What Makes A Good Garage Door Opener

Oct 2, 2018 | Garage Door Openers

What Makes A Good Garage Door Opener

If you made it to this page your no doubt wondering what makes a good garage door opener?

Getting a new opener isn’t really all that exciting, I know. However, if you don’t get a decent garage door opener you can wind up regretting the decision of getting a new one. 

These days everyone has an opinion, and so do I. I’ve been doing this a long time and I think as you read on you may feel that I really do know what I am talking about. Just give this article a try and then you can be the judge for yourself as to which unit you should buy.

My job is to point you in the right direction, and so I intend to do so.

There are quite a few great garage door openers, so let’s get into this. Keep reading!

Garage Door Openers – Popular Brands

First things first, let’s talk brands. 

You’ve got your major players who are well known for making reliable garage door openers; Chamberlain/Liftmaster, Genie, Craftsman, and Linear.

Then you have a bunch of smaller fish which I won’t be able to completely list, but here are some of them just so you have an idea; Ryobi, Skylink, Guardian, Overhead Door, Stanley and many more. I’m sure you get the gist. 

Here’s something you should know:

The small fish/unknown brands aren’t worth your time and money.

Why not?

They haven’t been around long enough to know how to make a reliable garage door opener. The majority off brand garage door openers see defects arise much too soon. They’re still being perfected. Some may last a little while but are you willing to risk your hard earned money on an unreliable garage door opener?

What happens when that company goes out of business and your garage door opener dies on you early/suddenly? It should be covered under warranty. What warranty though? There is no one to serve you! 

Bottom line: 

Its not worth investing money into a bad garage door opener. Especially when there are so many good options!

So let’s talk about the well known garage door opener companies. 

Chamberlain/Liftmaster are by far the best in the business. I personally installed over a thousand of their openers over the past five years and I continue to install them on an almost daily basis. 

Now why would I do that if these weren’t awesome garage door openers?

Genie garage door openers are also well known and they used to make decent garage door openers. Notice how I wrote “used to”?

For whatever reason I believe that Genie’s electronics aren’t made as good as Chamberlains. 

Circuit boards and capacitors go out on the Genie openers much too soon. I’m talking a year or so and you end up with the most expensive part needing a replacement, and as luck would have it that part is only warrantied for a year.

I’m not saying they’re horrible garage door openers, i’m saying that i’d give Genie some more time to work out the bugs before picking up one of their garage door openers.

Would I choose Genie over Marantec or Skylink? Absolutely.

My Recommendation

My recommendation to getting a good garage door opener, I have two:

There are two ways to go about this.

You can call a local garage door service company and have them get the garage door opener for you and of course install it. If this is an option you choose, again make sure you go with a Liftmaster at this point. Don’t get sucked into buying a different brand, you may regret it.

Trust me you won’t regret it. Reliable, sturdy and silent are the first three words that come to mind when anyone mentions Liftmaster garage door openers.

Option two would be to buy an opener yourself through Amazon or Lowes or even Craigslist. From there either install it yourself or hire someone to do it for you.

The first option is the least hassle, but a tiny bit more expensive. What’s a tiny bit? Something like $25-$100 more expensive than option two. Is the hassle worth the money? You be the judge.

No matter what you do both of my recommendations will have the same end result of having a good and reliable garage door opener. 

That just happens to begin and end with choosing the right brand garage door opener.

Garage Door Opener FAQ

You probably have some questions. Let’s see if we can answer them before you ask, by going over the top ten questions asked when buying a new garage door opener.

1. What is the best garage door opener brand?

Answer: As you read in the paragraph prior to this section I side strongly with Liftmaster branded garage door openers as the best garage door openers.(again Chamberlain makes Liftmaster.)

I wrote a Chamberlain belt drive review and in it you’ll see that I refer to it as the best garage door opener available to the public. That’s simply because Liftmaster is only sold wholesale.

2. How much does it cost to put in a new garage door opener?

Answer: The average cost of getting a new garage door opener varies between brand and models. Assuming you stick to the ones i’ve recommended the bottom end you should be looking at $300-350 installed and $400-550 installed on better models.

Of course there are factors that can change the prices but for the most part that is what you should see.

3. How long do garage door openers last?

Answer: Garage door openers have a lifespan of roughly 18-25 years. I’ve seen a few reach 25-30 years but that isn’t too common. This holds true if you maintain your garage door opener correctly and repair parts as necessary. (gears, clips, sensors, things like that as needed)

4. Is a chain drive better than a belt drive?

Answer: Chain driven openers are still very popular as a cheaper alternative to the preferred belt driven operators. Belt drives tend to be quieter and last longer, and that being true i’d have to say no. However, chain drives are sometimes better in certain scenarios. For example, wooden garage doors, or rental homes since saving money is usually more of a priority.

5. What is included with a new garage door opener?

Answer: New garage door openers typically include the motor head, rail assembly, wall control, safety sensors and a remote. Extra remotes and outdoor keypads are options you can choose.

6. How long does it take to install a garage door opener?

Answer: This really depends on skill level of the installer and the job cleanliness. I personally install openers in an average of 45 minutes to an hour. For someone that’s handy around the home I would expect 3-6 hours. For the mechanically challenged it could take days as I have seen that firsthand. 

7. Should I try to install the opener myself to save money?

Answer: How mechanically incline are you? Is it worth saving $100 dollars for hours or possibly days of your time? This is a question you should answer yourself, however I personally never recommend it. There are things you must know when installing a new garage door opener.

8. Can I control the new garage door opener with my phone?

Answer: Yes, you can as most new garage door openers have wifi built in. However if you just purchased a new garage door opener and it doesn’t have wifi there are ways around it to ensure you will still be able to open your garage door with your phone

9. Is it possible for a stranger to be opening my garage door with a universal remote?

Answer: While this is a possibility, it is a VERY unlikely one. Someone would have to have had access to your garage door openers motor head, and would have had to program it from inside your garage. 

10. Are wifi garage door openers hackable?

Answer: Wifi garage door openers have been around for over 2 years now and in that time I have not seen anyone’s garage door opener get hacked. Would have to be a no for this question.

Good Garage Door Opener – Conclusion

My recommendation? I personally would go to Home Depot or Lowes and pick up one of Chamberlains good garage door openers, say a model B970. From there you have the option to install yourself or hire someone to do it for you. 

If you’re interested you can read more about what I think is the best garage door opener anyone can buy. Just click that link. 

Open up your handy dandy Yelp app or open Yelp.com on your desktop and search up a reputable garage door service company. You can usually find someone good that’ll install it professionally for around $100. You’ll save at least $50 this way and you’ll have an awesome garage door opener!

That’s all for this one, if you’ve gotten this far thanks for reading! You indeed are awesome!

Thanks for reading! Hope this article was informative / helpful. Leave a comment/share this with your friends if it did make an impact or make you think a bit. Be sure to follow us on social media by using the buttons in the footer.

Have an awesome day!

– Andrew @ Garage Door Guidance


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