Single-Panel vs. Sectional Garage Doors: The Differences

When it comes to garage doors, you have one of two main types to choose from. They are single-panel and sectional. While most people go with sectional ones these days, single-panel is still a viable option. If you aren’t quite sure what the differences are between these two options, we’ll help you determine if the single-panel or sectional garage door best fits your needs.


The key difference between these two garage door types is how they function. Single-panel options use a strong hinge-based system that pulls the door upward without overhead tracks. Since the door is a solid piece, it can’t follow a track system as a sectional one can. That means it must extend past the confines of where the door closes. This can lead to problems if you keep a large vehicle in your garage or regularly park one in your driveway.

The big draw of sectionals is that they move straight across a track, meaning they won’t need the extra space that a single-panel garage door will to open and close properly. It’s able to do this because it’s broken up into multiple sections. Each one tilts as it moves up the track, leading to a seamless transition.


While functionality is critical when making a purchase like this, one thing most people care about much more is how the final product looks. That’s why you need to consider the difference in aesthetics between single-panel and sectional garage doors. Most people prefer the sectional look, which is why they’re more popular than single-panel these days.

However, single-panel doors are perfect for that vintage look. This type was much more popular in older homes, so if that’s a style you’d like to achieve, installing one of these is the best option for you. On top of that, the lightweight nature of the single-panel, plus its non-segmented structure, means that you can have a single-panel garage door made out of nearly any material on the market. Sectional ones are much more limited.

Overall Cost

Of course, the most important factor to consider here is the cost. In terms of the initial cost, single-panel doors will be significantly cheaper than sectional ones. They have fewer parts and are easier to install. On top of that, since they’re not as complex, they are much less likely to fail.

While that’s a nice plus, once they fail, the price to fix them will be much higher than that of a sectional door. Since sectionals have multiple parts, you won’t have to replace the entire door any time a part of it breaks, making garage door repair services for them much cheaper. While they have a higher initial cost and more difficult installation, the cheaper repairs attract many people to buy sectional doors instead.