Sectional Overhead Garage Doors Aren’t Your Only Option

When choosing a new garage door, all the options can be overwhelming, especially if this is the first time you are replacing an overhead door. If you want to keep things simple, you can go for the most popular option for residential homes, which would be a sectional overhead door, but there are other garage door constructions to consider that can set your home apart. A new garage door is an opportunity to upgrade your home’s curbside value and security. So, before moving onto the next step, which would be choosing your garage door material (steel, wood, wood composite, aluminum, fiberglass or vinyl), take note of the various types of garage doors available.

Sectional Garage Doors

The “sections” being referred to are the horizontal panels that compose a typical residential garage door. The panels are connected by hinges, and fitted with rollers. These can be lifted manually, but are typically operated by a motorized garage door opener. The door rides on two parallel tracks, opening vertically, and gathering the panels within the ceiling. How much headroom your garage offers is something to consider when choosing whether you want an overhead door. Using a side-mounted opener can free up space, but you can also avoid an overhead door completely and choose one that slides to the side, or opens with a side hinge. Sectional garage doors are the most common on the market and can be made from a variety of materials, including glass for a modern-look or wood for a throwback. 

Side-Hinged Garage Doors

You might be surprised to know that all garage doors used to swing out before the invention of the automatic overhead door opener. Side-hinged garage doors open like normal, overhead doors. Old-fashioned, carriage-style doors used to open this way, but contemporary carriage doors have been adapted to open overhead. Swinging out via hinge is still an option though, and one that’s becoming popular if homeowners to free up headroom. Those who opt for swinging side-hinged garage doors will be pleased to know that they can open automatically as well. 


Slide-to-side is another earlier method of operating garage doors. They work as the name suggests, by sliding or bending to one side of the garage and sitting parallel to the wall. They can be flexible to follow a curve, or straight. Slide-to-side garage doors are perfect if you want the largest entrance to your home to have a uniform look. You might assume this style is manual, but slide-to-side garage doors can be automatic with a built-in motor. These garage doors are especially useful if you want to make use of your garage’s ceiling space to sort extra boxes or sporting equipment.

Other Overhead Styles

Other operating styles that are considered “overhead” include roll-up doors and tilt-up garage doors. Roll-up aluminum grill doors are what you typically see used for commercial businesses, retail shops and storage units. Tilt-up doors are not sectional, but are composed of one solid piece. When open, the door sits parallel with the garage ceiling and floor.

Found Your Garage Door Style? Here’s What’s Next

Once you’ve determined the garage door style that works best for your home, it’s important to find the right material that compliments your home’s aesthetics. Once you’ve found the perfect door, it’s worth your while to upgrade your overhead garage door opener. A new door opener will come packed with the latest technology and will have a warranty attached to it, meaning your new garage door won’t have any problems on the opening front. After that, get your old garage door replaced by a certified professional and enjoy your new door.

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Not All Garage Doors Open Overhead

Sectional overhead garage doors might be the most popular, but it’s not the only option. If you’re looking to preserve head room, you have other options. Instead of the panels of your sectional garage door gathering overhead, you could choose a construction style that slides side-to-side. It can even slide along a curve. If your door is a solid piece, there are options for it to swing out, or tilt up.