What Size Garage Door Opener Do I Need?

Your old garage has been worn out and you are interested in replacing your garage door.

On the hunt of buying a garage door, you will find yourself asking what size of the garage door opener you need.

It’s not that simple, you can’t just go with any garage door opener, and things are intermingled here.

In the market, you will find yourself with different types of garage doors as well as openers.

Not all garage doors are equal, and not all will suit your needs. It is your requirements that help you decide and narrow down the options.

So, to help you decide better we are going to put an in-depth research guide.

This guide will walk you through the whole process of buying a garage door opener, its size, features, and horsepower so that you could rightly decide on the right size.

Again, it is not just the size you decide, things are intermingled, dependent on one another. So, it is always ideal to have an overview of every aspect of the garage door to decide better.

Types of Garage Door Openers

It is important to learn the types of garage door openers before you decide on picking the right size of the garage door.

In markets you will see different types of garage doors, some might look interesting, and some appeal to you aesthetically, don’t just fall for anyone.

Do your research, before a greedy salesman sells you just anything.

Chain Drive

Chain drives garage door openers are amazing, it is the metal chain that connects the motor and the trolley.

Chain-driven garage door openers are not expensive and useful for opening heavy metal doors.

If you are interested in installing double doors, it is always recommended to have chain-driven garage door openers.

But they are a bit noisy, and if you have your bedroom near the garage, they can disrupt your peace.

Plus, the chain-driven openers are hard to maintain, they require regular lubrication, otherwise, they can rust.

Belt Drive

Belt-driven garage door openers are the latest and most modern door types. They move smoothly and work without making any noise.

Yes, they are pricier compared to chain-driven, but the difference is very minor.

They are good for lightweight garage doors, if you want heavy metal doors or double doors, unluckily they can’t hold heavy loads.

Screw Drive

Rather chain or belt, here threaded steel bar moves the doors. They are often used with a one-piece garage door, they are often used in panel garages, such as glass-paneled garage doors and others.

Jackshaft drive

If you have a small garage, and you don’t want the garage opener positioned on the ceiling, this works fine for you.

This opener installs on the sides and makes your garage door spacious.

Direct Drive

If you go with the definition, any garage door opener that did not use a chain or belt is a direct drive. But the latest developments clarified the real direct-drive openers.

The direct-drive opener uses a chain or belt. But the difference is, that the traditional chain or belt driven uses a stationary motor to move the chain or belt.

In direct drive, the chain is stationary while the motor moves along. In comparison with a belt-driven garage opener, the direct drive is extremely quiet and operates smoothly.

Carriage style

This kind of garage opener work on the door that opens in a swing style, with both of the door having a separate motor installed.

The Right Power Type

After the right type there comes the power, the second most important aspect of buying a garage door.

If you are interested in buying a massive-sized door, the benefits of power make you enjoy all the liberty.

related: how to bypass garage door sensors

1/3 HP

If you want to install a single garage door, go with a 1/3 HP power garage door, it is used for a lightweight garage that could easily be lifted manually too when needed, in case of a power outage.

Again, don’t buy this opener if you are into buying a massive wooden made door, the 1/3 HP power opener would not work well with a wood garage door.

1 /2 HP

It is good for single as well as double doors, it strikes the right balance of power and size, and strikes in the middle.

3 /4 HP

If you have a massive giant-sized door, mostly double garage doors, this is where this garage door comes to the rescue.

This can lift up heavy metal as well as the wooden constructed door. It is very stable, non-shaky, and long-lasting too.

It comes in hands at a higher price range, but for the big-sized door, this is what you can rely on.


1HP garage door opener is a very less used door. It is used for the garage door wider than 16 feet; it is used only when you have more than one car in your garage, with a thicker constructed metal or wooden door.

One more thing, also look at the power when buying the garage door opener. They come in AC and DC both, for you, DC one is better, it produces lesser noise, mostly are lighter and smaller.

Now comes the right side of the door opener.

The right size of the garage door opener?

If you go with the power rating mentioned by the manufacturers, you may go wrong or go with a not a good fit sized garage door opener.

The reason is, that manufacturers rate the garage door opener on the basis of HP rating, as per their mentioned ½ HP garage door opener should lift up to 84-KG weight, and the ¾ HP opener should lift around 168KG Weight.

But, in reality, we have to use many safeguards and other features which burden the garage door opener and make them heavier than the real weight.

In practice, it is really different, so whenever you are buying a garage door opener size, don’t go literally with the Power rating mentioned by the manufacturers, have a little margin.

In my view, you should check your garage door weight with the mentioned power rating.

In this rating, we also took the in-built safeguards into account, but the door weight should be in the range of mentioned limits.

For a garage door of 1/3 HP, the weight range of the door should be around 576 KG, for ½ HP, it is up to 136KG, for 3.4 HP, the weight range is 227 KG, for a 1 HP garage door, the weight range is 295 KG.

Now, let’s try to match the door size with the weight range and power rating. The most powerful garage door opener we usually use in homes, ½ HP, actually can’t lift up to 57 KG of weight which means, that, you need to buy an 8-12 feet wide garage door.

If you are interested in buying a 14-Feet garage door, the power rating should be around ¾ HP of your garage door opener which means, that the opener can easily lift up to 275 pounds or 125KG o weight.

Again, I am not saying these numbers are 100-percent precise, there must be a little margin so that you could easily adjust the settings accordingly to your needs.


The material with which the garage door is constructed is also an important feature to look at when buying a garage door opener.

The lighter constructed garage door surely will require a less powerful garage door opener and vice versa.


Steel-constructed garage doors are heavy but long-lasting and easier to maintain. Plus, they are not too expensive.

But, if you hit the steel door with your car, and if there are scratches on it, try to fix them as quickly as possible because steel can start catching rust.


Aluminum-constructed garage doors are lighter, and easier to maintain, and for that, you don’t require a high power-rating garage door opener.


If you live in a humid region where your garage door rust very easily, go with vinyl-constructed garage doors. They are heavier but don’t prone to rust, so if you live in a beach house or in a region where humidity is very high, this is the right type of door you should buy.


If you can pay well, and got a high power-rating garage door opener, go with a wooden constructed garage door, they need regular maintenance, and if you hit the door, you would not be required to maintain them.

Garage door safety features

As you are buying a new garage door, I find it my humble duty to help you go with the best one.

To make your garage door safer and secure, I highly recommend the mentioned safety features.

In-built safety Features


When it is about buying a new garage door or replacing the old one, the most important and must pay special attention to aspect is the safety features.

A garage door is a very heavy and thick entity, it can harm loved ones around you. So, it is important that you install sensors.

Sensors actually prevent your door from closing when you press the close button but there is something in the middle of the door.

If there are no sensors installed with you pressing the close button, the garage door will get closed hurting the human standing in between, it can be your toddler or your pet, or your very own new car.

Sensors detect that someone or something is in between the garage door, it will revert back, making you realize the real happenings.

Extra battery or backup Power

Power outage is very common, and the opener works on power. If the power goes, that means, the opener would no longer be functional.

So, extra batteries, UPS, or backup power should be arranged so that you don’t stand in front of the door for opening it and you parking the car inside.

Security Lights

The security lights start flashing when the door is getting opened. It makes you learn, whether or not it is intruders or your family members parking the car, it is an extended security feature, especially if you live in an area were breaking in is common.

Inside locks

If you want to be extra cautious, or want to secure your garage door when you are on a trip, away from your home, the inside locks help you double secure your garage door.

These locks install manually inside of the garage door and can’t be tweaked using any device or control. They have to open manually, which makes them pretty hard to break in.


Garage door openers make your arrival and departure hassle-free. If you want this journey comfortable, buy a good-sized garage door opener, because if the opener’s power or size does not match the size or weight of the door, maybe the opener can’t hold on to your garage door or provides shaky opening and closing experience.

Jonathan Perry

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