Not everyone knows that garage doors are divided into eight categories based on their opening system and that this should be installed based on specific needs depending on their use.
In this article I will try to give you a broad overview of the garage doors on the market, helping you to avoid making mistakes and avoid wasting your money.
What are the types of garage doors on the market?
Let’s see first what are the types of garage doors:
- Up-and-over garage doors
- Articulated up-and-over doors
- Sectional doors
- Garage doors with hinged doors
- Lateral folding doors
- Folding doors two plus two
- Unique sliding garage doors
- Curved sliding garage doors
We analyze in detail the various types of garage doors with their strengths and weaknesses based on their use.
Single garage up-and-over garage doors
It is the icon associated, by most people, to the garage.
When we think of the car garage, our brain creates this image.
How does an overhead door work?
The overhead door is made up of a part fixed to the wall that includes the side guides and an upper part called a crossbar.
In the side guides there is the sliding of the pins, ropes and counterweights, while the crossbar has the task of keeping the side uprights tied.
How do you lift an overhead door?
There are currently two types of lifting available on the market: counterweights and springs.
The counterweight is the most common and often, alas, it is in cement.
When the door is lifted, they slide down and lift the door of the overhead door without effort from the user.
The spring lifting is given by a spring, usually linear in traction, and each time the door closes, it extends to shorten when it opens helping the operator to open the overhead door.
Benefits of an overhead door
If chosen in the right way, the overhead door becomes a fundamental element for your home, improving its aesthetics but above all protecting it from attempts at forced entry.
If you make the right choice, the overhead door prevents you from wasting time in unnecessary maintenance.
Defects of an overhead door
In the market there are too many doors that cost little and fail to bring the advantages that I have just described to you for the lack of quality of the materials that compose it.
If they have a spring lift, they require much more maintenance than those with counterweight lifting because the spring tends to lose its elasticity after many uses.
How much does an overhead door cost?
Have you ever heard each other say: “this garage door is the middle way”
Well, the overhead has no middle ground!
There are low-level overheads that use low quality materials, and then there are high-level overhead doors and you recognize them even if you are not an expert in the field.
If you are faced with such a situation: “the best tilting at € 1000” then stop because there is something wrong!
The price is one of the elements that distinguishes the true quality up-and-over door, the one that is built with materials that last over time, the one that protects your home from theft attempts..
A low quality up-and-over door can cost up to € 1,500, while a high-quality up-and-over door starts at € 2,500.
Swinging garage door
This door is the one we sell the most in Spain.
Here in Italy it is not very well known but it is a door that in most timessolves the problems related to the dimensions of all the other garage doors..
How does an articulated overhead door work?
The operation for the opening is identical to that of the traditional overhead door: the mantle lifts upwards with the help of the counterweights.
In this case the protagonists are the weights and not the springs, in fact this door is built in most cases with counterweights.
Unlike the tilting single door, the articulated tilting door has an openable mantle that folds in two while lifting.
Advantages of an articulated up-and-over door
If we consider the fact that the swinging up-and-over door, when it opens, only a quarter of its height enters the garage, this door can solve problems that the others are unable to solve..
This reduced size means that its application can be anywhere but above all in those cases where inside the garage there are obstacles that do not allow the complete opening of an overhead door or a sectional door.
I’ll give you some examples:
There are garages in which the lifts are installed to park two cars on top of each other: in this case a single swing door or sectional door would touch the cars parked on the lift; the articulated tilting, having a very small internal dimensions, allows the opening without collision against the internal cars.
Another situation in which an articulated overhead door is installed is when the internal walls are not parallel to each other:you can have a wall in a square and an internally crooked one that does not allow the opening of a single overhead door or a sectional door; keep in mind that an up-and-over articulated with 3-meter-high measures fits into the garage when it is open only about 75 cm! A sectional door falls within 3 meters plus the space of the motor and a single overhead door returns about 1.5 meters.
Defects of an articulated overhead door
Perhaps this opening system has more merits than flaws.
If I have to find one it is the one that if the door is not very high and you want to install the pedestrian door, the latter will be a little low because it is created under the joint. (see photo above)
How much does an articulated overhead door cost?
As you will have understood, the working of an articulated overhead door is more complex than that of a single overhead door.
Here, during production, it is necessary to create a double frame and an upper beam system with special hinges.
The cost of an articulated overhead door starts at € 2700 but if you consider the true value that this overhead door adds to your home, the difference is really minimal.
A unique solution where the others cannot even get close.
Sectional garage doors
Today’s fashion, imported from Western countries, this garage door has been very successful since the 2000s here in Italy.
It will have been the American myth that convinced many people to install this type of garage door for their home.
How a sectional garage door works
Unlike the overhead door on this garage door, the part that opens is composed of small panels that slide upwards.
Lifting is given by a torsion spring which is installed on the upper shaft.
During opening and closing, the spring twists and releases to compensate for the weight of the panels.
Benefits of a sectional garage door
To be honest the advantages are not many on a door like this, if we put them on a scale, the plate of defects is much heavier.
One of the main merits is that the sectional door does not overflow towards the outside, so if you cannot install a non-projecting overhead door, here is that the sectional allows you to stay flush with the external wall.
The dimensions of the side uprights and the upper one are similar to the overhead door.
Defects of a sectional door
Here you need to be very careful because failure to comply with what I am going to tell you could compromise your serenity. We list the points on which to pay close attention.
- The springs
As mentioned above, the sectional door opens with the help of a torsion spring installed on the upper shaft.
Today there are companies that have put on the market openings with tension springs.
Since the sectional has no counterweights, this becomes a problem over time.
While a counterweight is constant over time, the spring loses its strength and as the door works it will always be heavier.
This is why the sectional door needs much more maintenance than a counterweight overhead door.
- The rope
Another point, but this is in common with the inexpensive overhead doors, is the diameter of the rope which is usually 4 mm.
Such a small rope is to frequent breakage if not properly maintained.
- The guides
Another flaw of this door are the internal guides of the garage: they are unsightly and noisy.. This problem becomes a big problem if the room is also used as a living space (rumpus room, entertainment room …) because all that series of guides remains on sight.
The structure of the sectional door necessarily requires internal guides but if the roof is sloping downwards, this door cannot be installed.
The same is true if the interior walls are not parallel but tend to converge with each other.
- The aesthetic finish
Most sectional doors come with a wood-like finish:
Often this finish occurs by “coating” the panels that make up these doors, but when the sheet has different expansions than the film bubbles form on the surface and the film detaches from the support leaving the door with irreparable aesthetic zones.
- Material thickness
After the crisis that has developed in the building sector, some manufacturers have had to lower their prices to the detriment of the quality of the material: they have lowered the thickness of the panels’ panels.
This problem has two very important consequences: the safety and the arrow of the material when it opens.
Safety is compromised becausebecause with a simple manual tool, the sheet is ripped in a few minutes and the door is broken.
The arrow is the phenomenon that occurs when the door is open: the panel along its length tends to embark when it is horizontal and makes sure that the door does not run perfectly in the guides’ seats, becoming noisy and hard to move.
How much does a sectional door cost?
The sectional door is part of those cheap doors, where price becomes more important than quality.
On the market you can find sectional doors starting from € 1000 depending on the dimensions and finishes.
Garage doors with hinged doors
This is the oldest of the solutions.
Depending on its size, it can be built with a single door, with two symmetrical or asymmetrical doors with different sizes.
How does a garage door with hinged doors work?
In the construction of a hinged door there is a fixed frame that is usually walled to the wall or anchored according to the support on which it is to be anchored.
The doors are connected to the fixed frame through the hinges or rotation hinges.
The opening can be towards the outside (called push opening) or towards the inside (called pull opening).
In this case, for opening they do not need springs or counterweights as the doors move horizontally.
This system, if chosen in the right way, is able to solve the problems related to the lateral dimensions of safety and maintenance.
Advantages of a garage door with hinged doors
If chosen in the right way, this solution is able to have a great resistance to burglary.
Also in this sector there are gates built with very low quality elements to the detriment of safety, but if thick materials are used that do not allow twisting or cutting with hand tools, it becomes an excellent ally against theft.
With this system, especially if it is manual, the maintenance is practically zero. However, I would like to remind you that if the door is motorized, it is necessary to perform the mandatory maintenance required by the manufacturer of the motorized door.
The side dimensions are another strong point of the garage door with doors. Its construction can in fact be made with a low profile frame that does not take up space in width but does not lose its consistency.
The same applies to the upper dimensions.
In my production I have a door with two hinged doors that lowers by just 2 cm and reduces the size of 5 cm. Naturally the construction methods of this door, unlike the others, must be evaluated from time to time based on the situation in which it will be installed.
The aesthetics of this garage door is 100% customizablelike that of the overhead doors.
Depending on the location and its use, the professional is able to evaluate the type of aesthetics to be given to the door without having to stand in obligatory standards.
Like the garage doors listed above, this door can also be automated in the next phase..
Here, however, we need to open a parenthesis:
In the construction phase, it must be taken into account if the door is to be automated and, based on the opening direction (inwards or outwards), the appropriate mechanics must be prepared for future automation.
A standard automation provides a maximum 90 ° opening.
We in D.M.A. we have developed an innovative automation system that allows us to open the doors, especially if they open outwards, by 180 °.
With this system there will no longer be the annoying dimensions of the doors when the door is open.
Defects of a garage door with hinged doors
One of the main flaws of the front door is that when moving the doors require require a wide range of action..
If the door is a single door the radius will be as wide as the width of the door, while if the doors will be two, the radius of action will be halved.
For this reason, this door door cannot be installed in short garages if it opens inwards, or in places that are flush with the road or passage if it opens outwards.
If the person who automates, installs the classic kit used in the drive gates, the door will reduce the passage in width of about 10 cm on each side.
For this reason we in D.M.A. we have created a new automation system that can significantly reduce the overall dimensions and open the doors up to 180 °
I suggest you contact us to find all the answers to your doubts.
How much does a swing garage door cost?
In this case there is no standard or order of magnitude.
However, there is a lot of attention to the origin of the door that will be purchased..
Unlike all the other opening systems in which professionalism, experience and use of expensive machinery are needed, to make a door with doors it is only necessary to have a minimum of familiarity with tools and some knowledge of mechanics.
Precisely for this reason, many times this type of door is built in private garages adapted to improvised mechanical workshops and by people who have nothing to do with professionalism.
Surely you will manage to have a door at a very low price but
- without any certification
- without any guarantee
- without a professional after-sales service.
Assuming you buy this garage door from a professional manufacturer, the price can vary from € 2000 to € 4000 based on the aesthetics we want to give.
Garage doors with side folding
This opening system is the icon of industrial openings.
Until a few years ago, before the sectionals arrived, any industrial shed was accessible through this type of door.
Today there is a noticeable return to this type of door because the defects listed on the sectionals begin to appear and we are oriented more towards solutions with less maintenance to do like this.
In some cases, however, this door is also installed in residential contexts.
How a folding garage door with side packaging works
The folding door consists of a number of doors, usually equal, hinged together.
The doors, in turn, hang from an upper guide that slides them and makes them pack to one side.
A guide must be walled up on the floor, which has the task of holding the doors firmly during movement and safely when the door is closed.
Benefits of a folding garage door with side packaging
Of this type of garage doorthere are so many variations and I should write a book about this only..
So I want to take the kind of door we build in D.M.A., tell you some constructive secrets so that you can compare them with all the others that are on the market.
- The doors: the structure is in galvanized boxed iron. This makes the folding door impenetrable and indestructible. The hinges are welded and not only screwed so as not to have to carry out continuous maintenance.
- The upper carriages:they are separated by the hinges. In all the doors on the market, the upper hinge is usually longer and also has the carriage on its head. This means that if you were to break a cart or a hinge you need to do a very invasive and expensive operation. In our case, being two distinct things one does not affect the other.
- Chain automation:practically indestructible. From personal experience, the first interventions of maintenance on 15 year old doors have found a perfection in the movement such as to be considered a top list automation, without any maintenance cost and risk of sudden door stops.
Usually in the doors on the market operators are used installed on the doors with telescopic arms, with the consequent excessive frequency of maintenance.
If chosen in the right way, this solution becomes a good ally for the security of your home.
Defects of a folding garage door with side packing
The biggest problem with this folding door is the side dimensions.
Considering that the doors all pack on one side, the overall dimensions that occupy laterally are from 50 to 80 cm based on the number of constructive doors.
In the upper part they usually carry about 15/20 cm
Being a door that slides inside a track and has a lower guide, this door tends to be more noisy than the other garage doors.
For this reason its installation should not be recommended if the rooms of the house are nearby..
Like all other solutions, buying such a low quality door requires a lot of maintenance.
The advice is to always buy from a manufacturer because they can guarantee spare parts in case of breakages.
How much does a folding garage door with side packaging cost?
If chosen in a responsible manner, with the characteristics listed above, a folding side folding door starts from € 4,000 to € 6,000 depending on the aesthetics you want to give and the accessories installed.
The market can offer cheaper solutions to the detriment of product quality and frequent post-installation maintenance.
Garage doors with two right and two left doors
This type of garage door is the most economical and least invasive variant of the folding side door and its installation does not require masonry work.
How a garage door with two right and two left doors works
This garage door is usually made up of 4 doors (two right and two left) hinged in pairs and to the side upright.
This solution also requires the upper guide on which the doors are hung.
Sliding and packing always occurs laterally but in this case two doors are collected on the right side and two on the left side dividing the lateral dimension on the two sides.
Of course it is possible to automate this opening system even after installation.
Benefits of a garage door with two right and two left doors
This garage door has the advantage of not having invasive masonry works, in fact its operation does not include the installation of a floor guide.
Compared to a side-folding door, this garage door is much quieter andthis garage door is much quieter and lighter and easier to handle, especially if it is manual.
It is possible to carry out the motorization also at a later time.
You can also have it with fine finishes and high design..
Unlike the side-folding door, this door reduces the passage in width of only 15 cm on each side.
Defects of a garage door with two right and two left doors
Surely, unlike an overhead door, the opening of this garage door is more uncomfortable and less fast.
There are two locks to open (one right and one left) and therefore the operation takes more time.
If the door is needed, the measurement of its width is constrained by the size of the door in which it will be installed, so if you ask for a door with a width constraint it is hardly feasible.
How much does a garage door with two right and two left doors cost?
Also in this case, if the right solution to your problem is this, then you need to be very careful where you buy and what you buy.
Considering that you have found the manufacturer who is attentive to the quality of the product, a door like this can cost from € 2500 up to € 6000. Of course the measures can upset the price.
Sliding garage doors
How a sliding garage door works
This garage door can be produced with two sliding systems.
The thing common to all types is the fact that a single door slides sideways parallel to a wall of the garage.
The sliding can take place both with an upper guide system (in this case the door will hang from the guide and will slide through the supporting trolleys mounted in the upper part of the door) or with a floor guide system (in this case the door will have wheels that will slide on a guide fixed on the floor).
Benefits of a sliding garage door
The big advantage of this type of door is its dimensions.
Laterally they do not take up any space as the door slides completely on the wall and disappears completely.
The overall dimensions vary from 4 cm for the floor guide system to 12 cm for the ceiling rail system.
This garage door can also be automated in the next step, but be careful to prepare the system well before installing it.
It is possible to have all the accessories of an overhead doorsuch as the pedestrian door or a glazed area and it is possible to give a personalized and high design aesthetic.
Defects of a sliding garage door
A major flaw that this type of door has is that the door, sliding laterally, engages completely a wall of the garage making it unusable.
sliding requires a minimum of lifting from the ground and it is for this reason that the installation of any type of rubber that would increase friction is not recommended.
How much does a sliding garage door cost?
Like all other types of doors, also in this case attention must be paid to the quality of the materials: specifically to the upper carriages that are able to support the door load or to the lower wheels which are of a size suitable for the weight of the door.
Assuming that a sliding door can be purchased from a manufacturer who pays attention to details, it can cost from € 2,500 to € 5,000 depending on the accessories you are installing.
Curved sliding garage doors
How a sliding garage door turns into a curve
The principle of operation is like the side-scrolling one, but the difference lies in the fact that it is composed of a series of small panels which, by sliding, rotate following a rail fixed to the floor or ceiling.
Advantages of a sliding garage door in a curve
By running flush inside the garage, the advantage of this garage door is that it can be installed flush with the road without bothering the outside when it opens.
The side dimensions can be reduced only if there is a stack on the curve side, otherwise it is necessary to install a 30 cm fixed panel covering the curve radius.
Defects of a garage door sliding in a curve
In this case perhaps the defects are better than the advantages of this type of garage door.
First of all, it is not possible to create a pedestrian door because the panels that make up the structure are at most 50 cm wide.
It should also be noted that a door of this type becomes very noisy during use, so if you have the bedrooms nearby it is better to adopt other more silent solutions.
The security on this garage door leaves the time that it finds: the panels, their sliding system and the whole does not guarantee the safety of your home like some of the other locking systems.
How much does a sliding garage door in a curve cost?
This type of door can be constructed with small parts of sectional doors or handcrafted with doors with a decidedly more robust and secure consistency.
On the market there are not many companies that offer it also because it is a system that is too binding and not very versatile.
Its cost starts from € 2000 for economic solutions up to € 6,000 for something much safer and more robust.
Garage Doors: which type to choose?
I tried to give you all the basic information so that you can orient yourself in the best way towards choosing your garage door.
I personally could give you all of them, but I think it is better to analyze in depth which door is suitable for your specific needs.
In D.M.A we have technical producers who are available to remove any doubts about your specific situation.
You could start with a small investment and have my technicians consulted directly.
They are specialized experts only in this field, they do this from morning to night and have been trained to be able to solve most recurring problems on garage doors.
Di Mauro Andrea