Recognizing Garage Door Issues

This Way, That Way, And The Other Way: Three Ways Garage Doors Can Be Opened And How To Choose

by Billy Olson

Residential garage doors now come with so many options. Do you want a double-wide door, or a standard door? Maybe you need one of each? Do you want security systems on those doors, or are you content just to lock them manually? With so many options, you can lose track of the simplest of decisions when choosing a new garage door. For example, in what way or direction do you want the door to open? There are actually three different ways a residential garage door can open. 

Straight up, Outward, and Back

​These doors are very stiff. They are one complete panel with no flexible movement. They lift straight up and outward, and then roll back into the garage. You have to have plenty of clearance in front of your garage for the door to open and close, or you will not be able to open and close it. If you do not mind opening and closing a garage door manually, or keeping the car some distance back from the garage as the door opens, then this door can be a nice addition to your garage. It also lends itself well to painted or stained decoration.

Rolling Upward and Back

This is the traditional garage door with which most people are familiar. It is segmented horizontally, and it rolls upward and back on a set of casters and tracks. It is also the easiest door to use in conjunction with a garage door opener and/or a garage door security system. Most people prefer this type of door, and there is always enough of them to go around, regardless of where and how you buy the door.

​Opening Outward or Inward (Like Carriage House Doors)

Your last option is often one chosen by people who love the carriage house door look, and/or who are replacing really old, antique carriage house doors. You can use these doors to restore the ones you have, or use them to replace one of the other types of doors listed above. Just be aware that you cannot use the usual garage door opener with these doors. If you want to automate these doors, you will have to use a gate opening system instead, and you will have to choose which way you want the doors to swing. Do you want them to swing outward or inward when they open? Sometimes, with the way that the opening in the garage is constructed, you only get one choice in the direction they move.

Contact a garage door service for more help.