Skip to main content

There are several different varieties of garage door out there depending on your needs, and two of the most common that are often compared directly with one another are sectional and single-panel garage doors. Referring to the way panels are set up for a given door, this differentiation plays a role in everything from how the door rises and falls to the way it looks, and it’s a key consideration for any new garage door you’re installing.

At Accent Garage Doors, we’re happy to provide a huge range of garage door materials and style options, with selections ranging from our steel garage doors to our wood collection, our custom door selection and more. For those who are new to this area, what are single-panel and sectional garage doors? Which important differences are there between the two, and how do these impact your purchase? Here’s a full look into this basic area.

sectional single-panel garage doors

Basics on Sectional Garage Doors

Many garage doors are made up of multiple panels, arranged in a certain way to help control the movement of the door. With sectional garage doors, these panels are all connected on the side by hinges, and they move up and down as a unit. This is done thanks to the presence of wheels or rollers at the bottom of each panel, which enables it to move along tracks that are set up along the top and bottom of the door opening.

When a sectional garage door opens and closes, then, you’ll be able to see its distinct pieces separate and then join together, and this can make for a very interesting visual appeal. With sectional garage doors, you’ll also have various materials to choose from, including steel and wood.

Basics on Single-Panel Garage Doors

On the other hand, as its name indicates, a single-panel garage door has only one large panel that’s connected at the top and bottom. This door can then either slide along a track set up on the side of your garage opening or rise up and down, similar to how a window opens in a house.

These doors, also known as tilt-up garage doors in some circles, were once very common in midcentury homes before being surpassed by sectional garage doors for several decades. However, they’re now making a vintage comeback in several places, and you’re likely to find them in some newer homes as well.

Now that you know the basic differences between these garage door types, how do these differences impact your actual door setup? Our next several sections will dig in here.


When it comes to aesthetics, both these door types have potential appeal. With sectional doors, you’ll have a distinct look of panels moving together in a series to create the door opening, which can be visually striking when it’s done well.

Single-panel garage doors can also have an aesthetic appeal and look great on some houses. However, they often rely more heavily on the visual impact of natural materials like wood, and this can feel more classic and timeless to many people.

Ease of Use

In today’s day and age, one area where both these doors are equally efficient and easy to use is via openers. These devices now come with a range of features that will make it easy for you to control your garage door, and both sectional doors and single-panel doors are well supported in this area.

However, when it comes to how the actual door moves—and therefore how easy these doors can be to open and close by hand—the choice of available materials will make a difference. With single-panel doors, you’ll often be able to control it much more easily without needing an opener unless you have a very heavy door. However, with sectional doors and their hinges and rollers also moving up and down together for each panel, it can sometimes become more difficult to open and close the door by hand.

This difference in ease of use can be important depending on whether you plan to use your garage door manually or with an opener, so it’s worth taking some time to consider how these doors will work for your home’s needs.


One area where sectional doors tend to hold an advantage over single-panel doors is insulation. Because of the way that a sectional door is set up, it tends to have more space for additional layers or materials for helping insulate your garage and home.

This can help you control your energy costs during colder months, and there are some other notable benefits as well such as better acoustic control and protection from ultraviolet light. If you’re looking for an energy-efficient garage door system, then, sectional doors could be the way to go here.


Finally, when it comes to cost, these doors are again fairly comparable in price depending on factors like the material used and your specific setup requirements. However, if you have a large garage door with multiple panels and therefore many moving parts, that can lead to added costs for things like hinges, rollers, and more.

Overall, sectional doors are a good choice if you’re looking for an easy-to-use garage door system with excellent insulation benefits. Single-panel doors can also be a great fit depending on your needs, so consider your preferences and home environment carefully to find the right option for your garage.

For more on sectional and single-panel garage doors, or to learn about any of our garage door installation, repair or other services, speak to our team at Accent Garage Doors today.

Skip to content