As time goes on, the size of garages keeps rising. Over the last seven years, for example, many garages have higher interiors than ever before when measuring from the ceiling to the floor.
Garages might be nine feet tall, 12 feet tall, and some might even be 14 feet tall. However, when you have such a large garage and your door is only about seven to eight feet tall, you might wonder what to do with the extra space.
The experts at LiftMaster/Chamberlain, one of the top players in the garage door opener world, has offered an answer to that query.
Their traditional industrial and commercial door opener has been adapted for use with residential properties.
This door opener with a second shaft is the result and it is known as the Jackshaft opener.
What you can expect from a Jackshaft door opener?
With a traditional opener, it is going to be installed on the ceiling and the middle of the garage door.
On the other hand, Jackshaft openers have a second shaft or rod that is found right next to the door.
The majority of Jackshaft door openers go on garage doors that are seven or eight feet high, which has headroom that exceeds two feet.
When it comes to homes that are constructed nowadays, these openers work well for areas where builders have added additional storage space into the garage.
Garages with cathedral ceilings also work well with this type of door opener. Rather than using a basement for storage or filling up the shed in the backyard, you can have optimized space in the garage to hold all the items you aren’t using currently.
When you are able to place the garage door up high, you get extra space on the walls where you can incorporate hook systems, shelves, or even storage cabinets for your belongings.
Curious where else a Jackshaft opener comes in handy?
- If you have a garage with low headroom above the door, but there is extra room to the side, this door opener can still be installed. This is most often found in homes that are older. These homes may also have concrete walls and ceilings.
- If you have a false panel over the garage door or a wide window in the transom style, a Jackshaft door opener can be used. Windows may sometimes be added by designers who prefer them to be part of the home instead of the garage. For a high‑lift type track system, the tracks cannot be seen looking through the window. This is also the case for false door panels and can be aesthetically pleasing.
- There are maximums for what doors this opener will work for. The width cannot be more than 18 feet, the height cannot be more than 14 feet, and you should be using the door around two to four times a day. However, this is typically the case for garages where families store their cars and trucks.
The top 5 advantages of a Jackshaft garage door opener
- Plenty of space for storage
We mentioned it before, but this door opener type lets you place the garage door as close to the ceiling as possible which adds in extra storage space on the walls for you.
- Nice and quiet operation
This door opener is direct current (DC) which means it starts up slow and increases in speed.
When it turns off, it finishes things out slowly. As such, those with a living room or bedroom over the garage will notice less noise coming from the garage when it’s opened or closed. Instead of having an opener connected to the joists of the garage, it’s on the wall which makes it transmit less noise than the opener is being used.
- A great choice for cathedral ceilings
When you attach a traditional door opener with a trolley over this sort of garage door with a cathedral ceiling, you need extra space behind the door to the tune of four feet or more.
It can also lead to issues because there is extra space between the ceiling and opener housing. Securing it all can require a triangle bracket which is not the best choice in terms of safety.
- The safest option for your family
Because this door opener is by the door instead of the ceiling, it’s less likely that a component will fall and cause damage.
Another safety issue you may have heard about is that a criminal can break into a garage door in six seconds using nothing by a clothes hanger. This is done by tripping the safety release that is intended for use when there are power outages. When you have a Jackshaft opener, this risk is completely eliminated.
- Jackshafts come with a backup battery
If you choose Model 8500W, it comes already equipped with an emergency battery which not all traditional door openers offer. With this battery, even during a power outage, you can open and close the garage door more than a dozen times.
6 great other features you should be aware of
We’ve already talked about some of the benefits of a Jackshaft door opener, but there are additional things to know. Jackshaft openers share these features with traditional door openers:
- Ability to utilize MyQ technology which lets you use your smartphone to open and close the garage door.
- Offer the safety of a photo‑eye based reversal systems.
- Option to disengage the opener when pulling the emergency cord.
- The LiftMaster Security+ 2.0 system makes it impossible for anyone to copy your remote code.
- The 8500W model comes with an LED light which can be installed almost anywhere in the garage that you would like.
- Beyond all these features, many accessories are available so you can have the most convenience possible when using your garage door and opener.
What you need to know about Jackshaft openers’ requirements
Keep in mind that if you add this door opener right next to the door, there has to be plenty of space. In order to install it, you will need:
- A total of 8 inches or more of space on the left or the right side of the door.
- 3 inches of headroom at a minimum above the top of the door.
- A torsion‑type spring lift system. The shaft that holds the spring is placed in the opener housing and turned by the opener, which can open and close the door.
- One electrical outlet located 6 feet or more from the area of installation.
- Be aware that the housing height for the opener is 16 ¼ inches.