Do New Construction Homes Come With Garage Door Openers?

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When moving into a new construction home, expectations and assumptions can come together to either make your new home your dream home or just another place to stay in – not live. Yes, you had the house built according to your specifications from scratch, but that doesn’t mean it will have everything you could ever want.

A prime example of that is the fact that your new construction home may not include something as simple as a bathroom mirror! Similarly, several appliances may have to be purchased as well. While there might be a garage and a garage door, do new construction homes come with garage door openers?

No, a garage door opener isn’t included in a standard new construction home floor plan. It is a common practice for UK builders to pre-wire openers but not include a garage door opener, while in the US, you may have to get it wired as well in many cases. You may have to hire someone to install a garage door or even get it wired. Let’s look at the intricacies involved therein.

Do New Construction Homes Come With Garage Door Openers?

Do New Construction Homes Come With Garage Door Openers?

The best bit of advice we can give you in terms of what is included in a new construction home and what isn’t is that you should NEVER assume what you see in the model home is what you will get. When the builder is showing you a model home, don’t shy away from asking whether or not this and that will be included in your new construction home.

You will find that most features you ask about or feel are too ‘obvious’ to be asked about are those that the homeowner built themselves; hence, you should ask the builder about them. When visiting the model home, you need to check whether the garage is finished or not and whether it is a single-car garage or double. Garage doors are included in new construction homes but garage door openers aren’t. You will have to wire and install them on your own accord.

Garages aren’t usually finished. You will find that in most instances, the garage will be plastered but neither painted nor finalized. There will also be sockets and other electrical points, but you will have to paint it yourself; add tool racks, shelves, and more. This is because garages aren’t considered to be living spaces and, therefore, code compliance is not required for them.

It is quite common to not find garage door openers with your new construction home unless you and the builder had agreed on terms beforehand or you paid extra for it. There are several garage door installers out there, each with a different price range to quote.

Without any upgrades and if your garage is already wired and ready to go, you will simply need a belt drive opener. This unit should cost you anywhere between $250 and $1,000, depending on the type you get. These include:

  • Manually operated belt drives
  • Wired button-operated belt drives
  • Infrared-operated belt drives
  • Proximity belt drives
  • Vehicle recognition belt drives, and more.

You may have to pay $50 or above for installation, depending upon how complex the installation gets.  The $50 we mentioned is for the wired button-operated belt drives. If you want to install a keypad entry system, you can expect to pay $30 for the same, plus of course, taxes for the equipment you purchased and the services rendered.

It isn’t really difficult installing your garage door opener, so we recommend going that route. It’s a simple matter of applying some screws and making a wired connection. Anyone with intermediate to advanced skills can install the opener in about 10 to 15 minutes.

As we mentioned earlier, do not assume that whatever is in the home model will be the standard. A garage door opener – even the most basic one – is an upgrade, not a necessity. Hence, you will find a garage door but may not find an opener.

Buying a New Garage Door Opener

Internal shot of a garage door opener
Internal shot of a garage door opener

When you are looking to buy a garage door opener, you need to get familiarized with its mechanics first. You have the option of simply asking your building for it and paying them a few extra hundred dollars or go to the market yourself and save up on labor costs.

Remember, builders can usually get a good price ONLY for equipment that they buy on a large scale. Since you will be the only one they would be asking for a garage door opener for, the difference might only be a few dollars – which the builder may recoup in their ‘labor’ costs.

Let us consider the different opener options that might be available to you:

Chain-Drive Opener

These have chains that open the garage door. The chain runs from the gate ‘trolley’ to the motor, thus forming a direct link between the two. You have the option of connecting the opener to a remote of your choosing.

While one of the most cost-effective solutions out there, these openers are quite loud because of the metal-to-metal contact. This opener type also introduces a lot of vibration into the garage, which further gets amplified when the garage is unoccupied.

The chain is also susceptible to rust.

Belt-Drive Opener

These are slightly more costly but tend to be much more common in the US because of their smooth motion and quieter operation. These openers use a rubber belt instead of a metal chain to pull the garage door up.

Screw-Drive Opener

These are very cost-effective and one of the most maintenance-friendly options you can find. The ‘screw’ drives along a threaded steel rod on top of the door. This screw is when the ‘trolley’ on top continues to rotate while moving. This is one of the noisiest garage door openers out there, but because of how popular they were, they have become very popular in the commercial sector.

Their maintenance costs are by far the lower among all of the options out there.

Jackshaft-Drive Opener

These are usually installed on the top-right corner of garage doors and use a 24 volt DC motor to drive the pullet and cable of the garage door. It creates torque with the help of its torsion bar, thus raising and lowering the garage door. This option is one of the quietest garage door openers and equally expensive to buy and maintain.

These are more suited towards doors larger than one or two-door garages and are used mostly in places where the ceiling needs to remain clear.

Installing a garage door opener – regardless of the type – is something that a DIY-er with intermediate to advanced skills can easily accomplish. You will simply require a drill, some anchors, and the skills necessary to drive them through the wall properly. We recommend you try to install the garage door opener with someone who can hold on to the ladder or scaffolding you use

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About Charlie D Paige

Charlie is a massive DIY fan, with dozens of DIY projects under his belt - ranging from tiling to electrics, and concrete pads to walls. Charlie loves tinkering, seeing how things works, the outdoors and playing with power tools... so is it any wonder that he's completed so many DIY jobs over the years?

Charlie loves spreading his hard-won DIY experience with the world via this blog.