Overhead Garage Door Opener Design

An overhead garage door opener is also known as a Ceiling-mount garage door opener, meaning it mounts on the ceiling (Over your head).

overhead garage door opener design and pros and cons
Overhead Garage Door Opener

All about an Overhead Garage Door Opener Design

Traditionally, overhead garage door openers are the most common choice among homeowners. This garage door system slides smoothly overhead or downward, without taking up too much space. Made of metal, aluminum, or wood, they match any home design.

Moreover, these door openers have a rail track to lift the garage door, using a screw-drive, belt, or chain mechanism. These overhead systems offer more efficient use of space in the garage, compared to conventional sliding or swinging mechanisms.

  • Screw-drive: Overhead garage door opener with a screw-drive mechanism has a threaded metal rod to lift or glide the door along the rail track. Choose an overhead garage door with a screw-drive mechanism if you have a heavy door and want extra reliability. For lasting, smooth performance, be sure to regularly lubricate it.
  • Belt: This mechanism uses the reinforced belt to close and open the overhead garage door. Due to its reliable and quiet operations, this mechanism is increasingly popular among homeowners. The belt itself is often made from fiberglass, polyurethane, or steel-reinforced rubber.
  • Chain: It’s the most common mechanism for the overhead garage door. A heavy-duty chain guides the garage door along the rail track. Compared to the belt-driven mechanism, it’s a more dependable and durable design. Chain drives can last for ten years or more before a major replacement of parts is necessary. However, the chain-driven mechanism is louder and requires more maintenance.

Instead of being manufactured as a single board, overhead garage doors have a sectional design, so they slide smoothly and save space significantly. As the garage door is raised or lowered, each segment will move independently along the rail track, without any need for clearance. Depending on the manufacturer, each section is removable, making it easier to replace damaged or worn-out parts. A sectional overhead garage door is properly insulated to ensure energy-efficient when fully lowered during winter. Read more on the topic: Overhead Garage Door Opener, how these are designed, and what are the pros and cons of this design.

Installation

Although it’s possible to install overhead garage door openers as a DIY project, it’s recommended to hire an experienced technician, because it requires precise measurements. Before choosing panels, it is important to measure the garage opening. For a perfect fit, garage door panels must be slightly smaller than the doorway. If the garage door is large and heavy, you may need the help of a friend or two to install the rail track system on the ceiling. If each section is the garage door is wide, it will take more than one person for proper installation.

An overhead garage door opener needs a torsion or tension spring system to raise and lower the door. The latter is cheaper, but it’s usually less reliable and more prone to malfunction. Installations of these spring systems involve running cables through springs and over pulleys. If you are not certain, it is better to hire an experienced technician. After proper installation of the overhead garage door opener, it is important to regularly lubricate the spring systems. Avoid using WD-40 as a lubricant, because it absorbs moisture, which will slowly corrode the mechanism.

Pros and Cons

When exploring options for garage door openers, you could be overwhelmed by the many models available on the market. If you choose an overhead garage door opener, here are things to expect.

Pros

  • Cost-effective: Compared to a wall-mounted garage door opener with a jackshaft mechanism, any overhead garage door mechanism with a screw-drive, belt or chain is more cost-effective to install, maintain and repair.
  • Easier to sell a home: Many potential home buyers prefer a garage with an overhead door opener, due to better curb appeal and many benefits.
  • Quieter operations: Overhead garage door openers are quieter, especially if you choose the belt drive mechanism. Although screw drive and chain mechanisms are not as quiet, they won’t operate too loudly, especially if you regularly maintain them and replace worn-out parts as needed. If you choose screw-drive and chain overhead mechanisms, choose one with a DC motor for quieter operations.
  • Better reliability: Overhead mechanisms have the strength to lift heavier garage doors, while wall-mounted garage door openers with jackshaft mechanisms usually have a specific weight limit. Whether you choose the chain, belt, or screw-drive overhead garage door openers, you can ensure better reliability, because you won’t wear it out too quickly due to weight overloads. You should regularly maintain the overhead mechanism with proper clean-ups and lubrication for longer reliability and smoother operations. Belts and chains will wear out, so you need to replace them as necessary to prevent issues with other parts of the mechanism.

Cons

  • Take up overhead space: Some garages have overhead racks as extra storage space. You need to choose between overhead garage door openers or storage racks. If you have a small garage and need overhead storage space, it is advisable to choose a different type of garage door opener.
  • Complicated installation for high-ceiling garages: It’s possible to install an overhead door opener for garages with a vaulted or cathedral-style ceiling. However, it will be more expensive, because you need strong racks that can remain stable without being secured to the top.

Conclusion

Before ending this topic, the things you should be aware of, are: an Overhead garage door opener can use screw-drive, belt, or chain drive system. The pros and cons of each have been written above, but those are generalized technical data. If you need a detailed description of a specific model, read that review.

A few garage door openers we’ve written before:

And for the end, if you want to know more about garage door openers, read this article: All about garage door openers and much more…