Homeowners and businesses alike have any given motivation behind shopping for a new garage door. From wanting to improve curb appeal to needing a new set of panels, many do not realize the various options offered when shopping for garage doors. In addition to the customary overhead garage door, buyers are now looking at considering options such as sliding garage doors.

Both sliding and traditional garage doors allow for different materials and complex designs. Therefore, clients have the freedom to create custom design options regarding colors, hardware, materials used, and the implementation of additional add-ons such as windows, decorative hinges, and woodwork. Well, which one best works for me? You might be thinking about which garage door fits the needs for your home or business. Below is a breakdown showing the benefits and disadvantages to owning and operating both sliding garage doors and traditional garage doors.

Sliding Garage Doors

Sliding garage doors were most commonly used for agricultural or commercial spaces, but due to a rise in demand, they can now also be effectively implemented and utilized in a home. This type of garage door offers multiple arrangements as you can have one large paneled door or a pair of bi-parting doors. Replacing the overhead garage door storage with a horizontal retraction, this version of a garage door offers multiple, tangible uses for daily life in the home or at work.


Full Height Accessibility

One of the greatest benefits about this feature is that no matter how wide you need to open the door, it always opens at full height. To some, this means no more ducking under a cracked garage door to collect a forgotten item to save time or energy. Sliding garage doors are helpful when you need access to the garage to get a tool, store a motorcycle or bike, or enter yourself without opening the garage all the way.

With full height accessibility, it is also important to know that since the motor and tracks are placed horizontally, you will have more overhead space to work with. You will feel the difference as you realize how much you can store overhead.

Lower Energy Costs

As sliding garage doors open horizontally, you can save some money on your utility bills every time you open the door for reasons other than moving a vehicle. When traditional garage doors open vertically, more space is available for the heat or air conditioning to escape your garage.

Less Disruptive Motor

This feature greatly impacts anyone keen on noise control, especially for rooms directly above the garage. With the garage door tracks set horizontally, the motor does not need to pull with as much force to open the doors, therefore reducing noise. A sliding garage door’s quiet motor could be greatly appreciated by homeowner’s whose children’s bedroom is directly above the garage.

Quick Maintenance

An additional benefit to a sliding garage door includes an easy maintenance factor. If a panel on the garage door were damaged, the hardware, panel, and track repairs are made quickly due to only replacing a single panel rather than the entire door.

Ease of Use

Sliding Garage doors can be opened or closed manually or electrically with the use of a motor. In the event you lost power at home or at your business, opening a sliding garage door can be done quickly and efficiently by almost anyone. With the horizontal track, you exert less force to open the door as opposed to lifting a garage door vertically as with traditional garage doors.


More Expensive Installation

With heavier materials and custom designs to increase durability and longevity at use, installation for sliding garage doors is typically a pricey matter. Though easy to replace in the event of a malfunction, cost will be one of the greatest considerations.

Cooler Temperatures May Invoke Bottom Track Malfunctions

Given that sliding garage doors often invoke a bottom track, it is possible that the winter elements could cause damage. However, this could be avoided by installing a heating cable to help melt away snow and ice. 


swinging garage doors

Traditional Garage Doors

Traditional garage doors can be easily recognized by their clean paneling that ascends vertically to tuck into your garage’s ceiling, off the floor and above your vehicles or equipment.


Practical for Wide Vehicles

Traditional garage doors highly cater to practicality when storing large cars or trucks that already make the width of your garage feel narrow and cramped as the paneling raises overhead, leaving room for below.

Accessible and Affordable

More widely accessible and mass produced, traditional overhead garage doors can typically be purchased at an affordable rate from both homeowners and businesses. For residential or commercial use, if on a limited budget but in need of a garage door, you will find more manufacturers selling traditional, overhead garage doors.


Less Overhead Garage Space Available

Though this helps with freeing space below for wider vehicles, your overhead garage storage is taken up by the garage door, motor, and tracks. However, if all you need to store in a garage are vehicles or simple machinery, then this is not necessarily a detriment to you or your business.

Higher Energy Costs

In the heat of summer or the thick of winter’s chill, your garage emits unnecessary bouts of heating and air conditioning every time your door opens, taking more time and energy to replenish your garage’s temperature back to its original state. If you needed to open your garage for a moment to walk into or out from the garage, you would need to bring the garage door high enough for you to walk through or duck under. With the height factored, the entire width of the opening is letting in the outdoor elements, affecting your garage’s temperature.

Noisy Overhead Motors

Have you or someone you know noticed how noisy an overhead garage could be from the room or commercial space directly above? Given that the motor for traditional, overhead garage doors is attached to the ceiling, the loud racketing of the motor and door ascending the track could awaken a sleeping baby, disrupt a business meeting, or generally distract anyone in the room above.

Regardless of the garage door model you select, you want to feel confident in the product’s durability and longevity. Richards-Wilcox Hardware works hard to ensure premium hardware options for any garage door selected to endure more than the typical wear and tear. With multiple style options, Richards-Wilcox Hardware caters to all preferences when offering tracks, mounting brackets, and end stops. Contact us today to see how we can equip your next garage door for the long haul.