In terms of overall use and ownership, overhead garage doors are by and large the most popular option for homeowners. The reason that so many people love them is because they are often affordable, easy to install, convenient to use and make the best use of space compared to garage doors that swing out or roll to the side.
Overhead garage doors also tend to be most easily coupled with automatic garage door openers, letting you enter the garage and close it behind you without having to get out of the car.
To help you understand more about overhead garage doors and why so many homeowners seem to love them, here are the different types of overhead garage doors and their benefits:
Single Panel Overhead Garage Doors
In the 1950s, homeowners who wanted to park their cars began to turn to overhead track systems that offered more convenience and efficient use of space compared to traditional swinging or sliding door panels.
One of the first models to come out of this revolution was the single-panel overhead garage door. Like its name suggests, this door is made out of one solid piece of wood, aluminum, metal or any other material.
An overhead track allowed owners to pull outward on the handle, letting the door raise effortlessly thanks to the counterweight spring. The door would then slide overhead, allowing them to drive into the garage.
The biggest problems with this design were that it was frequently heavy, could lead to track malfunctions easily and also that the door had to pivot outwards before it could slide overhead. Regarding the last problem in particular, it meant that homeowners had to keep their car parked several feet away when trying to open their garage.
Sectional Garage Doors
As people grew dissatisfied with single panel overhead garage doors, manufacturers came out with their own solutions.
The most popular idea was to cut the panel into sections that could rotate freely while still being joined to each other and a guiding track. As the door was raised, each section could pivot at an angle individually rather than having the entire length of the door pivot. This feature meant that the overhead door could be raised straight up without the need for extra front clearance.
These days, most overhead garage door installation systems are sectional, making automatic garage door openers, tracks and spare parts easier to come by. Sectional doors are also easily insulated, adding to their cost savings without making them harder to install.
Roller Overhead Garage Doors
Commonly-seen in commercial buildings, roller garage doors roll up into a housing directly above the garage door frame, preventing the need for an overhead track while freeing up ceiling space in the garage.
These systems are quite durable and secure — usually made out of corrugated steel — but they are also quite expensive because of their commercial design. Most homeowners will not opt for this heavy-duty installation option unless they truly have industrial-style needs.
Choosing the Type of Overhead Garage Doors for You
As you can see, there are many types and styles of overhead garage doors available. Even though sectional doors may be the most common, there are still many different types of sectional overhead garage doors, and some homeowners may want a different system entirely because of their preferences.