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Embedding Garage Door Belt in Garage Ceiling (Clearance Issue)?

2355 Views 13 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  firehawkmph
Hi All,

In short, is this doable / safe/ etc.? I would like to cut out a 4 inch strip of drywall in my garage ceiling in order to mount the garage door opener belt high enough - It needs to be 1-2 inches higher to avoid contact with the garage door as it opens.

Could you please advise if this is doable? Any foreseen issues? Fire hazards, code violation, etc?

More Details:
I am installing a garage door opener, the Chamberlain B750, and hit a snag - low clearance. The top of the door comes within an inch of the ceiling at its highest point (about a foot into opening), and so the belt pulling the door doesn't quite fit, even when mounted adjacent to the ceiling. Once the garage door flattens out in its ascent there is more room (3-4 inches), so it is really just that one point where the door would hit the belt.

I would like to mount the belt at a slight incline as it approaches the garage door from the opener motor (ceiling level), so that it passes into a cutout from the drywall, to a mount that is just slightly above ceiling level. It's a matter of inches.

Barring mysteries that lurk above the ceiling (let's assume it is clear of wiring, studs, etc.)... is this theoretically safe and practical?
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Not a pro, just wanted to ask if a low overhead hinge would help. As I remember they are intended for the problem you describe.

Pros will be along.

Bud
 

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Depends on the direction of the joists. If they run parallel to the belt, could work. But you might have a joist exactly in center. And if you only cut 4", drywall will be flopping in the air. Might work and look better removing a 14.5" strip.
If the joists run perpendicular to belt, you only gain half an inch.
 

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Usually just the very top edge of the door that creates the clearance problem due to the extended rollers needed on the top bracket. If that is the case you can solve it quick and easy using "Quick turn brackets". These replace the top roller bracket and will drop the top panel flat much sooner as it rounds the curve track. Also gives about 2" more clearance between the top panel and ceiling when the door is completely open.
 

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Chance are you would not find a joist bay in the center and I don't know how a door would work if the motor wasn't centered. Going between would not be a problems you fill it in like a box and line it with drywall.
 

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I used the quick-turn brackets. They work well. I used the same bolts on the doors but you may have to widen the bolt holes on the new brackets for some adjusting. Test manually to make sure the new brackets and the wheels don't bind along the track. The brackets aren't positioned for absolute parallel to the tracks but they still work. You may want to change the springs first and make sure you can lift the door easily. Very necessary esp when testing.



I've also taken out one floor joist in another garage. Then 2x4 on flat (every 12") to bridge the joists, xps for some insulation then cover with durock boards, skim finish with joint compound. I asked the building inspector first. I forget if the foam boards went between the bridging or over them, but whatever room you need. Floor joists were 2x10.
 

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As SPS-1 said, if the joists run in the same direction as your track - you're okay and should remove the full 14.5 inches between the joists. The to repair the opening, simply buy a sheet of 5/8" firecode sheetrock, cut a few strips 17.5" inches wide and attach those to the top of the joist from the attic. Add some blocking and box the end with another small piece of sheetrock - creating a "box" that will still meet fire code burn-through requirements. Plus, you'll have a better looking installaiton.
 

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Thanks all... I'm going to try the quick-turn brackets to start. This was a nice revelation, for $22 on Amazon. Hopefully it can save me from changing up the whole track. Cheers...
That will probably work for you. If it doesn't, one other thing you might be able to do. The upper piece of the garage door track comes in three different radii, 10", 12", and 15". Depending on which one you have, as long as it's not 10" already, you can drop down a size in the radius and gain either 2" or 3" of clearance above the track. It's a bit more work to change out, not bad if you're a garage door installer, but for a diy'er, it might be something you'd want to call a garage door guy for. Easy to check to see what radius you have. Just measure from the joint where the vertical piece of track joins the upper to the bottom of the piece of angle iron attached to the upper track just above.
Mike Hawkins
 
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