How to Choose the Right Size Garage Door Opener?

Posted on June 13, 2021 By Concord Garage Doors 
opening garage door using remote

Garage door openers offer convenience and ease of access without expending any energy. But there are various sizes available, so you'll want to make sure you get the size that fits your situation best.

Instead of picking an opener based solely on extra power, find one that will provide both enough strength and longevity to handle garage doors. While going smaller may seem like a cheaper option in the short run, it won't have the durability needed down the road.

Evaluating Your Garage Door

The size and weight of your garage door play a heavy role in determining the opening power of an opener. Heavy or more oversized doors require more power to lift them efficiently and smoothly.

Use a tape measure to figure out the size of your garage door, so you know what will fit. Single-car garage door openers work for smaller doors but may not be powerful enough for double-car garages. For example, a 10 x 8-foot opening is a single-car door; wider or taller openings are considered double cars and need more power.

Garage doors can be made of different materials, and you will need a specific opener size based on the door material. For example, if your garage door is made of wood, it may require a more powerful motor to move heavier. Otherwise, insulation in steel or vinyl garage doors adds weight that could also require a larger opener.

Comparing Horsepower Options

Garage door openers come in a range of horsepower capacities, typically ranging from about 1/3 to over one horsepower. A typical residential garage will need something around 1/2 the capacity of the size and weight of its door on average. So look for an opener that has enough horsepower for your garage door based on how it's sized, among other things.

A 1/3-horsepower opener can open most lightweight doors that are 10 feet wide and 8 feet tall, such as those made of uninsulated steel. A 1/2-horsepower opener should suffice for average-weight double doors and heavier single doors.

Wood or insulated double-car garage doors between 8 and 16 feet wide may warrant a 3/4 horsepower opener. Larger or heavier wood, metal, or insulated doors will require an even larger 1 horsepower ratchet for less strain on the motor.

Considering Drive Types

When deciding on the right size garage door opener, it's essential to consider what type of drive system is best for you. For single-car garages, belt-driven or screw-drive openers are a better option than chain-driven. Chain-driven openers can be noisy and difficult to repair for the typical homeowner. For double-car garage doors, either type of opener should work well.

Choosing an Installation Type

Installation of the opener requires time and energy. Professionals can install it for you, but you also have the option to self-install it. Self-installed openers come in three pieces that must be assembled to work correctly. A professional installation is faster than a do-it-yourself one because everything has already been prewired for you.

Though the rails are of equal strength and durability, assembling the rail correctly is vital to ensure that the opener operates properly. Homes now come pre-wired for openers which means hooking up the sensors and wall button isn't as difficult an undertaking for a do-it-yourself homeowner.


So, what type of garage door opener should you choose? This is a difficult question to answer without knowing the specifics about your home and how much space will be available. If you're on the fence about whether or not installing an electric garage door opener is for you, please don't hesitate to call our team at Concord Garage Doors today.

We have experts ready to help with any questions that may arise during the opener installation, and we are committed to 100% client satisfaction. So whether you need new springs installed or want a routine maintenance check-up done, we've got everything covered when it comes to residential and commercial overhead doors in North Carolina!