Single Panel vs. Sectional Garage Doors: What’s the Difference?

Residential garage doors generally come in many different colors, sizes, and designs. However, two of the most common styles are single panel garage doors and sectional, panel-style doors. Either option can be a welcome addition to a home, especially when properly installed and maintained. Still, it never hurts to have a good idea of how these two common styles that may end up on your Pittsburgh garage stack up when compared.


At one time, single panels garage doors were widely considered to be cheaper in price than sectional ones. This isn’t so much the case anymore because single panel doors are harder to find and in higher demand among historically-minded homeowners. Sectional doors, on the other hand, are widely available in many price ranges, making it easier to shop around. However, due to their simplicity, one-piece doors tend to cost less to maintain and repair.


The main appeal of single panel garage doors is their vintage look. And because there’s just one piece, the panel can be conveniently stained or painted to match existing exterior features without worrying about intrusive section gaps. Modern sectional garage doors can be just as versatile. Whether your prefer carriage house styles or contemporary flush panels, sectional doors can mimic many different preferred looks.


If your garage is adjacent to your home, then you’ll definitely want a door that provides a strong barrier against indoor and outdoor air. Sectional doors generally have the advantage if insulation quality is one of your top concerns.

Ease of Use and Space

Both styles are fairly easy to operate because of spring systems that help with lift. Because there are no tracks, and springs and levers are along the interior edges, single panel garage doors have more headspace. Sectional doors require outward clearance when opened.


Extension springs on each side of single panel doors serve the same function as the torsion spring does on sectional garage doors. This only becomes a serious safety concern if springs aren’t properly maintained or upgraded to be in line with current safety standards. Also, one-piece doors can only withstand so much wind and they can’t be reinforced.

Ultimately, what’s best for your Pittsburgh garage will depend on several factors, such as how exposed your garage is to the elements, your available budget, and the overall size of your garage. When you turn to a company like Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors , you’ll benefit from additional assistance with your garage door selection. Added insights from experienced garage door technicians can help you make a confident decision when it’s time for a new installation or replacement.