We installed two smart garage door openers before starting our garage makeover. Wow, what a difference they’ve made!
Let me start by saying this is not a sponsored post. Chamberlain has no idea we exist and likely wouldn’t give a fig if they found out. Sometimes a product is just so good, you gotta give a shout-out.
As you know, we’re knee-deep in our garage makeover. But what you may not have known is that the makeover actually started last November when Baris and I installed two Chamberlain smart garage door openers. Oh man, were they needed!
Until then, we hobbled along with two garage doors but only one remote. The only way to open the far door was via the button next to the door leading into the house. The garage doors each had a keypad outside, but we never received the codes from the previous owner, and judging by their condition, I don’t think they’d been used in years.
New garage door openers were in order, and Handan and I bought them during our first week in the house back in May 2020. I’m sure she was expecting me to get right on it, and I certainly thought about it…many times! But The Lazy had its hooks in me (and I was just a little busy with the thousand other things I was doing around the new house), so it took until November for me to get off my middle-aged ass and do something about it!
Our choice was easy – we went with Chamberlain’s belt-driven smart garage door opener. It’s the same model I bought and installed on one of the three bays in our old house. I would have eventually replaced the other two, but we moved before I had the chance.
Why Chamberlain and why “Smart Garage Door Opener?”
In our old house, Baris’s bedroom was directly over the garage. Not only did this cause him to suffer through cold winters and hot summers, but every time we opened or closed the garage, it sounded like a legion of shrieking banshees was assaulting his little fortress. Chamberlain offered several models driven by rubber belts instead of metal chains, and they were supposed to be almost whisper quiet. That sounded like exactly what we needed to keep the noise levels down in the boy’s room.
Since it was our first time shopping for an automatic garage door opener, we had no idea how far the technology had progressed. When we learned that most of the Chamberlain models were smart garage door openers, it took all of three seconds to decide that was the technology for us. Basically, a smart garage door opener has built-in WiFi, so it can connect and synch with a variety of smart devices. To put it in simple terms: we would have the ability to open and close the garage doors from anywhere.
This was a huge selling point for Handan, who suffers from an acute and incurable case of Did-I-Leave-the-Iron-On Syndrome. Except for her, it’s never the iron, it’s the doors. No matter how sure I am that everything is locked, she’s convinced the whole house is open wide and flapping in the breeze each and every time we leave the house.
So when it came time to buy new garage door openers for this house, Handan needed no convincing. She wanted the exact same model we had in Connecticut. We’d already upgraded all the door locks to smart locks in the new house (so I can lock/unlock them from the beach during our mythical vacation to Bora Bora). Now I’d have the ability to open and close our garage doors while sipping a margarita on the sun-drenched shores of some hidden Caribbean isle.
Tropical islands aside, smart door technology has saved our bacon on countless occasions when we’ve forgotten to lock the front entry or close the garage door. With crime on the rise pretty much everywhere, you can’t put a price on that kind of peace of mind. We even use it while home at night. Instead of checking the doors physically, I just open the app and check that all is closed and locked.
And you can’t beat the silent belt-drive system. Baris’s room is again above the garage in this house, so the silent drive is a huge plus when he’s busy
gaming studying or sleeping.
Chamberlain myQ app and the Wireless Hub
The garage doors can be opened and closed via the remote controls (carried in the cars), the wireless keypad (mounted outside the garage), the push-button control (mounted by the interior door) or the myQ app on my iPhone. The myQ app is simple and intuitive: just press the round button to open or close the doors.
In our old house, I had some difficulty connecting the Chamberlain to our WiFi network. We run a server for The Navage Patch on that network, and some changes we made for that server made it difficult (but in the end, not impossible) to connect the garage door opener.
But here at the new house, I just couldn’t get the Chamberlain connected, no matter what I tried. I knew it wasn’t the opener’s fault, but it didn’t make it any less frustrating. I finally gave up, and that’s when I stumbled upon Chamberlain’s Wireless Hub – a $30 add-on that not only promised to solve my connection issue (which it did), but also made me eligible for Amazon Key delivery.
Chamberlain Wireless Hub Works with Amazon Key
Deliveries left at our old house had the benefit of protection from a covered portico. But here in Georgia, our house has an uncovered entry. All last summer and fall, we had deliveries dropped on our stoop that sat out in torrential rains because we had no idea they were there. Our Chamberlain Wireless Hub has put a stop to that – at least for Amazon deliveries (and let’s face it, that’s like 90% of them). Amazon has a program called Amazon Key, where drivers can deliver packages into your garage, house or the trunk of your car with a one-time code provided to them by Amazon (they’ve partnered with a bunch of companies like Chamberlain to accomplish this). Yes, I realize this is a leap-of-faith for some people, but so far, it’s been amazing, and we haven’t had a single soaked or orphaned package since. I haven’t used the in-home or in-trunk delivery. So far, I’m happy with in-garage delivery.
My initial fear with Amazon Key was that drivers might forget to close the door behind them. But the program is set up such that the driver cannot carry on with the delivery route until the garage door has been closed from their handheld Amazon delivery app. The system seems pretty foolproof, and the drivers are vetted with full background checks.
That level of trust may not be for everyone, but I’d rather put my trust into a small group of Amazon drivers than having packages sit out in the open exposed to the elements and potentially to thieves.
Installing our smart garage door opener
If you’re even a little handy (and I’m assuming that since you’re reading our blog, you are) and are able to navigate a step ladder, this is a pretty simple and straightforward DIY. If you are replacing an older automatic garage door opener (as we did), it’s even easier, as you can probably use the existing infrastructure (mounting brackets, wiring, sensors) from the old opener. I’ve replaced one LiftMaster and two Craftsman openers with Chamberlain, so I know those work within the same footprint. Makes sense, since those three brands have interchangeable parts, and in fact, Craftsman has now been rebranded as Chamberlain.
Baris and I installed two of these with ease. I took timelapse photos of the second installation, which ended up taking a little longer than it should have. After following the directions for the first installation, I tossed them aside for the second. Things went totally fine until I realized I had forgotten a step somewhere near the end. Oops. Not the end of the world, but it probably added 20 minutes onto the installation time. Lesson learned? Follow the instructions, even if you’re installing more than one!
Here’s the quick timelapse.
Handan and I love our Chamberlain smart garage door openers, and I can’t imagine going back to the non-smart, chain-driven variety. If you’ve never heard a belt-driven garage door opener, you would be floored by just how quiet they are. 95% of the noise of automatic garage door openers comes from that filthy, greasy chain!
What do you have in your garage? If you’re even remotely considering an opener upgrade, we highly recommend our Chamberlain. Like I said in the beginning, I’m not getting compensated in any way to write this post. Just doing my part to spread the good word!
Stay tuned, as we’ll have new updates on the garage makeover real soon!