There are two main types of roll up garage doors. There are ones that are like steel curtains that actually roll up into a cylinder above your entry way and there are ones that are made of several panels hinged together that roll up on tracks that store the door just below the garage ceiling.
A true roll up garage door is one where the door is rolled up into a cylinder above the entry way. It is a sort of steel or aluminum curtain that is attached to the rear of the top front wall of the garage, above the door opening with tracks that guide it on either side of the entry way on the inside.
These doors can be installed very quickly. I’ve seen a video online where two people installed a commercial roll up garage door in less than five minutes. Do not expect to do it that fast yourself, since they were trained professionals, but you could realistically install one in less than an hour.
The panel roll up models are much more common for residential installations. They are usually made by hinging five or six panels together so that the door is flexible enough to roll up on its tracks and store itself under the ceiling. They are a lot more complicated to install because there are many more parts. The track has to go up the sides of the door and across the ceiling towards the back of the garage. Each panel has to be attached with hinges to the next panel, etc.
Costs, Brands and Where to Buy
There are a few different brands to consider when looking for a roll up garage door for residential use. Most companies that sell the type that roll up into a cylinder, supply mainly to commercial installers, but have some residential models as well. This type of roll up door is more popular in the commercial sector, which is a good clue that they are more reliable and secure.
We priced the most popular brands online and here is what we discovered about certain brands:
• Roll Up Doors Direct: This company has a huge online presence and a wide selection of commercial doors and some that can be used for residential installations as well. Roll Up Doors Direct sells the true roll up type that roll into a cylinder shape above the entrance. A 12 foot wide by 10 feet wide door here will cost you anywhere from $650 to $2,200. They can be found online at buydoorsdirect.com. Their doors can be expected to be more durable than the company’s that sell the type with panels that roll back under the ceiling.
• Clopay: This is the name of a well established garage door manufacturer. They have countless models of raised panel garage doors which are the type with the hinged panels that we mentioned earlier. This is one brand that a lot of professional garage door installers use exclusively because they offer enough style and color options to satisfy all of their residential customers. You can expect to pay from $639 to $1,250 for the raised panel style garage doors made by Clopay.
• Lowe’s: This is a national retailer that carries garage doors in their home improvement stores. They carry very inexpensive brands for as little as $250. If you want an inexpensive door that you can go to a store location and pick up yourself, Lowe’s may be your best bet.
• Home Depot: Another national home improvement store that you can go to and pick up garage doors. They sell Clopay brand garage doors ranging in price from $225 to $515.
This article should give you a good idea of what to expect when searching for a roll up garage door for your garage. We learned that the type of roll up doors that actually roll into a compact cylinder above the entrance are easier to install and usually more durable. That type is mainly used for commercial applications, but would be a great choice for your home installations as well.
While there are not as many residential types to choose from, they would probable last longer and are made for opening and closing often, whereas raised panel types are meant for occasional opening and closing and will wear out faster if used frequently.
The type that rolls into a cylinder may cost a bit more, but will last longer. The raised panel types will have more styles and colors to choose from and are made by more companies for residential use. Now that you are armed with some information about roll up doors, you can make your own decision on what type is best for you.
Photo by Michael McCauslin, Creative Commons Attribution License