There are many types of garage door to choose from and picking the right one to meet your needs takes careful consideration. Different types offer different opening and closing mechanisms, materials, and styles, and come with different installation times, installation costs, security measures, and maintenance requirements.
With so much to take into consideration, how do you decide which garage door is right for you? In this article, we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the four main types of garage door to help you make the right decision.
What’s the difference in the types of garage doors?
First things first – let’s discuss the four main garage door types:
Roller-shutter garage doors
Comprising thin metal slats, wrapped around a main axle suspended above the garage entrance, roller-shutter garage doors open vertically in a single, sliding motion.
Side-hinged garage doors
This type of garage door operates like any standard door, swinging outwards on a hinge attached to the side of the garage entrance. These can be fitted as a single door or a pair of double doors.
Sectional garage doors
Sectional garage doors work similarly to roller-shutter garage doors, but instead of being made up of individual slats, they are formed of larger, separated panels. These rise vertically, before swinging onto the horizontal plane and slipping into a space inside the garage’s ceiling.
Up-and-over garage doors
The traditional British garage door, an up-and-over door does exactly what the name suggests. It is lifted up as a single panel, then guided up and over on rails to settle in a horizontal position inside the ceiling cavity of the garage.
Pros and cons of each type of garage door
Now that we know the difference between the various garage door types, let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of each:
Benefits of a roller-shutter garage door
Roller-shutter garage doors are easy to install and can be cut to any size of garage entrance with minimal effort. Because they open vertically, they don’t take up much room either inside the garage or out on the driveway. This makes them ideal for any customer with a smaller driver (or larger car) where a different opening method would not leave much room to work with. Since they have such a simple opening mechanism, it’s easy to automate roller-shutter garage doors with an electronic opener. The metal slats are strong and durable, particularly against impact damage and require little in the way of maintenance. This also makes them a great choice for the security conscious consumer, as they limit the possibility of entry by force.
Downsides of a roller-shutter garage door
Roller-shutter garage doors tend to be more expensive than some other types of door. Also, some clients don’t like the aesthetic of these doors, as they look like commercial or industrial security shutters, which some don’t find appealing for a domestic residence.
Benefits of a side-hinged garage door
Since they are hung like any regular door, side-hinged garage doors are easy to install, though you need to do it as part of a team. These doors tend to be heavier and thicker, since they are often constructed from wood (or a wooden core with a fibreglass veneer), which makes them a robust and durable choice for any garage. The density of the doors offers greater security to your garage too, plus these doors benefit from additional security options, such as padlocks, bolts, and more. When it comes to style, you are in luck. Since they are often made from wood, there is an almost infinite number of style options available to you. If your side-hinged garage door includes a uPVC or fibreglass veneer, almost no maintenance is required to keep it in great condition.
Downsides of a side-hinged garage door
As discussed, side-hinged garage doors are often heavier than other models. This can make them difficult to install without assistance. While you can automate a side-hinged garage door, other types benefit better from the process. Side-hinged garage doors are often more expensive than other types, because of the materials involved. If you only have a small drive, perhaps the biggest disadvantage is that these models swing outwards into the driveway, potentially damaging your car, your garage door, or both. If you choose a wooden side-hinged garage door, you will need to apply varnish or other wood treatment, periodically throughout its lifespan.
Benefits of a sectional garage door
Sectional garage doors borrow the best parts of up-and-over garage doors and roller-shutter garage doors. They look incredible, with several different styles and colours available. Since they open vertically, like a roller door, they take up less space both inside and outside the garage entranceway, making them perfect for anyone with a smaller driveway. Sectional garage doors are easy to insulate and highly durable and provide great security, without skimping on quality.
Downsides of a sectional garage door
Sectional garage doors are more complicated than either the roller-shutter or up-and-over models that they share characteristics with. This means they take longer to install than other types of garage door, which also increases the cost of installation. These garage doors benefit greatly from automation though, again, the opening mechanism is more complicated, which can make installing an electronic opener more costly and time-consuming.
Benefits of an up-and-over garage door
Up-and-over garage doors have a timeless look that appeals to all. Better yet, these single-panel doors can be customised in a range of styles and colours for added curb appeal. They are lightweight and easy to install and operate. This tends to make them cheaper to buy and install than most other types on the market. They can be easily automated with an appropriate electronic opener and, despite their lightweight build, are reliably tough and durable.
Downsides of an up-and-over garage door
The biggest disadvantage of an up-and-over garage door is that it swings out to almost its full extent before lifting up and into the ceiling cavity of your garage. This means you cannot realistically open it with a car right in front of the door, making it an inappropriate choice for smaller driveways.
A Guide to Garage Door Types: Final Thoughts
Whatever kind of garage door suits you best, the experienced technicians at Alliance Garage Doors will be able to perform a fast and effective installation anywhere in Newton Abbot or across the broader Devon area. If you’re undecided, our garage door experts will be happy to advise you on the best type of door to meet your particular needs.