“Thwack!” Your hammer resounds solidly against the last nail holding up the final piece of trim on the garage corner. You step back to admire your handiwork and smile. The new vinyl siding sets off the color of the garage doors, which have hardware that matches perfectly with the new lights you installed yesterday. Talk about curb appeal! Your home has not looked this good since the day you moved in, and as you pick up your tools and hit the button on the garage door opener remote, you wonder if there was anything you forgot or could have done differently. “Screeeeeech!” goes your garage door as it ratchets awkwardly up the misaligned rails, your tired old garage door opener struggling to lift the newly hung garage door. Ah yes, that’s it. The garage door opener.
Garage door openers are one of the most overlooked home improvement upgrades that can add real, quick value to almost any home. While other remodeling options – such as additions, vinyl siding, porches, and doors – can add immediate curb appeal, the systems that support your home are areas where true value can be gained with a relatively small remodeling budget. It doesn’t matter how beautiful your garage doors are if they are too heavy for your garage door opener to lift. Upgrading your existing garage door opener or adding an opener to a manual door can provide significant return on your investment in a relatively short amount of time.
The Ease of an Upgrade
Garage door openers typically last 7+ years, but some homeowners will upgrade sooner to get an opener with additional special features or to help improve their home’s resale value. Upgrading your garage door opener is a relatively simple process. In many cases, much of the hardware and the mounting brackets can be used for your new opener as well. Additionally, you already have electrical run to the location of the garage door opener, making it easy to tie in your new opener.
Most garage door opener upgrades will be of a plug-and-play nature. Once mounted, you will simply need to plug in the garage door opener and follow the instructions for programming the unit and remotes. Certain applications and opener models will require some changes be made to the previous installation. These include:
- Limited Header Space – The header above the garage door where torsion springs are used must provide enough space to mount the header bracket, allowing the new garage door opener to function through its full range of motion. If there is not enough space, you will need to install a piece of 2" x 6" lumber to span across wall studs.
- Track Mounting System – The Safe-T-Beam system must be mounted near the garage door track and must extend far enough off of the wall to avoid any door hardware. If your previous opener was not equipped with this feature, you will need to find a suitable area to mount the hardware.
- Electrical Access – An electrical outlet must be within approximately 3' of the point where the opener will be mounted. If one does not exist, you will need to contact a licensed electrician.
- Door Condition and Balance – Prior to installation of your upgraded garage door opener, perform a preliminary check of all associated door hardware, including tracks, springs, hinges, and rollers. Replace any damaged parts. If the door is out of balance or damaged, call a service person for repairs.
What is the ROI?
Every homeowner wants to know the result of performing updates and upgrades to their home, typically measured in “sweat equity” or an increase in home value. The return on investment for a garage door opener may not be immediately apparent in your home’s “bottom line,” but consider these less tangible benefits:
- Ease of Use – Manually opening a garage door is tough work and inconvenient, requiring you to park and exit your vehicle, open the door, and reenter your vehicle to pull into the garage. A remote-controlled garage door opener condenses all of these steps into a simple push of a button.
- Increased Security – A garage door opener can make your garage another safe entry and exit point of your home, secured by automation and locking mechanisms. You can rest assured that your possessions in your garage and in your home are protected, only accessible with a remote or the keypad code.
- Greater Peace of Mind – Some new garage door opener models are equipped with smart technology that allows immediate opening and closing of your garage door from anywhere on any smart device. You receive notifications if your door stays open too long or if it opens without your authorization.
- Automation – Your garage can be as smart as your home. Many newer garage door openers can be programmed to open and close at certain times of day, seamlessly tying into your home automation and security hub.
Key Product Upgrades
Genie® manufactures a number of units that are perfect candidates for the next garage door opener upgrade you are planning. Some key models of particular interest include:
- MachForce®-140DC Screw Drive Unit – Designed to lift heavier doors, this unit has Wi-Fi enabled Aladdin Connect® technology and has a 2 HPc ultra-quiet DC motor, which is twice as fast as similar chain and belt drives.
- SilentMax® Connect and Chain Glide® Connect – Both models have Wi-Fi enabled Aladdin Connect® Technology and are the perfect upgrade to any smart home. Equipped with GenieSense™ Monitoring and Diagnostic Technology, pre-programmed remotes with Intellicode® Security, and HomeLink® and Car2U® compatibility, these units make automating your garage easy.
- StealthDrive® 750 – The StealthDrive model has a precision-machined motor and gearbox with an integrated Battery Backup system for maximum safety and convenience.
Remodeling projects can add value to your home and fill you with a sense of pride. Upgrading your garage door opener as part of that remodel can make your home safer, more convenient, and more efficient.