Can you outgrow your garage? If you’ve seen the size of new SUV’s, you know the answer is yes. For homeowners, few things are as annoying as a garage door built too low for vehicle clearance. If you have a low headroom garage door system, you might be able to convert or adjust your garage door setup.
What is Low Headroom?
Low headroom or low clearance refers to a garage door that isn’t constructed high enough to allow taller vehicles to pass through. It makes no difference whether you have an overhead or swing style opening — in this situation, the important part is the clearance height. Headroom refers to the space from the top of the garage door opening to the ceiling’s lowest point.
New garage door systems have at least 10 to 12 inches of headroom above the garage door opening. Some homes with living areas above the garage, have less headroom. When this is the case, it limits the space available for the garage door to open. Low headroom can be a problem for homes of all ages, from retro mid-century homes to new builds.
How Does Low Clearance Garage Door Conversion Work?
Overhead garage doors use sections that joined with hinges. When the doors open, they first rise along a vertical track and then travel along a horizontal track. This horizontal track keeps the doors in place until they’re closed.
The goal of modifying the track is to raise it and allow for more vehicle clearance. The following mods let you keep the existing garage door and gain extra clearance.
Tracks and Brackets
Here’s an explanation of two of the most popular track and bracket modifications.
Installing a dual-track system is one way to address low headroom. By installing a second track on top of the first one, the garage door rolls onto the higher track. The lower track alters the radius and compensates for the lower ceiling. As a result, this creates more clearance room for vehicles. A dual-track system works with torsion and extension spring garage door systems.
Low Headroom Brackets
Another way to alter the existing track is by installing a low headroom bracket. The bracket flips the top of the door, rerouting the track, so the door doesn’t continue to travel around the lower main track. Here’s a great video showing how replacing standard garage door brackets with quick turn brackets keep your garage door operating smoothly with low clearance.
Conversion Kits for Low Clearance Garage Doors
If your garage doors have less than 15 inches of headroom, this may be the product for you. Designed for 12-inch and 15-inch radius tracks, the Clopay Garage Door Low Headroom Conversion Kit provides the pre-drilled tools and instructions you need to convert the rails and tracking. Once installed, it offers extra headroom through a smooth-operating tracking system. It’s an affordable alternative to total garage reconstruction.
Low headroom garage door option
Swing out garage doors
These garage doors operate like a french patio door; each side of the door swings outward. Low headroom isn’t a problem because these doors don’t roll up overhead. While not common, swing out garage doors might make sense in an older, stand alone garage.
A dual-track system or conversion kit should take care of any low-clearance garage door issues. These systems are an affordable way of creating more valuable clearance space for your vehicles.
Since 1989, the team at Heritage Garage Door has provided high-quality garage door services to thousands of homeowners in Murrieta and surrounding Southern California areas. No matter if you need garage door repairs or a new garage door, you can count on us to take care of your garage for years to come.
If you’re local to San Diego or a surrounding Southern California area, don’t hesitate to contact us for any of your garage needs.