Sliding Garage Door vs Side Hinged Garage Door

If you are looking to replace your garage door, there are several options available to you. These include the following mechanisms: side-hinged, tilting, roller, sliding and sectional. In addition, the door operation can be manual or automated and operated with a remote control.

Two of the most popular selections are side-hinged and sliding garage doors, and there are a few good reasons why. Here is a summary and comparison of how they both work.

The hinged door, normally supplied in pairs, uses the oldest and most basic approach to opening, that is, having a swinging door supported by hinges. Doors are usually made of wood and this gives them a unique look and means they can be painted or treated with preservatives. These doors use conventional handles and locks and one door can be opened while the other is left closed. They can be repainted or repaired and the hinges can be changed or replaced.

The sliding garage door mechanism is completely different. The door will be metallic and will combine guides and rollers that will allow it to slide to one side of the garage opening. The door is usually not a single continuous unit, but rather an interconnected set of panels that fold at their junction and this means that the panels can run on rails that fold or curve. The advantage of this is that the door can slide to one side of the opening, or even slide to an adjacent wall (ie at 90 degrees to the opening).

A big difference between the two systems is the location of the door when it is open. Hinged doors open outwards. This leaves the interior of the garage clear, but means that any obstructions in front of the entrance will prevent it from opening.

With the sliding method, all that is required is a clear wall for travel and any obstructions that may be present on either side of the door do not impede opening and closing. On home garage doors, the door panel will slide to the inside of the wall.

Another big difference is the motorization potential. Side-hinged doors can be motorized, but can be problematic on windy days and the challenge is getting both pairs of doors to sync up perfectly.

With sliding doors motorization is ideal. The smooth operation of rollers on rails makes automation easy and this means that remote control is often the best way to operate this opening system. Most home gates of this type come with motors and remote controls.

Other factors worth considering are, of course, cost and maintenance. The traditional pair of wooden doors remains the cheapest and easiest to maintain option. There is no complexity in the operation of the hinges! Periodic painting or treating of the wood is required, but this is relatively unskilled work.

Sliding doors certainly cost more money, but they are easy to use, easy to automate, and require little maintenance unless something goes wrong (which is rare). Most will have a permanent protective coating, so there’s no need to paint, and many have insulated panels that help keep the garage warm.

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