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Manual vs. Automatic Garage Doors

Garage Repair Business Tips

The garage door is frequently overlooked as just a tool to open the space to park your car. It’s a lot more than that, it’s also another entry point into your home, which means that it should be just as safe and secure as your front door is. When it comes to picking a garage door, you should not only look for convenience but also security to ensure that no thief or criminal is able to breach the security of your home in an effort to rob you.

From the material that you choose to use for your garage door to the mechanism, every homeowner needs to make careful considerations based on what home they have, what type of security they require, and what conveniences they’re after when it comes to garage doors.

On the topic of convenience, one factor to consider is between manual and automatic doors. Automatic garage doors seem like the obvious choice when it comes to convenience, but there are trade-offs you’re making in other areas that you may not want to. Let’s look into the difference between manual and automatic doors and find out which would be better for your needs.

1. Maintaining manual and automatic garage doors

This is arguably the biggest factor when it comes to deciding between automatic and manual garage doors. A good garage door needs to be operational all the time, and regular maintenance is a key part of that.

Any wear and tear can quickly devolve into issues that can be expensive and tiresome to fix.
Expectedly, automatic garage doors are a lot more complicated when compared to manual doors. They’re also more complex during the garage door installation process.

Regular maintenance is paramount for automatic doors, since they have a number of mechanical parts that can easily rust and break down without regular maintenance. You will have to lubricate the parts regularly as well to ensure they work properly and are protected from rust which can accrue during seasonal weather. This makes automatic doors a lot more expensive to maintain when compared to manual doors.

For manual doors, the most you have to do in terms of maintenance is ensuring that the sliding parts are lubricated properly and don’t judder or creak during operation. This makes them a lot easier for maintenance.

In the maintenance category, manual doors win easily over their convenience and ease of maintenance.

2. Convenience factor

Here, the difference between manual and electric doors is also apparent. There’s simply no competition from manual on the convenience factor. You can sit in the comfort of your car to automatically open and close your garage door without having to get out.

This convenience is magnified when it’s raining, windy, cold, or snowy. With a manual door, you’d have to face the elements, open the door, get back into your car, sometimes soaking wet, and then park your car. There’s none of that hassle with automatic doors.

Additionally, manual doors can also be more difficult to operate when you are injured and can’t walk or hold things properly. The major downside that automatic doors have here in terms of convenience is that they might sometimes break down and stop working, which is not an issue with manual doors. As long as you can walk and move, manual doors can be operated. If your automatic door breaks down, then you are forced to call a professional in to fix it.

3. Safety factor

Automatic doors score another win in the safety department. Although automatic door installations can be a little bit more painful, they boast safety features that manual doors simply do not. If there’s some object that’s blocking the pathway in the door, then automatic doors will retract and not close until the object is moved out of the path. This is essential when you have children who could be playing near the garage.

Another thing to note is that automatic doors can have both a manual and automatic locking mechanism, which can double the protection you have against thieves and criminals.
With these advantages, it’s easy to see why automatic doors score higher on the safety and security front when compared to their manual counterparts.

4. Cost of installation and maintenance

Manual doors have very few parts that are needed for operation, making them a lot cheaper when compared to automatic doors. Due to the complexity and features of automatic doors, they cost more than manual ones. Automatic doors have motors, bearings, and safety mechanisms that all need to work together to ensure smooth and safe operation. This makes their installation cost a lot more when compared to manual doors.

Another thing to note is maintenance. Again, since the manual doors are a lot less sophisticated, they’re also cheaper to maintain over the long run. If you are planning on selling your home at a later point in time, then you should consider the automatic door option, since it can add a good amount to the resale value.

Overall, there is no clear winner here, since manual doors can be cheaper to install and maintain. But while automatic doors are more expensive, they can provide a good addition to your home’s resale value.

From the above arguments, there’s no clear winner when it comes to the cost of installation and maintenance. Based on what we can see above, there are definite arguments to be made in favour of manual and automatic doors. There’s no clear cut answer between the two for everyone.

The decision to be made will depend only on what your actual needs and preferences are. If you use the door a lot, then having an automated door makes sense. On the other hand, if you prefer having a cost-effective option over convenience, then a manual door can be a much more cost-effective option.


Although a garage door can seem like an afterthought for most people, it’s one of the most important factors to consider when you are buying or selling a home. When you are deciding between whether to choose a manual or automatic door, make sure to have your priorities between convenience, security, cost, and ease of maintenance listed before you go shopping for a new garage door.

Adding to that, you should also consider materials, security features, and any aesthetic patterns that can add to the visual appeal of your home. So ensure that you are doing the proper research before you finalize an option.

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