How To Change Manual Garage Door to Automatic: Steps from the Pros

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A garage is a wonderful house feature, providing ample space to store belongings, create a workspace, or park your car. If your house has a manual garage door, you might find it inconvenient to open and close the door by hand. The good news is that you can change a manual door to an automatic one. 

If you want to learn how to change a manual garage door to an automatic, consult the guide below. Installations are one of the top garage door services by Garage Door Medic in Oceanside. Here, we discuss what entails a manual-to-automatic garage door conversion. 

Benefits of Automatic Garage Doors

Upgrading your garage door is not always an easy decision. You may feel your existing manual door functions well enough not to warrant an automatic conversion. However, automated garage doors have several advantages that would make the upgrade worthwhile. 


Automatic garage doors have several safety features crucial for your safety and security. Trespassers and burglars often use garages as entry points into a targeted house. Manual garage doors are easy to force open, even with a lock. 

Automatic doors use a complex system involving rollers, tracks, sensors, pulleys, and torsion/extension springs. Therefore, they are harder to force open. These doors function using automatic openers.

You can even operate an automatic garage door using a smartphone app with an advanced door model.

Some of the other safety features your upgraded door could have include:

  • A built-in safety time to shut the door at a scheduled time
  • Emergency key release
  • Motion detection
  • Auto-reverse

These features ensure that your garage and home remain secure, whether you’re on the premises or away from home. You can also minimize the risk of the garage door falling with auto-reverse and motion detection features. 


Automatic doors are significantly safer than the manual variety. However, most people install them for pure convenience.

If you have an automatic garage opener, you can open and close the door with the click of a button. You won’t have to leave the engine idling or even leave your car to enter and exit your garage. 

Convenience is great for anyone, but it can be life-changing for some people. For instance, people with mobility or strength issues can easily open their garage doors without touching them.

Additional Features

You have many style, material, and color options if you want to convert a manual garage door to an automatic one. Your upgraded door can have windows, decorative panels, automatic courtesy lighting, and other features. 

Homeowners often expect automatic garages to be noisy. However, many new models include quiet operation. You won’t have to worry about waking your household or disturbing neighbors when engaging the garage door at a quiet hour. 

Steps to Change a Manual Garage Door to an Automatic Door

Learning how to change a manual garage door to an automatic is a job for professionals. However, upgrading a garage door is a major home improvement investment. The more you know about the installation process, the better decisions you can make about your garage door switch. 

1. Assess Your Existing Garage Doors’ Condition

Not every garage door can handle the switch to an automatic. Before you settle on a system, examine your existing door.

Check its condition, especially whether it opens and closes without resistance or obstructions within the frame. If the door is fully functional, garage door installers can convert it to an automatic. However, the door will need repairs if it has a stiff operation, broken cables, or is off-center from its track.

2. Determine Your Garage’s Ability to Handle an Automatic Garage Door

The new garage door motor will need to go above the door. The door must have sufficient headroom to maneuver with the motor installed. The equipment also needs a power source, so the garage should have access to working electrical outlets. 

3. Understand Your Current Door Type

Not all garage door styles will have the same automatic door conversion processes because the doors have different operations. Sectional doors have horizontal panels on hinges that let the door move on a curve when it moves up and down. They are the most common garage door types and the easiest to convert to an automatic style.

A canopy garage door has an overhead spring mechanism that lifts the door. It also keeps a portion of the door’s lower half protruding from the garage when open.

These doors aren’t best for an automatic motor. However, you can convert them by making their tracks horizontal. The spring mechanism would change to a bow-arm device before adding the motor. 

4. Purchase a Garage Door Opener

Automatic garage door openers are as versatile as the doors themselves. They come in various shapes and sizes for roller and sectional doors. Choose the option most suitable for your needs. 

5. Install the New Garage Door

All major garage door openers include detailed instructions on motor setup, system components, and controls. Before programming the opener, you need to know how to make electrical connections between the automatic door system and the garage. Because most openers have a manual, you might assume you know how to convert your garage door to automatic.

Garage door installations and automatic opener conversations are not DIY projects. Garage doors weigh hundreds of pounds, and working with electrical wiring can be dangerous without experience. Contact Garage Door Medic for expert assistance. 

Turn to Garage Door Medics for New Garage Door Installation

Now you know how to change a manual garage door to an automatic door. The next step is to leave the conversion to the professionals at Garage Door Medic.

We are a leading garage door company serving Oceanside and other San Diego County, CA communities. Our team has almost three decades of experience providing high-quality garage door installation, repair, and maintenance services.

Our friendly and knowledgeable technicians are available 24/7 to address your garage door needs. Call (888) 997-2423 to request a quote. Click here if you want to know the different types of garage doors

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