How High-Tech Do You Want Your Garage Door to Go?

Garage doors have seen a tremendous amount of change in the past couple of decades. You used to have only a few variations regarding door operation and style, but now it seems like garage doors are more diverse than the available front door styles for your home. How many features to get is not a quick decision. Look at each general level of additional technology and compare it to how you would be using the garage and what benefit you would get from the technology.

Manual Operation

At its most basic, a garage door can be manually opened and closed with no bells and whistles. You don't need a remote, you don't need a motorized lift, and you don't need any special monitoring if you really want to have just the basic function of closing off your garage from the outside. This type of door would be best for someone who isn't going to be opening it daily. If all you're using the garage for is laundry and storage, for example, you won't really need a lot of fancy features. You should still open the door every week or so to ensure none of the parts freeze up. But these doors are easy to lift and close just by yourself.

The Middle Ground

For people who are going to open the door frequently, a motorized opener is perfect. Someone putting his or her car in the garage nightly, especially in an area with bad weather, would benefit from having an opener and remote. Remember not to leave the opener in your car, and double-check that there are no nearby radio transmitters that could interfere with the remote's signal.

If you have a lot of stuff in your garage and don't want to block any of it with the car, once the opener is installed, mark how far you should pull the car in. Drive the car into the garage and keep getting out to look at where the ends of both bumpers are. Hang a string with a small weight on the end (enough to keep the string straight) at a point where the end of the string will be right by your front windshield when you are properly parked.

Getting High Tech

Someone who is going to be away a lot or who has a large family/group of housemates who will be constantly using the garage (and thus constantly leaving the door open by accident) could benefit from a remote system controlled via a smartphone app. These apps allow you to check the status of the door via a camera and let you open, close, and lock the door while you're away. These are very good for situations where you know you'll need to be able to control the door at random points throughout the day.

Take stock of your situation, and then contact a garage door company through resources like They can replace or retrofit the door to fit your needs.