Manufactured Home Garage Door Openers 2021 Guide For The Lazy Car Owner

Are you fed up with getting out of the car in the middle of a rain storm to manually roll up the door on your garage?

It sucks – understandably.

An automated garage door opener can make things much easier for you, while also boosting the safety of your home by lighting the garage area and providing more secure access.

All you need is to choose a door opener from the many models available in the market and enjoy the safety and comfort of automated access to your garage.

In the U.S, over 35 million homes are equipped with garage door openers, meaning door openers are some of the widely installed home appliances in America.

Because it is such a common and almost a must have feature in many city and suburban homes, many homeowners don’t pay a lot of attention to the basics of the device until it starts to malfunction or stop working completely.

On average, garage door openers lasts for 10 – 15 years.

That is good news for your wallet, but when it comes time to buy a new model, it means you’ll likely have several pressing questions about what makes the best opener and how to shop for one.

Seven Shopping Factors For The Right Manufactured Home Garage Door Opener

When shopping for an opener for your door, take your time to go through all the basic features to identify a model that best suits your needs.

From power and speed to the drive system, discover which door opener is the best for the weight of your garage door.

Once you have settled on one model that suits your needs, you can seek in home consultation or hire an experienced professional to install it.

Even better, you can install most of the available models all by yourself if you have the basic skills needed.

Consider the factors when choosing one:

  • Type
  • Horsepower
  • Professional v/s DIY Installation
  • Basic Features
  • Safety and Security
  • Brand
  • Necessities

1. Type

There are four types of this essential equipment:

  • chain drive
  • belt drive
  • direct drive
  • screw drive

All standard door openers come in a similar design. Virtually all of them feature a motor that drives the carriage or trolley along a rail.

The trolley is normally tasked with moving the door, so this design involves a trolley linked to the door of the garage – the movements of the trolley push the door closed or pulls it open.

There will be minor differences between various models of garage door openers, mostly how their motors move the trolley.

Chain Drive Garage Door Opener


A chain drive door opener utilizes an extended metal chain to move the trolley which in turn lowers or raises the door.

Chain drive systems tend to be more economical for buyers looking to save a buck but can be noisy and prone to vibration than most other types.

So, if your home is directly attached to the garage, this may not be the best garage door opener for you.

Also, if your garage is situated right under your bedroom or living space, you certainly should go for a quieter opener.

Belt Drive Garage Door Opener

A belt drive door opener works very much the same way as the chain drive type except that it utilizes a belt instead of a chain to shift or drive the trolley.

The belt brings enormous advantages including the ability of the system to run quietly and ensure smoother operation.

As such, it is an ideal door opener for garages attached to the main home or those situated right under the bedroom or living space.

Belt drive systems come with fewer moving parts, meaning they don’t saddle the homeowner with high maintenance needs.

Direct Drive Garage Door Opener

A direct drive door opener too offers a quiet operating mechanism.

Here, the motor is tasked with two responsibilities:

  • it first serves as a trolley
  • and, on top of that, does all the traveling along the track, lowering and raising the door.

This design means the system runs with just one moving part — the driving motor — which translates to much reduced vibration and noise, as well as less maintenance cost.

Screw Drive Garage Door Opener

A screw drive door opener utilizes a threaded rod made of steel to move the system’s lifting mechanism. The rod rotates, driving the trolley on the track to lower or raise the door.

These systems are known to operate quietly especially when compared to chain drive systems.

And, just like belt drive garage door openers, less moving parts mean less maintenance cost.

NOTE that garage door openers are equipped with motors that can be placed in two groups:

Both of them plug into the standard household power outlet although DC openers will need to first convert AC power to DC.

The DC motor comes with numerous advantages over the AC counterpart including its small size, ability to run quietly, and softer stops and starts.

Some of the DC motor openers you will find in the store have a backup battery that ensures the system keeps running in the event of a power blackout.

2. Horsepower

The heavier the door, the higher the horsepower you will need to lower and raise it.

Look for the horsepower (HP) ratings of the opener to compare its lifting power to other models.

Residential garages usually feature smaller and lightweight doors, so they don’t need door openers as powerful as those you’d find in industrial settings.

Openers with HP ratings from 1/2 HP to 1 1/2 HP are ideal for residential garages.

If you have a sectional 2 car garage door, all you need is a 1/2 HP opener although a model with higher power can run with less wear and tear and effort.

One piece or heavier doors may demand higher horsepower openers.

As you choose the HP rating, also consider the speed at which the garage door should open and close.

Generally speaking, it is better to select a door opener that’s a bit overpowered for the garage door versus an under powered model.

The average door opener will lift and lower your door at about 6 – 8 inches per second.

Here is an overview of a range of HP ratings for garage door openers:

1/2 Horsepower

  • This is the most popular HP rating for door openers
  • It will lift most of the garage doors in the market today

3/4 Horsepower

  • This is the perfect power for raising and lowering heavier garage doors laden with insulation
  • The best thing about this rating is that it lasts longer than most of the 1/2 HP motors
  • It tends to be more efficient and runs faster, opening your garage door just as quickly as you want it done

1 Horsepower

  • Perfect for solid wood garage doors or otherwise incredibly heavy garage doors
  • It comes with the best efficiency/power ratio and speed

3. Professional v/s DIY Installation

Do you have the necessary skills and know how needed to install the garage door opener of your choice without the help of a professional?

Installing a new door opener will certainly require some basic technical and handyman skills like using a socket wrench, screwdriver, or a ladder.

For better results, it is highly recommended that you hire an experienced professional to help in installation, especially when raising to the ceiling and mounting it.

Furthermore, decide the suitable time to do it if you plan to install it yourself. The installation process normally takes about 4 – 6 hours unless your opener unit is insanely sophisticated.

In case you don’t have the necessary skills/time or the whole process isn’t worth your time to do it yourself, you can hire an experienced professional to do it for you.

Generally, the installation cost runs about $10 – $200 depending on your garage door’s size and requirements.

4. Opener Features

Standard door openers share several common components:

  • Remotes, keypads, or wall mount buttons open the door.
  • A handy manual release permits you to disengage your garage door opener from inside and lower or raise the door manually.
  • Rail segments come in standardized sizes for garage doors measuring up to 7 ft. tall.
  • The security light is often onboard and will activate when the system is running and turn off automatically after some time.

Additionally, look for these features:

  • Home automation systems connectivity allowing you to access and control the garage door opener remotely.
  • Miniature keychain remotes that fit in your pocket.
  • Inbuilt Wi Fi connects that allows you to directly connect the opener to your household wireless network and even allow you to operate the garage door from your mobile application the requirement of an automation system.
  • Vehicle compatibility permits you to operate your opener from controls installed into different vehicles.
  • Smart device compatibility — often built in but can be available alone or as part of an optional accessory— allows you to access, monitor, and operate the opener from your smartphone or tablet computer.
  • Auto close functionality will automatically lower your garage door after a set (often pre programmed) period.
  • Soft start/ stop drive motors are designed to cut on wear and tear and make the unit run quietly.
  • Locks permits you to prevent remote controls from opening your garage door.
  • Battery backup allows you to operate the door opener even you are experiencing a power outage.
  • Motion sensor backed security lights will operate automatically.
  • Included rail extensions ensure that your garage door opener is compatible with 8 ft high garage doors.

NOTE that many remotes, keypads, and wall mount buttons can control multiple garage door openers. This is highly useful when trying to manage more than one garage bay each with separate doors.

NOTE that it’s important to check the information about the product of your liking to make sure that the unit and its features are fully compatible with your door. Also, ensure that it suits the height of the ceiling.

5. Safety and Security

Please imagine your garage door abruptly slamming itself down when you are driving in!

Door openers that are prone to jamming and other malfunctions can be risky to use.

Read user reviews about the door opener of your liking and get to hear other people’s experiences before you commit yourself to buy it.

Also, if your garage is still serviced with an older door opener (any unit manufactured before January. 1, 1993), consider replacing the unit to take full advantage of the latest safety features.

Most of the modern openers produce electronic beams that cover the entire opening meant for the garage door – this is to offer entrapment prevention and also provide protection.

When an animal, person, or any object breaks this beam, the obstacle triggers the opener’s safety mechanism, thus rescinding the door in a reverse direction.

Some door openers also come with a reversing mechanism that rescinds the closing door if it comes into contact with an obstacle.

Remember to adhere to the instructions provided by the manufacturer when testing the product’s safety features.

The latest openers can also boost the security of your garage.

Most of them come with remote controls that transmit unique codes to activate the opening and closing mechanism.

Look for a product with a rolling code feature (one that randomly changes its codes from time to time) to prevent thieves from listening to your code.

Also, ensure that your neighbor’s remote control can’t open your garage – an opener that can be opened by someone else’s remote control device is near worthless.

The best option for you would be one that generates a new random code every time you open your door remotely. The door opener will gladly accept the brand new code next time you run the remote but reject the old code.

6. Brand

Not just any brand sells the best garage door openers.

Visit Amazon and other eCommerce sites and review sites to see other buyers’ opinions about products from certain brands.

Different brands of openers offer different features and pricing.

Kitsap Garage Door – the guys behind the famous Liftmaster line of garage door openers – is arguably the most recognizable brand in this industry.

Most of their products, including Liftmaster door openers, feature their innovative MyQ® app technology.

This technology allows the user to control the garage door from virtually anywhere with Wi Fi coverage.

Their openers also feature rolling entry codes to prevent possible burglars from listening to your garage passcode and stealing your stuff.

Buying a garage door opener from a reputable brand can be a great way of ensuring that it meets your needs.

7. Necessities

There is a list of additional items you should purchase for proper setup or installation and also for using your new opener to its full potential.

  • Firstly, garage door openers are shipped standard with most of the hanging straps, but clients are sometimes expected to buy additional angle iron if they want to effectively mount the product to the ceiling.
  • Additional angle iron units of the right size may be required for installation in certain garages.
  • You may also need light bulbs of a certain type to accompany your garage door opener.
  • Because requirements for each opener can be different, you will need to figure out the right bulb size for your specific opener.
  • Wrongly selected bulbs may not illuminate properly after you have installed the opener.
  • Your favorite brand will advise you on the best bulb to install with their garage door openers.

In a nutshell

An automated garage door opener can make things much easier for you, while also boosting the safety of your home by lighting the garage area and providing more secure access.

To choose product that suits your needs, you need to consider all the important factors.

Firstly, you need to make up your mind which of the four types of garage door openers would be perfect for you garage.

The horsepower rating of the opener is directly proportional to the weight of the door – the heavier the door, the higher the horsepower you will need to lower and raise it.

Openers with HP ratings from 1/2 HP to 1 1/2 HP are ideal for residential garages.

Do you have the necessary skills and know how needed to install the garage door opener of your choice without the help of a professional?

Installing a new door opener will certainly require some basic technical and handyman skills like using a socket wrench, screwdriver, or a ladder.

Remember to read user reviews about the door opener of your liking and get to hear other people’s experiences before you commit yourself to buy it.

Factor in the brand. Not just any brand sells the best garage door openers.

Visit Amazon and other eCommerce sites and review sites to see other buyers’ opinions about products from certain brands.

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