Installing Garage Door Opener With Low Ceiling Clearance Q&A

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Dear NH,

My question concerns garage doors. I checked your index and found some good information, but not what I need. My door, which is about 12 years old, same as house, believe it or not, will hit the header above as it opens. I have only been here 2 years, so I don't know if this has been an ongoing problem. It jammed some time ago, and broke the chain wheel to my garage door opener. It is a double door roughly 16' x 8'. I checked the obvious, like the rollers and hinges. It has torsion springs, which seem OK. I fixed one hinge and noticed that there is some slop between the roller and track, but I have concluded that the rollers are OK, since all are about the same. I have temporarily re-positioned the top hinge to clear the header, however, this leaves too large of a gap that wasps seem to easily find. I also lose too much heat in the winter, when I work out there on my car.

I was also unable to find any information in any of the home repair/maintenance books I have or have seen.  Thanks for any thoughts.

MG from Mason, Ohio

Dear MG,

There is an accessory available from Sears and some home stores called a "low clearance bracket kit". It can be used on any sectional garage door that has clearance problems due to low ceilings or obstructions, allowing the garage door opener track to be mounted much closer to the top of the garage door than is usually possible.

The top guides (which hold the uppermost garage door rollers) on your door are replaced with specially designed brackets that cause the top of the top panel of the door to move inward further as the door opens than standard top guides. The result is that the top of the panel does not rise as high as the door opens, giving the additional ceiling clearance.

I have a photo of this item on this page:

This should work for you. Good luck.