Choosing a Garage Door Lift – Which of 5 Is Right for You?

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

Are you looking for a garage door in a traditional design? This one mixes together various materials and textures to be appealing to the eyes. The inclusion of wood and stone with distinct shutters and doors provides a fantastic look. Check out this garage door in a Prestige XL Design with a chocolate walnut façade and gorgeous pinhead windows.

You're finally doing it! That home you've always dreamed about is going to turn into a reality, and you cannot wait to see the final result. If you're lucky, you have plenty of space for a detached or attached garage, depending on your preferences. What an exciting moment!

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

A garage is a sign that you've made it. The entire family can use it for crafts, storage, hobbies, and so much more. Garages can be the start of a fantastic journey, which you can see yourself from the companies above that have their origins in garages.

COVID-19 has changed the way most people live. Garages have become spaces for everything we need to do but don't have room for in the actual house. And when you have one of your own, you can turn it into a fitness center, an office for work, a teen hangout space, or dozens of other things. Garages are an investment, but they offer much more than meets the eye.

You might be stoked about the idea of making the front of your home look beautiful with a garage door, but you also need to know more. That's why we want to shine a spotlight on the five types of garage doors, so you have all the information to make the best decision.

For Windows Over the Door – You Need High Lift Hardware

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

This stunning traditional home comes with a set of two single Vog garage doors in black. The windows are above them and fit right in with how the entry door is designed. Complimentary design elements will make your home even more eye-catching than it already is.

The idea behind the high lift door is that the tracks are longer. The door is up on the wall but moves higher before it curves into the ceiling. This gives you better use of the space above you in the garage. It can provide a foot or more of space above simply by uniquely placing the tracks.

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

This is an excellent example with industrial flair and tons of fun textures. You can use a California all-glass garage door to create a modern space that gives you a gorgeous view of the great outdoors. You also want to choose high lift hardware for garages with high ceilings or a mezzanine.

So when is high lift the right choice for a garage door?

  • You want the door to be a part of your indoor space. This hardware is gorgeous and works well if you have high ceilings, as you can see above.
  • The design you like for your garage has extra windows that fit over the door to add charm.
  • It's important to you to have storage space above your garage door, so you can do more with the rest of the garage. The more wall you have available, the more items you can store away from the floor.
  • You're interested in a car lift, so you want to have a lot of space above your head in the garage.
  • You have plans. Maybe you want to build a business in the garage. You might want a craft corner or to store weightlifting equipment. This type of door gives you tons of space to do it all.

A technical drawing of a High Garage Door Lift

The drawing above shows you how the tracks work for high lift doors. The track is straight on the ceiling, but it moves out away from the wall where the door is located.

The Appearance of Conventional High Lift Hardware

What makes high lift hardware unique is how the door moves on the tracks. The door moves much further up before it starts to go back into the interior of the garage. Because of this, the components experience different types of pressure and need specific designs.

1. Tracks for garage doors:

The way the tracks are installed varies based on the space. So, someone who has a 10-foot ceiling and an eight-foot door will need tracks that are two feet longer than you would when going with the standard hardware made for garage doors.

2. Springs for garage doors:

The torsion springs on the door are what do most of the work, even if many think it's all about the opener for the garage door. That means the springs have to be adequately balanced so the door works the way it should and those near it are always safe.

3. Openers for garage doors:

A house with a Flush design garage door in Black.

Don't want to deal with tracks that hang over your head? You also don't want a center rail to ruin the garage's aesthetics. With something like the design in the picture above, the window is in place, so a rail can't run through the middle. Plus, this is a modern and attractive door option to choose from. (Flush Design).

Go wall-mounted instead of ceiling-mounted!

One of the best choices is the LiftMaster 8500W. It's powerful and works well for vertical door and high lift needs. Plus, it has an auto-locking mechanism to give you security and a quiet drive system that won't wake up people in the rooms nearby. You can even use the MyQ app to operate the door from across the globe.

Have Cathedral Ceilings? Inclined Tracks Work Best for Your Garage Door

A classic kid's drawing of a house

When little ones draw houses, they often look like the pic above. Some houses actually have this aesthetic – and they are the ones that necessitate inclined tracks for the garage door.

This is an Eastman E-12 design garage door, here shown with Claystone color for the door and Ice White color real overlays.

Everyone says that pictures speak stronger than words. Above, you'll see the sloped roof that needs a set of inclined tracks. One of the best options is this Eastman E-12 Design with a claystone-hued door and ice white for the real overlays.

A technical drawing of the Inclined Garage Door Tracks

Okay, but that makes high lift and inclined track hardware unique from each other?

  • An inclined track moves along the roof slope, so the door is pressed to the ceiling. With a high lift, the door moves to the ceiling before the pitch, so a small gap is still found at the point of the incline.
  • Just like with a high lift door, the torsion springs need to be tough and balanced well. The same stress is present but in different ways on inclined track hardware.
  • The steep ceiling that is far from the ground means a good choice is still the LiftMaster 8500 garage door opener mounted on the wall.

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 luxurious but simplistic garage doors come from the Townships Collection. They're made in the Eastman E-11 design and include four vertical-lite panoramic windows, desert sand overlays, and moka brown doors.

The best situations to use inclined tracks for garage doors:

  • In garages that have cathedral ceilings
  • For vaulting ceilings inside of garages
  • When the garage roof slope is located on the same side as the door

Try Rear or Front Low Headroom Hardware When the Garage is Small

The best times to use rear and front low headroom hardware for garage doors are listed below:

  • The ceiling on the garage is lower than average.
  • You want to get rid of swing doors on a shed or a detached garage. Many garage doors made in the 1960s needed just two inches or overhead.
  • Read this FAQ to become better acquainted with low headroom hardware and what it's best used for.

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 is a glamorous she-shed with a California full-view garage door. The space had less than the 10 inches needed for standard hardware. This low headroom option is nearly invisible and offers a comfortable space that looks outstanding.

A technical drawing of a Low Front Headroom

Circumstances when rear or low headroom hardware is needed for a garage door:

  • If you have anywhere from seven to 10 inches of headroom, the only choice available is a front low headroom lift for your garage door.
  • For less headroom of five to seven inches in total, you'll need to install a rear low headroom lift.
  • The difference between low headroom and standard lifts is that only the door's top part moves with the former. The double tracks and rollers work with a smaller amount of headroom, so the door moves smoothly. The door opener moves the upper section just enough to ensure the bottom also comes up the track without problems.
  • When you don't have a ton of room over the door, you can't go with a wall-mounted opener. Only a ceiling-mounted model has the chops to pull the door all the way open. If you go with a wall-mounted model, part of the door will always be located at the top of the opening. One of the best options to meet your needs is the new LiftMaster 87504-267 garage door opener.
  • Most people don't choose low headroom lifts out of preference, but they can work in spaces where other hardware simply doesn't.

Traditional Lifts – Otherwise Known as Standard Hardware

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

Check out this unique situation. The left door on the garage is made to need inclined tracks, but the other door works well with a standard lift. Would you be surprised to know that it's becoming popular to choose garage doors with an arch? For a classic style that never looks dated, consider these single doors in a Classic MIX Design.

Where can you use a standard lift for a garage door?

  • In any situation where you have at least 10 inches of headroom over the door
  • When you use either torsion springs or extension springs placed over the dual tracks inside. However, specialists recommend torsion springs.
  • If you want to install a top-notch door opener on the ceiling, such as the new LiftMaster 87504-267.

Final Considerations About Garage Doors and Creating a New Garage

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.

Want a look that seems from ages long past? This North Hatley SP garage door design could be the ultimate solution. This one is colored in ice white to fit the entry door and window colors. It also has Richmond arch inserts and uses decorative hardware.

Now that you know about hardware consider whether to choose an insulated garage door or not

It's human nature to want to save money. This comes into play especially with major projects – such as building a new garage. You might have the feeling that an uninsulated door will be just fine for this space.

Here's what you need to know before you decide for sure:

According to House Beautiful, keeping your house comfortable with heat and cool air is a huge source of energy usage. In fact, it can be up to half of all the energy usage in the entire home. A simple way to avoid energy loss is to keep hot and cold air from leaving your space. So how do you do that? Make sure windows, doors, and garage doors are sealed to keep things green and protect your comfort in your home.

Maybe you don't plan to heat the garage. You do not have to. However, it should still be protected from the weather outside. Insulating the garage door can keep your home's interior cozy during all seasons.

According to Green Builder Media, using a polyurethane spray can provide a considerable level of R-value for every inch. It's an excellent option for insulating small areas and preventing air leaks. When you select GARAGA Standard+, you get an R-value of R-16. This will help cut your bills for decades while making your home and garage spaces you love spending time in.

What about making your exterior even more exciting?

When you install a quality garage door, it can stay in great shape for 25 years or so. It also offers the best resale value of any project you undertake on your home. That's why you should think about a garage door using the criteria below:

  • Think about windows, since this adds natural light and makes the space more appealing to spend time in.
  • Choose an exquisite design and go for bold colors that you love.
  • Remember that one double door is about the exact cost of two single doors. Pick the one that you like the most! Read more on this and then decide based on your needs now – and in the future.

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.

Wood and brick are classic, but they can look modern and luxurious, too. This garage doesn't even look like it's detached! Consider this Shaker-Flat XL garage door design in elegant chocolate walnut with Stockton window inserts. It has tons of layers and looks absolutely amazing.

Work with Experts to Ensure Your Project Turns Out Perfect

Maybe you want to get around to transforming your carport into a garage. Or maybe you want to create your detached garage or add an attached garage. At Champlain Door Systems, we're dedicated to providing you with the help you need. We offer a wide array of garage doors and hardware, so we're sure to have a solution that works for you. Come to us with an idea, and we will do whatever we can to make it a reality. That's just what we do.

Learn more and get started at 802-524-7595.

Most people rarely buy garage doors, so the process can be overwhelming. We focus on overhead doors and garage door openers, so we know all the nuances between options. We can help you plan the project and ensure it meets your budget.

Have you decided on the door that is perfect for your new garage?

Contact us to get a free quote today.

Need a few more options before you make a final decision on the style you want?

Upload a photo of your house to our Design Centre and watch it work its magic.

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