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I have a 'tilt up' garage door with an past-end-of-life track. I'm told by several local garage door companies that tilt up hardware is not made any more.

Yet even the low clearance roll-up overhead doors can't match the headroom of the old tilt up. The garage ceiling is just 82", and the present door gives a 75 1/2" clearance above. Modern low overhead tracks give us an entry low spot of 72" or less: "duck when entering".

What might be a suitable replacement? Note we want automatic opening, so we can slide right in with bikes (we do all shopping and much travel by bike).

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Note: There's a hole in the floor that implies the original 1938 door swung out, but now the driveway slope appears to preclude swing out, at least without grinding away some material. There's a small triangular space above the ceiling, but only a few inches at the front. The current door appears 1950's.

See also What are Automatic Garage Door Options for a Garage with a Low Ceiling Clearance?

Update: the ceiling is lathe and plaster directly on the joists, which run parallel to the door opening. You could hide a spiral spring up there, but not much else.

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tilt up hardware is still made and used in the UK. –  Walker Dec 19 '13 at 23:34

2 Answers 2

As you're using your garage for storage, and not a vehicle, you could replace the door with shed-style doors ... but it will decrease the resale value of the house, and they don't seal against the weather quite as well. Depending on the neighborhood, it may also violate your covenant.

update: oops, missed the part below the picture, where you said it looks like it used to swing out. There are some hinges that will lift as the door opens (so they're self closing via gravity). That might give you sufficient clearance. I've also considered mounting a caster on the outer edge of my garage doors so that they don't sag / drag as much.

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+1 for the cam lift hinge suggestion, that might also help air seal the door. The only covenant is the city won't (officially) let the garage be converted to living space. But the can't make people park in it... –  Bryce Dec 19 '13 at 7:37

What's the opening UNDER the fully open door right now? You might be able to simply lower the opening, without really "losing" anything (or much) over what you have now, counting the door hanging there.

Your measurements and your pictures don't appear to agree, or imply that you are taking an "opening" measurement to something that's not actually open - there appears to be ~2 inches above your door, on the inside shot. Add a few inches at the front in the space above, and you might get there if you opened the ceiling up.

As far as I recall, the best I could find 10 years ago was 7 inches above door opening for the "special low-rise door track" - fortunately, I was shopping at building design time, so I just raised the wall height to get something that worked.

Edit: Responding to comment: is there some additional aspect going on here, like the garage door company trying to sell you an opener (how they love to sell openers) as well, which is adding 3" to the low rise? I remain befuddled at openers, since my properly adjusted 10x10 foot commercial-type insulated door (heavy) is easy to open by hand...

There's 3" gone missing someplace there. Are they not fully retracting the door around the corner at the top? That should be an easy adjustment if the garage is deep enough to run the door further back on the horizontal track. The actual lip of the opening should be the low point, and 7" above that should clear the mechanism, so 75 inches should be achievable.

I also found this on a poke around the web - "low head-room rear mount springs" which is not something I found 10 years ago, and claims 4" clearance to operate (unless, of course, you require an opener.)

Note: Standard Lift doors require a minimum of 12" of over door height. Not enough headroom? Don't worry. Raynor's Low Headroom Front Mount Springs package reduces the height requirement to 8-1/4" of over door height, while Low Headroom Rear Mount Springs require as little as 4" (plus 2" w/motor operator).

And another one with torsion spring to the rear claiming 5" (4-1/2 with extension springs) rear torsion spring

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The present door gives 75 1/2" of clearance in the 82" garage. And even that make you feel like you want to duck. The best low rise tracks were about 7", but they lowered the entry height to less than 72". –  Bryce Dec 18 '13 at 19:37
    
The present door frame is 81.5" inches (just shy of the 82" garage height). There's a 3 inch falsework below that to seal the top of the tilt up door. --- Rear springs were proposed by two garage contractors: but both thought them a bad idea in this case. –  Bryce Dec 21 '13 at 4:59
    
Ah, the other problem was the panels. They only come in certain sizes, so they wanted the finished door height at exactly 6 feet, meaning 72" of headroom at the entry point. Fine, as long as nobody tall ever enters. –  Bryce Dec 21 '13 at 5:16

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