17 Powerful Contractor Marketing Ideas [2019 updated]

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The 2 most popular sections are:

✅ Contractor Video Marketing Framework For Leads

✅ Google Local Tips & Tracking

The table of contents is below.

Contents [hide]

  • 1 Keep Building Reviews On Google Local
  • 2 Position Your Marketing For Direct Response
  • 3 Get Ready For Conversation Marketing
  • 4 Keep It Simple With A One Page Website
  • 5 Online Marketing is Getting More Expensive  → Offline Marketing?
  • 6 Use Facebook Advertising For The Full Customer Cycle.
  • 7 Use Video Marketing To Generate Leads
  • 8 Make Sure Your Website Is Fast — Page Speed Matters
  • 9 Plan On Spoon Feeding Content (Content Marketing)
  • 10 An Offline Marketing Idea That Is Cheap: Business Cards On Side of Truck
  • 11 Get Ready To Follow Consumers… to the ‘BIG NAMES’
  • 12 Understand Your Product Ladder
  • 13 Deliver Notifications Where Consumers Aren’t Bombarded — VoiceMail Drops
  • 14 What About Blogging and SEO (Is It Worth It Anymore?)
  • 15 Use Story To Differentiate Your Business
  • 16 Ignite Word of Mouth Marketing
  • 17 Get Rid Of The Local Pages On Your Website

Why You Need To Stay On Top Of Contractor Marketing Trends

Ever heard the saying “what got you there, won’t get you there?”  It applies to marketing just as it does every other aspect of business.  

What worked a few years ago, might not work so well now and what is going to be working to drive sales for our contracting businesses won’t work in the  that’s why we need to be on top of the marketing game.

For example, when I first started my exterior contracting company in 2012 and subsequently got into contractor marketing; search engine optimization through a content rich website was all the rage as it yielded incredible marketing results.

Going in to 2019, the value of having a content rich website to generate inbound inquiries through search traffic has diminished.  Yes it still ‘works’, but it is not what it once was.

Here I cover the current trends in contractor marketing that every trades business owner should be aware of.  

Keep Building Reviews On Google Local

In this video below I explain how Google Local works, some ways to get more exposure, and tool you can use to track your results!

Watch:

I know. I know.  It sounds basic.  You want more from me.  But the best ‘free’ marketing for contractors out there is Google Local and one of the dominating factors behind your exposure (or lack of) is your reviews.


Position Your Marketing For Direct Response

Consumers are bombarded with marketing messages and content.

This means you need to capture leads quickly.  Long drawn out content and copy is old news and often won’t hold attention.  To be effective in the current marketing climate, you need to capture attention with short content and direct consumers into your funnel where you have what is essentially a captive audience that you can market to for free.

The secret to pulling off effective direct response advertisements lies in understanding specifically what you are selling, who your are selling to (your avatar) and their pain / pleasure points.

In other words, don’t run ads that say:

“We are a home service company that does Plumbing, HVAC, and electrical, call us for all your home service needs”.

Do say;

“We can put an end to that dripping noise from your sink before you close your eyes tonight.  Call now; it will take less than 5 minutes to get scheduled”


Get Ready For Conversation Marketing

I think this a ‘coming soon’ buzz word particularly with the growth in Facebook chat bots.  Essentially conversation marketing entails getting a consumer to open a conversation about your product / services without actually asking for a quote.  

For example you might show an overview video of a new patio and outdoor kitchen and then prompt the user with some templated questions such as

‘What kind of flooring did that use?’

‘How long did this project take?’

‘Could this project have been done with a double sink?’

From there communication can be automated and geared towards driving the consumer to request an estimate.  

On the flip side you could jump into conversations already being had about your business.  


Keep It Simple With A One Page Website

Pre-req sections: Direct Response

Back to the that direct response thing!

I’ve watched internet user behavior change rapidly over time through the data on my own content rich website that gets thousands of visitors.  Just a few years ago people would click around and view page after page reading (consuming all the content). This meant that content rich websites providing insight into the projects and services contractors offered were highly valued and the content ultimately built trust / authority which would lead to inbound inquiries.  

That has diluted away to a few swipes down the page on a mobile device while skimming the headlines.  With fewer people consuming content, the value of a content rich website is diminishing.

Now a one page website that presents all the pertinent information a customer needs, in a skimmable one page website into to capture leads is preferred.

The Home Pro Website Funnel Framework I put together outlines the key elements of an effective one page website on desktop AND mobile.


Online Marketing is Getting More Expensive  → Offline Marketing?

Online marketing has been low cost relative to traditional offline mediums for the last several years, but more contractors are taking their business online driving up costs in that area.  

If you’ve been running pay-per-click ads for a few years you’ve no doubt seen your costs increase.  

At the same time, traditional advertising mediums are losing clients.  With decreased demand these publishers are lowering their advertising cost.

AND online users are being bombarded with marketing messages.

So wtf does this all mean?

I still find a much better ROI in online marketing methods as a trade contractor, but the difference between the two methods is closing and I expect it to close faster.

It also increases the value of network marketing, referral building, and repeat customers. I still believe that referral programs are worthless, but a word of mouth marketing planusing a talk trigger is an extremely valuable to any contractor marketing efforts.


Use Facebook Advertising For The Full Customer Cycle.

Generating leads with Facebook ads is the most ‘glam’ of all in marketing but the real power is the ability to deliver marketing messages to consumers at all points in the sales process.  In other words marketing to those that are familiar with your company but have NOT requested an estimate (remarketing), have requested an estimate (leads), or are past customers.

For most trades businesses, your audience of leads or past customers will be relatively small which means that you can reach them for a modest $5 per day.  

I say, the best $150/m you can spend on advertising is Facebook advertising to leads — lead nurturing.    

🔥 Corey’s Note: I was recently on Perpetual Traffic, a Top 5 Rated marketing podcast discussing Facebook ads for contractors and providing insight into what is working for me.  You can listen here.


Use Video Marketing To Generate Leads

Watch:


Attention spans are shortening, internet user behavior is subsequently shying away from reading text, and direct response marketing with strong calls to action is working well.  That leads us to VIDEO.   Video marketing holds attention, and works well easily across multiple devices, and forms a stronger impression.

I know video as a marketing tool has been in use for several years, but most contractors overlook video as it can be too complicated — or overwhelming / frustrating.  You need to figure out what you need to video.  It needs to be staged.  Then comes the talking part on camera; WTF do you say while you’re standing around a job site trying to make pvc pipes and concrete mud look glam?

I can only wonder how many contractors make a video and then say “F it” because it looks like crap.  That’s why I put together this simple video framework which shows you the simple process that can turn any contracting project into a lead generation video without the frustration of wondering what you’re going to say on camera or what the video will show!


Make Sure Your Website Is Fast — Page Speed Matters

Pre-req sections: One Page Website, Direct Response

Google has explicitly stated in the recent years that page speed is a ranking factor.  Considering the increased pace of user behavior online and the demand for instant information I expect this to become a more important organic ranking factor.

Admittedly maintaining page speed of a website is a pain in the ass.  One update to the site can lead to reduced page speed score and then the subsequent frustration of figuring out to get page speed increased while maintaining the update.

However this is such a priority, that a weekly page speed check has been implement to ensure that it is never overlooked.

You can check your page speed here at Google Page Speed Insights.  As of writing this (Dec 18) all wordpress sites are getting notoriously low scores.  All things relative to our competitors, a page speed score of 40 is our benchmark.

Interestingly enough, the only sites getting high scores are old school static websites.  


Plan On Spoon Feeding Content (Content Marketing)

Pre-req sections: One Page Website

I’ve already explained how the changes in internet user behavior is leading to a lack of content consumption.  And while this means that the value of creating and publishing content about your services and company is declining, it doesn’t mean that content is worthless. Educational and insightful content still has a powerful place in contractor marketing efforts but you need to be smart in your deliver and spoon feed it.  You can no longer assume that users will find and read it.

Instead you need to strategically put it in front of your prospects.  I find two ways effective in delivering it; Facebook ads, and emails.

Now when you receive an estimate request from Jane for a new pool, assume that she knows nothing about the process.  Make sure that you get her into a Facebook marketing funnel which showing those posts, and email the posts explaining their relevance.     

Watch:


An Offline Marketing Idea That Is Cheap: Business Cards On Side of Truck

Yes business cards.  I’ve never been a fan of them but they do work particularly if the Baby Boomers are in your demographic.  

I don’t recommend aggressively handing them out, those just end up in the trash,  but you should have them available for those that want to take one. And what better way to make them available then putting them on the side of your truck?  

You won’t even need to get interrupted on a job site for someone to take one.  

This one is available on Amazon for $9.99.

🔥 Use a unique call tracking number on these cards to see just how many calls they generate.  YOU SHOUD BE TRACKING YOUR COST PER LEAD.


Get Ready To Follow Consumers… to the ‘BIG NAMES’

Pre-req sections: Facebook Advertising For The Full Customer Cycle.

A major factor in marketing success is being where your customers are.  I’ll be the first to say it sucks, but consumers are increasingly taking their search for a contractor onto ‘big name’ sites like Amazon, Thumbtack, Home Advisor, Houzz and the whole slew of other ones out there.  

While there are still many other options for marketing and generating leads it is time get serious about incorporating these 3rd party platforms into our current marketing plans.  That includes understanding your product ladder (next section) and remarketing to those in your sales process.


Understand Your Product Ladder

Product laddering can increase the value of a single customer and put your services within reach of a larger audience.  

This is of particular importance for trades that are seeing encroach from the Amazon / Groupons of other world.

Consider an contractor that specializes in full in home entertainment systems.  A full in home entertainment system may be out of reach or not on the mind of many homeowners, however simple TV mounting may be.  Advertising TV mounting with a strategic marketing plan, post the initial sale, will get you more sales for a much higher ticket service without the often high costs of generating leads for these types of projects directly.  You’ll also be selling to customers that have a connection with you.

Knowing your numbers is crucial to making this happen, so that you can improve each touch point to optimize for your ultimate goal… the next step on the ladder.  

Two of the largest companies I know (both hvac / electrical companies) operate entirely on the manner of product laddering.   


Deliver Notifications Where Consumers Aren’t Bombarded — VoiceMail Drops

Getting your message read in an email inbox is a challenge.  Getting a voice message heard though is incredibly easy.

Voicemail Drops are simply messages that are sent straight to an individual’s voicemail.

I don’t recommend using these aggressively, as you need to stay out of the ‘pesk zone’ but occasional use for important notifications or follow ups as yielded positive results.

Do note that voice mail drops must comply with telemarketing laws.


What About Blogging and SEO (Is It Worth It Anymore?)

First let’s clarify that most contractors are interested in blogging because that is supposed to get you high in the search results (search engine optimization), and then get you tons of free leads.

I’ve done well with blogging as an inbound lead generation strategy over the last 7 years since I started my business, but I wouldn’t recommend it as a lead generation strategy today.  In fact if I were to start a contracting business today, blogging would be very low on the priority list (if you’re wondering, my marketing priority would go; high converting one page website, Pay-per-click ads, Facebook Ads).  So what has changed over the last 7 years?

In short, search results have been buried beneath (more) Pay-Per-Click ads, in some markets Google Lead Ads take up top space, and the Google Local Map Pack further hides organic results.  At the same time, search visitors spend less time consuming the content.  My site has seen a decline of over 30% of time on page for those that land on blog posts, and a 42% reduction in pages per visit for traffic landing on the blog.

Blogging isn’t entirely useless though.  Blog content when delivered strategically (recall the ‘spoon feed content’ ), is still valuable as a tool to build trust and authority, however you should not expect blogging to generate inbound leads (at least not as many as it did 5 years ago).

Watch:


Use Story To Differentiate Your Business

Your leads are going to get other estimates.  There’s no way around that.  And if they come through a lead generation service that might get contacted by a dozen contractors none of whom they consciously selected.  In other words, they might not know you from Adam.  You’ve got to stand out from the rest, if you want to sell the project at a higher price — you need to differentiate your contracting business.

The easiest, the easiest and lowest cost way to differentiate yourself is by using your business story in the sales process!

Let customers know who you are, how you came to be in business and why you do what you do.

You can read the full blog post on using story in the sales process here.

I like to have the differentiation by story done, before I even show up to do the estimate.  To make that happen, I deliver content based emails introducing myself and the business story as soon as leads enter the sales pipeline.  My goal is to have customers say “I feel like I know you” when they answer the door.  If they refer to me as “the screen guy” I know that I failed in differentiating myself thus far.

Watch:


Ignite Word of Mouth Marketing

Most contractors sit around and wait for word of mouth marketing to ‘happen’ as a result of doing great work.

Savvy contractors know they can ignite it.  How?  With a talk trigger.

A talk triggers is one unique, and unexpected, but related thing you do or item you left behind on every project that turns your boring trades project into a talking point.

Maybe your could bring your customers coffee every morning while you are working on their project.

Maybe you could pay to send their dog to a boarding facility while you are working in home (a possible win for both parties).

You’ll need to be creative and I recommend Jay Baer’s Book Talk Triggers for ideas development.

I’ve been leaving these fake decoy owls on our projects for years turn them into a conversation piece.

It is unique.  It is unexpected.  It is related — the decoy owl intimidates other real birds from hanging out on the enclosure, shitting everywhere (no other way of wording that), and tearing the screen.  We find that when spending time in their screen enclosure with friends and family, the customer tends to pro-actively point out the fake bird that is hanging out on the top, the reason why it is there, and subsequently the company that left it there!


Get Rid Of The Local Pages On Your Website

Local Landing pages, stuffed with keywords and cities have been a search engine optimization tactic (SEO) for years.  The sole purpose of these pages, has been to get google search traffic for long tail keywords to your site and then direct them to another part of the site that is actually readable.  Any contractor that has done or hired SEO has certainly ended up with many of these pages on their site.

Google calls them ‘Doorway Pages’.

This worked well for many years through the mid 2000’s, and I repeated the benefits on my own website.   In the past 2-3 years however, the value of such pages has diminished to nearly 0 — and they may in fact even hurt your web presence.  Google considers these doorway pages a form of web spam as they are created primarily for search engines and add no value to the user experience.  Elaborated on further in this Google Official Post.  In general, spam detected on your website decreases the value of your site for search rankings.

On top of it all, fewer search users specifically use long tail keywords like ‘service city’, each year as Google is able to make location based inferences through your browser provided details.

With the clearly shunned tactics, and decreasing use of long tail keywords by searchers, it is time to put these doorway pages behind us, and focus on user experience.  I would suggest eliminating the local pages on your website, and redirecting them to one kick ass ‘service area’ page on your website (that’s what I did).

Another idea, although more time consuming,  would be to create a unique blog post discussing a specific project that you did in that city.  Discuss the local permitting / code requirements to make references to the locale.


Going Forward with Marketing as a Contractor In 2019

The marketing landscape continues to change and evolve.  Our websites need to be faster.  Nobody reads our content.  It’s all up to you as a business owner to stay on top of what is happening and where things are going.  Hopefully this post helps!

No matter what changes, marketing cannot make up for a shitty service.  Always keep that in mind and make sure that your customers and employee’s are happy before diving into new marketing ventures.

And when it comes to spending money on marketing, be sure to track your marketing costs using a program like Call Rail.  Once you can track your lead source you can confidently experiment with new marketing campaigns and quickly cut what is not working!

Making Business Cards Great Again and Improving Efficiency

Sometimes you just can’t get any work done as neighbors come by to ask for a card or quote.

That was my experience as a tech, and what my techs still relay to me to today.  Yes it is awesome to pick up additional sales simply from your presence in a community, but it does come at the expense of productivity on your project.

Assuming neighbors take the step to initiate contact on a job site; your employee’s (or yourself) may not be mentally prepared to engage with a prospect and leave them with a positive impression. Hot, tired, and frustrated with a project has turned into more than you estimated, it’s easy to not be on your friendly game when approached.

But what about all the neighbors that see your truck but don’t quite work up the courage to drop in the job site?  You could hope they call the number on the side of your truck, or remember your name for future purposes.

Or you could leave them with something tangible to walk away with should they chose to… your business card.

That’s what this nifty device does.  For only $10, you have little to lose.  One sale resulting from a business card grab will easily pay for itself.

For those contractors that operate in areas with high foot track or an older demographic (I’ve seen many baby boomers still rolodex their business cards) this could be $$$!

Amazon links to order (not affiliated with me):

  • The one pictured above for $9.99
  • Another option for $7.99

One bit of feedback provided from a member of the Home Pro Sales & Marketing Lounge Facebook Group is that the cards can get wet which may make these useless during our rainy season, but that is only 5 months of the year.

I look forward to getting these on my trucks, of course with a unique call tracking number so that I can assess the cost per lead.

Best 19 Kids Playroom Ideas for Every Taste and Space

    • No matter your home’s size, you can keep your children entertained in their very own playroom. These delightful and stylish solutions will inspire you to create a fun space even adults will love.  
    • 02of 20   Chic Playroom That Does Not Skimp on Sophistication    Tracie Butler Design This space proves that playrooms can be chic. Created by Tracie Butler Design based in West Hollywood, California the room packs plenty of features for keeping kids busy. The navy blue walls and rustic wood floors are what makes the room feel more sophisticated than juvenile.  
    • 03of 20   Modern White Basement Playroom    Eisner Design A crisp, white basement playroom by New York firm Eisner Design may be the most stylish place for kids ever. At the center of the space is a cloud-soft gym set. The built-in shelving on the right features a kidney-shaped orange lounger. The back wall is for climbing. Afterward, tuckered out kids can kick back in one of the three cocoon hanging chairs.    
    • 04of 20   Treehouse Inspired Basement Playroom    Thinkterior We adore this treehouse inspired playroom by the interior designers at Thinkterior based in Ashburn, Virginia. The “treehouse” is a favorite spot for sleepovers. The stage area features built-in floor storage. A faux tree adds to the room’s outdoorsy vibe. Not shown in the photo is the rustic home theater and indoor swing.  
    • 05of 20   Beach House With an Attic Playroom    Chango & Company In a New York beach house by Brooklyn design firm Chango & Company an attic becomes the ultimate playroom. Moroccan floor cushions and dozens of accents pillows lend comfort. The carpeted floor provides a soft space to play. Ceiling mounted swings get little hearts thumping.    
    • 06of 20   DIY Kids Playhouse    Alvhem Makleri Ignite your child’s imagination with this smart idea spotted on the Swedish site, Alvhem Makleri. Black washi tape and a small shelving system turn an untapped corner in a kid’s bedroom into a playhouse. Notice the second shelf? Thanks to a power tool called a router, it is now a tiny toy kitchen.  
    • 07of 20   Balcony With a Teepee for Kids    Martelka A small apartment balcony can become an outdoor playroom. This space featured on the Polish décor blog Martelka is outfitted with a teepee. A bathmat adds a little comfort underfoot. A blackboard covering the railing provides a spot to write and draw, plus additional privacy.      
    • 08of 20   Transitional Playroom Brimming With Style    Dragon Fly Interior Designs This transitional playroom by Dragon Fly Interior Designs out of the Rocky Mountain Region is easy on adult eyes. Beautiful gray cabinetry with a built-in window seat anchors the space. A flirty IKEA Maskros pendant light adds a whimsical touch. Colorful carpet tiles spice up the floor. Pint-size furniture makes the room more inviting to wee ones.

The 8 Best Garage Door Openers to Buy in 2019

  • Best Overall: Chamberlain WD832KEV Whisper Belt Drive Garage Door Opener               VERY GOOD Buy on AmazonBuy on Jet Looking for something powerful but don’t want it to be too loud? This garage door opener from Chamberlain is a great option. Featuring an exclusive Motor Vibration Isolation System which eliminates vibration for reduced noise, this is a good choice especially you have an attached garage with rooms above the space. It also has MyQ enabled technology that allows you to monitor and control the opener via your smartphone with an extra purchase of the product. You can set the opener’s timer to close the door one, five or 10 minutes if you forget, and it has sensors to make sure it won’t close if something is in its path. It comes with a lifetime motor, lifetime belt, five-year parts, and one-year accessories warranty. Customers who have purchased this garage door opener for their homes have been mostly satisfied with the performance of it. Many have raved about how quiet it actually is—one said instead of hearing the metal squeak and clank like with their last one, only the sound of the “wooden door being jostled around as it is pulled up and down” is all you hear with this one. Customers were also happy with the features including the automatic closer when you forget to shut it after you go inside. Some had had issues with the manual being hard to understand while installing it themselves. But most were happy with the overall performance.
  • Best Budget: Chamberlain PD612EV 1/2 HP MyQ Enabled Garage Door Opener     Buy on AmazonBuy on Walmart While there might not be a huge price range when it comes to garage door openers—they are all quite an investment—there a few less expensive options to consider. Here’s a great budget option from Chamberlain. It has a motor that’s equivalent to ½ horsepower and chain drive system that is quick and easy to install. You can also connect it to the MQ technology (gateway sold separately) to use with your smartphone. The product comes with two three-button visor remote controls, a multi-function wall control, as well as a wireless keyless entry system. It comes with a 10-year motor, two-year parts, and one-year accessories warranty. Most of the reviewers who have purchased this product would recommend it to others. Many have said it’s a quality product that is quiet and easy to install. In terms of critical reviews, some have had issues with parts breaking or the item not coming with all the nuts and bolts required to install it. But most were happy with their purchase.
  • Best Security: Chamberlain PD512 Garage Door Opener     Buy on AmazonBuy on Home Depot Looking for another budget option? This one, also from Chamberlain, is a good choice. With a powerful ½ horsepower motor, it’s reliable and rugged, especially paired with its industrial strength chain drive. The 100-watt bulb gives you some overhead light that guides you into your home from your car safely. It also comes with a pre-programmed, one-button remote that can be used over a long range. Plus, there are safety sensors that project an invisible beam helping to prevent the door closing on people or objects. And when the door is closed, you can rest assured it’ll stay closed and locked thanks to its Patented Security + 2.0 rolling code technology and PosiLock anti-theft protection. Customers who are looking for a low-cost, no-frills garage door opener will find this product satisfying. Reviewers have commented on how easy it is to set up and the fact that it does its job of opening and closing well. 
  • Best Belt Drive: Genie SilentMax 750     Buy on Home Depot Belt driven garage door openers offer a prime level of noise reduction if you want a silent environment in the garage. While common chainlinks will rattle during use, the smooth performance of a belt dampens noise as the garage door slides up and down. Using a 3/4 motor, the Genie SilentMax 750 will easily tackle any typical garage door while keeping the environment quiet and comfortable while in use. Capable of lifting a seven-foot garage door up to 500 pounds in weight, the SilentMax 750 comes with a number of convenience features for automatic and remote use. The included wireless keypad and dual remote controls will ​insure that you are the only one that has access to the door. Compatible with a number of in-car remote systems like HomeLink, you can also keep the remotes at home if you are worried about losing the “keys.”​  
  • Best Smart Home: NEXX Garage NXG-100 Nxg Remote Compatible Door Openers   Buy on Amazon If using a separate garage door opening remote doesn’t appeal to you, consider using your wifi connection to open and close your garage door. This smart remote door opener from NEXX links your wifi to its device for a seamless result. Simply use the coordinating app on your phone to open and close your garage from your car or home. The NEXX garage door opener allows multiple people to use it. You can also hook it up to Amazon Alexa or your Google Home device to use voice commands to open and close the garage. Users say it takes about 20 minutes to install the device into your existing garage door opening mechanism, but once it is set up, it works seamlessly. 
  • Best High-End: Chamberlain WD962KEV Garage Door Opener     Buy on AmazonBuy on Walmart Here’s an opener that comes with all the bells and whistles. Featuring an ultra quiet belt drive, you’ll be thankful you purchased one like this especially if you have a room positioned near or above the garage. It’s also got battery backup so if the power goes out, you can still get in and out with ease for up to 20 open and close cycles for the first 24 hours of an outage. And for the technology savvy will appreciate its MyQ smartphone control technology that allows you to control the door via an app on your iPhone or Android, plus you’ll receive safety notifications if you’re away from the house and the door opens or closes. And for extra peace of mind, there’s also a feature that will automatically close the door after a set amount of time — you know, just in case you forget. The majority of those who have purchased this product have been happy with it, saying it’s extremely quiet and comes with a great lifetime warranty. Some of the more critical reviews had to do with the remote not working well and other minor malfunctions. (A few quick tips can help you fix any common garage door opener problems.) However, most were satisfied with the product and would recommend it to others. 
  • Best Speed: Genie Excelerator 1 HPc Direct Screw Drive DC Garage Door Opener     Buy on Home Depot If you’re often anxious for your garage door to open faster — then the Genie Exceleartor would be the perfect pick for you. Outfitted with a direct screw drive that ensure a safe, stable and fast opening and closing you’ll also be impressed the maintenance-free operation this comes with as well as the lifetime guarantee of the operator. This opener is easy to install for most DIYers and comes with two remotes and a wireless keypad so you can open the door with a pin. If you are interested in having this smart-enabled you can purchase a separate kit to do so. The Safe-T Beam helps prevent accidents using a infrared beam that will open or close the door if a car is getting to close. 
  • Best Easy Installation: Genie 37280u Garage Door Opener with 3/4 HPc DC Chain     Buy on Walmart Spending your whole weekend setting up a new garage door opener is not on the top of most peoples list. This opener is easy to install for most levels of DIYers and it provides a quiet and reliable open and close. This has 3/4 HPc DC chain features and the powerhead can open 12″ in a second. It has a wireless remote and Intellicode 2 security to prevent people from breaking into your home. 

Products Tested by 

How We Tested

Our reviewers tested a top-rated garage door opener daily for over a week. To get the most comprehensive results possible, they installed it themselves and observed how it performed. We asked our testers to consider the most important features when using this garage door opener, from its drive type to its security features. We’ve outlined the can’t-miss points here so that you, too, know what to look for when shopping.

What to Look for in a Garage Door Opener

Drive typeGarage door openers work in a variety of ways. A chain-drive model raises and lowers doors with a metal chain — these tend to be inexpensive and able to handle heavier doors, but they’re loud. A belt-drive opener uses a belt and operates more smoothly and quietly. Screw-drive openers, which lift doors with a threaded steel rod, are also quiet and don’t require much maintenance. Finally, a direct-drive opener operates as a single unit — the whole contraption moves to lift the door. These tend to be the quietest, smoothest mechanisms available.

HorsepowerYou’ll also want to consider the horsepower of your opener. Typically, 1/2 horsepower will work for most doors in newer homes. If you have a heavier solid wood door, though, you may want to opt for 3/4 horsepower so it can lift it with ease. You can also get 1 and 1 1/2 horsepower models, but those are a better fit for commercial or special situations.

SecuritySince 1993, all garage door openers have been required to have a special reversing mechanism to prevent closure if a child, pet, or car is in the way — but in terms of additional security features, you get what you pay for. If safety is a top concern, opt for a model that changes the access code after each use to prevent a break in.

BUSINESS IDEA CENTER: HOME IMPROVEMENT – INTERESTS

Above-Ground Pools

Here’s a business that will keep customers cool and profits hot. Startup Costs: $10,000 – $50,000
Franchises Available? No 
Online Operation? No

Air Conditioning Service

Put your talents to work with an air conditioning service. Startup Costs: $2,000 – $10,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Franchises Available? Yes 
Online Operation? No

Apartment Prep Service

Use your talent for handiwork to start an apartment prep service business. Startup Costs: Under $2,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Franchises Available? No 
Online Operation? No

Appliance Repair Service

Are you handy? Help people fix their appliances. Startup Costs: $10,000 – $50,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Franchises Available? Yes 
Online Operation? No

Attic Rooms

Help homeowners get the most out of their space by converting attics into usable rooms. Startup Costs: $10,000 – $50,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Franchises Available? No 
Online Operation? No

Attic Ventilation And Insulation

An attic business is a great way to earn money, with a huge base of customers needing to air out their stuffy attics. Startup Costs: $2,000 – $10,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Franchises Available? No 
Online Operation? No

Basement Remodeling

Nobody wants their basement to look like a dungeon. You can help them out with a basement remodeling business. Startup Costs: $2,000 – $10,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Franchises Available? No 
Online Operation? No

Bathtub Reglazing

Soak in the success of a bathtub reglazing business. Startup Costs: $10,000 – $50,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Franchises Available? No 
Online Operation? No

Blind Cleaning Service

Not everyone has the time to dust off their windows. Keep customers’ blinds clean and watch the sun shine on your business. Startup Costs: $10,000 – $50,000
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Franchises Available? No 
Online Operation? No

Bug Screen Repair

Everyone has screens on their windows, and you can be the person to help maintain them. Startup Costs: $10,000 – $50,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Franchises Available? Yes 
Online Operation? No

Cabinet Door Replacements

Cabinetry businesses offer many different services and products. Find your niche through door replacement. Startup Costs: $2,000 – $10,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Franchises Available? No 
Online Operation? No

Cabinetmaking Service

Make the most of your skills by customizing cabinets for others. Startup Costs: $2,000 – $10,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Franchises Available? Yes 
Online Operation? No

Carpet and Upholstery Service

This maintenance business is in constant demand. Startup Costs: $2,000 – $10,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Franchises Available? Yes 
Online Operation? No

Carpet Installations

Use your handiwork skills to lay down a new business. Startup Costs: $2,000 – $10,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Franchises Available? Yes 
Online Operation? No

Carport Conversions

Make carports more secure for storage by turning them into a garage. Startup Costs: $2,000 – $10,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Franchises Available? No 
Online Operation? No

15 Best Garage Door Openers In 2019

When you pull up out front, it’s really nice if you can roll right into the garage. If the sun’s beating down, you won’t want to leave the AC behind, and if the rain is pouring, you’ll want to stay dray. If only there were a way to make it happen right? Well, I had the same thought a few weeks ago, so I bought myself a garage door opener. I know what you’re thinking, it did take a little research to find the best one for me. But when I found it, the wait was worth it.

To make things nice and simple for you, I’ve put together the notes I took when I was shopping around. That way you can read up on 15 of the best out there without lots of Googling. That’s Ideal if you want to make sure you get the perfect match first time out.

Table of Contents

  • Best Garage Door Openers App for Android
    • 1. NEXX Garage NXG-100 Nxg Remote Compatible Door Openers
  • Best Garage Door Openers Chain Drive
    • 2. Chamberlain C410 Durable Chain Drive Garage Door Opener
    • 3. Chamberlain PD512 Garage Door Opener
    • 4. Chamberlain C450 Smartphone-Controlled Durable Chain Drive Garage Door Opener
    • 5. LiftMaster 1355 ( Replaced By 8065 ) Contractor Series 12 HP Chain Drive WO Rail Assembly
  • Best Garage Door Openers Belt Drive
    • 6. Chamberlain B503 Ultra-Quiet and Strong Belt Drive Garage Door Opener
    • 7. Genie SilentMax 1200 Garage Door Opener
    • 8. Liftmaster Garage Door Openers
    • 9. 8500 Liftmaster Elite Series myQ Enabled Garage Door Opener
    • 10. Chamberlain B970 Smartphone-Controlled Ultra-Quiet and Strong Belt Drive Garage Door Opener
    • 11. Chamberlain B730WD962 Garage Door Opener
    • 12. Genie PowerLift Garage Door Opener
    • 13. Chamberlain WD1000WF Garage Door Opener
    • 14. Craftsman 12 hp Garage Door Opener
    • 15. Genie Excelerator II 1500 1 HP Direct Screw Drive DC Garage Door Opener

Best Garage Door Openers App For Android

1. NEXX Garage NXG-100 Nxg Remote Compatible Door Openers


The first entry on my list is something of an enigma. NEXX is the new kid on the block who’s mak-ing a lot of noise. Let’s see what I thought…

Stylish app control

The app is nice and clean, plus it is super easy to install and setup. I like the white and green color scheme because it’s nice and positive. I’d also recommend that you make use of the multiple user login features (more on that a little later). All in all, from a software point of view I couldn’t fault it because it gave me everything I needed and nothing more. With no clutter or superfluous features, it was easy to get accustomed to.

Is voice control actually useful?

This is something new for me if I’m honest, but I think it may just catch on in a big way. By having the capability to link up with control programs like Alexa or Siri, there’s a helpful degree of future proofing going on here. And that’s perfect if you love to link up your tech!

How about the encryption standards?

When you can open your home remotely without a mechanical key, you need to be careful. I couldn’t find the specifics of the encryption standard, but from what I gather everything is in order. That said if you want to play it extra safe by all means contact the manufacturer. That way you’ll have the peace of mind that everything is taken care of.

Thinking about multiple users?

Multiple users is a great feature, especially if you share your car. By having separate logins on each of your devices, you can even see who’s coming and going. That for me is a nice little-added security feature. It gives you the peace of mind that you know who is exiting and entering your home. Highly recommended for the tech lover looking to upgrade their home in the securest way possible.

Best Garage Door Openers Chain Drive

2. Chamberlain C410 Durable Chain Drive Garage Door Opener


These guys come with a big reputation for serious lifting power when it comes to garage doors. The chain drive mechanisms are known in the industry for reliability, but how does the user experience stack up?

Up to 1,500 ft of remote range is super long range!

The first thing to say is that the range is insane. This makes it ideal for those with long drives or who live on surrounding land. You can click your remote, and then the door will do its thing. Perfect, if you want to avoid parking up and waiting for it to get out of the way. It should also mean that you don’t encounter any dead spots on your property where the reception dies.

Posi-lock security: what’s all the fuss about?

This is an excellent feature because it gives you the peace of mind that your property is safe and secure. The unique mechanical locking mechanism is tamper-proof which means you can only open the door using your remote. Ideal for making sure that your new tech investment doesn’t compromise the security of your home.

How did I get on with the snaplock rail system

The snaplock rail system is a smart way of ensuring you can easily install everything yourself. This keeps the costs down and means you can have everything working out of the box in an afternoon. With simple tension fits you’ll be able to fix everything in place in a matter of minutes. The instructions are simple and nicely worded which helps things too. If you do decide to install it yourself, you won’t need any specialist tools, but measure up beforehand. That way you’ll ensure you have the right opener for the task at hand.

Rugged chain drive design looks like it’s built to last

The chain drive is what these guys are really known for. Similar to a bike chain but much more heavy duty, they have a hard life when you think about it. If you want to ensure you get the full use out of yours, then I suggest reading the maintenance section of the manual. With a few timely drops of oil every now and again you’ll extend the lifetime by years.

3. Chamberlain PD512 Garage Door Opener


The PD512 is perhaps one of the quietest running openers on my entire list. Here’s how they’ve mastered the art of getting the job done without all the whirring and grinding…

Chain drive that really is silent? How do they do it?

The secret is the smooth running of the chain drive. When you install it, you’ll feel it flop around in your hand and you’ll wonder how it pulls so well. Well, it pulls so well precisely because of how free to move and flexible it is. By removing all those little bits of friction Chamberlain has taken efficiency and power transfer to the next level. I’m speechless!

Rolling code security is a clever solution

I love the idea of a rolling security code. This means that every time you operate your door, a new access key is sent to your remote. To ensure intruders can’t clone your device and receive the new keys they’re also sent fully encrypted. This is the digital equivalent of having a front door whose lock and key change every time you use it!

Tri-band remotes offer unparalleled range and coverage

This is very much the pinnacle of remote control technology. By extending the range and optimizing the coverage, it takes care of everything. The selection of frequencies it runs on ensures that outside interference from spurious signals is never an issue. For the real hardware nerds out there it would be nice to know which frequencies they use. I’m sure you could find out with a little digging deep in the manual if you’re desperate to know!

Built-in safety sensors for peace of mind

The safety sensors that prevent the door lowering when something is in the way are essential. To protect pets and young children a beam of light is sent across the door. If it’s broken, then the door will open again. If you ever get to a situation where your door will suddenly not close and keeps opening then check the sensors. It’s not unknown for a little bit of debris to dirty one of them and confuse your new piece of safe-minded tech!

4. Chamberlain C450 Smartphone-Controlled Durable Chain Drive Garage Door Opener

  
I was curious to get my hands on the upgraded lifting system of the C450. Here are my thoughts folks….

The MED Lift power system has been making a real stir in the market

The MED Lift power system has been marketed as a real breakthrough in terms of efficiency and power. What I really like is that it’s clearly been designed specifically for the task at hand. Too many companies take a standard motor, overwork it, and then wonder why they burn out too quickly. This gearing ratio and the HP are precisely what you need for the loads involved and the challenge of a rolling lift.

Steel chain drive is the pinnacle of efficient power transfer, but how hardwearing is it?

The quality of their steel chain drives is what Chamberlain is known for more than anyone. They keep things simple with Teflon coated links that reduce friction, and the maintenance is easy to follow. With a couple of drops of oil every couple of months you’ll be able to add years to the lifetime of this thing!

Rolling encryption has billions of permutations and combinations

The last few entries on my list have had this feature, and this one is no different. By offering literally billions of possible combinations, they are impossible to hack. This is perfect for adding something to your home that actually makes it even more secure. The fact that the access keys then change every time you use them only adds to the secure feeling. That is ideal for ensuring that an intruder can’t clone your remote and access your home whenever they want to.

Smartphone ready…

There’s an element of future proofing here because all of the software and firmware is installed and waiting. There’s no obligation to use it if you prefer the old-fashioned approach. And I was glad to see that the manual didn’t try and force this new feature on you. A lot of people will want to get to grips with their new purchase before getting fancy and using apps. This back to basics approach that focused on the initial install was nice to see and put me at ease.

5. LiftMaster 1355 ( Replaced By 8065 ) Contractor Series 12 HP Chain Drive WO Rail Assembly

 
LiftMaster has a reputation for taking lower powered motors and getting a lot out of them. But how do they do it?

Only 0.5 HP so where does the pulling power come from?

At only 0.5 HP you’ll be wondering how this thing even moves a door. Well, the secret is the efficiency and rigidity of the chain drive from what I can tell. It’s such an efficient way to transfer power from the motor to the door that you simply don’t need that much HP. Ideal if you want to install an inherently quiet motor that won’t be straining as much. It’ll also make it far less likely to fail on you.

Fast change encryption software is highly impressive

This is a super cool feature. To prevent your encryption key being cloned it actually changes every time you open or close your door. A new access code is then sent in an encrypted form to your remote. Essentially what this means is that your lock and key change randomly every time you come or go. Now if that doesn’t scream ‘security’ at you, then I don’t what will folks!

4-year warranty is a nice way to kick things off, but why isn’t it lifetime?

The 4-year warranty is a nice touch, but it’s only a year for parts. There a few entries on this list that give you a lifetime warranty on the motor in particular. I’d have liked to see a bit more coverage in this regard if I’m honest. That said if it doesn’t overly concern you then go ahead!

MyQ allows you to swap to app control at a later date

App control is a nice idea because it means you can do away with carrying a standalone remote in your driver’s side door. If you want to future proof your setup then I’d suggest you convert over to it after you’ve had a couple of weeks to get used to your opener. That way you’ll have a feel for how it works, and you won’t be overwhelmed by the new tech.

Best Garage Door Openers Belt Drive

6. Chamberlain B503 Ultra-Quiet And Strong Belt Drive Garage Door Opener

 
The next entry on my list comes from the same guys, and it’s certainly worth paying attention to…

Can a garage door opener ever really be ‘ultra-quiet’?

I think in this case…it can! With so much going on during operation, most garage door openers make a fair old noise. Because of the smoothness of the mechanism and how powerful the motor is that’s not the case here. You just hear a gentle whirring noise that pulls your door up in a couple of seconds. To be honest, you won’t be able to hear it above the sound of the engine running.

Tri-band technology: what’s the fuss about?

Tri-band is awesome because it extends your range to over a thousand feet. That may sound like overkill, but it is ideal for large properties and for avoiding dead spots in reception. If you want a door that opens with a click, then I’d always look for this technology.

Protection against forced entry

The posi-lock system that’s employed here is really secure. It protects against lock manipulation and lock forcing; two common ways burglars gain entry. This is ideal if you want to sleep with the peace of mind that your new piece of tech enhances your security. You’ll also see that the craftsmanship is right up there with the very best on the list. Brute force approaches just won’t cut it when intruders want to gain entry by force.

How useful are the online installation videos?

Personally, I was a little dubious at first, but I have to say that I now rate them. The idea of installing it myself felt daunting, but it needn’t have. The tutorials are easy to digest and have natural pauses built in. That allows you to stop the video at a natural point, carry out the step, and then hit ‘play’ again. All in all, I have to say that this is a simple approach to DIY that other brands should take a look at. You’ll save time and money on hiring a contractor!

7. Genie SilentMax 1200 Garage Door Opener


What’s in a name? Well, with one like this I’d be a fool not to sit up and take notice, wouldn’t I? Here’s how I got on when I took a look at the fourth entry on my list…

What’s so good about a dual frequency remote?

Now, this is something amazingly cool. The remotes work on 315 MHz, and 390 MHz at the same time. This is super important because occasionally one of these frequencies will be blocked. This then makes the remote control redundant, and your door stays firmly shut! The elegant dual frequency band remotes remove this issue forever. Perfect for ensuring you never fall victim to those annoying quirks that can take the shine off of any new purchase.

Pulls your garage door up to 7 feet high

7 feet is more than enough for most cars. If you need an extra foot of clearance for that shiny new SUV, then there’s an optional extension kit available too. The installation of said kit is just as easy as the main module and motor. That means, should you decide that you want more clearance in the future you’ll only have to do a couple of minutes of fiddling to get it.

The steel reinforced drive belt is something to seriously consider

Rather than a chain, these guys have opted for a belt. The pro here is that the operation can be even quieter because you don’t have the same number of moving parts. The upkeep and maintenance of a belt is also less because you won’t need to run oil over every link. If you want a fit and forget option, then this could be it, my friend!

Smart Set Programming makes your life a lot easier

I really like the Smart Set Programming that these guys have devised. Rather than having open and close buttons, they give you complete control. That means that you can also set the total height you want to raise your door. Not only does this speed things up, but it also reduces the strain on the motor. Run it for years, and you’ll notice the difference when you come to follow the servicing instructions.

8. Liftmaster Garage Door Openers


I hadn’t heard of this one if I’m honest, but I was intrigued nonetheless. Now that I’ve told you its name I bet you can’t wait to read about it!

Lightweight for ease of installation

The entire package only weighs 6 lb which is excellent. That means that you don’t need to have any specialist mountings or fixtures to get it up on the ceiling. Your standard cordless drill driver will be more than enough to make the holes and secure it in place.

Simple to add to your existing setup which is nice!

The versatility of the EverCharge is something I absolutely must comment on. None of the fixtures and fittings are hard to use or install. This means with some simple off the shelf additions you’ll be able to make it a universal fit. And that’s ideal if you want to be able to buy something and not overthink too much about how you’re going to integrate it. It also means you’ll be able to keep it should you upgrade the door itself in the coming years.

12 V battery is used during operation, a spare would be handy

One thing to note is that while it is mains powered, there is a 12 V battery on board. With features like this, I often advise people that it’s worth keeping a spare. If they’re unused for a period of time batteries, do have a habit of failing to hold a charge. With a spare that you can pick up from any hardware store, you should be able to benefit from years of seamless operation.

Powerful enough to lift any type and style of door

The power of the motor is unspecified from what I can see, but there are no restrictions on types of entry it can lift. This means that it really is the universal solution that it is touted as. I liked this approach because it means you can upgrade your door and your motor separately. Highly recommended if you want to maintain freedom and flexibility over the coming years.

9. 8500 Liftmaster Elite Series MyQ Enabled Garage Door Opener

 
LiftMaster really knows its stuff, so the 8500 was a no-brainer from my perspective. Like the catchy name? Then why not see how it got on when I put it through its paces?

200 W light is already built-in

The 200 W light is really handy, and it’s something not a lot of people have thought about. When you run the motor, the light automatically comes on and illuminates your garage. This is ideal because it means you won’t have to stumble around trying to find the light switch when the door closes behind you. A nice little user-friendly touch that will make things that little bit easier!

6 ft power line for easy connection to mains

The power line could always be longer, but that’s not something worthy of holding against it! At 6 ft long it’s more than long enough to reach any outlet nearby. Perfect for ensuring that you can get it up and running the same day it arrives without loads of trips to HomeDepot.

Signature Protector System is an impressive new piece of tech

This is perhaps my favorite feature of any door on this list. The Protector System is ideal for those of you with pets and young kids. It shines a beam of light across the entrance of the door. If that light beam is broken at any point, then the door opens up again. This ensures you prevent serious crushing injuries that can be hard to foresee when you click ‘close’ on your remote. Highly recommended for peace of mind.

Lifetime motor warranty caught my eye!

Finally, we come to a little mention of the motor. Well, what can I say; it’s certainly up to the task because it’s guaranteed for a lifetime. The gearing ratios and torque allow it to make short work of any lifting. This is perfect for ensuring that you can keep it running nicely as you upgrade your door over the years. It also means that it isn’t straining and struggling to get the job done.

10. Chamberlain B970 Smartphone-Controlled Ultra-Quiet And Strong Belt Drive Garage Door Opener


Another entry from these folks is next on the agenda. The B970 promised big things when it arrived on the market. But a few months on from that debut has it really shown us what it is capable of? Time to take a look, guys!

Onboard battery could be a real lifesaver

I really like the idea of the onboard 12 V battery. While it derives the bulk of its power from the mains this creates an issue during power outs. If your home is knocked off the grid for a few hours, then you may not be able to park your car. That could be a particularly severe problem if you don’t have a drive or on-street parking. With reserve power always on standby, you’ll be able to get your car inside safe and sound. A totally great feature that I wish more openers had.

Smartphone operation could be the way of the future

The operation via smartphone is something that has divided a lot of people. On the one hand, you have those who don’t care about doing everything from their phones. On the other, you have people who are glad they no longer have to keep a standalone remote safe. I’d say I fall into the latter category because it can be all too easy to lose those little things. You’re never going to lose your phone, so this is a big step forward in my opinion. A highly recommended feature, one that will do more than appeal to the hardcore gadget or tech lovers out there.

1.25 HP is some serious pulling power if you ask me!

When you can quote the power of your motor in Horse Power then you know you’re looking at a real beast! Because of the torque exerted by the drive, you’ll be able to open any door with minimal effort. This is great because it means Chamberlain haven’t had to resort to overworking an underpowered motor. Ideal if you want the reliable and quiet operation that will last for years and years. Highly recommended for those looking for an install and forget solution.

11. Chamberlain B730WD962 Garage Door Opener


The WD962 is marketed to single garage doors which means it is a little less high powered than some of the others on this list. Let’s see how this restriction played out when it was put through a close examination.

0.75 HP: could you be left wanting more?

There is a little less power when compared to the previous entry on this list; there’s no getting away from that. However, to criticise it for that kind of misses the point. The issue is not how hard it can pull, but how well it pulls what it is designed to pull. The operation is quiet and efficient, and if you want to lift a double door, then you are better off with something else. Simple!

MyQ enabled so what is all the fuss about?

This is a very neat piece of integrated tech that is ready and waiting. By future proofing with embedded voice control capability, Chamberlain is keeping your options open for years to come. This is a great way to approach it because it doesn’t force the issue when you don’t feel ready to adopt voice control.

Two remotes included makes it ideal for multiple users

It’s nice to have two remotes rather than the solitary little one that so many openers come with. This means you can have one each, or keep a spare should yours fail. It would be nice if you could assign the remotes to a specific user to see who is coming and going. That said they are ergonomic and hard to lose which is all you really need at the end of the day isn’t it!

Automatic timed closing

I like this feature because it makes things that little bit easier. When you drive in you sometimes don’t want to have to wait for your door, you just want to walk straight into your home. By setting it to auto close after 1, 5, or even 10 minutes, you should be able to wander in without waiting around. You may want to stand and check it comes down the first couple of times for peace of mind. I have no reason to think it won’t; it’s just playing it, safe my friend!

12. Genie PowerLift Garage Door Opener


With a name like the PowerLift, how could I not sit up and take notice! Let’s delve right in, and you can see for yourself whether it’s a winner!

The Safe-T beam system is the smart approach to garage door safety

The Safe-T beam system gets around the potential issue of crushing injuries. This is especially important for those households with pets and young children. There’s a beam of collimated light shone between two sensors at the base of the door. If for any reason this light is blocked by something in the way while the door is moving it will halt and fully open. Ideal for the peace of mind that you have everything taken care of.

The wall console is easy to use and nicely laid out

I like the wall console because it lights up during operation. This is especially handy if you’re leaving early in the morning before the sun is up or returning late at night. You can wall mount it away from the power outlet which is also a nice touch. That gives you the freedom to pick a safe and convenient spot.

Up to 500 lb of lifting power

While it only has 0.5 HP, it uses it very efficiently. This means it can lift 500 pounds with no issues and minimal noise. More than enough to get the vast majority of garage doors up and out of the way. Be sure to check your intended or existing model of door with the manufacturer. That way you won’t be disappointed in case your opener struggles a little bit.

C-channel rail is easy to install

Installing it yourself is what Genie are all about because they want to make things simple enough that you can do it yourself. This saves you time and money on a contractor, and its kind of fun if you’re that way inclined like me! Their C-rail system is really easy and is nicely documented in the manual. I’m yet to find any videos though which would have been nice.

13. Chamberlain WD1000WF Garage Door Opener


The name may be a bit of a mouthful, but this is an opener with a big reputation. It has a lot to live up to given the success of its predecessors, but that didn’t dampen my expectations. Take a look for yourself and see what you think…

MyQ comes as standard which is a nice touch

MyQ is, in my opinion, the way of the future if you ask me. The idea of being able to open your door as you pull up with just your voice is elegant and neat. However, I would suggest waiting a couple of weeks before you install it if you’re new to voice control. You want to ensure that you trust the operation of the door before you get fancy with it. It’ll also ensure you can still open it in case it has an issue hearing your voice above your car’s engine noise.

LCD panel on the wall is the way of the future

The LCD panel is a definite upgrade on the old style keypads that you’ll have seen earlier on this list. With a screen that shows you the status and options in the blink of an eye, you’ll have everything you need. I also like how it’s backlit. It just makes it that little bit more user-friendly, especially in the darker months.

Up to 1.25 of HP, but does it create too much noise?

There’s a lot of horsepower on show here, but it is actually surprisingly quiet to be fair. It will always have a little more inherent noise than some of the smaller motors, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. By being more than strong enough to lift any door on the market with ease it should have a longer lifetime than most. If you want something that will keep on lifting with minimal maintenance, then I’d suggest a closer look. Even if the noise bothers you a little, it’s not like the motor will be running for more than a few seconds a day!

14. Craftsman 12 Hp Garage Door Opener


This is a new name in the industry to me at least, so I was intrigued to see how it stacked up. See what you think folks because I may have left one of the best ones in the place fourthteen!

A new name on the block; can you rely on them?

I think you certainly can! Name recognition is one thing, but build quality, and the thinking that goes into a design is another. They have clearly put a lot of thought into how they’re going to put their products together. This is refreshingly nice to see, and from the build quality of the fixtures, I can tell you it will be simple to install.

Infrared reversing sensors are a clever addition

I love that the sensors are placed at multiple heights. The ones near the bottom help protect your kids and pets from running in and out of the garage. While the ones nearer the top protect your car. If you mistakenly start to reverse and forget that it is lowering, then it’ll automatically stop. Ideal for those little user-friendly touches that make all the difference.

75 W may be left in the shade by others, but is it enough?

75 W is almost a third lower than some of the 200 W options on my list, but it should do the job. It won’t illuminate your entire garage like daytime sunlight, but you’ll still be able to see clearly. By being able to make it safely from your car to the exit door into your home, it gives you a safe user experience. This is just another reason why I said that they’ve clearly invested a lot of thought into getting the little things right.

Security+ coding is very well thought out

The final thing I want to tell you about is the Security+ coding these guys have developed. I like that it auto updates every time you use the door. That will prevent cloned remotes from being able to open your home when you’re out. The encryption standard isn’t detailed, which is probably for security reasons, but I’d like to know more about it. I’m sure the manufacturer would outline the principle of how it works if you need further details for insurance purposes.

15. Genie Excelerator II 1500 1 HP Direct Screw Drive DC Garage Door Opener


And so we make it to the final entry on my list. You never know, I may have left the best till last! Just remember folks there are no rankings here, just 15 of the best for your consideration…

Direct drive motor saves a lot of wasted effort

If you listen to the sound of this motor, you’ll be pleasantly surprised because it gives out a gentle, quiet hum. That doesn’t mean that it lacks power, but that it uses what it has with little wastage. The direct drive motor eliminates a lot of unnecessary couplers and moving parts where energy is lost. This then results in a quiet and efficient lift. Nicely executed!

I like the installation poster because it’s so easy to read

The idea of an installation poster is a new one for me, but it totally made all the difference. The installation is simple enough that you can do it yourself and save time and money on contractors. With large diagrams and plenty of descriptions, the poster talks you through everything step by step. Plus because you can wall mount it if you’re not bending over trying to see what the next step is. Ideal if you want to get your new gadget up and running straight out of the box with no fuss!

Want to know more about Homelink?

Some cars now come with remotes built in which is an interesting development. The upside of this approach is that it means you can never lose your remote. The Excelerator II fully supports Home-link which means you should be able to deploy it without issues. Be prepared to fiddle with it a little bit because each model of car will be a little different. To be fair, there’s not a whole lot the guys at Genie can do about that, but they do provide a dedicated manual.

Is it really maintenance free?Maintenance is something you expect at every moment, so this is a bold claim. The idea they have is that it is self-lubricating and enclosed which should keep the dirt and grime out. If you’re ever in any doubt, then I suggest contacting the manufacturer direct. They seem very helpful and more than willing to point customers in the right direction. Get in touch and show them what you’re hearing with a quick sound recording.