Garage Doors – Selecting an Automated Garage Door
Manually opening and closing a garage door can be a tiresome task in bad weather. It can also be physically challenging for those of advancing years, or people with a disability.
A remote controlled automated garage door can remove the need to exit a vehicle in order to enter or leave a garage. Furthermore, it requires no physical effort, it increases personal security and most standard garage doors can easily be converted into automated ones at a limited expense.
Automated garage door options
Garage doors come in four basic formats and all can be operated by a motorised mechanism supplemented by a fixed or portable remote control unit.
The advantage of a hand-held remote control is that it allows the door to be controlled from within the vehicle. A fixed wall mounted control panel requires the user to leave the vehicle in order to commence the opening or closing, which is less desirable.
Types of garage door
Side hinged garage doors can be automated, but they are the most complex, the most expensive and the least practical option for this kind of treatment. As such, most automated side hinged doors are custom commissions.
Up and over garage doors are the most popular style of door and also one of the easiest to buy or convert into an automated system. A motorised door kit can work efficiently on this kind of door because of the counterbalancing mechanism of the “up and over” design which reduces the loads that the motor has to deal with. There are many conversion kits available for this style of garage door.
Roller garage doors are probably the best suited style of door for automation. These doors are normally made from either galvanised plastic coated steel, or insulated double skin aluminium, and they roll around a tubular drum which is supported above the garage door opening. The garage door slides up and down side rails that ensure a perfect mechanism for automation. Most roller style garage doors are purchased and fitted in automated form.
Sliding garage doors use a door made from a series of sectionalized panels that run on floor and head mounted tracks. The door slides around to the side of the opening to make the garage accessible and it is stored vertically against the inside face of one of the garage walls when open. This style of garage door lends itself perfectly to automation and most garage doors of this kind are sold with motorised kits. There is also a vertical operating version of this style of door called a “sectional” garage door.
In order to benefit from an automated door it is advisable to select a system that offers hand-held remote control units. Most automated door kits provide a minimum of two remote controls and these allow the door to be opened or closed without the need to leave the car or truck. The remotes are battery powered and will easily fit into a pocket, or double as a key fob. Remotes generally have an operational distance of 50 to 60 feet and they can also be used to trigger garage lighting.
Finally, with any motorised garage door it is important to ensure that there is a manual open and close override that can be used in the event of a power failure or mechanical fault. All “good” automated garage door systems will have some means of disengaging the motor to allow door opening and closing by none motorised means.