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Automatic Garage Door Cost Guide

Automatic garage doors offer a high level of convenience to homeowners who park their vehicles in the garage and need to come and go frequently. There is no need for the homeowner to get out of his or her vehicle to operate the garage door. Most automatic garage doors operate with the use of a remote control. In addition to providing an easy entrance to the vehicles, garage doors also act as a way to add security to the home, provide aesthetic appeal and can even add to the home's energy efficiency. Automatic garage doors are available in a wide variety of materials, colors, styles and shapes to suit the architectural style of the home and the neighborhood.

The Costs 

  • The average minimum cost of an automatic garage door is $928.
  • The average maximum cost of an automatic garage door is $1,505.

Standard automatic garage doors measure 9 feet wide by 7 feet tall. Homeowners that desire a larger automatic garage door will pay more for the materials. The cost of a double-wide garage door is nearly double that of the standard size garage door. In addition to the cost of the automatic garage door, homeowners undertaking this type of a home improvement project will face some additional costs. Supplies such as mounting hardware add an average of $200 to the project. Installation services for an automatic garage door are typically provided by the vendor. The average cost per hour for labor to install an automatic garage door is $41. If the garage door opening requires modifications or if the homeowner needs to install an automatic garage door opener, this will add to the materials and labor costs of the project.


Automatic garage doors can be created out of many different types of material. Each material has its own unique advantages. The most common materials used to make automatic garage doors include:

  • Steel: This is the most common material used for automatic garage doors. It is treated to resist corrosion and can be textured to resemble wood. It can be insulated and have a single or double skin.
  • Aluminum: These doors are lightweight, inexpensive and resist corrosion from salt and humidity. They are an uncommon choice except in seaside areas. It can be painted. It is prone to denting and scratching because due to it's soft metal.
  • Fiberglass: This is a newer material for use in automatic garage doors. It is lightweight and resists denting. It is prone to cracking and comes in a limited range of colors and styles.
  • Wood: Wood automatic garage doors are heavy and require a specialized motor to handle their heft. They are considered by many homeowners to be the most attractive option for a garage door. To maintain their durability and appearance, wood garage doors require regular maintenance including painting or sealing. Wood garage doors are the most expensive option.
  • Composite: A mixture of materials including vinyl and steel or aluminum and steel can be laminated with a composite resin and made to look like wood. 

Homeowners can select from different styles of automatic garage doors. Some of these styles include one or more windows. Some automatic garage doors offer a function for manual operation so that the garage door can still be opened in case of a power outage or failure of the garage door opener. The primary styles of automatic garage doors are:

  • Up and Over Garage Doors: These garage doors consist of one panel that wings out as it lifts up. The homeowner must wait until the garage door's motor lifts it over the track until the car can be pulled into the garage.
  • Sectional Garage Doors: This type of automatic garage door has three to eight panels connected to each other horizontally. The panels fold slightly as the motor lifts it up and onto the track.
  • Carriage House Style: In production since 2002, these garage doors take on the appearance of a door that opens outward, but they operate like a sectional garage door.
  • Roller Doors: These automatic garage doors have many corrugated panels and can be made large for commercial and industrial purposes.

Many different manufacturers build automatic garage doors. These manufacturers may sell to consumers directly or through vendors that contract with a variety of manufacturers. Some of the manufacturers certify installers and only provide a warranty on the door if it is installed by a certified specialist. The leading manufacturers of automatic garage doors in the U.S. market include Clopay Door, 1st United Door Technologies, LLC, General American Door Company and Windsor Republic Doors.

The automatic opener of garage doors can consist of a torsion lift spring or an external lift spring. The torsion lift spring consists of two tightly wound springs, a shaft and two drums. It is mounted on the wall above the garage door opening and has three supports. The external lift spring style of automatic garage door motor offers a pair of stretched springs mounted alongside of tracks mounted onto the ceiling of the garage. All current models of automatic garage doors are outfitted with safety mechanisms to prevent the garage door from closing when an object or person is in the way. These safety devices rely upon beams of light. If the beam is broken, the garage door will not close. Manufacturers recommend that this safety eye system be mounted no more than 6 inches above the garage floor.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Automatic Garage Doors

The primary advantage of automatic garage doors is their convenience. All it takes for the homeowner to operate the garage door is a remote. The remotes typically come with a clip that can be positioned on the window visor of the vehicle. The doors come in a variety of styles and materials. Automatic garage doors lock when closed and no additional locking mechanism is required to secure the door. 

While automatic garage doors are the standard for today's new and remodeled homes, there are some disadvantages to installing these systems. In the event of a power outage, the homeowner must manually operate the door. This can be tricky and difficult if the door is made of heavy wood or steel. Automatic garage doors are more expensive than manually operated garage doors. The tracks and motor require regular maintenance such as lubrication and cleaning. Automatic garage doors are prone to mechanical problems that require a certified technician to repair. The typical automatic garage door is guaranteed for 30,000 cycles. One cycle includes one opening and one closing of the door. Homeowners that frequently come and go may find that their automatic garage door needs to be repaired or replaced after a few years of use.

Last updated on May 17, 2016

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