Garage Door Styles

Garage Door Styles

Garage Door Styles & Operation

January 2018


As a result of today’s auto-centric world, the garage and garage door have earned a nearly-guaranteed place in modern residential homes. Almost all garage doors operate in one of three fashions:


1. Swing out

  • This style involves two garage doors that “swing out” like French doors. They are also sometimes called carriage-house doors. Note the handles in the center of the garage in the photo below.


  • What to consider:
  • Space. Swing-out doors require room to operate in your driveway. Cars parked too close to the doors will prevent them from opening. However, they will also keep your garage ceiling clear if you have other purposes for that space.
  • Automation. Because the doors open horizontally rather than vertically, automating swing-out doors costs more than automating roll-up garages.


2. Swing-up (also called tilt-up)

  • Garage doors that swing or tilt up cost less than rolling doors because they do not require hinges within the door to operate. Like swing-out doors, tilt-up garage doors require driveway clearance to function, although typically less.
  • What to consider:
  • Overhead clearance. In the image to the right, you can see the space between the door and the top of the frame. That space is necessary for installation and operation, and varies by the size, style, and brand of the door.


3. Roll-up

  • Roll-up doors are the most common garage door style in the United States. This makes them an affordable option with a wide material selection and great design potential. Automation has become the standard in most installations.
  • What to consider:
  • Overhead clearance. Most roll-up garages need a 14-inch clearance to include the automation track. Jeanne Huber of writes that lower-clearance tracks are available, but they cost around $100 dollars more.
  • Maintenance. Like most automated things, roll-up garages can require more maintenance than others simply because of the technology used to operate them. However, most issues can be resolved with a quick internet search and a few minutes of patience. Nonetheless, manual versions are available.







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