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Old 07-09-2008, 12:49 AM   #1
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Raising garage Header height


Hey all..

I have a single-car garage with a standard sized (8' x 7'?) garage door. However, the header is low. For example, everyone else's raised-panel door reveals four rows of "squares". Mine only shows about 3 and 3/4 rows. I can give you exact dimensions, I just don't have them here in front of me. What I would like to know is how to go about raising this header, what is the proper height, and what materials/tools I will need- to replace the side vertical frame pieces as well. (I'm sure I will have to replace them, since the header is going up higher). Thanks in advance for the help.

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Old 07-09-2008, 12:49 PM   #2
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Raising garage Header height


Are you an experienced carpenter? If not, I wouldn't suggest tackling this as a DIY job. Here's some things you'd encounter...
  • Garage door torsion bars and springs are under incredible tension, and have hurt people very severely. You should not attempt to remove or re-install your own garage door. The door and the tracks will have to come off to do this job.
  • The garage door header supports the floor and/or roof above. A temporary support wall must be built to pick up the load that is on the header.
  • Is there a kneewall above the garage door header, or is there floor framing resting directly on the header plate or the header itself? Will the header be upset in the floor when this job is done, or do you have a couple feet of ceiling height to spare?
  • The garage door h-frame (wood) will have to be removed and properly re-built to fit the door opening. Attachment is critical for door safety and wind load.
  • The trimmers and kingstuds will have to be removed and replaced.
  • In many homes (and all newer homes), the garage portal walls serve as shear collectors and the nailing pattern and arrangement of the exterior wall sheathing is critical to the home's ability to resist wind loads. The header serves as a means of load transmission over the door opening, and therefore must be attached to the framing and sheathing in a very specific way. Modern codes are very strict on this for good reason.
  • Your sheetrock in your garage must be replaced and taped and mudded in order to maintain the fire separation between the garage and the remainder of the structure, and all structural elements of the home.
That's a lot to deal with unless you are a very skilled carpenter. I'm usually someone that encourages DIY work, but not in this case.

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Old 07-09-2008, 07:03 PM   #3
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Raising garage Header height


It sounds like it was framed for an 8' x 6'6" door. They are available, but at a higher price.
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Old 07-09-2008, 10:48 PM   #4
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Raising garage Header height


Are you an experienced carpenter? If not, I wouldn't suggest tackling this as a DIY job.

>No, not at all.


Here's some things you'd encounter...
  • Garage door torsion bars and springs are under incredible tension, and have hurt people very severely. You should not attempt to remove or re-install your own garage door. The door and the tracks will have to come off to do this job.
> I guess I could have this part done for me.
  • The garage door header supports the floor and/or roof above. A temporary support wall must be built to pick up the load that is on the header.
  • Is there a kneewall above the garage door header, or is there floor framing resting directly on the header plate or the header itself? Will the header be upset in the floor when this job is done, or do you have a couple feet of ceiling height to spare?
> There's a knee wall above the door...I will give you the dimensions if necessary. Above the door is only the roof, no upstairs. Garage is attached, but to the right of the living area.


> What is meant by "upset" in the floor?
  • The garage door h-frame (wood) will have to be removed and properly re-built to fit the door opening. Attachment is critical for door safety and wind load.
  • The trimmers and kingstuds will have to be removed and replaced.
  • In many homes (and all newer homes), the garage portal walls serve as shear collectors and the nailing pattern and arrangement of the exterior wall sheathing is critical to the home's ability to resist wind loads. The header serves as a means of load transmission over the door opening, and therefore must be attached to the framing and sheathing in a very specific way. Modern codes are very strict on this for good reason.
> Wow...That is definitely over my head, no pun intended
  • Your sheetrock in your garage must be replaced and taped and mudded in order to maintain the fire separation between the garage and the remainder of the structure, and all structural elements of the home. > There's only sheetrock between the living space and the garage. Where the header is there is nothing but wall.
That's a lot to deal with unless you are a very skilled carpenter. I'm usually someone that encourages DIY work, but not in this case.

> Thanks for all the details. Anything other details, please tell me
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Old 07-10-2008, 03:00 AM   #5
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Raising garage Header height


Check out this website:

How I Replaced Deadly Garage Door Torsion Springs
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Old 07-10-2008, 05:22 PM   #6
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Raising garage Header height


I was on a jobsite right after a framer (who thought he knew what he was doing) attempted to remove a garage door to get at the wood H-frame to do some work on it. They had just taken him away in an ambulance, minus the lower third of his face and jawbone.

The guy on that web link may have figured out how to do it without killing himself, but tightrope walkers have figured out how to do their thing without falling. Doesn't mean everyone should try it. Sorry, even though it is intended as good advice, I think the idea of publishing it...And thereby encouraging it... Is a bad idea.
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Old 07-15-2008, 01:05 AM   #7
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Raising garage Header height


I don't have that type spring on my Clopay door. The door has those lateral-to-the-track springs that are fully slacked when the door is open. They connect to pulleys, working when the door slides up and down. I can remove these with no problem. I don't know how old or safe these type springs are- I will never stand inline with the tracks or at the door to inside the house while operating the door. I will always make sure no one else is there as well. With reference pictures, drawings, and care I think I can r&r this door. I am an auto technician by trade, so I'm handy with mechanical things (ex.- torsion springs on car/truck suspension).

Any more help is appreciated...

TY
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Old 07-16-2008, 08:51 PM   #8
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Raising garage Header height


Extensions springs arent so bad. The cable goes from the top of the door back to a pulley on the end of the spring via a clevis and then returns to the track near the door. Put a step ladder under the door to hold the weight of the door when the springs are removed. First pull on the cable and insure that you can overcome the spring pressure... shouldnt be a problem with the door up or else it would be overtensioned and go flying up under normal circumstances. Then disconnect it at the track (leaving it connect to the door. (This is the reverse of the install) One note, these springs nowadays have a secondary safety cable running through them connect to the front track and the rear hanger... this keeps the spring from shooting across the garage when a cable, clevis or spring breaks.

As far as the header goes... If the roof framing runs perpendicular to the wall that the door is in, you can fashion a temporary brace from the cement floor up to a horizontal board (or double board) that spreads the load out to the ceiling joists. This will look a lot like an exterior wall. Lets face it if the door wasnt there that's what would be there anyway. If the framing runs parallel, especially if there are trusses, there is really little load there. The gable truss sheathed will easily support itself and the roof overhang. Depending on the size of the door relative to the length of that wall I have taken headers completely out (to be replaced) with no problems.

Im not trying to take away from the caution others have noted... I am a mechanical engineer and really should have been an architect so this stuff comes natural. I am very confident using gut feel. If you are not, get help. But, after all, this is a DIY forum! Good luck.
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Old 07-16-2008, 09:58 PM   #9
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Raising garage Header height


Thanks for everything! OK- I have a slight overhang above the door, which I can brace from the concrete slab. Roof rafters go perpendicular to the wall with the door opening. I'm gonna take pictures, measure three times, and note what was there to begin with- as in amount of nails, details, etc. There are no hurricane straps far as I saw, but I will look carefully. Maybe I can start the job this weekend!
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Old 12-29-2010, 03:07 PM   #10
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Raising garage Header height


OK- I'm hijacking my own thread. The header was done for me, and done beautifully. The question now is this: Is there any way (without replacing the door, which is what I think I'm going to end up doing anyway) to seal it off so that I don't get a snow DRIFT just inside the door??? I have the exterior weatherstrip on all three sides, matching the house trim. I do know that the bottom weatherstrip is shot. The door has a lot of play, like when the wind blasts my house (northern exposure) it rattles some. The outside is dented, and I don't have the key to unlock it from outside. Any opinions or advice on how I may temporarily fix/seal it?
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Old 12-29-2010, 03:55 PM   #11
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Raising garage Header height


A few things to look at...

The track brackets, holding the track to the jamb, should be adjustable. Was it adjusted after the opening was reworked?

What kind of shape are your rollers and axles in? Do you have excessive movement there?

You said that the door trim matches the house, but does it "same as" the house, or does it have rubber strips that seal where the door sets against the jamb?

You said that the door is dented. That by itself is okay, as a lot of garage doors get dented, but are the sealing edges straight, or is the dent holding the door away from the jamb in any way?

Just a few rhetorical questions for you to look at and evaluate. As for the bottom seal, they can be purchased separately at an overhead door company, most lumberyards, and some big box stores.

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