Gone are the days when a garage was simply a boring, utilitarian, plain structure used for sheltering vehicles and bicycles, storing your tools & using as a storeroom.
A garage door is now appreciated as a feature of a home worth highlighting and can make your property stand out amongst the rest.
Thanks to technological advancements, the days of having one or two different options to choose from are over—but the number of options available can make it so difficult to decide.
Deciding which type of garage door you should buy can be confusing. Sectional garage door, tilt door and roller door are all available options. These are words you will hear very often during your decision-making journey and are only a few of the options you have at your disposal.
In order to make this decision, you need to be aware of what the different types of garage doors are and the advantages & disadvantages of each of them.
Sectional Garage Doors
Sectional garage doors are the most common and popular type of garage door. They get their name from their construction, being made of different sections that open vertically.
Because of their vertical way of opening, sectional garage doors can be used on openings of almost every shape and are considered to be extremely versatile.
- No “swing out” opening and closing mechanism means more space is available within your garage as the doors open vertically and suspend under the garage ceiling.
- You do not have to move your vehicle away from the garage as it opens and closes.
- Opening and closing is extremely secure.
- Repairing your garage door is made easy as a single damaged panel can be repaired without having to replace the whole garage door.
- One of the cheapest options on the market.
- Dirt and dust can easily travel through the sections and into your garage.
- Due to the risk of individual panels not operating coherently with one another, sectional garage doors come with a high chance of becoming stuck when opened and closed.
Side-Hinged Garage Doors
Side-hinged garage doors swing open and closed from a hinged frame on either side of the opening. While of an old design, they’re still a popular option today because they’re so simple to install, use and maintain.
- Simple to install and easy to operate.
- Minimal noise when opening and closing.
- Ideal for garages that lack headroom.
- Easy to maintain.
- Complicated to motorise.
- Not ideal for homes that open onto public areas or have short driveways.
- Vehicles need to move further back before entering.
- Least secure option.
- Seen as old-fashioned and somewhat outdated.
Roll-Up Garage Doors
Once limited to only commercial and industrial buildings, today roll-up garage doors can be found in residential areas too. They are fantastic options for heavy-duty applications and have a basic, yet functional, no-frills aesthetic that many love.
They operate by simply rolling up and are an ideal option for smaller garages or properties with short driveways.
- Simple to use.
- Can easily be motorised.
- Extremely durable because of the material used and clever design. They can easily withstand harsh weather, heavy usage and are known to last for years after installation.
- Because they were originally designed for industrial and commercial use & were made with materials with these applications in mind, they are expensive.
- Very noisy when opened and closed.
- Any treatments or paint jobs must be applied to the door before it is installed.
Slide to the Side Garage Doors
The Slide to the Side garage door was among the first operating styles of garage doors and are ideal for garages with little headroom.
As the name implies, they work by simply bending to one side of the garage and resting parallel to the wall. They have a built-in retractable motor for automated operation and have no need for balancing springs.
- Simple to install and use.
- Door can open as wide as you choose.
- Support on the top and bottom of each door means the size of the door can be large & the customisation options are practically limitless.
- Least weather resistant garage door option.
- Expensive compared to other options.
- When hung in a barndoor-like manner they are heavy to operate.Tilt-Up Canopy Garage Doors
- Tilt-Up canopy garage doors are manual single panel doors that use only vertical tracks on the side of the garage frame to flip open.
They are designed to slightly protrude outside the frame which provides a small amount of shelter and aesthetically appeals to many.
They’re lightweight and well-designed so manually opening & closing them is a breeze. On top of their smooth vertical tracks, torsion springs and cables on the side assist opening & closing.
- Simple to install and easy to manually open and close.
- Requires minimal maintenance.
- One of the cheapest options available.
- Vehicles need to move further back before entering the garage.
- Not ideal for short driveways.
- Noisy when opened and closed.
- Seen as old fashioned and somewhat outdated.Tilt-Up Retractable Garage Doors
- Tilt-up retractable garage doors also lift up and into the garage. However, unlike the canopy door, they retract fully back into the garage.
- Specifically designed for motorised operations.
- Opening and closing is a quiet process.
- The horizontal tracks run across the garage ceiling which means they take up more garage space.
- Automatic retractable garage doors require an overhanging garage door opener.
Complex mechanisms mean that it can be difficult to operate.