Overhead vs. Wall Mount Garage Door Openers: Maximizing Space and Efficiency in Your Home

A garage door opener is a garage necessity that affects both functionality and aesthetic. Both overhead and wall mount jackshaft garage door openers will open and shut your door, but beyond that they each have unique features that can either enhance or hinder a garage, depending on your setup. North Shore’s experts have decades of experience in the industry, so read on to learn which opener is ideal for your residential garage door in regard to space utilization and efficiency!

Understanding the Styles of Garage Door Openers

An overhead garage door opener is typically installed on the ceiling (overhead) of a garage and uses a rail system to pull the door up and down as needed. Meanwhile, a wall mount (also known as jackshaft openers) garage door opener is installed on the wall beside the garage door where it connects to the door's torsion bar or shaft. This setup allows the opener to control the movement of the garage door by directly turning the torsion bar, which in turn winds or unwinds the torsion springs responsible for counterbalancing the door's weight.

Advantages of Overhead Garage Door Openers

Overhead garage door openers have been the go-to industry style for decades. They are known for being reliable and cost-effective for standard residential use, including the initial cost of purchase and affordable maintenance down the line. The ceiling-mounted overhead style is also compatible with many garage sizes and door types, and they can operate the heaviest garage doors on the market.

Many newer models also offer smart technology integration, allowing you to open and close your garage door remotely through a smartphone app. With smart technology like myQ, you can check your garage door's status from anywhere with a few taps on your phone. This is great for homeowners who want peace of mind wherever they are. Some openers even include battery backup systems, allowing you to operate the garage door during power outages. This can be especially useful in emergencies where the garage door needs to be opened.

Advantages of Wall Mount Garage Door Openers

Jackshafts offer several benefits for garages. They are quieter than other types of openers due to being made with fewer moving parts and using DC motors. Jackshafts are also easier for DIY installations compared to overhead operators due to them requiring less parts. Similar to overhead doors, jackshafts can also have smart technology integration and battery backups, allowing you to operate your garage door remotely and during a power outage.

Jackshafts are also ideal for those who wish to make a garage’s appearance a highlight. With them being installed on a wall, you won’t have your ceiling space cluttered with the equipment for a traditional overhead opener that can be an eyesore to view. They’re also great if your garage lacks headroom or is tight on space. Some garages have obstacles like lights, pipes, stored personal items or ducts on the ceiling that can interfere with the installation of a traditional garage door opener. Jackshafts eliminate this concern.

Disadvantages of Overhead Garage Door Openers

Despite all of their benefits, it’s important to consider the drawbacks to overhead openers. They require far more garage ceiling space for installation and smooth operation than a jackshaft, and are much more noticeable to the eye. If you want a stylized garage, an overhead opener may be a poor fit. Traditional overhead openers can also be noisy during operation, especially if they use a chain drive. If your garage door needs to be operated during quiet hours or you have a teenager who consistency comes home past curfew, the noise can be disrupted to both you and your neighbors.

Disadvantages of Wall Mount Garage Door Openers

While jackshaft openers offer several advantages, there are certain situations where they might not be the ideal choice. Jackshafts tend to be more expensive upfront compared to some traditional overhead openers, so if cost is a major factor you might want to explore more budget-friendly options. You may also want to opt for another opener if your garage does not have a Torsion Spring Door system, which is the ideal system for jackshafts. They also tend to have a weight limit, can make them ineffective when operating heavier types of doors.

Finally, sometimes a garage just won’t be able to fit the equipment for a jackshaft. Be sure to check your garage’s setup and the opener’s installation requirements to ensure you can use this style of opener.

Space and Efficiency Considerations

In terms of space and efficiency, jackshafts maximize the space in your garage by freeing up the ceiling and increasing its aesthetic appeal, making them ideal for garages with low ceilings or limited overhead space. Those with Man Cave’s and She Shacks who want to make a statement with their garage will greatly appreciate a jackshaft being as unnoticeable as you can get. Some are even designed with energy-efficient features, such as standby mode or LED lighting. These features help reduce energy consumption and lower utility costs over time, making them an environmentally friendly choice. Overall, jackshafts are more energy efficient than overhead models due to being designed with fewer parts and turning the torsion tube directly, which can further save on energy overtime.

Overhead garage door openers require high ceiling space and higher ceilings to function. Their ability to lift even the heaviest of doors is a great benefit for those who might be planning on installing a new garage door in the future or already own a heavier model.

Making the Right Choice for Your Home

Before purchasing an opener, it’s crucial to assess your garage’s capabilities and household needs. Consulting a professional is a great way to make sure you are making the best choice for your unique garage setup. Luckily, North Shore Commercial Door has friendly staff on standby with decades of experience to assist you in choosing the ideal opener and ensuring it’s compatible with your garage. Contact us today!

With the average lifespan of garage openers ranging from 10-15 years and some going years beyond that, an opener is a long-term investment. Your model should be chosen carefully based on its quality, available warranties, and support services that can cover your product years into the future.

North Shore sells openers in both the overhead and wall mount jackshaft styles at discount prices, so you can shop what’s available from top brands like Genie and LiftMaster from one convenient site!

Go further with North Shore Commercial Door!

Once you’ve chosen your ideal garage door opener, don’t stop there! Shop North Shore’s array of garage accessories to raise your garage to new heights! Also, stay on top of any potential garage issues by reading our Guide to Garage Door Maintenance!