Garage door openers have some great advantages, the obvious one being that you can open your garage without getting out of your car! This is absolutely fantastic when you've just arrived home with a car full of items to unload and it starts pouring cats and dogs. But, with so many models on the market, which is the best option for you?
There are a number of considerations you should think about first before looking for a new garage door package or if you are going to retrofit an opener to an existing door. Thinking about what features you would like in advance will save you a lot of time and possibly money.
Can you fit an opener to the garage door you already have? It can be possible but it will depend on the type of door, its quality and the tracks. The best thing to do in this situation is to contact a professional installer and get them to have a look, many will do this as part of a free quote. If it cannot be done they can give you options on a new door.
How much room is there is your garage? There are three basic types of garage doors, roller, tilt or sectional garage doors. Roller doors are great if you want to make the most of your storage space in your garage, however you do need to make sure you have enough head room for the door top roll up. Tilt doors are an older style, simpler but require more space to open as there has to be room for the door to tilt up and down along a pivot point. If you have limited headroom a sectional door may be just the ticket as they tend to roll back along tracks along the ceiling but you may lose some storage space.
Where is your garage in relation to quiet areas in your house? If your garage is near or next to a bedroom you should consider an opener that is as quiet as you can get, otherwise you might be leaving your vehicle outside so anyone having to drive to work early isn't waking up the whole household.
What will you do if there is a power outage? Garage doors openers rely on power. If you have internal access from your home to your garage you can open your garage door from inside by operating the door in manual mode. If your garage has no internal access and the main door is the only access point, it is essential to add a manual key release system that will disengage the motor allowing you to open the door from the outside.
What safety features are there? Garage doors are large moving objects and misuse or failure can cause serious injury. If you have small children or pets which play in or around your garage you should consider automatic motors that feature infra red safety beams which prevent the door closing if a person, animal or object is detected under it.
Another important thing you should consider is installation. Are you a good DIYer (be careful here as self installation usually voids warranties) or are you going to get a professional in to install it? If you get a professional, always check on their installation experience and after sales service.
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