Standard garage doors are about 7 feet in height, which can present a huge problem for drivers with large SUVs, especially when the vehicle has large tires and accessories like roof racks. If you have your eyes on purchasing a large SUV, don't let your garage door height keep you from buying your dream vehicle. There may be a few things you can do about it. Here are a few questions to ask that can help you determine whether or not you can change the height of your garage door.
Is there enough space above the existing garage door opening?
One thing that can definitely prevent you from being able to increase the height of your garage door opening is if there is no space above the existing opening to work with. This is a common problem for garage doors that are on non-gable ends because the roofing structure stops right at the top of the wall.
Gable ends are easier to work with because the walls continue upwards in a triangular shape until they reach the pitch of the roof line. Fortunately, most garage doors are installed at gable ends. If your existing garage door opening is on a non-gable end, you may be able to relocate the garage door opening to a gable end. First, however, it's important to consult with a structural engineer and your local building code authority.
Can you increase the height of the garage door by adding another panel?
If you have a panel garage door, you may be considering simply adding another panel to the garage door to make it taller. While this is possible in theory, the coil spring and cables may not be able to hold the additional weight of another panel. Therefore, in addition to adding a panel and increasing the height of the framing, you may need to also change out several crucial parts to make it work.
The best thing to do consider is to install an entirely new garage door. That way, you won't have to worry about coils breaking or cables snapping, which can damage your new SUV or cause bodily injury to you and your family members.
Will you need a new garage door opening system, too?
Chances are that your existing garage door opening system was designed for the size of your existing garage door. When you increase the height of a garage door, you also increase the weight of it. Your existing garage door opening system may not be able to handle the increased weight.
It's a good idea to install a new operating system for your new, taller garage door. That way, you won't have to worry about the lifting and holding power of the garage door opener. Speak with your garage door service representative who can offer you a second opinion on the issue.
Is there enough clearance inside the garage for the opening system?
With a higher door, the placement of the opening system will need to be higher as well, especially to accommodate a tall SUV. Is there enough overhead clearance to accommodate a garage door opening system at the increased height? You won't be able to cut into any beams to attach an opening system because that could compromise the structural integrity of the roofing.
You'll also need to make sure the new height of the opening system will not interfere with any electrical wiring, such as for the overhead lighting in your garage. If so, perhaps you can hire an electrician to reconfigure the electrical wiring so you can raise the garage door opening system.
For more information on your options, visit resources like http://www.702garagedoors.com.