Types of Garage Door Openers

An integral part of any automated garage door system is the garage door opener. It's the device that provides the convenience and comfort of opening and closing your garage door at the touch of a button. This article covers everything you need to know about garage door openers, including how to choose the right one, costs, lifespan, signs of damage, and popular types of openers.

Which is the Right Opener for My Garage Door?

The choice of the right garage door opener depends on several factors including the type of garage door you have, the size and weight of the door, your budget, and your specific needs for features such as noise level, speed, and security. Consulting a professional garage door company can provide valuable insight into the best opener for your particular garage door.

How Much Do Garage Door Openers Cost?

As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, the cost of garage door openers varied significantly depending on the type, features, and brand. On average, homeowners could expect to pay anywhere between £100 to £500 for a new opener, excluding installation costs. Note that prices may have since changed.

Do I Need a Professional Garage Door Fitter to Fit My Opener?

While it's possible for technically inclined homeowners to install a garage door opener, professional installation is highly recommended. A professional can ensure the opener is correctly fitted and properly configured, reducing the risk of malfunctions, damage, and potential safety issues.

How Long Do Openers Last?

The lifespan of garage door openers depends on several factors, including the quality of the opener, frequency of use, and how well it's maintained. On average, a garage door opener should last between 10 and 15 years, although many last longer with proper care and maintenance.

What Are the Signs of a Damaged Opener?

Common signs of a damaged or failing opener include:

  1. The door doesn’t open or close properly: If your door isn't responding correctly to the opener, the opener could be the issue.

  2. Noise: Unusual noises such as grinding or grating sounds can indicate problems.

  3. The door reverses: If the door reverses before or after hitting the floor, it might indicate an issue with the opener's settings or sensors.

  4. Intermittent operation: If the door sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t, it may signal a faulty opener.

Automatic Reversal

Automatic reversal is a safety feature found in modern garage door openers. If the door encounters an obstruction while closing, it automatically reverses to prevent damage or injury. This feature is crucial if you have children, pets, or valuable items that could potentially be in the path of the door.

What Are the Most Popular Garage Door Openers?

Some popular types of garage door openers include:

  1. Chain-drive openers: These use a metal chain to drive the trolley and open the door. They are often less expensive but can be noisy.

  2. Belt-drive openers: These use a rubber belt instead of a chain, making them quieter than chain-drive openers.

  3. Screw-drive openers: These use a threaded steel rod to move the trolley. They have fewer moving parts, which can mean less maintenance.

Choosing an Automated Opener for Your Existing Garage Door

When choosing an opener for your existing door, you'll need to consider the door's size, weight, and type. Some openers are better suited to heavy or oversized doors, while others work best with standard size doors. If noise is a concern, consider a belt-drive or screw-drive opener. A professional can help guide your choice on the best garage door components based on your specific circumstances.

Sectional Garage Openers

Sectional garage openers are designed to operate sectional doors, which are made up of panel sections connected with hinges. As the door opens or closes, the wheels at the edge of each panel roll inside a vertical track. A motorised opener can easily automate this type of door.

Up and Over Openers

Up and over openers are suitable for up and over doors, which are made of a single solid panel. The door runs on tracks that extend back into the garage. While these doors can be automated, the right balance and alignment are crucial for smooth operation.

Roller Garage Openers

Roller garage openers are designed for roller doors, which are made up of several horizontal slats joined together. The door rolls up and down on tracks and can be easily automated with an opener specifically designed for this type of door.

Side Hinged Openers

Side hinged openers are less common but can be used to automate side-hinged doors, which swing open and closed from a hinged frame on either side of the opening. Converting these doors to automatic operation can be more complex and may require specialised openers.

Remote Controller Openers

Most automated garage doors are operated by remote control. The remote sends a signal to the opener to command the door to open or close. Remotes can be basic, with a single button to open and close the door, or they can be more complex, with buttons to control multiple doors, turn the opener lights on or off, and even lock the door for added security.


Choosing the right garage door opener can significantly enhance your comfort and convenience. By considering the type of your garage door, the opener's cost, installation aspects, and additional features, you can make an informed decision that will meet your needs and ensure the longevity of your garage door system. Always remember that professional advice can help you navigate the multitude of options available and guide you in your choice.