sectional garage doors

Sectional Garage Doors vs. Single-Panel – Which Makes More Sense for Your Operation?

In the market for a new garage door for your Cleveland commercial site? One of the first things to figure out is if you want sectional garage doors or a single-panel garage door.

Generally in our experience, sectional garage doors are preferred overall – both for commercial and residential customers.

That said, we recognize commercial property owners must consider many factors when choosing the best garage door for their operations. Among these:

That’s why there’s never a one-size-fits-all when it comes to commercial garage doors. Here, Advance Door Inc. helps break down the pros and cons of both single-panel and sectional garage doors.

Single Panel Garage Doors

single-panel garage doors Cleveland

Single panel garage doors were the traditional choice for commercial property owners in the early 20th Century. They’re made from a single panel and are designed to swing out or tilt up as a single piece.

They’re simple, easy-to-install, durable, and provide a simple, clean-line aesthetic appeal. They offer full access with a single, upward motion – ideal for when you frequently need quick, wide access. They also tend to be quite affordable, as one piece costs less to construct than numerous panels.

However, they do have some downsides. Among them:

  • Space limitations. Single-panel garage doors need a fair amount of clearance space on the outside to swing up and open. That can be a deal-breaker for commercial sites that might have limited space externally or heavy foot/vehicle traffic in/around that space.
  • Safety concerns. This is especially true if there’s a lot of activity around the door. Single-panel door owners have to really prioritize maintenance too because if any of those springs or hardware fail, the entire door could come crashing down.
  • Minimal insulation. If your garage space requires temperature control, single-panel doors may not be the best option for you.

Despite some of the drawbacks, single-paneled garage doors may still be a good choice for:

  • Historical buildings. Single-panel doors can help preserve both the architectural integrity and aesthetic of the building – both of which are important for older buildings.
  • Auto repair shops. Quick, wide, unobstructed access is good for a facility that needs to keep cars moving in and out all day long.
  • Smaller warehouses. If a warehouse/storage space is smaller and not managing complex functions, a single-panel door can be a cost-effective, practical solution.
  • Retail backrooms. The straightforward design of single-panel doors can be great for quick-access for inventory management and restocking.
  • Loading docks. Where straightforward operation and cost are prioritized over space efficiency, single-panel garage doors may be preferrable to sectional garage doors for loading docks.

Sectional Garage Doors

Cleveland sectional garage doors

Sectional garage doors are composed of multiple horizontal panels hinged together. The panels bend and curve when the door opens and closes, typically sliding along a track that runs vertically but then horizontally parallel to the ceiling.

They’re relatively new to the garage door scene – gaining popularity popularity in the 1930s – alongside the expanded use of automobiles. Prior to this, single-panel doors, which swing up in a single piece, were much more common.

The design innovation of sectional panels for garage doors was especially beneficial urban environments and commercial properties – where space efficiency is essential. Demand has only grown since, with advances in materials, manufacturing techniques, and various automation technologies.

Primary benefits of our Cleveland sectional garage doors:

  • Space efficiency. Because they doors open vertically on a track, it’s not necessary to ensure external clearance space.
  • Versatility. These doors come in all manner of materials, styles, finishes, etc. Customers have extensive customization options.
  • Durability and maintenance. Our sectional doors are typically made of robust materials – steel, aluminum, and insulated composites – that stand up heavy use and harsh conditions. That means less frequent maintenance and less time between replacements.
  • Security. Panels can be reinforced and we can install advanced locking mechanisms that can be integrated with security systems. This is particularly important for commercial customers that are storing valuable inventory, equipment, or sensitive information.
  • Energy efficiency. Sectional doors can help maintain internal temperatures, which makes them ideal for places like warehouses, manufacturing facilities, and food storage sites.

In addition to warehousing sites, sectional doors are also popular at dealerships, retail stores, fire stations, and emergency services fleet hubs.

If you’re considering installation of single-panel or sectional garage doors in Cleveland, Parma, or elsewhere in Northeast Ohio – we can help!

Advance Door Co. provides commercial door products, services, repairs, and replacements to customers throughout Northeast Ohio, including Cleveland, Parma, and surrounding communities. Contact us via email or by calling (216) 220-6022.

Additional Resources:

IBHS Research Finds a Strong Garage Door is Key to Preventing a Cascade of Damage During Severe Weather, April 29, 2020, Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety

More Blog Entries:

Why Industrial Steel Doors Make the Most Sense for Commercial Sites, April 5, 2024, Parma Commercial Door Company Blog