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Can I Automate My Manual Garage Door?

If you’re getting tired of your manual garage door, you’re probably wondering what’s the next step to take.

Do I buy a brand new electric garage door? Can my existing garage door be automated? Decisions, decisions. 

If you’re concerned about the price of a new garage door but don’t want to be left with an old one, we recommend trying to automate your old garage door.

To help with this, in this article, we will be going through different types of garage doors and how easy it will be to automate them. 

Associated Garage Doors team members fitting new garage door

Cases where automation isn’t an option

Firstly, it’s worth covering where automation simply won’t be possible. If your door is badly damaged or has become warped over time, then it might be difficult to automate.

The best way to know if this is the case is if you struggle to open your manual garage door due to its condition. If this is the case, it might be time for a new garage door entirely.

Similarly, if your garage door has a unique spring and gear arrangement, there’s a good chance automation won’t be possible. To learn more about whether this is the case for your garage door, contact your local garage door experts.

Up and over (retractable)

If you own one of these, you’re in luck: not only is this the easiest type of garage door to automate, it’s also the most cost effective.

To automate this type of door, a boom is installed at the structural opening and at the other end, an electric motor is installed.


Given that sectional garage doors share many structural similarities with retractable up and over garage doors, you can automate them in the same way.

This makes sectional garage doors one of the simpler types of garage door to automate too.

Up and over (canopy)

Canopy up and overs differ from retractable offerings in that they don’t arc all the way back when opening, leaving a slight overhang.

This makes them a little more complicated to automate, and could well require a bow arm conversion kit. The bow arm is fitted against the door and can slide.

Side hinged doors

Despite the fact that side hinged doors open horizontally rather than vertically, many of them can be automated, thanks to their simple, unfussy design.

There are two ways that a side hinged garage door can be automated:

  1. With a swing arm kit. This kit works by installing two pivotable arms to each side of the boom.
  2. With a hydraulic or electromechanical system. This system consists of a series of mechanical components which are used to open the door with a piston type action. This sort of system is often used for swing gates.

Since 1990, Associated Garage Doors have been providing an outstanding service throughout Tunbridge Wells. Tonbridge, Maidstone, Oxted, Sevenoaks and the wider Kent area.

When it comes to supplying and installing garage doors, we offer a personalised service to all of our customers to ensure that they get the right solution for them. We also offer a stunning range of front doors and composite doors

We can even offer a free, no-obligation quote and survey, so why not give us a call today?

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