Installing 2x4 Header for Garage Door Opener

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garyb
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Installing 2x4 Header for Garage Door Opener

Post by garyb » Fri Aug 03, 2018 11:43 am

Hey all,

I'm replacing our garage door openers because they're old and crappy. The instructions say you're supposed to install the track bracket 2" above the highest point of the door. Unfortunately that spot doesn't have a header behind it, only sheetrock.

The people who installed the original openers that came w/ the house installed the track bracket way above the highest part of the door, almost next to the ceiling, as you can see where the drywall paper was removed in the pic below.

The instructions also say if you have a coil in the way of that spot you can "securely" install a 2x4 to act as a header. So because there's no header in that spot, I wanna install a 2x4. So I'm trying to figure out the best looking, sturdiest, and easiest way to do that.

Here's plan #1: Lag bolt a 4 ft 2x4 over the top of the sheetrock to the studs and bolt the track bracket thing to that 2x4. (Eventually I'll paint it white.)

Image

Plan #2: Cut out a large enough space in the sheetrock for the 2x4 and screw two 3" decking screws on each end of the 2x4 header, securing it between the 2 closest studs. Install the header bracket onto that 2x4, and patch the sheetrock hole later. The only problem I see with this is the header bracket's lag bolts might hit into the decking screws. :( But if I'm careful to keep the 3" screws toward the top and bottom, and screw the bracket screws in the middle of the board, it may work. Or should I use a 2x6 instead?

Image

Or do you guys have a plan #3 for me? What do you guys think? I'm all ears, never installed a header before. :D

Edit: and yes our studs are 2' on center. Ugh. I have no idea why, they must have been trying to save money. :(

Thanks!

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Shannon
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Re: Installing 2x4 Header for Garage Door Opener

Post by Shannon » Fri Aug 03, 2018 12:34 pm

Your plan #1 is a good choice so long as you don't care that you will have the 2x4 visible.
You could also mount a short piece of 2x4 vertically from the header to the top corner were the old bracket was. Just be sure it will not interfere with the spring assembly.
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Shannon
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Re: Installing 2x4 Header for Garage Door Opener

Post by Shannon » Fri Aug 03, 2018 12:36 pm

Actually on further inspection I do see that there is a 2x6 chased around the door perimeter so the vertical block I spoke of could go right from the top of it to the top corner and you should have no trouble with the spring assembly.
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garyb
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Re: Installing 2x4 Header for Garage Door Opener

Post by garyb » Fri Aug 03, 2018 12:46 pm

Shannon wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 12:36 pm
Actually on further inspection I do see that there is a 2x6 chased around the door perimeter so the vertical block I spoke of could go right from the top of it to the top corner and you should have no trouble with the spring assembly.
Oh, yeah, that piece of wood at the bottom going across the top of the door? That's a 2x4 that was painted white, but I think there may be a 2x6 behind it, is that what you are referring to? So would I just add the vertical 2x4 stud next to the one that's already there, then add a flat 2x6 on top of them? That may be the cleanest-looking solution, but maybe also the most work? Haha.

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A. Spruce
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Re: Installing 2x4 Header for Garage Door Opener

Post by A. Spruce » Fri Aug 03, 2018 1:03 pm

I like the vertical 2x plan best, as it will be less obtrusive and it will cover the mounting locations of the previous door.

Option 3: Cut out a section of the drywall where you want the 2x and install it as blocking between framing members. Reinstall the drywall you removed carefully so that you can reuse it, tape, paint, and it will look as if nothing ever happened. 8-)
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garyb
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Re: Installing 2x4 Header for Garage Door Opener

Post by garyb » Fri Aug 03, 2018 1:04 pm

@Shannon So, something like this? Just cut out the sheetrock, nail the vertical backing 2x4 at an angle, into the header and the top framing, then screw a new 2x6 to the 2x4s and header?

Image

Thanks a ton for the help!

garyb
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Re: Installing 2x4 Header for Garage Door Opener

Post by garyb » Fri Aug 03, 2018 1:06 pm

Ohhh I think I see what you guys mean, don't cut out any sheetrock and just put a flat 2x4 from bottom to top, screwing it down at both ends. Yeah that could work!

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Re: Installing 2x4 Header for Garage Door Opener

Post by garyb » Fri Aug 03, 2018 1:15 pm

I think that vertical 2x4 plan may be the best/easiest route! I guess I could also cut out a hole thats almost the exact size of the vertical 2x4 to make it seem like it fits better, yeah! And caulk around/paint it after it's in maybe.

How should I attach this new 2x4 to the header & top framing? do you think 2.5" screws will be ok? Or should I use 4" lag bolts?

Thanks guys!

Image

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Re: Installing 2x4 Header for Garage Door Opener

Post by A. Spruce » Fri Aug 03, 2018 1:18 pm

We were offering two different options. Either surface mount a vertical 2x from the bottom plate to the ceiling, OR, as I suggested, remove a larger section of drywall and install blocking between the studs where you need it, then reinstall the drywall. I don't think shannon's suggestion included drywall removal. There's no reason to do so with the vertical 2x unless you have other clearance issues with the opener, such as the counter balance spring coil binding on it, which means you install blocking at either side of the door as well for the spring mounts.

Quick tip: Don't cut all the way to the ceiling if removing a piece of drywall, then all your taping is flat work which is much faster and easier to do.
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Re: Installing 2x4 Header for Garage Door Opener

Post by A. Spruce » Fri Aug 03, 2018 1:20 pm

garyb wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 1:15 pm
I think that vertical 2x4 plan may be the best/easiest route! I guess I could also cut out a hole thats almost the exact size of the vertical 2x4 to make it seem like it fits better, yeah! And caulk around/paint it after it's in maybe.

How should I attach this new 2x4 to the header & top framing? do you think 2.5" screws will be ok? Or should I use 4" lag bolts?

Thanks guys!
If going through the drywall, you will need 4" screws or longer because you've got 2" of "dead" material you're going through before you get to the stud. Screws or lag bolts are fine, your choice. Use a deck screw that is heavier gauge than a typical "bright" or drywall screw.
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garyb
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Re: Installing 2x4 Header for Garage Door Opener

Post by garyb » Fri Aug 03, 2018 1:25 pm

A. Spruce wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 1:20 pm
garyb wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 1:15 pm
How should I attach this new 2x4 to the header & top framing? do you think 2.5" screws will be ok? Or should I use 4" lag bolts?

Thanks guys!
If going through the drywall, you will need 4" screws or longer because you've got 2" of "dead" material you're going through before you get to the stud. Screws or lag bolts are fine, your choice. Use a deck screw that is heavier gauge than a typical "bright" or drywall screw.
Ah yeah, true! I think removing a tiny section of drywall where the 2x4 will go will be the cleanest look. It's not that big of a spot and I have a jab saw. That way I can use 3" decking screws too, right?

What did you mean don't cut all the way to the ceiling? How far up should I cut? How would I fill the gap that gets left there?

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A. Spruce
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Re: Installing 2x4 Header for Garage Door Opener

Post by A. Spruce » Fri Aug 03, 2018 2:00 pm

Standard rule of thumb is that your fastener length must be at least twice the thickness of what you are attaching, though in this case you would also include the drywall because it is not a structural component. Without drywall, a 3" deck screw will suffice.

If you are notching for the 2x, then you can go up flush with the ceiling. If you were cutting out a larger piece of drywall that you would be patching back in, then you leave a little at the top so that you don't have to tape the corner.

Don't know if you caught my earlier comment about the vertical block interfering with the counterbalance spring. It is commonplace to see vertical 2x attached to either side of the door that the tracks and spring hardware mount to, the block installed for the opener would have to be on the same plane as the side pieces of 2x for everything to fit and operate properly.
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Shannon
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Re: Installing 2x4 Header for Garage Door Opener

Post by Shannon » Fri Aug 03, 2018 2:33 pm

What I was saying was, there will be a header over the door opening but under the drywall. It should likely be at least a 2x8 depending on the opening width. There is then a 2x4 secures over the drywall and it is painted. Secure a vertical 2x4 , 2x6 whatever you have from the ceiling down to the top of the painted 2x4. Not over lapping the 2x4 ,just to it. Attach that to the wall by screwing into the header (at bottom) and the double top plate (up in the top corner by ceiling) . There is not a lot of pressure from the opener on this and it will hold fine. If you don’t want drywall sandwiched between then cut it out
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garyb
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Re: Installing 2x4 Header for Garage Door Opener

Post by garyb » Fri Aug 03, 2018 3:01 pm

Okay awesome, thanks a bunch for the help guys!

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Re: Installing 2x4 Header for Garage Door Opener

Post by garyb » Sun Aug 05, 2018 1:07 pm

A. Spruce wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 2:00 pm
Standard rule of thumb is that your fastener length must be at least twice the thickness of what you are attaching, though in this case you would also include the drywall because it is not a structural component. Without drywall, a 3" deck screw will suffice.

If you are notching for the 2x, then you can go up flush with the ceiling. If you were cutting out a larger piece of drywall that you would be patching back in, then you leave a little at the top so that you don't have to tape the corner.

Don't know if you caught my earlier comment about the vertical block interfering with the counterbalance spring. It is commonplace to see vertical 2x attached to either side of the door that the tracks and spring hardware mount to, the block installed for the opener would have to be on the same plane as the side pieces of 2x for everything to fit and operate properly.
Gotcha, thanks for the explanation!

Yep I caught your comment about the vertical block + counterbalance spring, I think I'm all set there. It wasn't even w/ the old opener, but it will be now! Is this what you're referring to?

Image

Thanks!

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A. Spruce
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Re: Installing 2x4 Header for Garage Door Opener

Post by A. Spruce » Sun Aug 05, 2018 1:17 pm

Yes, that is what I was referring to. 8-)

Ah, you're using a different kind of lift spring system. This was probably a cheap DIY door from a big box, I've installed one of those before, the lift springs are crap! The good news is that it doesn't matter if the opener is on the same plane as the lift springs because of this design, the bad news is that they don't do a whole lot for helping lift the door.

The better type of counterbalance spring is a coil torsion spring, it lives on a bar that spans the width of the door. It is this type of spring that you have to have both ends and center point all on the same plane because you need to keep the spring and bar straight. This type of spring is a bit dangerous to adjust, but has far superior lift assist.

Image
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