What Are The Different Types of Garage Doors

What Are The Different Types of Garage Doors

As cars have grown more important to our lives, they have gained equal prominence in residential floor plans. You’d probably be hard-pressed to find a single-family house built in the last 30 years where the first thing you noticed wasn’t the garage door. In the day-to-day life of today’s home, the garage is so central that many people use it as the primary entrance!

Over the last decade or so, advancements in technology have enabled garage door manufacturers and architects to improve the curb appeal and the durability of this entrance—all of which benefits the homeowner who is looking to boost his or her home’s value. Sometimes, faux wooden carriage-style doors are now to home exteriors what granite countertops are to kitchens! From high-end to budget-friendly, there are plenty of decidedly attractive options to consider for this prominent facade feature.

The entire assembly rides in two parallel tracks. A heavy-duty torsion spring, which is in turn wrapped around a torsion bar, serves to counterbalance the weight of the door. Homeowners can lift the door either manually or by switching on a motorized garage door opener. The actual lifting may be chain-, belt-, screw- or direct-driven.

Sectional doors are available with or without windows. Options for the former include up to 16 panes in several shapes, including square and arched. And there are many decorative styles too, from contemporary to traditional. Sectional doors are even available in the popular carriage-house style, described next; these look like swing-style doors but work the same as sectional doors.

They are typically made of wood and hang from jambs on hinges. Swing-style doors look good, with their strong vertical lines often helping to integrate the garage with the rest of the home. In addition, swinging doors tend to be more energy-efficient because they seal well at the header and side jambs and only have one joint.

They do, however, require more clearance. So if you park too close to swinging doors, you won’t be able to open them. Also, remember that swinging garage doors are more time-consuming to manually open and lock than sectional doors, and they’re much more expensive to automate.

What Is Your Garage Made From?

What your garage door is made from makes a huge difference in how it performs. Certain materials are better suited for the harsh weather of the Midwest, while other materials are more about looks than practicality. We’ll go over all of the different garage door materials below.

Wood Garage Doors

There aren’t many garage door materials that can match the beauty of a wood garage door. It has a traditional, inviting look that’s sure to catch the eye of friends, family and neighbours. But, while a wood garage door may look good, is it the right choice for Midwest homes?

While wood garage doors are energy-efficient, they struggle when facing rain, snow and hail. This is because they warp, rot and expand when exposed to moisture. This will drastically take away from the look of your garage door, which is what wood garage doors are known for in the first place.

Not to mention they’re high maintenance. They’ll need to be painted and stained every few years to maintain their beauty. So the upkeep of your wooden garage door requires a lot of time and money.

Speaking of money, purchasing wooden garage doors is much higher than other garage door materials. This stems from their reputation for being a traditional, beautiful garage door, but Midwest homeowners have much better options.

Wood Composite Garage Doors

If you want a cheaper option than wood, you can get a wood composite garage door. It’s made from fiberboard and has a wood frame. Some higher-end wood composite garage doors are made with high-density fiberboard skins for a more detailed look.

Obviously, these garage doors don’t have the same level of detail and beauty as other garage door styles – especially wood. Think of them as a discount wood garage door.

One thing wood composite garage doors do decently well is they’re energy-efficient. They have cores that are filled with polystyrene insulation which prevents heated or cooled air from escaping through your garage door.

Aluminum Garage Doors

Aluminium garage doors do everything wood garage doors don’t. They’re durable enough to handle the nasty Midwest weather – they won’t warp, rot or expand when exposed to moisture. Plus, they’re far less expensive.

During the summer, you’ll learn very quickly that aluminium absorbs heat. This makes it hot to the touch and will make your garage unbearably warm. In addition, if you have an attached garage, you’ll see your electric bills rise as your air conditioner is in a constant battle to regulate the temperature in your home.

If your garage is detached, you still need to worry about your car and other items stored in your garage as they’ll be exposed to that unnatural heat.

Aluminium garage doors also dent much easier than other garage door materials. So hail, heavy winds and sport loving children could damage your aluminium garage door.

Steel Garage Doors

If you combine the beauty of wood, the low maintenance of aluminium, and improve all three energy efficiency, you have a steel garage door. It’s the perfect option for Midwest homeowners.

Steel garage doors have many customization options such as panels, window inserts and colours – including wood grain finishes. That means you can have the beautiful look of wood without having to worry about all of the problems associated with it.

Much like aluminium doors, steel garage doors are extremely low maintenance. They won’t warp, rot or expand when exposed to moisture, and they’ll never need to be painted or stained. No garage door material makes it easier than steel.

Plus, steel garage doors are energy-efficient all year round. They have a foam core which makes your garage airtight, keeping your heated or cooled air inside. This will lower the cost of your energy bills and protect any items stored in your garage.

Also, steel doors are more durable than the other options. Steel won’t dent and ding from a little hail or driveway basketball. Your steel garage door will withstand the test of time and look beautiful while doing it.

Glass Garage Doors

Glass garage doors are a little more contemporary than the other garage doors – they aren’t something you often see. One reason is that they’re not exactly safe. Everyone can see into your home at all hours of the day. So they’ll know when you’re home and when you’re away.

While the glass is thick and strong, it still doesn’t match wood, steel, or aluminium durability. In a climate like the Midwest, this is a problem. You’ll see chips and cracks over time from exposure to hail and strong winds.

One reason people like glass garage doors is because they make the room feel larger. If you’re using your garage as an extra living space, this might be a fantastic option if it wasn’t for the weather.

It also depends on where your garage is located. If it’s in the back of the house, the privacy issue might not scare you as much. Still, we wouldn’t recommend glass garage doors to Midwest homeowners.

Fibreglass Garage Doors

One of the more lightweight options is a fibreglass garage door. It’s quieter when it opens and closes due to its lightweight. Plus, much like some of the other garage door materials on this list, they won’t warp, rot or expand when exposed to moisture.

One thing severely lacking with fibreglass garage doors is energy efficiency – they’re not good insulators. That means the outside temperatures will be able to get into your house, and you’ll feel less comfortable year-round. Not to mention the increased prices on your heating and cooling bills.

Also, fibreglass garage doors are known to get brittle when exposed to cold temperatures. The Midwest is notorious for having cold winters, so you may want to steer clear of fibreglass garage doors!

Types of Garage Doors: How They Open

That’s a lot of information to take in, but we’re just getting started. You can also classify garage doors by the way they open. Some tilt inwards, and others are broken into sections. Learn about the different types of garage doors based on how they open below.

Sectional Garage Doors

Sectional garage doors are the most common types of garage doors in the United States – you probably have one of these on your home as well.

The panel of a sectional garage door is broken into sections (hence the name) which are held together by hinges. The hinges allow the garage door panel to bend which affects how it opens.

A sectional garage door will move up a vertical track until it reaches the top of your garage door opening. Then it’ll begin to bend and run parallel to the ceiling of your garage along the horizontal track.

Roll-up Garage Doors

Have you ever had a large poster board you need to travel with, but it was too big to carry? What did you do? You probably rolled it up into a cylinder. The same thing happens with roll-up garage doors.

As a roll-up garage door is opened, it starts rolling around a barrel found above the garage door opening inside the garage. It’s able to do this because the door is made of horizontal slats that allow the door to curve and bend.

You won’t see too many homes, if any, that have a roll-up garage door. However, these types of garage doors are often found on commercial garages and storage units.

Slide to the Side Garage Doors

Slide to the side or around the corner, garage doors are one of the earliest methods of operating a garage door. Today you won’t see garage doors that open like this too often.

So how do these doors open? Rather than bending upwards and running parallel to your ceiling, slide to the side garage doors bend to one side and run parallel to the wall. You may see a slide to the side garage door in a garage that doesn’t have a lot of headroom, but even then it’s pretty rare.

Side Hinged Garage Doors

Another classic garage door style is the side hinged garage door, also known as swing-out. They look like large barn doors when they open and close.

Rather than having hinges between the sections, side hinged garage doors have hinges on their sides (as the name suggests). This allows the doors to swing open rather than move up or to the side. In addition, you can customize the hinges to swing inwards or outwards from your home.

Tilt-Up Garage Doors

Tilt-up garage doors don’t have sections like slide to the side and sectional garage doors. Instead, when they open, they tilt up and into your garage. There are a couple of different types of tilt-up garage doors:

Tilt-up canopy garage door: the more popular tilt-up garage door style. It has a pivoting hinge mechanism that lifts the door upward so it can slide back parallel to your garage’s ceiling. A small part of the door extends past the facade of your home when the door is open

Tilt-up retractable garage door: works similarly to a canopy garage door but there’s no part of the garage door that protrudes from your home when it’s open. Since the door is suspended independently from the frame, a tilt-up retractable garage door takes up more space than a tilt-up canopy garage door

While sectional garage doors are the most popular types of garage doors for residential homes in the United States, some homeowners have tilt-up garage doors. Before deciding which style is better for your home, you should note that tilt-up garage doors are traditionally more expensive and more difficult to operate than a sectional garage door.

7 Benefits Of Getting A New Garage Door

Garage door replacements provide a variety of benefits to your home. Today, we will dig into what these benefits are and how they affect your decision to buy a new garage door. Here are 7 benefits of installing a new residential garage door:

More Protection And Security

In many cases, garages are attached directly to the home and we all store valuables in our garages that we’d like to keep protected from theft. Garage Door Specialists, Inc., Replacement garage doors are designed for a precision fit, keeping the outside out. Keep your garage secure by replacing older doors with newer ones designed to prevent criminals from gaining access. A sturdy, insulated replacement garage door offers better protection and improved home security.

Increased Home Value

According to Remodeling Magazine, replacing your garage door is the #1 home renovation for getting your money’s return. In other words, garage door replacement has the best ROI of any other home improvement. So if you’re looking to sell your home or just fix it up for the long-run, installing anew garage door is the most cost-efficient way to add value to your home! Learn more about new garage doors increasing home value.

Better Appearance

Your old garage doors have been through their share of winters and probably look like it too. Replacing your overhead doors improves your home’s appearance. Better appearance, security and insulation all contribute to a higher home value. If you’re thinking of selling your home, replacement garage door panels are a cost-effective way to add value to your home.

Superior Insulation

Today’s garage doors are engineered to keep your garage cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Replacing older doors with upgraded models allows you to enjoy your garage comfortably and save you money on your energy bill.

Safety And Liability

Modern doors are equipped with a range of safety features to protect you, your family, and guests from accidental injury. Replacement doors may also help you save on insurance.

Reduced Maintenance

Many older garage doors require repairs and fresh paint annually and in some cases, more often. Free up your time and eliminate this chore with doors built to withstand the elements.

Increased Utility

Broken or damaged overhead doors can discourage garage use, preventing you from accessing valuable square footage. Replacing garage doors can lead to more — and better — use of your space.

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