Many people believe that getting a contractor to supply and fit an electric garage door is an expensive luxury. Why on earth would you want to have a garage door activated by remote control? Surely, it costs too much?
The average cost of an electric garage door in the UK isn’t as excessive as you might think. The cost of a steel up-and-over single garage door costs around £750 plus £200 for installation. While an expensive single, timber, trackless overlap door could cost as much as £4500 with £500 installation. Usually, double garage doors sometimes cost twice as much to buy, with only a small increase in fitting costs.
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Many people choose to buy an automatic electric garage door for convenience more than anything else. But, some people couldn’t manage without one. Typical examples could be:
- People who work awkward night time shifts and don’t feel safe getting in and out of the car on their own.
- Disabled drivers who might experience problems getting in and out of the car, to manually operate the garage door.
- The elderly and infirm, may not be strong enough to lift and move a manual garage door.
- Heightened security for garage contents.
So, you now understand that there are some legitimate reasons for having an automatic garage door. It’s not all about being lazy, or not wanting to get wet in bad weather.
Electric Garage Door Prices List
The following list shows how much an electric garage door costs based on a compilation of different retailers in the UK.
Manufacturers build electric garage doors to standard UK garage door sizes, using metric and imperial dimensions. Metric ones are in increments of 125mm in both width and height, while the imperial measurements use 6” increments.
In this exercise, we aren’t interested in exact costs, just approximate trends. So, because we’re using combined data, we will use the words ‘single’ and ‘double’ to denote the sizes. Standard ‘single’ up-and-over doors garage measure either 7’ x 6’6” or 7’ x 7’, while ‘doubles’ are usually around 14’ x 7’.
|Door style||Size||Material||Supply only Price|
|Up & Over||Single||Timber||£1300|
|Insulated Aluminium Roller Shutter||Single||Aluminium||£1200|
|Steel Double Skin||£1450|
|Round the Corner||Single||Steel||£2500|
Assuming that there is no remedial work, such as replacing door frames. And, assuming the garage already has electricity wired in. The average time taken to complete any typical remote controlled garage door installation mentioned in this list will be between 4 to 8 hours for 2 men.
All powered garage doors use an electric garage door opener switch placed conveniently on the inside wall of the garage and an electrical operator remote control. The remote can be used from inside or outside as needed.
Let’s have a look at each of these doors in more detail.
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Up & over doors
The cost of up and over garage doors range from £750 to £2500 plus installation of between £200 and £400. There are two types to choose from:
However, the retractable type is easier to convert to electrical operation. Canopy style doors need more equipment and take longer to install.
Steel roller doors
These roll straight up and then horizontally into the roof space. Therefore, they don’t take up much room when open. In operation, they make very little noise so are ideal to install near other houses. And, an electric roller garage door is one of the most popular types in the UK today. A typical single door costs around £1000 while a double costs £1600. Installers will charge between £300 to £400.
Insulated aluminium roller doors
Made from horizontal aluminium slats, these doors roll up and down like all roller doors. Powered garage doors of this type are convenient and practical to have in many domestic settings. But, unlike other roller doors, this one has insulation covering the inner surface. Thus, reducing unnecessary noise and draughts. The costs range from £1200 to £2000, with installation charges of between £300 to £400.
Usually, these are only available in singles, as a double would be too heavy to hang on the hinges. This garage door system comes as two–doors, hinged on each side and meeting in the middle. For obvious reasons, the doors swing outwards so you will need enough unobstructed space on your driveway to accommodate them. Although these are commonly opened and closed manually, you can also buy electrical versions. The doors, come in 4 main materials, timber, timber and steel, steel, and double skin steel, costing between £1100 and £1800. Furthermore, installation costs are pretty much standard at around £300.
These powered garage doors consist of hinged steel panels hinged together, horizontally across the width of the opening. This type bend at the hinges as they follow the garage roof and rest horizontally when open. And, if you already have this as a manual version, you can easily convert it to electrical operation. As a bonus, some specifications coat the doors’ inner surface with insulation.
Purchase costs for this type range from £1000 to £1800 for steel. And, £1700 to £2500 for insulated steel. On the other hand, installation costs for both types are quite low at £220 to £280.
Overlap trackless doors
This type of electric door is relatively new in the UK. The door consists of horizontal segments that stack vertically above the opening when the door is open. They take up far less room than standard doors and allow for roof level storage areas. Prices range from £4500 to £6500 and installation will cost between £500 and £600.
Round the corner doors
These door panels consist of strips hinged together vertically. They move in a ground and head level track that runs along with one of the side walls. While opening, the door turns the corner, and stores out of the way along the sidewall of the garage. They are made from aluminium or steel, and most manufacturers make these to order to suit your garage’s dimensions. Prices vary from £2500 to £3300 and installation costs range between £350 and £450.
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Benefits of Electric Garage Doors
What benefits do electric garage doors have?
- There are many different styles and finishes available and many are covered in heat bonded powder coating, so there’s no need to think about paint for many years.
- Some types come in many different materials to suit your pocket and preference.
- If you have an existing manual garage door in good condition. You can convert some types into powered garage doors by using an electric garage door kit. If you enjoy DIY, then these kits are reasonably easy to install too.
- There’s very little effort needed to open or close. All you have to do is press a button on the remote.
- Electric garage doors are much more secure than manual ones, as there’s no external lock to pick or break.
- A remote control can be limiting. So, you can buy many useful accessories for your garage door. Such as wireless keypads to enter a password or PIN.
- You can also use your mobile phone to send an automatic message. And, programme into the unit other phone numbers to give other people access.
- You don’t have to be in contact with the garage door to operate it. So, there’s less chance of injury from accidents.
- Motorised garage doors have an automatic cut-out if it detects something in the way when opening or closing.
- They are easy to close. So, there’s more chance of you closing the door when you leave it for a few minutes. Better security.
Electric Garage Door Drawbacks
Electric garage doors have some disadvantages as well.
- You must have electricity supplied to the garage. Not good if the building is a long way from the nearest supply.
- If you experience a power cut, you won’t be able to open or close the door. However, some models allow you to use a back-up battery. And, all models have emergency procedures for opening.
- As with all highly technical machines, automatic garage door installations need a skilled technician to fix things that go wrong.
- If the remote control battery runs out, you must buy another before you can use the door again.
UK Planning Permissions & Accreditations
Generally, you won’t need Planning Permission for installing replacement garage doors. However, there are some exceptions which you should consider and maybe contact your local planning office about. If you don’t comply with these restrictions, you can be served with an enforcement notice, which orders you to undo the changes you’ve made.
Is the new garage doors vastly different from the original?
Look around the other garage doors in your local area and see what the overall style is like. If your door varies considerably from the others, it could decrease the local house prices. This isn’t allowed. Also, if you own a relatively new house, your home might be the subject of a covenant that limits the alterations you are allowed to make. So, ask the council for advice before you start.
Do you live in a listed building?
If so, then your house has special protection under the law from alterations that might change the overall architectural or historical features of the house. Unfortunately, the local planning authority won’t agree to anything that might change what you already have. Sometimes, you can modernise things as long as they look like the original. But, only under very strict conditions. If you want to find out if you live in a listed building, look on the official list for each nation in the UK.
- National Heritage List for England.
- Cadw records for Wales.
- Historic Environment Scotland.
- Nidirect government services for Northern Ireland.
Or, contact your local Planning Department for advice.
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Do you live in a conservation area?
Conservation areas define and protect a district’s historical, and architectural uniqueness. If your new garage door doesn’t look in keeping with the area, then you won’t be allowed to install it. Your local council will know if you live in a conservation area. So, contact the planning department before choosing your new garage door. You might be fortunate and find that ‘garage doors’ aren’t the item that the council wants to protect. But, ask to look at the list of restrictions called Article 4 Directions. These set out in black and white, the changes you can and can’t make.
Confirm that you can change things before you do it
If you are in doubt, check with the local council whether a new garage door is lawful. However, if you intend keeping your existing door, but adding a motor, you should be okay.
How about Building Regulations?
Even though it’s unlikely to need planning permission, you must comply with the relevant Building Regulations.
The Building Regulations mainly deal with safety, and fuel efficiency in dwellings. And a garage is not a dwelling unless it’s already incorporated into the house and is integrated with it.
So, assuming your garage is free standing and isn’t part of your house. And, you only intend to replace an existing garage door with a motorised one, rather than building a new garage. You should only need to comply with the following:
- Approved Document P (Electrical safety). Most motors come already fitted with a 3-pin plug, so you can connect these yourself. But, if the unit needs to be wired in permanently, you must install the new motor using a qualified electrician who is registered under the ‘competent person scheme’. Or, pay extra to have the installation checked by the local Building Inspector. Similarly, if you need an electricity supply connected to the garage from the house. You must use an electrician.
- Approved Document B (Fire Safety) Volume 2 – Buildings other than dwellings. This ensures there are adequate fire precautions such as means of escape, ability to isolate a blaze, prevention of fire spreading, firefighter access, fire detection, and warning systems.
If your garage is integrated with your home, you must comply with these additional regulations:
- Approved Document B (Fire Safety) Volume 1 – Dwellings. Both Volume 1 and Volume 2 cover the same points. The only difference is that they are adapted for dwellings and non–dwellings.
- Approved Document E (Resistance to the passage of sound). This gives guidance on how to reduce noise to the remainder of the house and outside. If you have a modern door opener, they already produce very little sound.
- Approved Document F (Ventilation). If you intend to upgrade your new garage door, you will probably reduce heat loss through draughtproofing, etc. Unfortunately, this also reduces the amount of ventilation, which you must maintain. You might have to install an airbrick or vent somewhere in the garage.
- Approved Document J (Combustion Appliance and Fuel Storage). Many integrated garages have the central heating boiler situated within. If so, you must maintain ventilation for proper fuel combustion when you’ve changed the garage door.
- Approved Document K (Protection from falling, collision, and impact). Sometimes, your new garage door has an in-built window. If that’s the case, the glass and installer must be FENSA or CERTASS registered. There are also rules about the type of glass, as well as dimensions from the ground.
- Approved Document M (Access to and use of buildings). This governs the ease of access to the building. Essentially, this means that installing the new door, must not make access more difficult than before.
- Approved Document Q (Security of dwellings). This governs the security of the dwelling by considering the type of door and lock types. The new garage door must not make the remainder of the house less secure.
- Approved Document 7 (Materials and workmanship). This looks at the use of appropriate materials, and the quality of the installation. As long as the materials are fit for the purpose, and the contractor installs the door properly, then the installation complies with this regulation.
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Electric Garage Door FAQ
Do electric garage doors use a lot of electricity?
This depends on how large the motor is, its specifications, and the size and weight of the garage door. However, electric garage doors use very little electricity to open and close as they only operate for a few minutes every day. But, the doors are also in standby mode 24 hours a day except for the few minutes operating time. So, although older garage doors will probably use up to 5 times as much electricity per day while standing idle, manufacturers have reduced this considerably in recent years.
To put this into perspective, when on standby, a door opener probably uses as much electricity as a modern television on standby. While, in operation, it uses about 450W for 5 minutes a day. This is roughly equivalent to using a small domestic microwave oven for the same duration.
How much does it cost to make your garage door electric?
This depends on what type of door you choose as well as its size. Purchasing a new single electric garage door costs between £750 and £4500. While a double electric door costs between £1600 to £6500. Installation costs between £200 and £600.
What type of garage door is the cheapest?
The cheapest electric garage door is a single ‘Up and Over’ door made from steel, costing about £750. The installation costs about £200.
How do I manually override my electric garage door?
All powered garage doors have a manual release control, for emergency and in case of a power cut or motor malfunction. The following procedure is the usual method. But, remember that each garage door has a unique method. So, read and understand the manufacturers’ instructions given to you by the installation crew.
- First, the door must be in the down position. If you try to do this while it is open, there is a good chance that the door will fall to the ground, resulting in damage or injury.
- Release the emergency handle or pull cord, to disconnect the motor from the mechanism. This will allow you to open or close the door.
Doors are either balanced with counterweights or use springs to take the weight. So, if you find the door too heavy to lift, there is a good chance that a spring has broken.
Should a garage opener be on an independent circuit?
No. garage door openers don’t use much electricity. So, most electric garage doors come with a UK standard 3 pin plug attached. This means that they can be connected to a normal power socket. However, try to have the socket near the garage door to prevent trailing leads and power drops due to long cables. If you don’t have power already connected to the garage, ask a professional electrician to run a cable from the house.
Find Garage Door Fitters Near You
If you have trouble opening and closing a garage door by hand. Or, don’t fancy getting out of your car in the middle of a rainstorm. Why not consider buying a motorised garage door opener?
Just complete the form on this page and you will receive 3 or 4 quotes from local installers, giving you very competitive electric garage door prices.
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