Garage Door 101: Different Types to Consider

There are a lot of choices when it comes to residential garage doors. To use this to your advantage, take the time and get to know what options are available to you. Generally, you’ll see garage doors that swing up, swing out, slide to the side or roll up. To get you started, let’s talk about the most popular types of garage doors around: sectional, swinging carriage-house and tilt-up doors.


Sectional Doors

This type of garage door is made up of several horizontal panels drawn together by hinges. Installed with rollers, it then moves through two tracks parallel to each other to open, usually rolling up. While sectional garage doors follow a certain construction and mode of operation, they can come in a range of styles and designs to complement the rest of your home and address your needs.Garage-Door-1

For instance, you can get sectional garage doors with lites or windows, if you’re interested in taking advantage of as much natural light as possible. How many lites you can have will be dictated by the size of your garage door but it’s possible for as many as 16 to be installed. Want the look of a swing-style garage door with the operation ease of a sectional? Ask your local contractor about carriage-house styles.

Swinging Carriage-House DoorsGarage-Door-2

Also called swing-style doors, these garage doors operate very much like French doors, supported by jambs on multiple hinges. They are often made of wood or composite material, imparting the same elegant vibe that wooden entry doors are so well-known for.

Key Considerations:

  • Swinging carriage-house doors are highly energy efficient as they don’t have a lot of seams and are tightly sealed at the side jambs and at the header.
  • This garage door requires clearance so make sure you have enough space for it to open fully.
  • Compared to sectional doors, swinging carriage-house doors require more time to manually operate. You can opt to automate but the additional cost may put a big dent on your budget.

Tilt-Up DoorsGarage-Door-3

Tilt-up doors function thanks to a pivoting hinge mechanism. This allows the door to be lifted as a whole and slid upward and into the ceiling of a garage to be kept out of the way. There are also variations to tilt-up doors you might want to take into consideration. These include: canopy styles (where a portion of the door, usually the bottom, goes beyond the garage) and retractable designs (which operates like a canopy door but fully retracts into the garage’s ceiling).

Available Garage Door Materials

Garage doors may come in several material options, including:

  • Steel – Low maintenance and generally affordable
  • Fiberglass – Won’t rust and easily dent or crack
  • Wood – Elegant looking but requires the most maintenance to last
  • Aluminum – Won’t rust and are lightweight, making them ideal for larger garage doors
  • Vinyl – Known for being “kid-proof” as they are that hard to break or dent
  • Composite – Simulates the appearance of wood but easier to care for

Today, garage doors are just as capable as entry doors in securing homes and boosting curb appeal, helping improve a property’s overall value. Choosing the right one then ensures you make the most out of a garage door replacement project.


Author Bio:

Brad Geller is a Solomon Brothers Roofing’s home exterior expert. Thanks to his years of experience, he is able to help customers find the right product they need at the right price they can afford. He writes for the company blog in his free time, sharing his home improvement experience to homeowners.


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