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When the garage ceiling is high but the garage door size is standard, you actually lose some space. And while this is just ceiling space, it might come handy especially if you consider getting a car lift. Or like to take advantage of the ceiling’s height to make the space feel airier.

Such conversions involve getting new tracks to retrofit the existing garage door. But is this all needed? Let’s take a closer look at high lift garage door conversions and all things you should know about them.

What’s a high lift garage door?

high lift garage doorSimply put, a high lift garage door goes higher than the standard one. While nothing changes outdoors and when you look at the garage from outside, inside, the door moves higher vertically. They usually offer 12-15 inches more headroom, enabling you to get a car lift.

It’s important to understand that the garage door opening doesn’t change. And so, such conversions are not ideal for those who wish to get a taller vehicle, like an RV. The basic difference is that they provide more clearance inside. With high lift systems, the curving point overhead garage doors reach before they start moving parallel to the ceiling is now found at a higher point than with standard systems. This gives you more ceiling space indoors.

What’s involved in the high lift garage door conversion?

These conversions include the replacement of the garage door tracks, first and foremost. But you also need to get new garage door cables and drums, new springs too. Now, if your garage door opener is ceiling mounted, you will likely have to replace it with a wall mount model. You will also need some new smaller parts, like brackets.

Measuring correctly and calculating everything in great detail is the core of this job – the two things that ensure that everything will be done right and the right parts will be purchased. Which are the required measurements?

  • The garage door’s height, weight and width
  • The track to jamb distance
  • The radius of the curved garage door tracks
  • The floor-ceiling distance on both sides of the door, minus the space you need for lights, any other object, or an opener
  • The floor to top of the horizontal track distance

Depending on the garage door’s weight, you may need to add one more spring – if you have one torsion spring now. Even if not, you will need a new spring and you need to know the wind of the spring.

Are there some considerations?

High Lift Garage DoorsThe main considerations have to do with safety. That’s due to the tense garage door springs, the replacement of the tracks, the heavy load of the door. No wonder this is no DIY job. The way the high lift tracks are set and aligned, the way the springs are adjusted, the way the whole job is done determines the safety of the garage door. This is not something you want to risk and due to the complexity of conversions, it’s best to leave the job to pros.

Is a high lift garage door for you?

If you have the space required – in height, and the need to take advantage of it, then yes, high lift garage door conversions are exactly what you need. It’s a good idea if you want some overhead storage space, more room for a spacious gym, a place where you can breathe without the overhead door breathing down your neck.

Is it expensive to retrofit the garage door?

This is not a cheap improvement. You need to pay for the garage door parts and the fees for the service. And although nothing is exorbitant, it’s still an extra expense. Surely, a well-worth expense since you transform the garage space, gain more room, and don’t have to buy a new door.