There’s certain times in life when springing for the more expensive or upgraded version of something is absolutely worth it. Brakes on your car, novocaine for dental work, noise cancelling headphones for when work-from-home meets schooling-from-home.
All worth it.
But a garage door opener? Is it really worth the splurge? Let’s take a look at when you might want to make the leap and when you might want to hold off.
There are times that a cheap operator will absolutely do the trick or it doesn’t really make sense to purchase the upgraded model. Maybe you’re selling your house soon or it’s a rental property. You don’t necessarily want to dump a bunch of money into a more expensive opener.
Or maybe you don’t use that door very often. We’ve seen several times where people will put the upgraded version on their main door and the standard cheaper version on their second or third garage that just doesn’t see the same usage that the main door does.
Garage Door Opener Budget Factors
Budget is always a factor that plays a part in the “is it worth the splurge” discussion and if yours is limited, it might make way more sense to keep the same garage door opener you’ve always had.
My favorite reason people tell me that they want to stick with the cheaper version is because they don’t want to buy anything that will last longer than they will. I’m not making that up. And, I mean, I guess it makes sense!
As with all things, however, you get what you pay for. And if you hold out with the cheaper option, you’re going to run into a few drawbacks.
Garage Door Opener Features
First, is the wall control. You’ll get a basic doorbell style button with no extra features. Second, the build quality is lower, which leads to a shorter life-span of the opener. The average life expectancy is about 50% less than a pro-grade operator. So it’s possible you’re going to pay the same amount anyway when you have to replace the opener in half the time.
Lastly, they’re almost always noisier and don’t handle heavier doors very well (which is when they’re going to be making the most noise anyway!) If you’ve got any type of upgraded door, I highly recommend an upgraded opener.
So when does it make sense to go ahead and get the more expensive and upgraded opener? If you’re looking for more convenience or you use your garage door a lot, it’s probably worth it. Newer models are WiFi capable if you want to use a phone app to open and close your door, even if you’re not home. They’ll typically have better lighting, the wall-console has upgraded features, and there’s a battery back-up system (which are now required in California) to bring peace of mind if the power goes out.
If you plan on living in the house a long time, an upgraded model means less repairs for the long-term, a longer parts warranty, as well as a longer life expectancy. You also won’t be able to hear the garage door throughout your house, which is a huge plus! Like I mentioned before, big or oversized and heavy doors also need that extra oomph that the upgraded models will bring.