What kind of garage door do you want?  Here is a description with pros and cons of the most popular types.

1.   Sectional Garage Doors

A sectional garage door is the most popular type of garage door used in the U.S.  These garage doors are comprised of horizontal panels which allow the door to roll upward while “bending” as it goes into the garage.  A garage door opener easily opens and closed these types of doors.

Generally, these garage doors are made up of two sheets of steel with optional foam for installation inserted in between. Insulation reduces heat loss significantly.  These doors also provide security due to the added thickness of the insulation.

The sectional garage door is space efficient as it only goes up and down.  It works well if your drive through area is small. Installed and fitted on the inside of the garage, the door lies horizontal to the roof line on the inside of the garage, so it takes up minimum usable space.

A safety sensor detects if anything is underneath the door when the door is closing.  Detection of blocking the doorway will stop the door and reverse its direction.

2. Roll-Up Garage Doors

A rolling garage door is the best choice for a compact solution, although disadvantages include the appearance and limited design availability for this type.  The slats of aluminum or steel roll up on an overhead barrel, eliminating the need for horizontal tracks.  Without the need for horizontal tracks, this type of garage door conserves space and works for low indoor heights.

With insulation, this type of garage door is durable and secure.  Many commercial garage doors are this type, i.e., storage or warehouse businesses. They also work with automatic door opener.

3. Canopy Tilt-Up Garage Door

Canopy tilt-up garage doors are made of a single panel and swing up to open.  Benefits to this type of door is its affordability and quick installation.

Using only vertical tracks, when open the door protrudes beyond the door opening, causing a small canopy.  These doors use steel cables and torsion springs, and usually comes with a built-in anti-drop safety device. In the event of a cable or spring breaking, this safety device prevents accidents.

4. Swing-Out Garage Doors

Swing-out garage doors, or carriage house doors as they are also called, have their hinges on the side. 

These type of garage doors operate like standard doors that open outward.  The door is held in place by the hinges and can be locked with a key.  Automatic models are also available.

Made of wood, you can opt for polyurethane or polystyrene insulation. This is usually more important in cold climates where energy efficiency and heat loss can affect your energy bill.

5. Side Sliding Garage Doors

Multiple sections make up a side sliding door, which slides to the side to open instead of the common upward direction.  These have optional automatic models as well as bi-parting models.

If you do not want the ceiling touched, this is the choice for you since it does not hang from the ceiling as other types of garage door do.

However, it does take up space on the side of the garage, so if you have a narrow garage door, this type may not be the best choice for you.


6. Retractable Tilt-Up Garage Doors

A retractable garage door is also a single-panel door. It runs on horizontal tracks and, unlike a canopy garage door, it does not extend beyond the piers in a horizontal position.

Also, it usually works with an electric operator, so you can use a door opener remote to conveniently open and close it without having to get out of your car. Another benefit of a retractable door is that even if you own a manual one, it’s much easier to automate than a canopy door.

These garage doors typically require more space in the garage, as they need horizontal tracks and usually an electric operator that will reduce the height of the garage. Also, most models reduce the drive-through width to some extent.

7. Bi-fold Garage Doors

Bi-fold garage doors fold to each side and are usually operated manually, although you can pay extra for an automatic one. 

Usually made of wood, their appearance is natural and appealing.  There is a wide variety of designs to add to the attractiveness of your home.

There is a rail on which the doors are attached on the ceiling.  However, in order for the smooth operation of these types of doors, your floor must be unobstructed and even.