilings in your garage
  • Your garage has high, vaulted ceilings
  • If the garage door needs to travel along the slope of your roof

When Your Overhead Space is Limited, You Need Front or Rear Low Headroom Hardware

You Need Front or Rear Low Headroom Lifts When:

  • Your garage ceiling is lower than normal
  • If you’re replacing an old swinging-style door that only needed about 2” clearance
  • If you want to know more about Low Headroom Hardware, read this FAQ sheet.

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

This she-shed had less than the required 10-inch clearance needed for this California full-view garage door to work with Standard Lift hardware. The owner also wanted the garage tracks to be as invisible as possible since she wanted her retreat to be pretty, cozy, and elegant.

A technical drawing of a Low Front Headroom

Sometimes Front or Low Rear Headroom Lift Equipment is a must. If you only have a 7-to-10-inch header above your garage door and/or only 5 to 7 inches of overhead space, this equipment is necessary.

How Does Front or Low Rear Headroom Equipment Work?

When your garage door has a small amount of overhead space to shift from its vertical to horizontal position. The top section of the door travels along an upper track, while the bottom sections travel along a lower track. This allows the door to continue opening smoothly while keeping the top section out of the way.

In this instance, you’ll require a ceiling-mounted opener because a wall-mounted model can’t open the door completely. A wall-mounted opener would leave you with around 8 inches of garage door in your opening. Our recommendation would be a new LiftMaster 87504-267 garage door opener.

Standard Garage Door Lift Hardware is Most Common

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

An interesting case, the garage door on the left needs inclined tracks while the one on the right side can operate with a Standard Garage Door Lift. Also, did you know that Architects and Designers are rediscovering garage doors with arches? Pictured here are single garage doors in the Classic MIX Design will impress you every time you pull into your driveway.

When Should Standard Garage Door Lift Be Your Choice?

  • If the header above your door is 10 inches or more
  • Though specialists recommend Torsion Springs, you have other options with a Standard Door Lift
  • If you know you want an electric, ceiling-mounted opener, like the new LiftMaster 87504-267, the Next Gen of the popular LiftMaster 8550, a Standard Door Lift is a great option

When Making a Decision About a New Garage Door, Here are Some Other Considerations

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.

The North Hatley SP garage door design is perfect for a swing door look that hearkens back to yesteryear. The door is shown in Ice White to match the windows and entry door color, with Richmond Arch window Inserts and decorative hardware.

Garage Doors can be insulated or non-insulated. The choice might be more important than you think.

When people are budgeting for their product, it’s natural for them to look for ways to save money where possible. Although choosing a non-insulated door does save money, it could end up costing you in the long term.

Consider These Elements:

According to House Beautiful, heating and cooling your house is the largest part of your home’s energy consumption. One of the most effective things you can do to make your home more energy-efficient or “green,” is to insulate wherever possible.

Even if your garage isn’t heated and cooled, having a well-insulated garage door that includes weather stripping can help the rooms adjacent to your garage be heated and cooled more efficiently.

According to Green Builder Media, a spray foam like polyurethane has the best R-value overall. You can insulate small spaces very effectively by using this material. You might also consider choosing a GARAGA Standard+. This ranks at an R-16 for the R-value. This could be a smart choice because the product lasts up to 25 years and could have a significant impact on your energy bill.

Consider the Cosmetic Advantages A New Garage Door can Provide

A quality garage door will last over 25 years. It also has the best resale value out of any other improvement project you may complete in your home. Be sure you consider the following elements to ensure your door has maximum visual impact.

  • Invest in a garage door that has windows. The light that comes in through the windows can help save energy and give a warm ambience.
  • Consider a color other than white. Besides the fact that white doors can appear dirty after some time, a colored door can add to your home’s aesthetic.
  • One double door will cost what two singles will cost. You can read more about that here.
  • At the end of the day, choose the garage door you like best!

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.

This detached garage has a nice mix of wood, stone, and brick elements, and the Shaker-Flat XL garage door design its right in with Stockton window inserts. The rich Chocolate Walnut color adds a nice contrast to the other colors in the design.

Contact the Experts No Matter What you Have Planned for Your Garage

If you’re transforming your carport into a garage, building a detached garage, or attached garage, Norwood Door Systems, can help make your dreams a reality. We have years of experience when it comes to garage doors and other home improvement projects. We can answer your questions, provide your materials, and even do the installations for you!

Give us a call at 508-668-9393.

Most home buyers will only ever buy ONE GARAGE DOOR. This makes the purchase of a door an important one. We specialize in Overhead doors and garage door openers. We think this qualifies us to help you find the right door and related components that fit your budget.

Already know which door you want? Great!

We can give you a free quote now.

Would you like to see how a particular door would look on your home?

It’s possible with our Design Centre. Think of this as a virtual construction that can illustrate how a new door would look on your home. Try it today!

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