Garage door – Access, Automation & Security

Access refers to how you can enter and exit your garage door (or gate). 

Automation allows access to happen electronically, conveniently and easily.

Security allows automated access to happen safely.

This section covers all of these components to get you one step closer to your goals.


The first component of automation is the motor.

If you’re not a particularly mechanically-inclined person, the word “motor” can sometimes evoke feelings of dread or overwhelm. Luckily, when it comes to garage doors, this component is pretty simple.

A few different types of motors are available today, including chain drive, screw drive, and belt drive.

Screw-driven (think screwdriver) and chain-driven (think bike chain) motors were popular a few years ago, but they have become practically obsolete with the advancement of technology. In addition, with so many moving parts, and the fact that they dry out easier and need lubrication more often, they tend to be pretty high maintenance and temperamental.

At Norman’s, we deal in Liftmaster belt-driven motors for most of our clients (although we can get our hands on any brand). Liftmaster is an award-winning manufacturer that offers the best motor on the market with the very best warranty.

Belt-driven motors are smoother, quieter, and more reliable than the alternatives. In addition, they require less maintenance than the other types and are easier to repair should something go wrong.

We use Liftmaster side mount/jackshaft operated motors for doors with low clearance and customers who want extra headroom.

Generally, these motors are available in 1/2 HorsePower, 3/4HP, and 1HP. The heavier the door, the more horsepower is necessary. However, because they cost the same, we recommend our customers only use what they need because the lower the horsepower, the more energy-efficient these motors are. With proper maintenance, motors should last about 10-15 years.             

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