Single panel garage doors
Single panel doors are constructed from one monolithic panel. From the closed position a single panel door swings up and overhead with a hinge on each side (known as jamb type hardware) to the fully open position. A disadvantage of monolithic panel doors is that the swing up arc of the door occurs partially outside the garage. This means a vehicle must stop and park several feet in front of the door to avoid being hit by the garage door when it is opened.
Single panel doors can also be installed with (one piece track type hardware) that folds the door back with a single horizontal track on each side (which is mounted at the top of the wood frame) and a roller, (mounted to the top of the door on each side. A hinge on each side that attaches to the bottom of each side of garage door. Using track hardware, a car can be parked much closer to the door, as the whole door, when in the open position, rests completely inside of the garage door header. Track type hardware has much less arc when raising and lowering the garage door as opposed jamb type hardware.
Sectional garage doors
Sectional garage door panel being installed
Sectional doors are usually constructed of three to eight panels and slide up and overhead. Sectional doors occupy exactly the same amount of internal garage space as a monolithic door. Sectional doors have two advantages over single panel monolithic doors:
Sectional doors do not require any space outside the garage to open. A vehicle may park very close to the garage before opening the door.
Each panel of a sectional door has its own connection to the door track. This increases reliability and robustness compared to monolithic doors, which have only a few track connections for the whole panel.
Garage doors can be made out of many materials, but steel, aluminum, wood, copper, glass, and vinyl (polyethylene) are the most popular materials. Some manufacturers incorporate foamed-in-place polyurethane insulation within the monolithic panel and sectional garage doors.
The side sliding sectional door
A lot of space under the garage ceiling.
Can use the entire ceiling of the garage.
Fast access to the garage
Garage door materials
Aluminum garage doors are low-cost, light, rust-proof, and feature low-maintenance. They are prone to denting because aluminum is not strong and they are energy-inefficient since aluminum is a highly conductive material.
Fiberglass and vinyl garage doors are composite units, combining a steel core behind a fiberglass or vinyl skin. They have also polyurethane insulated base sections, or other type of foam insulation. These premium doors can match steel garage doors, and be a realistic imitation of wood (namely fiberglass units), but they may be more expensive than steel units.
Steel doors have become common and are available in a variety of sizes and styles, provide strength and security, are cost-competitive, and may have optional insulating value. Extra strength is available with two or three layers of galvanized steel with a low gauge number (23-24 gauge steel panels).
Wood garage doors offer aesthetic appeal, but they are high-maintenance and may be expensive. Low-priced wood garage doors may warp and break easily