If you’re ready to replace your old garage door, either because it’s stopped functioning or no longer suits your style, you have some important decisions to make.
Sure, the look of the new door will be a top priority. However, before you start picking out premium materials, window configurations or decorative hardware for a top-of-the-line custom garage door, you must first consider: what type of door is right for your home?
Will you keep it relatively simple with a popular sectional style, or do you favor the old-world authenticity of a swing out door? Would a sliding door be more convenient than an overhead model? There are more options available than you might think!
The quest for the perfect new garage door doesn’t have to be complicated. Read this quick guide to simplify your search.
Sectional/Overhead Garage Doors
When you think of a garage door, the picture in your head is most likely a sectional model, which ranks as the most popular type of garage door in the US. These doors are made up of 6 to 8 connected sections that slide up and down together on a curved track. When closed, the door is one solid, vertical panel. When open, the door sits horizontally, parallel to the ceiling, without overhanging the door frame.
Sectional garage doors are durable, reliable and easy to operate with a convenient automatic opener. Aesthetically speaking, they can be customized to look just like an old-fashioned swing out door, or styled in many other different ways. They’re available in a wide range of sizes, from one to two to even three bays.
To install a custom overhead garage door, a garage needs a certain amount of overhead clearance space, and the proper installation hardware.
Swing Out Garage Doors
Mounted to the garage door frame with hinges, swing out garage doors look like oversized French doors — and they operate the same. They don’t require the overhead clearance space of a sectional door and are made of single, solid pieces of material, rather than separate, connected sections.
Although swing out garage doors have a charming, old-fashioned look that makes them a perfect fit for a traditional style home, these hinged doors can be made with all the modern amenities of a sectional model. In fact, any type of custom garage door can be automated to open and close at the touch of a button.
Tilt Up Garage Doors
Similar to a swing out garage door, a tilt up door consists of one large, solid slat of material. However, the door opens up, rather than out.
There are two different types of tilt up garage doors: a canopy door and a retractable door.
- Canopy doors are relatively simple and lightweight. Attached to a simple vertical frame that resembles a goal post, the canopy door opens via a spring assembly on top of the frame. The door lies parallel to the garage ceiling when fully open and protrudes past the edge of the doorway.
- Retractable doors utilize a sturdier, horizontal steel track that runs up into the garage and “retracts” the door almost fully into the ceiling when open. Retractable doors require more space than canopy doors but are easier to automate.
Roll Up Garage Doors
A highly durable option that’s perfect for structures where ceiling space is limited, roll up garage doors are commonly seen in industrial or commercial garages. These doors are made of steel or aluminum sheets with narrow, connected slats that conveniently roll upward into a tight coil at the top of the door frame.
Sliding Garage Doors
Running on horizontal tracks along the floor and top of the door frame, these garage doors slide open to the side and rest parallel to the wall. They’re configured just like overhead sectional doors, only they’re turned sideways.
Sliding garage doors are another great option for areas where overhead space is at a premium; however, they do take up space along one of the garage walls.