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How to Convert a Manual Garage Door Into an Automatic One

Garage doors are of different types, though they all serve the same purpose; safety, convenience, or aesthetics. The level of quality service they offer may differ based on the type. You might have a manual garage door that you would like to convert into an automatic one.

This may be because of security or the difficulty experienced in lifting a manual garage door. The first step to take is to check if your manual garage door has a provision for automation before acquiring the relevant equipment needed for installation.

Different ways to convert your manual door into an automatic one

 There are different kinds of manual garage doors and they have different ways to convert them into automatic ones. Here are different ways to do that:

1.   Retractable up and over garage doors

This type of manual garage door is considered to be the cheapest and easiest door to convert into an automatic one. This is because retractable garage doors already have a fitted track mechanism.

To convert this door: install a boom over the structural opening and at the opposite end mount an electric motor. This will enable the machine to have a smooth movement and it also provides space for any additional locking device that would help you enforce security.

2.   Canopy up and over garage doors

This type of garage door is not designed to be motorized as it has no fitted metal track like the retractable door. Canopy garage doors are more costly and difficult to automate. They require something a bit complex to make them work.

In order to convert a canopy up and over the garage door, you need a bow-arm conversion kit. You can contour against the door and attach it to the operator boom so that when the boom pulls the door, the bow-arm kit slides and balances in a way that allows the door to open fully.

3.   Sectional garage doors

Just like the retractable up and over garage door, converting a sectional door is easy because of the door’s smooth operating mechanism. All you need to automate a manual sectional garage door is a boom and an electric operator.

Sectional doors are doors known to extend into the garage, hence much longer booms are required in order to extend to the door’s maximum length and this is not the same with the regular up and over retractable doors.

4.   Side-hinged garage doors

Almost all side-hinged manual garage doors can be converted to an automatic one using either a swing-arm kit or electromechanical operators. The swing-arm kit works as the automated retractable door.

However, in the side-hinged doors, pivotable arms are fixed to the boom and on each side of the door.  This is done so that as the boom pushes the door, it separates and opens with ease. For the electromechanical operators, it uses an electric motor and a series of mechanical components to open and close the door.

5.   Roller garage doors

You can fully convert manual roller doors into automatic ones, but this requires a bit of work. To convert a manual roller garage door, you need to disassemble the door in order to make it completely automated.

This process involves installing an electric motor inside the curtain roll and bolting it onto the shaft on one side. It’s important you know that for you to have a successful durable conversion of your garage door, you need to have the right bearing to match the motor.


Having to convert your manual garage door into an automatic one can be boring and herculean. However, taking on this task tends to be more advantageous as it would enforce more safety to your home, improve the curb appeal of your property and reduce any form of inconvenience.


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