Buying the Right Garage Door Opener

What to Consider and Look for When Buying a Garage Door Opener

By Mark J. Donovan

After moving into a new home with a garage, homeowners often find themselves searching out garage door openers for their garage doors. Finding and buying the right garage door opener can be a bit of a challenge for the uninitiated.

First, there are several garage door opener types to choose from. Second, garage door openers are specified relative to different motor horsepower ratings. The more horsepower a motor has, the more powerful it is. So which garage door opener is right for your garage doors? Read on to learn how to choose the right garage door opener for your garage doors.

There are basically three different garage door opener types. Probably the most common type of garage door opener used today with standard 7’x9’ garage doors is the chain driven garage door opener.

These types of garage door openers are ideal for heavier garage doors. I’ve personally installed many of these garage door openers in my homes over the years. Basically you need about half a day to install one, and can expect to pay somewhere between $100 and $250 for it.

If you are installing garage door openers on metal garage doors, you’ll also need to buy several feet of reinforcement steel to protect the garage door from becoming damaged by the garage door opener. I personally choose to buy ¾ horse power garage door openers for the extra power, however you can save a few dollars if you buy a ½ horse power garage door opener.

This said, if you have wood garage doors or larger non-standard garage doors you should go with the stronger horsepower garage door opener.

The only disadvantage of chain driven garage door openers is that they are loud sounding, so they may not be best for the garage door that sits below a bedroom.

The belt driven garage door opener is the second type of garage door opener. It is ideal for garage doors where noise is a concern, such as a garage door located underneath a bedroom. Belt driven garage door openers, however, don’t have the same strength as the chain driven ones and typically wear out faster.

The last type of garage door opener is known as a screw driven garage door opener. They’ve been around for a number of decades and are not as commonly used today compared to the chain driven garage door opener.

 Garage Door Opener

They operate by a lifting arm assembly that travels along a threaded steel rod. Like the chain driven garage door opener, they can be used with heavier garage doors and are available in several different horsepower motor ratings.

For more information on building a garage addition see the Garage Addition Bid Sheet from The Garage Addition Bid Sheet includes an extensive questionnaire (Request for Quote) that a homeowner can provide to prospective general contractors and subcontractors for bidding the garage addition. In addition, the Garage Addition Bid Sheet also includes estimated costs and time intervals for constructing a garage addition as well as a list of key home material manufacturers. Finally, the Garage Addition Bid sheet includes an extensive set of helpful tips and advice on making sure the garage addition is built properly and on time and budget.

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