Overhead vs. Wall Mount Garage Door Openers

If you haven’t shopped for a new garage door opener in a while, you may find your replacement options are much more complex than you remember. While a garage door opener is primarily responsible for effectively raising and lowering your garage door as commanded, many modern options are available in several drive dupes, featuring advanced capabilities. When choosing a new garage door for your Toledo, OH, home, it’s best to consider your short and long-term needs, finding a model that exceeds your overall performance expectations.

The Difference Between Overhead and Wall Mount Garage Door Openers

Overhead vs. Wall Mount Garage Door Opener


Overhead Opener Drive Types

Overhead garage door openers have traditionally been the most common, popular option for homeowners. This type of garage door drive has a ceiling-mounted system with a rail track and lift you maneuver using a chain, belt or screw-drive mechanism. Each overhead opener drive type features similar functionality but features different benefits.

When checking out your overhead garage door opener options, you’ll find the three most common types including:

  • Chain: The most common type of overhead opener found in homes, chain operators use ropes of chain to glide along the track and lift and lower the door. Chain drives are the most cost-effective garage door opener option and are popular because of their durable, dependable design. While chain drives are strong and effective openers for up to 10 years, they are often much louder than alternative options and require additional maintenance.
  • Belt: Using a reinforced belt to open and close the door, belt drives are becoming increasingly popular because of its quiet and reliable operations. Belt drives are often crafted from steel-enforced rubber, polyurethane or fiberglass.
  • Screw-drive: Screw-drive openers use a completely different approach to operating the garage door — instead of pulling the door up, a screw-drive uses a threaded metal rod to lift the door by gliding it along the track. Screw drives are incredibly reliable and can endure heavy duty wear, but they require regular lubrication to guarantee lasting performance.

Wall-Mounted Opener Drive Types

As their name suggests, wall-mounted garage door openers are installed on the left or right side of the garage door. Wall-mounted garage doors are ideally utilized in garages with minimal overhead space, cathedral and sloped ceilings or limited depth. Instead of using a rail track, wall-mounted garage door openers are connected to the door’s torsion bar to operate the door. These systems can be used for any type of garage door, including vertical, standard and high lift doors.

Jackshaft garage door openers are the most common type of wall-mounted operators. Traditionally used for commercial applications, jackshaft openers have gained popularity for residential applications because of its exceptional security, smooth operations and long-term dependability. Jackshaft openers are best used in garages with little available space, although it’s important to note these models are more expensive than overhead alternatives.

Pros of Overhead Openers

When exploring your garage door opener replacement options, you may be overwhelmed by the number of available options, but you can always trust the dependable performance of overhead garage door openers. With overhead openers you can expect:

  • Cost-effective solutions: Compared to jackshaft wall mounted openers, chain, belt and screw-drive opener options are much more cost-effective to install, repair and maintain.
  • Quieter operations: While belt drive openers are considered the quietest overhead garage door opener options, with the latest mechanical improvements, chain and screw-drive machines are much quieter now than they were in the past. Many modern chain and screw-drive machines have a DC motor for quieter operations and minimal disruption.
  • Reliable performance: Overhead garage door openers have the necessary capabilities to lift and lower even the heaviest garage doors, whereas many jackshaft openers have a weight limit. With overhead belt, chain and screw-drive openers, you’ll also have access to the latest improvements to streamline performance, including rolling door codes, MyQ, battery backup and timer-to close.

Pros of Wall-Mounted Openers

Even though you’ve likely only ever used overhead garage door openers for your home, you should consider a wall-mounted jackshaft operator if you’re looking for smooth and efficient long-term garage door functionality. Jackshaft openers offer a wide range of unmatched advantages, including:

  • Space-saving designs: Overhead garage doors require a significant amount of ceiling space — at least 48 inches — and many homes can’t accommodate these size requirements. Jackshaft openers installed to the side of your garage door also allow you to utilize all available overhead space for storing large items like canoes or bicycles.
  • Improved security: Garage doors have an emergency release cord you can pull to detach the door from the opener, so homeowners can manually lift the door during emergency situations. While this tool is convenient, it is possible to trigger it from the outside, allowing burglars into your home. Wall mounted garage door openers don’t have these cords and can’t be manipulated by potential burglars.
  • Better safety: With the latest jackshaft residential garage door openers, homeowners have added peace of mind that they have access to the latest safety features including reversal systems and sensors. Many jackshaft openers can also be upgraded to have a 200-watt light for improved garage safety.

Which Type of Opener Is Right for You?

While checking out your variety of garage door opener replacement options, you’ll come across several different options with a range of benefits and drawbacks — so which one should you choose? The answer to this largely depends on your unique situation, but you should consider your personal budget, maintenance expectations, available garage space, size of the garage door and the key features that you value the most. Every household has specific needs and garage door performance expectations, but you’re sure to find opener solutions that meet your exact specifications.

For the Best Garage Door Opener Products, Contact Quality Overhead Door

When you need personalized, reliable garage door opener solutions and attentive care throughout the Toledo, OH, area, call the experts at Quality Overhead Door. With products and services from Quality Overhead Door, you’re assured knowledgable services and top-rated overhead and wall mounted opener products from leading manufacturers like LiftMaster.

Learn more about our selection of garage door openers for Toledo homes by filling out our online contact form or calling us today at 419-578-8700.

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