Decades ago, contractors building an average middle-class house did not devote much attention to the choice of garage doors. One-stall garages were fairly common in both detached and attached structures, although the two-car version became more prevalent later. Automatic garage door openers did not become prevalent in the residential setting until the end of the era. Today, most homeowners insist on this feature.
Problems With the Manual System
Today, contractors and homeowners have many more options for materials, designs, and colors. Decades ago, most residential garage doors were made of wood that was painted white. Wood doors are heavy, making manual opening and closing particularly inconvenient. That's especially true for two-stall models. Thus, leaving the doors standing open was common.
People also didn't like leaving the automobile to open and close the door from the outside during bad weather. Rain, snow, and very cold temperatures make this an unpleasant task. They might be inclined to leave the vehicle in the driveway and sprint to the front door.
If all the household's vehicles are gone and the garage doors are open, it's a sign to would-be burglars that perhaps nobody is home. Open doors also result in dust, dirt, and leaves blowing inside. Chipmunks get into the structure, and birds might start building a nest inside.
The Importance of Sensors
Originally, most automatic openers did not include electronic sensors to detect anything underneath as the door was closing. These sensors signal the door to retreat back upward if anything is in the path. In 1993, federal law made this feature mandatory to protect children and companion animals who might be injured. Older opening systems might not have sensors, but service technicians can add those devices.
Another feature now included with automatic openers is lighting for the user's safety and convenience. Nobody has to get out of a vehicle in the dark or use a flashlight. As long as functioning bulbs are in place, lights switch on when someone presses a button to open or close the door. This works with the remote devices and the button inside the structure. People can adjust the length of time that the lights stay on.
Today, even relatively modest newer homes have room for two vehicles in the garage, and larger houses often have three-stall versions. The garage and its single or multiple doors are considered an important part of the home's exterior aesthetics. Automatic openers are standard, and seeing the doors left open is much less frequent.
For more information about garage door openers, contact a local professional.