Dear Pole Barn Guru: How Do I Make a Garage Door Opener Fit?

Welcome to Ask the Pole Barn Guru – where you can ask questions about building topics, with answers posted on Mondays.  With many questions to answer, please be patient to watch for yours to come up on a future Monday segment.  If you want a quick answer, please be sure to answer with a “reply-able” email address.

Email all questions to: PoleBarnGuru@HansenPoleBuildings.com

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I am having a new 10 foot eave height pole barn constructed. For whatever reason 9×9 overhead doors were ordered instead of 9×8 doors and now we are running into problems installing garage door Openers.  The builder rigged something in get the doors to fit, but now the openers can’t be installed.  Got any ideas on what to do? WILD IN WYOMING

DEAR WILD: Too bad whomever was doing inventory did not notify the supplier of an incorrect dimension of doors being received, but this is construction and things DO happen. When one considers the thousands of people who touch the pieces before they are delivered, as well as thousands of components required to construct even a basic building, it is amazing anything ever gets built!

Without having to tear everything or anything apart, the best solution is probably to use a jackshaft garage door opener. The general consensus is those who have them, prefer them to the more common rear mounted openers, for ease of operation, as well as being very quiet.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: We are constructing a Hansen Pole Building kit package. The plans show the height from grade to the bottom of the top overhead door jamb and door header assembly as 14’ 2-1/2”?? we’ve built off the plans and know we have an issue with only having a 14′ door.  I now have a 2-1/2″ opening at the top of the door.??  What’s your thoughts.?? We can stack some 2×4’s but then I need some metal trim to finish out fascia.?? Please reply with your thoughts. NUMBED IN NEBRASKA

DEAR NUMBED: The 14’ 2-1/2” height is correct for a raised panel type door. The bottom of the door is to be set 3-1/2” above grade, to allow for a future nominal four inch thick concrete slab floor to be poured. Once you use this point to start from, you will find the door ends up installed with a nice one inch overlap at the top and sides of the finished opening, to assist in providing a weather tight seal.

In the event a concrete floor is not immediately poured, there are several options – the easiest of which is to place a gravel “berm” across the opening, which the door can seal against when closed.

You may never plan on a floor being poured, but the next person to own the building may very well have different ideas, and a door installed to fit down tight to grade, would pose nothing but problems later on, as the entire door would need to be removed, raised up 3-1/2” and then reinstalled.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU:  Why are they called “pole” barns? TALL IN TEXAS

DEAR TALL: Technically “pole barns” are actually “post frame” buildings. The term “pole” barn comes from the vertical members which were first used many years ago to support this style of construction – old utility (power) poles.

This is no longer done – instead columns which are square or rectangular are used, and pressure preservative treated for in-ground structural use so they will last….much longer than you and I will be alive!

To read more about the history of pole and post frame buildings:

https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2011/06/history-of-pole-buildings-part-i-back-to-the-cave-men/

2 thoughts on “Dear Pole Barn Guru: How Do I Make a Garage Door Opener Fit?

  1. We have 2 16×16 doors in our pole barn and we want to install wall mount openers what kind do you suggest and the horsepower.

    Reply
    1. I’d recommend you contact your local garage door companies – as you will most likely want this to be a professional and warranted installation. For a wall mount (jack shaft) opener, you will need to have a solid shaft, so it mail entail switching out the spring shaft.

      Reply

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