Sectioned garage door vs solid garage door; pros and cons

Have you ever wondered about the differences between sectioned garage doors and solid ones? Believe it or not, both have pros and cons. Here at McDonough Garage Door Repair we are often asked which one is better, and our answer may seem evasive at first as our reply is always “that depends on you.”

Each person’s garage door needs and budget are different so there’s really no one size fits all solution to this question. Read on. Here in McDonough, GA we have all four seasons of weather and, as part of the greater Atlanta metro area, we have residential neighborhoods reflecting all different styles and budgets. It all comes down to your choice in the end.

Solid garage doors 

There was once a time when all garage doors were solid. Back in the 1950s and 60s, every home that had a garage closed it with a solid garage door made of wood. This is opposed to the sectioned ones that are made of panels which are all connected to a metal frame. Your solid doors had to be manually opened and closed by either lifting up or down. Today, we can attach a solid garage door to an opener unit so manual opening is no longer required. For those desiring a retro look, solid garage doors offer a distinctive look and appeal. Just be double sure to get out of the way when opening your solid garage door; since they are solid and don’t roll up you must stand clear as they swing outward quite a bit in front.

Sectioned garage doors 

A huge benefit of these multi-paneled garage doors is that they roll up. There’s less chance of injury as the whole door does not need to swing upward and outward like the solid doors. As stated earlier, sectioned garage doors are made up of panels that are all attached to a frame. When the door is opened, these sections roll up and into the garage instead of swinging outward in one solid piece. Not only is this safer, but you don’t have to clear a path in front of your garage door just to open it. It’s a known fact that most home buyers today want the sectioned, roll up doors. These are so popular that home builders don’t even ask your preference; sectioned garage doors are automatically included with every new home purchase by default.

You still have a choice 

Don’t worry; if having a tilt up garage door is important to you, they are still sold, and can be installed by yourself or by a professional. We recommend that you do a little research first so that you don’t wind up with buyer’s remorse and spend more money and time on your garage door preferences than you need to. On the other hand, you are reading this, so that’s a good start! You are always welcome to call our shop and speak to our full service garage door repair techs. If you don’t live in the area, call a local garage door repair shop in Mcdonough for additional details. Find one that welcomes your questions and answers them gladly.

Springs for solid garage doors 

Now, if you have a solid garage door, you will use extension springs. They too, have pros and cons. For instance, extension springs cost less than torsion springs which the roll up doors use. On the other hand, they tend to not last as long so either way, the pros and cons cancel each other out. For instance, torsion springs tend to last for 15 to 20 thousand cycles while extension springs tend to last for about half of that. A garage door opener cycle is considered one open and one close. Another “con” for extension springs is that they can be dangerous when they snap or break. They contain such power that broken extension springs can actually fly through drywall or windshields!

Problems to consider 

Weight can sometimes be a problem. When you have a sectioned garage door, the weight is more evenly distributed over many pieces. You don’t have that with a solid piece of wood. On solid garage doors the weight is concentrated on the middle of the door and over time, these doors tend to collapse under their own weight and full replacement is needed. Solid garage doors cannot use metal as it is simply too heavy and even with wood doors, the material must be thin and reasonably light. Also, remember that you are manually lifting and lowering your door so you don’t want anything too large or heavy to manage. Also, wood doors require periodic painting so there will be upkeep costs there. The paint maintains a good look and also helps keep away termites and dry rot. Another possible drawback is that you can’t replace a single section of your garage door like you can with the roll up doors. If someone backs into your garage door and breaks part of it, the whole door will need to be replaced.


So, what do you think about solid garage doors now?


If you have further questions, call our shop and discuss them with our experienced staff. There are many factors to consider including maintenance, cost, appearance and style. Maybe you don’t need a sectioned garage door for your main garage and are thinking of a golf cart garage or a third car bay that won’t be used much. A solid wood garage door may be perfect for that. You may be an investor, fixing up a repo for a future renter and adding a solid garage door fits your parameters, especially if it’s an older neighborhood where tilt ups are prevalent.

On the other hand if you like certain garage door styles and materials like aluminum, steel or fiberglass, you might want to stick with sectioned garage doors for versatility and appearance. Always keep in mind that unless you plan to hold the property long term, your future buyers or renters may prefer a more modern and convenient sectioned garage door.

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