There are basically four distinct types of garage doors with three types of materials commonly used to construct these doors. Doors are most commonly constructed from steel (aluminum), all types of wood, or glass fiber-reinforced plastic. The doors can be simplistic or very detailed with windows, carvings, and hardware to create a personalized look that complements your home.
A traditional style look is often achieved by installing side-hung garage doors. These types of garage doors are mounted directly to the surrounding wood frame or on bricks. The doors typically swing outwards towards the driveway when opening, so you will need plenty of room in front of these doors when opening them (think of big barn doors). The downside to having side-hung doors is they are difficult to automate. If you desire an automatic garage door opener for side-hung doors, you will have to be clever and figure out how to mount some sort of gate opener on them. Side-hung doors are often made from wood and can be very heavy.
The most common type of garage door is the sectional garage door. These doors work best when the area in front of the garage is limited. Sectional garage doors open vertically and ride on rails. Sectional doors commonly use a torsion spring system mounted above the door to relieve the weight for ease of opening. Sectional doors have the most options for installing garage door operators and are used when there is low overhead clearance. Because sectional doors are easy to install, you will find them available through many home improvement type stores. You simply install the tracks and then place each section on top of the next, mounting the hardware as you go. The most difficult part may be winding the torsion spring when you are done.
Roller doors operate similar to sectional garage doors, except the door rolls up inside a drum above the garage door opening. Perfect for short driveways, roll-up doors also work well when there is limited parking space. However, these doors are not commonly found on residential homes because they tend to be less attractive. You will find roll-up doors typically used in commercial applications, such as storage units and loading dock doors. Roller doors can be automated with side mounted drum operators.
The last type of door is still commonly used in some parts of the country. They are the up and over garage door. These doors require clearance in front of the door to operate them. They basically lift upwards and outwards, tilting back as they are raised. Spring arms are mounted on the sides of the door to relieve the weight of the door when opening or closing. Standard garage door operators can be easily mounted except side mounted jack shaft type operators. They can be manufactured from timber, steel and GPR materials.
To discover the best style of garage door for your home, visit the Big List of Garage Door Manufacturers at my website. Here you find a directory of all the big and small manufacturers with links to their websites.
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