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Not Your Parents’ Garage Door Opener

Technician on ladder fixing overhead door track

Modern Garage Door Openers Have Much More to Offer

Garage doors have always done just one thing – open and close, right? If you’re considering updating your garage door opener, you’re in for a treat because there is so much more to expect from the modern garage door. 

Types of Garage Door Openers

There are generally just two main types of openers: trolley-type or side-mount (aka, jackshaft). 

Trolley-Type Openers

The more common setup is the trolley-type openers. 

This is probably what you’re expecting when you see a garage door. 

With trolley-type openers the garage door, tracks that hangs from the ceiling, while the opener motor operates from between the two tracks. 

Benefits of trolley-type openers include ease of installation, lower starting cost, and expansive aftermarket network for parts and support. 

Side-Mount Openers

Side-mount, or jackshaft openers do not hang from the ceiling. The opener motor is mounted on the same wall as the garage door, which frees up the space overhead. In garages with more interior height, high lift tracks can be installed for even greater overhead clearance. 

Benefits of side-mount openers include unobstructed overhead clearance, cleaner & more modern appearance compared to trolley-type openers, plus less noise & vibration transfer to rooms above the garage.  

Garage Door Opener Features

As with many household products, garage door openers have various options and price ranges depending on the quality and features selected. As technology has advanced, so have the lists of standard and available features. 

Standard Features in Modern Garage Door Openers

All modern garage door openers now come standard with on-wall and remote controls. Every major brand also works with the built-in remote openers in many new cars. On-wall controls include light control and remote lockout, which is helpful if you’re concerned about someone gaining unauthorized access to a remote control. 

All new openers from Liftmaster and Chamberlain now have myQ, which is an app that allows openers to be monitored and controlled remotely via smartphone. 

Motor Drive-Types and Battery Backup

Overhead garage door openers come in two main drive types – chain drive and belt drive. 

The lower cost options are chain drive systems which work well, and are reliable, but are also noisier and generally have more vibration. 

Belt drive systems may cost a little more than their chain drive counterparts, but operate smoother and more quietly.  

Either type of opener could include a battery backup, which will allow the garage door to operate in the event of a power outage. 

Smart Security and Technology

While mobile apps such as myQ, allow the garage door to be monitored and controlled remotely, the smart features don’t stop there.

Garage door apps can include a programmable timer-to-close function, so you don’t have to worry about whether or not you remembered to close the garage door when you left.

Improving maintenance and reliability is also integrated into some apps. For example, because garage door springs typically have a 8,000-10,000 cycle lifespan, a cycle counter keeps track of the number of uses so you can have springs replaced before they fail. 

The myQ app can also be linked to an Amazon account to let deliveries be dropped in your garage. If you have cameras integrated, you can also remotely monitor who is accessing the garage, what’s being delivered and when.

Other Garage Door Opener Options and Upgrades 

There are numerous other features and options available for modern garage door openers, such as: 

  • Security camera integrations
  • Ultra-quiet motors
  • Wall controls with motion sensor that automatically turns on the light

Garage Door Opener Prices

As a premier garage door service, we only quote installed prices. Our professional installation includes all parts and supplies needed to properly install the new garage door opener. 

Your actual installed price will vary based on your unique installation, but you’ll find some general price ranges (as of February 2024) below.

Chain-Drive Openers: starting at $680

Belt-Drive Openers: starting at $800-$900 or $1100 with battery backup

Side-Mount Openers: starting at $1300-$1400


Contact Us 

To request a quote for a new garage door opener, please contact our staff. The team at A1 Garage Door Company services all brands of garage door openers in the central Virginia region including the city of Richmond and neighboring counties.

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