April 29, 2020

Why should you consider a jackshaft garage door opener instead of a traditional overhead model?

In the last few years, it has become common for garages to have higher and higher ceilings. In fact, the average home now has a garage that is at least nine feet tall, and some are even higher, coming in at 12 or even 14 feet. That can make it challenging to use a standard garage door opener and also means there’s possibly a lot of wasted space.

Thankfully, Chamberlain and LiftMaster realized the trend and have adapted their commercial garage door technology for use in residential settings. This opener has a secondary wall‑mounted shaft and is known as the jackshaft opener.

Jackshaft garage door opener

What’s it all about?

With a conventional garage door opener, the unit is mounted to the center of the ceiling and then uses a system of metal tracks to guide the door up and down. However, in homes with very high ceilings, this can be problematic. It means that the garage door opener must actually be installed via an extension that takes up valuable real estate near the ceiling, and may also compromise safety.

In contrast, a jackshaft opener is mounted beside and above the garage door. It takes up no space on the ceiling and causes no safety issues. It also works with both standard and oversized garage doors, although it does require extra space above the door.

With a jackshaft‑style opener, it becomes possible to create additional storage space in the garage. It also eliminates the unsightly mess that is created when you install a standard garage door opener on a cathedral ceiling.

With all that being said, there are some considerations that you’re going to need to make if you want to go this route. These include the following:

  • With limited headroom above the garage door, but room on the side of the door, it’s still possible to install a jackshaft opener.
  • If there is a false panel or transom window above your garage door, it’s impossible to install an overhead opener. Some designers prefer to put windows in this area rather than actually on the door. Fortunately, if your tracks are on a high‑lift system, you won’t be able to see them through the garage window.
Contemporary House

Also, because these openers work with oversized garage doors, they make excellent solutions for RV and camper storage.

What you need...

To install a jackshaft opener, there must be at least eight inches on one side of the garage door. It’s also important to have a minimum of three inches over the top of the door. Note that this system also works with torsion springs, so you can use almost any type of spring system you might have. Because the opener requires electricity, you’ll need an electrical outlet no more than six feet from the installation point.

What advantages do I get?

A jackshaft opener offers quite a few important benefits over conventional garage door openers, including:

  • More storage space above the garage door.
  • Quiet operation with a DC motor, which is ideal for attached garages.
  • Safer installation for cathedral ceilings.
  • Protection from criminals who often disable overhead openers for their own gain or need.
  • Backup batteries are available with the 8500W model, which is a relatively new offering.

Other features

Here are a few more features you should know about:

  • Integrated MyQ technology for smartphone access and management.
  • A photo‑eye system is now a standard part of building a garage door opener.
Jackshaft Opener

Find the model that’s right for you

Interested in learning which jackshaft model is right for your needs? Get in touch with us by calling 508-563-5633. We’re happy to serve customers in and around Pocasset. We can also offer garage door maintenance and tune‑up services, so feel free to let us know if you need help maintaining your existing system.

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