Sliding vs. Overhead Garage Doors: Advantages & Disadvantages

What’s the difference between overhead and sliding garage doors? Each has their advantages, depending on your needs, use of the door and space constraints. Here are a few issues you need to consider.

Overhead doors

Overhead doors run along vertical and horizontal tracks. Overhead is a very practical choice for large cars or trucks or if the opening of your door is so small you can barely get your car in. These doors work well with electric garage door openers. They have multiple hinged panels instead of a single panel system. This way, each panel can be replaced independently if one is damaged by weather, accident or wear and tear.

Sliding doors

Sliding doors run along garage door tracks at the top and bottom part of the doors. The advantage is you don’t have to open them all the way and still get full ceiling clearance. This is handy if you just need to grab tools, a motorcycle or bike, or need to enter yourself. Less heat will be lost this way upon entry and you don’t have to hassle with the door going up and down. Modern sliding doors don’t even require extra space at the outer sides of the garage. You can instead get sectional doors which are more space efficient.

Another advantage to sliding doors is you have more overhead space. This way you can store canoes, ladders, bikes, and other equipment on the ceiling without worrying the door will get in the way. And yes, you can install an automatic opener with sliding doors. One option is to have the opener located on the sidewall as opposed to the ceiling. This is usually much more convenient for space.