Overhead Garage Doors versus Other Options - Helotes Overhead Doors
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Overhead Garage Doors versus Other Options

Overhead Garage Doors versus Other Options

Overhead garage doors are immensely popular – most people don’t even realize that other garage doors are an option!


We love overhead doors – as you could probably guess from the name of our company. Non-overhead residential garage doors do have their advantages, though – it all depends on what you want from your garage. With that in mind, we’re going to talk about 4 styles of garage doors that aren’t overhead, and compare them to overhead doors. With the information we give you, you can come to your own verdict!


Sliding doors


Sliding doors, sometimes called slide-to-the-side doors, were quite popular before overhead doors became the norm. As you can tell by the name, they open horizontally instead of vertically. This makes slide-to-the-side doors a great choice if you want to take advantage of the overhead space in your garage.


They’re also a great option for people who go in and out of their garage frequently without moving their vehicles. You only need to open the sliding door enough that you can walk through the gap – with an overhead door, you’d have to roll through a gap. That’s something we highly recommend you don’t do.


So why have sliding doors dwindled in popularity? The main reason is cost – they’re more expensive than their overhead cousins. They’re also slightly more prone to mechanical problems, and they tend to provide a less efficient seal.


Side-hinged doors


Side-hinged doors are cinematic. They’re reminiscent of barn doors (and often made of wood) so if you’ve ever dreamt of swinging your garage doors open dramatically, they might be the perfect fit. They can be ideal if you’re redesigning your whole garage as something of a den, complete with fancy epoxy floor coatings, furniture, and a nice paint job.


Most side-hinged doors are opened manually, but you can automate them. The disadvantages of these doors are twofold. They’re more expensive than overhead doors, and they require a lot more space, since they swing open outwards. Don’t plan on having any cars parked in the driveway if you’re using side-hinged doors.


Tilt-up doors


Tilt-up doors are kind of like overhead doors. The main difference is that tilt-up doors are a single panel that tilts up, instead of a sectional door that slides up. The advantage of tilt-up doors? They’re less expensive to install.


The disadvantages? We could go on and on. They’re walking (tilting?) safety hazards – the bottom lifts out instead of up, so the area in front of them needs to be clear at all times. They’re also more prone to catastrophic failure. And regular failure – the motors on these things die really quickly, because they have to lift an entire heavy panel.


We’ve tried to remain as unbiased as possible this whole piece, but tilt-up doors are almost definitely not the way to go. The money you save in installation you’ll almost definitely lose to repairs. Skip these.


Roll-up doors


These doors are sectional, like overhead doors – more specifically, roll-up doors are made of interlocked slats. They open vertically, and the slats gather into a roll.


These doors are quite good – they put a bit less pressure on the motor than overhead doors, so they’re less prone to wear and tear. They’re extremely popular for commercial and industrial buildings because they tend to get a lot more use in these environments. Roll-up doors are typically more expensive to install than their overhead cousins, but the savings on maintenance in high use environments can recoup those costs.


They tend not to be used in residential garages for two reasons. First, the lower maintenance costs are negligible if you’re not using your garage door several times a day. Second – well, they’re just not that good looking. Overhead doors come in a far greater variety of styles than roll-up doors. 


It’s up to you!


We hope this comparison has helped you better understand the different styles of garage doors, and how they stack up to overhead doors. As you can see, every style has its advantages (except, perhaps, tilt-up doors). 


We love overhead doors because they’re extremely versatile and aesthetically pleasing, all while being among the least expensive of options. If you’re interested in a new overhead door for your garage, get in touch with us! 

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