If you never had a garage or never used a garage door opener and suddenly you find yourself in a garage without a garage door opener, or worst case a broken garage door opener then things can get dicey very quickly. For instance, you will start manually opening and closing the garage door and it becomes a part of your habit when ever you leave home. STOP. You do not have to do this anymore. Let me tell you a story, a true story. We moved into our new home about 3 years ago and my garage door gave up one fine cold morning. My wife now stuck between leaving the house unlocked and dropping off our son to school. Thanks to the manual lock. This is the low hanging red string which, when you pull down, will release the garage door and it will come flying down on the rail and close.
Manual Operation and Locking
Almost all garage doors have a manual operation in case your garage door fails. To operate manually, one has to disengage and release the garage door from the belt or chain. This is usually done by pulling the string in a certain direction. Usually instructions are on the pull string. Caution: Make sure your spouse or kids are not standing under the door or near the entrance when pulling the string 😛.
Manual operation will wear you out as well as your garage door. There are several garage doors to consider. Some of the worst one’s are those that come preinstalled in a builder built homes. The builder grade garage doors usually last anywhere between 2-3 years and sometimes a bit more. The real life of a good garage door is anywhere from 10-15 years. The true cost depends on horse power and features. We had a Genie and when it went out, we found that it was a builder grade so looked up information about the manufacturer ‘Genie’ and found that since they had change of ownership / business merger, the garage door quality has gotten piss poor. The next on he list was Liftmaster and you will soon discover that most garage doors are re-branded Lift-master. We spent a little bit over $200 and bought the Whisper Drive 1/2 HP Belt Drive Garage Door Opener. This one does not have the smart capability but you can make it smart by adding a gateway. I also added a parking helper while I was at it.
Note about Smart Garage Door Openers
The IP technology that comes built into these type of Garage Doors, which allows you to remotely open and close the door, send notifications etc. are available WiFi only. It may look very useful as you do not have to run wires etc but if you experience WiFi issues or your wireless router does not have a good range making the remote door operation less reliable. But who does not want a remote option to open close of the Garage Door? Trust me, I use it at least once a day.
Making your Garage Door Smart
In order to turn an ordinary garage door opener into a smart garage door opener, you can use Gateways, the Chamberlain Garage Door Opener HD520EV, came ready to hook up with a gateway. The advantage of using a gateway is that it is hard wired to the network. So put it under your bed, behind your desk wherever you have a ethernet port. Reliability and Smart, now you got a winner! Adding MyQ Gateway and hooking up to their service is easy and took less than 5 minutes. Making the Gateway talk to the Garage Door opener took less than 1 minute, thanks to the Learning Button on the Door Button.
Should you hire somebody or do it yourself?
My first recommendation would be Do It Yourself. There is no rocket science involved and to your aid, there are a ton of Youtube videos. However, if you feel like its a lot of work which may take few hours, then its worth hiring somebody. A good quote for installation only, would be anywhere between $100 -$150. Anybody charging you more than that is over charging you.
I will be uploading a Garage Door Installation Video, Old Garage Door Removal Video, MyQ Registration and Safe Garage Door Operation Videos. Subscribe to my blog to receive future updates.