SECTIONED GARAGE DOOR VS SOLID GARAGE DOOR– Pros and cons
Here at Garage Door Masters, we are sometimes asked what we think of solid versus sectioned garage doors. Our answer may surprise you; it is this; what do You want? Yep, we are answering a question with a question and this is why. There are pros and cons to both and it’s really up to you to decide which is best for your particular needs. Here in Union City, GA it’s possible to get both kinds of door so read our post and call us or your favorite local garage door repair shop and ask any questions that you may have.
Solid garage doors are just that; solid! They are one piece, rigid slabs from top to bottom and from side to side. The whole door moves upwards in one piece when you open it. Yes, you can still use an automatic garage door opener or you can manually operate your solid garage door. Obviously, if it moves together in one single piece, it will swing outward first, so be sure to keep the garage door’s path cleared to avoid damage to property or injury to anyone in its way.
A sectioned garage door is the most likely the one that most of our Union City, GA customers are familiar with. These do not have to swing way out in order to close as they door is made up of sections that are hinged together. This is where your garage door tracks come into play as the door rises or lowers straight up or down by using rollers inside the track system. With sectioned garage doors there never a need to “clear the path” before it and like the solid door types you can open and close your garage door by hand or by using your garage door opener system.
Times do change; after all, not too long ago, most all residential homes that had garage doors used the solid ones or tilt ups as they are sometimes called. The sectioned garage doors were around but mostly used for businesses and industrial garages. Today, most people prefer the sectional doors for their homes and almost all builders will automatically install them in new home construction.
Benefits of having a solid garage door
To be fair you should consider all factors when deciding whether to get a solid garage door or a sectioned one. Just because more people are choosing the latter is no reason to simply “follow the crowd.” Remember that many folks, especially younger ones have never seen a solid garage door or if they have, they didn’t recognize it as such.
Let’s start with your springs. Garage door springs are an essential part of any garage door. They do the heavy lifting work each time you raise and lower your several hundred pound door. Since they work so hard, they tend to wear out after a while. Solid garage doors use tension springs that are mounted on either side of the door. Are these better? That depends; tension springs don’t last as long as torsion ones but they are less expensive to purchase.
Another possible reason for choosing a solid garage door over a sectioned one is the look. Some people prefer it, and if a solid garage door matches the style and appearance you want for your home, then that should be considered. Designers often offer this choice to their custom home clients as a “retro” look so if you are considering a solid garage door for design reasons be sure to see some in person and view plenty of online images to be sure.
Solid garage door drawbacks
One of the biggest problems with solid garage doors is their weight. Having the door broken up into sections helps to balance the weight but with solid garage doors, you must compromise by eliminating certain materials. Forget steel garage doors as they are much too heavy and aluminum doors as they are too fragile for the solid door design. Only wood garage doors are light enough to be used and even they are heavy enough to become tiresome and a chore to lift and lower again and again.
Another problem is durability. Since wood doors have to be used, dry rot, termites, holes and other problems can greatly affect the condition and upkeep of your solid door. Sure, you can paint your door but thin, wood garage doors are easy to damage and if any part of it becomes broken, the entire door must be replaced versus a section with the roll up doors.
Another disadvantage of solid garage doors is weight distribution. This is not always evident at first, but over time, the uneven weight distribution of a solid door takes its toll. A sectional garage door displaces much of its weight evenly due to the framework and break-up into sections. In a solid garage door, the weight is concentrated at the center and over time, this type of door will collapse under its own weight, thereby needing replacement.
It’s your choice
Remember; your situation is unique. Are you replacing an existing garage door and considering making a change? Are you having a home built from scratch, and are considering your garage door options? Are you merely curious about the single piece garage doors that you remember from your childhood?
As you can see, there are many options to consider. There are several garage door shops in the Union City, GA region that offer both types of doors. Most will be happy to answer questions concerning their products, as well as their installation, maintenance and replacements. Feel free to ask questions. You can visit home improvement stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot and view their selection in person. You can also learn a lot from online research reading manufacturer’s product descriptions from Amazon or directly from their websites. Web videos are another way to learn about the benefits and disadvantages of sectioned garage doors and their solid counterparts.