What’s the Difference Between Single Panel and Sectional Garage Doors?

February 28, 2023

In the realm of garage doors, there have been many styles over the years—from carriage doors to more modern designs. Two of the major design features of garage doors, both from a functional and aesthetic standpoint, have been single panel and sectional. These two designs have formed the basis of countless garage doors all over the world. 

What’s the difference between single panel and sectional garage doors, and how does this impact their design customization and operation? 

What is a Single Panel Garage Door?

Single panel garage doors are an older, more traditional style of garage door that are made using a single panel that opens as one piece. These types of garage doors are still used today, but they were far more common in older homes and detached garages, often being used as carriage house doors for years. Today, even modern homes use these types of doors because of their unique aesthetic. Single panel garage doors operate on a hinge system rather than the overhead tracks systems on modern garage doors. This is because the door itself cannot separate or properly move along the tracks. 

What is a Sectional Garage Door?

Sectional garage doors are what you will find on most modern homes today. These doors are generally split into four or more sections (or panels) that are joined by hinges. When the door is closed, it appears as a single, seamless piece of wood. When the door opens, those panels allow the door to bend so that it can open and move along the tracks as it’s raised. Even modern carriage style doors may look like they are made from a single piece of wood but are actually made from sectional pieces. 

Are There Pros to Having a Single Panel Garage Door?

Single panel wood garage doors will be made from a single piece of wood that is customized to have any design style and features you need. These types of garage doors are completely seamless because they are only made of one panel, and they also have fewer components that can wear down over time. However, these doors need space to open. Because they are hooked up to a hinge, rather than tracks, the door needs to swing upward and outward when it opens. This means that nothing can be in the way to block the door when it moves. 

The Pros of Having a Sectional Garage Doors

Sectional wood garage doors have become the standard on most homes for a few good reasons. They do not require space to open. They allow for the door to be partially opened (for ventilation purposes), and they do not hinder any customization during the design process. Sectional wood garage doors can be just as beautiful and intricately designed as those made from a single piece of wood. They will also appear seamless when closed, giving any home a finished and sophisticated look.  

Looking for inspiration for an all-wood garage door design? Take a look at our inspiration guide. Need a consultation on a specific door design? Reach out to our team for a free design consultation. 

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