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Off-Center Garage Door Openers: Space, Balance, and Functionality

Garage door openers are an essential convenience in modern life, offering easy access to your garage with just the push of a button. But what if you need to install your garage door opener off-center? In this blog post, we’ll explore the reasons why an off-center garage door opener can be advantageous and how the balanced lifting of a torsion spring system makes this possible.

Why Opt for an Off-Center Garage Door Opener Installation?

There are several compelling reasons why homeowners may choose to install their garage door opener off-center:

1. Overhead Obstacles:

Often, garages come with overhead obstacles like support beams, ductwork, or lighting fixtures that hinder a typical center installation. Some people have attic stairs that are directly above where an opener would go in a typical installation, and blocking those stairs is not an option. Going off-center allows you to navigate these obstructions seamlessly, ensuring your opener doesn’t interfere with them.

2. The Inability to Use a Jack-Shaft, or Wall-Mount Opener with Low Headroom Hardware and Double Tracks

Manufacturer specifications prohibit the use of jack-shaft, or wall-mount, openers on doors that utilize low-headroom (LHR) hardware and double track systems. LHR systems are used when the ceiling height in the garage is low compared to the garage door opening. Typically, an absolute minimum of 11 inches of headroom (floor-to-ceiling measurement minus door height) is required to use a jack-shaft opener. Installing a jack-shaft opener on a low headroom system would create a number of issues, including safety and operational issues and would ultimately not be able to open the door fully, resulting in even worse headroom issues at the opening, and possibly preventing vehicle entry or creating a hazard for taller people walking through the opening. Those who’ve managed to overcome some of these issues complain of chronic issues over time with malfunctioning systems.

3. Maximizing Headroom for Vehicles:

Space is at a premium in most garages, especially when it comes to headroom clearance. By installing your garage door opener off-center, you can create more room overhead. This additional space can be a game-changer for those with taller vehicles and those cars that have Falcon-wing doors, such as Tesla Model X’s. We’ve had homeowners set up a system for lifting and storing their hard-top for their Jeep Wrangler in the space that would normally be occupied by the garage door opener head.

4. Maximizing Headroom for Storage:

We could all use some extra space for all of our stuff – some of us more than others. Shelf systems fit nicely above garage doors and not having the opener running up the center can allow us to implement some creative storage solutions.

5. Upping Your Golf Game and Other Activities:

Swinging a golf club in your garage can be difficult if your opener head is dead center. Off-setting the opener can free up room for this and other activities like lifting weights or working on your car on a car lift. Some of the people we’ve worked with even play basketball in their garage.

How Torsion Spring Systems Enable Off-Center Installations:

garage door j-arm mounted to end cap of garage door instead of in the center of the door

Torsion spring systems are known for their ability to provide balanced lifting for garage doors. The weight of the door is distributed evenly across the torsion bar, preventing it from tilting or straining on one side. This balanced weight distribution is essential for smooth door operation. As each side goes up, any minor differential in pull on one side is immediately picked up by the other side of the door. Unlike extension spring systems, where the springs work independently, with torsion spring systems the force applied to lift the garage door is distributed evenly across the width of the door. As a result, the entire door is lifted uniformly, preventing one side from rising faster or more slowly than the other.



Opting for an off-center garage door opener installation is a practical solution for many homeowners facing overhead obstacles or looking to maximize their garage space. The balanced lifting provided by torsion spring systems makes this possible by ensuring even weight distribution and utilizing available space efficiently. When planning an off-center installation, it’s essential to follow manufacturer guidelines and safety precautions to guarantee a safe and efficient operation of your garage door opener.

Call Doors Done Right today for smart garage door solutions: 609-445-4444 or 201-473-4444. Call either number. They both go to the same office!