Overhead garage doors are the most commonly used model on the market. They have replaced traditional swinging garage doors that used regular hinges or pivots to operate. When comparing different types of overhead garage doors, consider both function and aesthetic features, along with cost, installation and materials.
There are three basic types of overhead garage doors on the market. Tilt-up units are the oldest of the three and consist of a single panel that is lifted up into a ceiling-mounted pivot or track. Roll-up doors are made of many small sections joined into one large unit. They roll overhead into a tight coil when opened. Sectional units are the most common and are made up three to four panels joined by hinges that allow them to roll into a large coil overhead.
Garage doors are available in steel, wood, aluminum or fiberglass units. Steel is the most common and one of the most affordable materials. It is easy to install and offers a high level of security. Wood doors are visually appealing, but don't hold up as well as other materials. Aluminum garage doors are highly resistant to rust and corrosion, making them an effective option in coastal areas. Fiberglass is one of the most durable materials used for garage doors, but may suffer cracks and damage in extremely cold regions.
Sectional garage doors offer the largest variety of styles and designs and tend to be durable and weather-tight. Tilt-up varieties are the most affordable because they are an older style of door. They have a smooth, clean appearance and require little maintenance. Roll-up garage doors are the best option for tall openings and also take up little ceiling space compared to other units.
Each type of overhead garage door offers some drawbacks that should be taken into account. Sectional units require routine maintenance to minimize mechanical difficulties and also take up a lot of ceiling space. Tilt-up doors are not as weather-tight or secure as other options and require a large clearance space to operate. Roll-up units are the most expensive of the three. They also have the largest number of parts, which generally leads to more maintenance over time.
All three types of overhead garage doors are available with smooth or paneled finishes. They can also be equipped with glass vision lites and may be painted in a variety of colors. Some fiberglass units have integral dyes or pigments that provide a colored finish without the need for paint. These overhead units can be manually operated via a chain or track system or may be equipped with automatic operators.
- Photo Credit Oleg Alexanrov/flickr.com
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