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detailedEye 03-30-2010 02:18 PM

Garage Door Install...Opinions Needed
I need my garage door replaced and have received mixed information on the best track to use. Some places have told me that low-headroom double tracks put additional stress on the door and should be avoided when possible. Others have told me there's no issues with low headroom tracks and they are often quieter than a standard 12" radius track. It's a 16'x 6'8" opening and I'm looking at getting a steel insulated sandwich door.

The easiest option for the installer is to use low headroom (double) track. Or, I can have them use a 3" shorter door, frame my opening down a couple inches myself and have them use a standard 12" radius track. The inner clearance in the garage is actually slightly shorter than the door opening (yeah, goofy design), so I don't really loose anything by shortening the opening. They want 12" of clearance from the door top to the opener arm to use standard track.

So, am I making a mountain out of a mole hill? Or are the low headroom tracks problematic? I'd like to avoid fiddling with my garage door in January when it's -25 outside and pick the most durable option.


wikkie650 03-30-2010 02:54 PM

I had a similar issue, just without the same width problem. I went with a zero clearance track *double track system* which allows the top track to force the top of the door forward when it comes down. It's only been in two days but so far, I love it, and it's so much quieter than my old opener and set up.

firehawkmph 03-30-2010 11:04 PM

Do you have a shed roofed garage? If not, I am trying to understand why you inside headroom would be shorter than the opening. If you have the clearance to use standard track, I would recommend it. Low headroom track in my opinion, is the last resort. It forces the top section to turn a lot harder than a normal radius track would. As far as being quieter, there isn't anything in the design that would make it quieter than regular track.
Normal track comes in 10, 12, and 15" radii. Most shed roor garages I have been able to use either 10 or 12" track. The headroom clearance at the opening is usually the issue. But if you have a shed roof that slopes from front to rear, you have to take that into account and make sure your door will clear the underside of the rafters when it is in the up position. Also, the horizontal section of track can be hung slightly lower in the rear to help provide a little more clearance in the back.
The other option is to use side extension springs. I don't really like to do that if it is at all possible to get a torsion setup in place.
Pictures would help in this case if you have some.
Mike Hawkins:)

detailedEye 03-31-2010 09:08 AM

Thanks for the info Mike. You are confirming what a couple places told me about low headroom track.

It's not a shed roof, it's a tuck under garage (living space above garage). The house was built in '72 and has a steel I-beam running the length of the house down the middle. In the garage this beam is covered with drywall, as is the rest of the garage ceiling to meet fire code, so this gives me a clearance of about 2" less than the door opening. The beam is behind the opener so it doesn't create an issue for the door, just getting tall things in the garage. :) I could reconfigure the drywall and get another inch or so if I needed it, but at this time I don't need the clearance.

The company I'm looking at buying a door from hasn't mentioned a 10" radius track, is this common? Or something I should ask about? They had indicated they needed 12" of clearance so I would assume that means a 12" radius track.

firehawkmph 03-31-2010 10:15 PM

12" clearance does not necessarily correlate to 12" track. The one thing that does correlate betweent the different radius tracks it the height difference between each is equal to the difference in their radius. In other words, if you go from 15" to 12" radius, you lower the track 3", thus gaining 3" in headroom. The 10" is a common track.
I have hungs doors in garage situations like yours. Around here there are a lot of bilevel houses and split levels, with living quarters above the garage. You might want to ask the local door company what radius track they were figuring. There are some little tricks you can do to gain an inch or so it the clearance is that tight. But I couldn't really say if they would be aplicable to your situation without seeing it up close.
Mike Hawkins:)

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