6 Best Types of Garage Door Openers for Every Home

Ben Kissam
Written by Ben Kissam
Updated February 17, 2022
Man in garage
Photo: The Image Bank/Getty Images

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There are several options when it comes to choosing a garage door opener for your home. Garage door openers cost between $200 and $500, on average, so as a homeowner, it’s good to learn what types will work for your budget. Some garage door openers models are compact and work well in a small space. Some more high-tech openers connect to wifi and include a virtual home assistant.

In this guide, learn the six best types of garage door openers that will work for your space, and your lifestyle.

1. Chain Drive Garage Door Openers

The most common garage door opener out there is the chain opener, which uses (you guessed it) a metal chain to open and close the door. During operation, this model looks similar to a bicycle chain helping to spin the wheels on a bike. They work with your garage sensor to keep your household safe.

Chain drive garage door openers are popular due to their affordability and relative ease of installation. They start at $150 (plus the cost of installation, unless you install a garage door opener yourself).

Labor costs tend to range from $150 to $500, but you may have to pay extra if you need to rent tools. A local garage door company can give you a quote.

2. Belt-Driven Garage Door Openers

Belt drive garage door openers operate similarly to chain drive products, except a rubber belt, not a chain, lowers and raises the door. 

Belt-driven openers are more popular for some homeowners because they are quieter than chain drive models. You will pay for this advantage, though; $150 to $460 is the average cost for a new device.

3. Wall-Mounted Garage Door Openers

Garages with limited (or too much) vertical space can benefit from a wall-mounted option. They save space and reduce overhead clearance for taller cars. They also make it easy to access your opener if a technical issue pops up down the road.

Wall mounts use a pulley system connected to the door’s torsion bar and are sometimes called jackshaft garage door openers. They cost between $250 and $500 for new units.

4. Screw Drive Garage Door Openers

It might help to picture an actual screw, which is sort of how the threaded bar on a screw drive garage door opener works. Rotating in one direction to open, the other to close, the threaded bar offers tons of power in a compact design. It’s very popular for smaller one-car garages for that reason.

One potential drawback is the amount of maintenance needed over its life, but regular maintenance and timely repairs on your garage door opener can help protect your investment. 10 to 15 years is a good life expectancy for your garage door opener. Expect to pay $200 to $500 for a new screw-drive-operated model.

5. Quiet Garage Door Openers

Individual models available for each option discussed so far could technically be classified as a “quiet” garage door opener. Low noise level is one of the most sought-after features homeowners look for, so product developers work hard on creating powerful, efficient machines that don’t make a lot of noise.

One of the quietest options is a belt-driven, DC-powered garage door opener. Wall mounts that limit vibrations using thick padding or insulation can also be quite effective for stifling sound.

The quieter your product, the more you should expect to reasonably pay for your device. You can expect to pay around $500 for a top-end product.

6. Smart Garage Door Openers

Man opening garage with phone
Photo: Maskot/Getty Images

Smart garage door openers also mix and mingle with some of the hardware options discussed above. But they come with an additional digital control panel that offers nifty advantages, such as real-time home security monitoring, app-enabled opening and closing on your smartphone, and carbon monoxide protection, among others.

For the homeowner who forgets to close their garage occasionally, peace of mind is also available. You can check the door’s open status from anywhere, and close it even if you are hundreds of miles away.

More features will equate to a higher price tag. You can potentially save money by focusing on the power needed to retract your garage door, and not buying more than necessary. That’ll save money for additional digital features.

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