Which is Best? Roller Garage Doors vs Sectional Garage Doors
If you’re in the market for a brand new garage door, choosing one specific style over another is a challenge — especially when they’re so evenly matched. Roller doors and sectional doors are two of the most popular garage door styles in the UK, and deciding which one is better for your home will likely come down to personal preference. But to help make the decision easier for you, and to highlight the differences between these two fantastic options, let’s compare them in detail.
What are the differences between sectional and roller garage doors — and the similarities?
In terms of operation — how the doors open and close — they’re quite similar. Both roller and sectional doors are compact, opening vertically and not taking up any external space in front of the garage. That means you can park your car as close to either door as you want without worry.
But the differences become apparent when you look at construction and aesthetics. A roller door is typically made with aluminium — although you can choose steel, as well — and is formed of interlinked, individual slats, locking together to form a ‘curtain’, which rolls up neatly when opened. A sectional door is made of multiple panels connected together into one consistent sheet. Sectional doors can be built from a wider array of materials, including galvanised steel, aluminium, timber and GRP (fibreglass).
Sectional doors do not roll up, so they require more internal, overhead space for installation, as the door will slide along rails and settle along the ceiling of the garage when fully opened. Roller doors will roll neatly into a box, which can be installed either inside or outside of the garage aperture.
Roller vs sectional garage doors: which looks best?
Aesthetics and design are both subjective topics, but if you look at the range of design options available for each door style, it’s clear that sectional doors have more room for personalisation. In terms of door design, roller doors are limited; you can choose for a design with narrow slats or wider slats, but the basic horizontal slat design is ubiquitous no matter what. Sectional doors, however, have a large range of design differences you can select from.
The classic Georgian cassette is one of the most enduring designs available, and is often chosen for its ability to imbue a property with prestige. However, if you prefer a more modern aesthetic, you can opt for a sectional door with clean, straight lines, spaced far apart to provide a more sleek, contemporary style.
Both door styles can be decorated in a wide range of colours, so the preference here comes down to how much control you want over the overall design and visual appeal. You can find a lot of examples in our gallery for both roller garage doors and sectional garage doors, to give you examples of the kinds of styles available.
Security should be one of the most important considerations to make when buying a new garage door. Arguably, roller and sectional doors are the two most secure garage door styles you can buy. But what are the security features of each?
Both door types present an effective deterrent to potential thieves because they lack any obvious leverage point — such as handles. Because of this, a passing intruder will be less inclined to attempt a break in compared to, say, an older up and over garage door.
In terms of construction, there are a few differences which influence the security of these doors, but on the whole, both are sturdy options. Roller doors can be single or double skinned, with the double-skinned option being the more secure simply because it makes the curtain stronger. The panels of a sectional door, too, can be double skinned, strengthening what is already a strong construction.
Doors supplied by reputable manufacturers will be equipped with multiple locking systems, as well as the Europrofile locking cylinder which, if there is a manual locking mechanism installed, will prevent intruders from drilling through the lock.
The level of security you gain depends on the type of door you buy; opting for the cheapest door from a little-known supplier means you might be investing in something with weaker security features. If you want the best possible security for your door, you should look into the exact model. With roller doors, for instance, you can choose an Allguard roller door with Secured By Design (SBD) accreditation, which will be vastly more dependable than the cheapest, single-skinned model.
Roller vs sectional garage doors: which is best for insulation?
For double-skinned roller doors, each slat is insulated with a thick foam insert. The door will also be fitted with rubber weather stripping along the bottom and seals around the top and sides. However, due to the fact that the curtain itself is made with interlinking slats, the small gaps between slats can reduce the quoted U-value of the door. Still, an insulated, double-skinned roller door will provide a reliable level of insulation.
If you’re renovating your garage and turning it into a living space, office or something similar, insulation will be extremely important. A sectional door is fitted with thick foam-filled panels, along with rubber sealing around the top, sides and bottom. The thickness of the foam, and the fact that a sectional door is continuous, not interlinked, does provide a more reliable, measurable U-value compared to roller doors, and will likely be the better option if you plan to use your garage for leisure on a regular basis.
Roller vs sectional garage doors: which is best for accessibility?
A common reason for replacing an old garage door is accessibility; a manual door can be harder to open for those with a disability or mobility issues, so choosing an automated door makes using your garage much easier — and safer.
Roller doors are automated as standard, making them an incredibly popular choice for those with accessibility concerns. Sectional doors are easily automated, and you will typically choose this option during the planning stage, making it just as easy to obtain as a roller door. However, internal space is more of an issue here, as you’ll need to incorporate a boom and a motor — as well as the space needed for the overhead tracks. For simplicity, a roller door is a good option here.
Roller vs sectional garage doors: emergency overrides
Automated doors are a safe choice, but there will be some instances where your door may lose power and will need to be manually opened in an emergency. Following on from the above point, regarding accessibility, it’s wise to have an idea of the emergency operation procedure for whichever door you want to install.
Roller doors will be fitted with an emergency winding mechanism which allows you to open the door manually. The installed panel can be operated with a winding crank, which you will need to turn to open the door.
For sectional doors, the emergency opening operation is also very simple. It comprises of a lock which will release the motor from the door itself, allowing full manual operation so you can open and close the door by lifting and pulling it. The door will still be aided by a spring balance mechanism, so the door will do most of the work for you.
If you’re searching for a new garage door and are stuck between the roller and sectional styles, get in touch with the team at Doormatic and we can guide you to the best type of door for your home. We supply and install garage doors from leading manufacturers, providing in–depth surveys to ensure nothing is left to chance, and we can also provide a garage door maintenance service to ensure your new door is at its best at all times. To find out more, contact us today.