For many who use their garage door regularly, the traditional ceiling-mounted garage door opener mechanism isn't very convenient. From the vertical space it takes up in the garage to the difficulties some have with maintenance for this area, there are a few reasons why many garage door owners are looking for alternatives to the ceiling opener.
At Price's Guaranteed Doors, we're proud to offer a wide range of garage door opener solutions to our Utah clients, including assistance with one type of opener that's become a primary alternative to the ceiling-mounted opener: The side-mount garage door opener. What does this term refer to, and what are some of the major benefits of going with the side-mount garage door opener for your needs? Here's a primer.
Side-Mount Garage Door Opener Basics
Also known as a jackshaft, the side-mount garage door opener is one of the most basic garage door opener mechanisms, and is easy to install without the need for extensive DIY knowledge. A side-mount mechanism doesn't use any kind of ceiling or overhead beam; instead, it has an exposed shaft that attaches directly to the garage door itself.
As with other types of openers, this one uses a trolley (or carriage) and a chain or screw-type mechanism to move the door up and down when you use the button in your garage or on your key fob. This mechanism is attached to a motor that's mounted to the wall, and it runs along a rail system that's attached to the side of your garage.
Most side-mount garage door openers are made with aluminum for its lightweight and toughness. Since these types of openers weigh less than 120 pounds and don't use tall or bulky beams, they can typically be easily installed without assistance. Most of them are manufactured to fit most standard doors, and they can be used on single or double-door garages.
Our next several sections will go over some of the major benefits of side-mount garage door openers.
No Obstruction to the Ceiling
As we noted above, traditional ceiling garage door openers take up a large amount of space in the garage, but one major benefit of side-mount openers is how little room they take up. This leaves more vertical space for storing items above your garage door, or allows different forms of storage that you may not have otherwise had room to use.
In many cases, ceiling garage door openers limit the amount of space you have available for storage. For example, if you have a tall shelf above your garage door to store holiday decorations or other things, the opener may need to be removed before you can get access to them. This is especially true in garages where this storage space is directly above a doorway leading into the garage from a home's interior, and it's often necessary for anyone with mobility issues.
A side-mounted opener does not take up this kind of space, so you can typically store your holiday decorations or other large items in the garage without having to move the opener first. This makes it easier for seniors or those with disabilities to access these spaces without assistance, and it also means that there's no need to remove your garage door opener each time you want to access these items.
Because side-mount garage door openers are both light and smaller, they typically require less maintenance than the ceiling opener. There's no need to perform routine checks on a beam that may or may not be sturdy enough to support your garage door, and there's no possibility of any large beams obstructing other parts of your garage.
In addition, unlike ceiling-mounted openers, most jackshaft designs today don't even come with a light -- so that's one less thing to have to maintain or replace over time.
Also due to their lightweight nature and the materials used in their construction, side-mounted garage openers are generally more energy efficient than other options. These types of openers typically use less energy per month than the traditional model, which means you'll save money on your utility bills each month without having to sacrifice convenience.
Easy to Install
For anyone worried about DIY projects, an overhead garage opener is often seen as a difficult project that requires extensive knowledge of home improvement and in many cases the help of an expert in order to install.
Side-mounted openers are much simpler in design, so anyone with general DIY knowledge can typically install one with no problem. Most units only require the use of a few tools, and in some cases you can even hook up the opener yourself without needing to make any wiring changes at all.
A More Stylish Design
The design of traditional garage door openers makes them look more like appliances or other equipment that would typically be found in a home's basement or utility room instead of something that enhances the style of a garage. Side-mounted openers, on the other hand, often look like a piece of furniture and can even be combined with cabinets or shelves to create an entire cohesive unit.
This means you can also store items in your garage instead of having them sitting out where they're not only unsightly, but may detract from the overall style and look of your home's exterior.
For more on the possible benefits of a side-mount garage door opener for your garage door, or to learn about any of our garage door installation and repair services in Utah, speak to the team at Price's Guaranteed Doors today.