How to Choose the Right Type of Garage Door

When looking to replace your garage door, it’s important to choose a type that is right for you and your home. There are many varieties of garage door on the market, all of which have their own unique characteristics.

In this article, we’re going to take a look at four of the most popular varieties – up-and-over, roller shutter, sectional, and side-hinged garage doors. We will talk about their respective pros and cons to give you a better idea of how to choose a garage door that suits your particular needs.

Roller shutter garage doors

Roller shutter doors are made up of metal slats fitted to a horizontal axle. They open and close vertically, coiling around the axle suspended in the cavity above your garage door space.

These doors are easy to install and just as simple to operate, requiring a simple up-or-down motion. That said, since they are locked and secured at ground level, they may be difficult to use for people with mobility issues. They can be cut to any size, meaning they will fit even the largest or narrowest of garage doorways, and they tend to be quite cost-effective compared to other types of garage doors.

In terms of security, they are among the most effective garage door types, being employed as security shutters for commercial properties. However, because they also look just like security shutters, some customers are put off by the aesthetic, as it doesn’t give a particularly welcoming appearance to their home. It can also be difficult to insulate roller shutter doors, as each slat would need its own insulation, which would make the opening mechanism more clumsy.

Sectional garage doors

Sectional garage doors also open vertically, much like roller shutter doors, though their design is closer to that of an up-and-over model. Instead of being a single panel, it is made up of several sections (hence the name). As the door opens upwards, these sections slide up on fixed runners, turning horizontally and fitting into the garage’s ceiling cavity.

Like roller shutter doors, they are very secure, as their separate panels disperse any external impact across the whole of the door, reducing the risk of a break-in by force. Where they score over roller shutter models is by being much easier to insulate and much more attractive to look at.

Sectional garage doors are more difficult to install than most other models, requiring time and patience to fit correctly. This is one reason why they are more expensive than other models. However, they can be customised to fit almost any garage opening, making them popular among people with uniquely-built properties.

Side-hinged garage doors

These are, perhaps, the simplest garage doors to install and operate, being a pair of over-sized doors attached on either side of the garage entrance by heavy-duty hinges. They open outwards in a single fluid motion and lock together securely at the centre. Usually made of wood, they are strong and durable, resisting most attempts to open them by force. While they are heavy to lift, they are easy to open, being a simple hinge mechanism.

Most side-hinged garage doors are wooden, which means they need more care and maintenance, whether with staining, painting, or some other finish. Of course, you can avoid this by fitting a side-hinged garage door made of another material like Glass-Reinforced Polyester (GRP), though this does tend to be more expensive.

Side-hinged wooden doors are available in a range of styles, including ones with windows, decorative carvings, and more. You can also paint them in any colour you wish, using a specially-formulated paint for exterior use. They offer good insulation for any garage, but can be expensive, given the cost of the raw materials. They have a wide opening arc, so they are not recommended for homes with short driveways.

Up-and-over garage doors

This is the traditional British garage door – a single panel (usually metal) that opens outwards before sliding up into the ceiling cavity on guided runners. While they are easy to use, they do require a certain amount of strength to lift, which can make them difficult for some people.

Up-and-over doors are strong and secure, usually being made of aluminium. Being so popular and easy to install, they tend to be at the cheaper end of the scale and can be fitted in a matter of hours. While most doors are fairly plain, different style options are available, including different colours and texturing.

Up-and-over garage doors are produced to industry-standard sizes, so you may struggle to find the right one for your garage if it is an unusual size. While a skilled garage installer can trim the doors to size, this can add to the cost of your door. While these doors offer little in terms of natural insulation, it is easy enough to insulate them yourself after they have been installed.

Manual or automated garage doors

Another thing to consider is whether you want a garage door that you operate by hand or one that opens and closes with an electronic opener. All garage doors are fitted to be manually operated as standard, so choosing to stick with this option is often the simplest solution. Furthermore, it means no additional costs for your garage door installation.

Automated garage doors offer several advantages. They are great for people with various physical impairments who might otherwise struggle with the weight of a manual door. They can also offer additional security benefits, allowing you to open and close the door from the safety of your car. Of course, for some, the main attraction is the convenience — being able to operate the door at the touch of a button. The only downside to electric garage doors is the additional cost, together with the added installation time required to fit the opener.

How to choose a garage door: final thoughts

Whatever kind of garage door you choose, you will find a wide variety of styles available at Guardian Garage Doors. From roller-shutter garage doors to sectional garage doors, we have decades of experience fitting all manner of garage doors at properties across Northamptonshire, and we can assist you in choosing the perfect door for your particular needs. Call today on 01604 810 710 or send an email to for a free, no-obligation quote.



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