Automatic garage closer

bydesignprezApril 7, 2006

I am looking for a Marriage Improvement Device - an MID. My spouse keeps leaving the garage open and I'm tired of arguing over it, so I went searching the 'net and found a couple of places selling devices that automatically close the garage after a few minutes of being open. Examples include GarageButler and Skylink. GarageButler has the cheaper product at $49 and $59, but I'd like to hear if it's any good. I had a look at the X10 site but that looks too complicated, as is an enterprising individual who designed their own circuitry.

So, any recommendations?


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The danger with any garage door opener is when it closes the door. All the safety features control closing and there is not one that involves opening. The reason the manufacturers limited the range of the remote units is so the user will be in a position to watch the door as it closes. If a child or pet is in the way you can press the button on your remote and the door will instantly reverse to the open position and stop. Now some people have come up with a way to completely eliminate the smartest part of the safety solution. Parking at the curb would eliminate your problem.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2006 at 3:07PM
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I appreciate your viewpoint Don, but my parking at the curb does not solve the problem of my spouse leaving the garage door open and the snowblower being stolen.

Garage doors come with sensor beams to detect if anything is in the way and, of course I check it's working. The device I seek is publicly available and shuts the garage after making a buzzing sound. I appreciate the potential dangers but consider the door being left open a greater invitation to theft and break in.

So, has anyone used one of these garage closer devices?

    Bookmark   April 11, 2006 at 9:11AM
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i confess i have not used one. the main reason i have not is my wife has a bad habit of not pulling fully into the garage if she is just running in for a few minutes before leaving again. one of these devices would cause the door to come down and scratch the car if she were parked where her tires were not blocking the sensors. i sometimes back my truck up and work on things on the tailgate, so again it would come down on my vehicle. Just Sunday i had my truck backed partially in the garage and was assembling a lawn cart for over an hour.

i have heard of the ones that tie into home automatin so that the door closes when you leave for work or when you go to bed. it does seem to be a good idea for that, but it does require that the homeowner be extra cautious about how they park. from what i have heard they do work well though.

i am not against the things, i just don't have a need for one myself.

the cheapest way to do it is to make your wife park on the curb! i bet that would go over REAL good.

honestly she should get in the habit of closing the door as SOON as she clears it with the car. it took my wife a little while to get in this habit as well, but at that time we kept our storage room and kitchen doors locked. during the school year my son is constantly going and coming so we leave those unlocked and just shut the garage doors.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2006 at 4:12PM
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Ha, I agree with DaviandKasie. Forbid her from the garage until she can learn to close it. I would be very wary of any device that closes the door automatically. Not so much for any safety reason, but because it would become a major hassle. Say your out using the snowblower, since it wasn't stolen because the garage automatically closes, but while you are out using it, it does close. Your now locked outside in the cold unless you have a way to get in. Even if you do, its a pain in the butt.
There are devices that don't automatically close the door but monitor it via a wireless receiver. Not too helpful if your not home and she leaves and doesn't close it, but it would help if she doesn't close it when she gets home in the evening and you glance at the receiver.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2006 at 5:07PM
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Commercial parking garage doors close automatically. I don't see why it's so unreasonable to have an automatically closing residential garage door..

    Bookmark   May 22, 2006 at 2:03AM
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perel you have it. All bydesignprez has to do is spend about 5 grand on a commercial unit and his wife will never again have to be reminded to close the door. What a simple solution to a simpleton problem.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2006 at 2:15PM
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Wow the discussion sprang to life again!

After carefully considering all the points, the key ones for me was that there are times when I want to keep the garage open longer than five minutes and my van hatch might get hit if the door closed automatically. I have designed and demo'd a small device using door alarm contacts which are hooked to a small panel nera the front door. A light and optional buzzer will be energized whenever the garage door is anywhere but closed. That way it will be easy to check and close the door - checking to see if anything is blocking its closure path.

And if that does not work, I can still install the timed closeing device.

OK? End of subject please?

    Bookmark   May 22, 2006 at 5:08PM
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I purchased the Garage Butler at and it took me only 25 minutes to install it. I researched the other ones and this is by far the best one out there. It is like command central for your garage! It also has a bypass/hold button six timer settings,light sensor etc. Pretty neat invention. They seem to be the only ones with a patent on it also.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2006 at 6:56PM
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At my house, it's me that forgets to close it, not my wife!

That's why I got the "Auto Closer" from Smarthome. I've had it for over two years now and all I can say is that I absolutely love it. It works all the time, every time... and it was a breeze to install.

I did consider the Garage Butler, but decided on the Auto Closer (which is more expensive). Adding the Auto Closer to my garage has been one of the best things I've done for it.

Like the Garage Butler, you can choose different closing times. Additionally, you can disable the closer with one push of the button if you want to have your door open for a while.

It also begins beeping an audible alarm for 30 seconds (either 20-30...I forget)prior to closing. After it times out, it closes about 1/4 of the way, then retreats to fully open again before finally closing all the way. It's basically a redundant safety feature to ensure anyone around knows it's about to close.

You can look it up directly at I've never used any of the other closers, but I stand behind the Auto Closer 100%. If you're thinking about getting one, whether it's a Garage Butler or an Auto Closer, I strongly urge you to do so. You will NOT regret it, and you'll never wonder if you forgot to close it five miles down the road on your way to work!

I'd love to answer any questions about the Auto Closer if anyone has any. No, I don't work for Auto Closer, it's just an outstanding product that I use, and I wish everyone with a garage door opener could experience the peace of mind an automatic closer provides.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2006 at 12:30AM
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I know I am a little late to this discussion, but I just wanted to add my two cents. To the guys who say forbid your wife to park in the garage until they can remember to shut the door; please teach me how to get away with edicts like this. They do not work for me. Also, I got the garage door butler and am very satisfied with it, including the way it handles safety. If someone does not get out of the way after 30 seconds of the ear splitting beeping, they are probably already dead. I am the culprit who forgets to close the garage door, and I feel much better about my family's safety knowing that the garage door will not remain open overnight.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2007 at 12:22AM
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