What is a High Lift Garage Door?

Is this the ceiling your garage quite high while the door is pretty much lower? Does it somehow limit the number of cars – or even the type of vehicles – that you can park inside? If your answer to these questions is yes, then you are definitely frustrated by the inability to utilize all of that extra space in your garage. Interestingly, there is a solution that you can use to conquer this feat. A typical garage door has an arch opening of approximately 7-8 feet, which is basically an industry standard. As for the interior, it depends on the homeowner, but the ideal range is between 12 and 15 feet. This only proves that there is still a good amount of area left and that it can be used as an added space. This is exactly where a high lift garage door conversion comes into place.
high lift track garage door

What is a High Lift Garage Door Conversion?

A high lift garage door installation or conversion is all about modifying your existing garage door and its operating components. This is done in order for the door to be opened at an even higher level within your garage space. As a result, you open up additional space which can be used for a lot of things. The conversion, in particular, requires the installation of new tracks, new drums, new springs, and new garage door cables, albeit using the existing door in your garage.

The high lift garage door conversion is designed to keep the entire operation off the ceiling. Instead, it is taken into the very wall of your garage so as to free up space. To put it simply, the conversion allows the garage door to open up in an arching angle, which is at a higher level, closer to the ceiling.

Ideal Situations for High Lift Garage Door Conversion

  • A garage with a high ceiling.
  • The need to use a car lift system, be it for service or storage.
  • Requiring additional space for the garage door.

It is important that you determine first if whether or not your garage requires a high lift garage door installation. Of course, this is provided that you already understand how this conversion works. Most residential garages are built with a ceiling and garage door dimension mentioned above. The garage door in this setup is capable of opening and closing along tracks that have a gentle curve between the vertical and horizontal planes.

As for the high lift garage door, however, the tracks are extended up vertically. This goes past the door opening in order to create space. From there, they are carefully curved back into the garage. With this kind of setup, the conversion should only be installed in a garage that has an additional foot clearance between the ceiling and the tracks. The said clearance will then be used for the installation of springs, spring bar, drums, and end bearing plates, among others.

A garage door repair technician will ask you questions which will help in determining whether your garage has sufficient clearance. This will allow him to verify if the installation of high lift garage door conversion is doable. Hence it is important that you have with you the dimensions and/or measurements of your garage door beforehand. Once everything is confirmed, you will be asked about how high you require the high lift door should be. Keep in mind that this question will also determine if a conversion or installation is highly feasible.

Once you are told that the installation is feasible, make sure that you ask what parts of your garage door are going to be replaced. Although it is very likely for you to keep the same door, the garage door repair technician might ask you to purchase the lift mechanism.

To give you an idea of what parts might be changed during the process, see below:

  • Cables and Drums
  • Garage Door Opener
  • Spring, Spring Bar, and Bear Plates
  • Tracks

Converting a regular garage door to a high lift will require replacing a lot of hardware, particularly those that comprise the lift device. Why? That is because the entire trajectory of your garage door is altered, not to mention that the mechanism needs more power in lifting the door higher.

How to Maintain a High Lift Garage Door

Unlike a regular garage door, owning a high lift garage door is quite crucial in terms of maintenance. For starters, the mechanism involved is composed of a number of moving parts. If one of them fails, then expect to be stuck with a garage door that is broken. And if your garage door’s spring wears down, it can result in a dangerous situation once it gives out. It is only a matter of time before something worse happens to you or your family.

Your best move here is to be faithful in regular maintenance of your high lift door, as this ensures the mechanism is in ideal working condition. Of course, you can choose to do it on your own, such as applying lubricant on the springs. Still, it is best to seek the help of a professional garage door repair technician. Once you have it serviced with a pro, you will be immediately notified of parts that are wearing out and/or if additional works are needed to be done. Just think of this process as a necessity to keep your investment looking good. After all, you want your high lift garage door to last for the many years to come.

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