Side-hinged garage doors are a convenient solution in traditional and modern homes, but what should you know before purchasing one? This type of garage door is called a side-opening variant or a swing garage door. It comprises two leaves that are hinged at the sides and open much like your front door. Although there are products with door panels that open inward, they are almost always made to open outward.
Almost all side-hinged garage doors are attached to a subframe made from either steel or wood. Along with the conventional half-and-half split (where both door panels are the same width and open equally in the middle of the aperture), you can get a one-third-two-third split across the opening panels. Paul Eddleston of Garador says right-hand leading doors are standard, but leading left-hand doors are available upon request.
Traditional homeowners often choose a definitive solution. In addition, there are many options for this setup, including streamlined products for modern homes. This guide is all about side-hinged garage doors with details.
Material required for Side Hinged Garage Doors
The three main material options are:
- The Timber
- The Steel
- The GRP (glass reinforced polyester).
Timber is the preferred material for a traditional home. Based on your budget, you will decide what kind of timber to use. Softwoods are less expensive, but they won’t provide the same durability and resilience as hardwoods like oak.
The finishing options for timber doors are also many, with options such as wood stains, varnishes, and paints. You should check what finish comes as standard on your timber doors since this may affect the amount of maintenance needed after installation and throughout the door’s life.
It can be finished in various surface textures and colors and requires little maintenance. Steel doors of good quality are also durable. The downside is that steel doors are more likely to rust than aluminum ones. Additionally, metal on its own isn’t very insulating.
You can also finish your GRP doors in various colors and surfaces to suit your chosen aesthetic. Lightweight, low-maintenance, and resistant to rust, GRP garage doors offer a secure solution for your garage. The downside of a GRP door is that it isn’t as durable as a wood door. Extreme cold temperatures may also cause the material to crack.
Design Configurations of Side Hinged Garage Doors
The side-hinged garage door design advantages include a wide array of glazed options, including windows (usually at the top of the panel) that allow sunlight to illuminate your garage.
You can choose from various attractive steel designs, such as the Georgian style with panel pressings and profiled designs with ribbed steel sheeting. Since each piece of wood is natural and unique, the timber door designs provide the warmth, beauty, and authenticity that only natural wood can provide,” explains Paul from Garador.
Our GRP models have either a gloss white surface with an incredibly smooth and silky surface texture or a timber effect with a surface texture that imitates wood grain.”
Advantages of a Side Hinged Garage Door
In addition to opening outward, side-hinged doors are also an efficient way to maximize garage space since panels don’t need to be accommodated inside the garage. They’re also helpful for garages with insufficient headroom to install sectional or roller doors.
You prefer a side-hinged arrangement if you wish to access the garage easily by opening one door (for example, if the garage is used primarily as a pedestrian entrance rather than for accommodating a car).
Elizabeth Assar, designer and co-founder of Urban Front, says that side-hinged garage doors are often chosen for their practicality and how they look. “Clients are now using garages as flexible spaces, sometimes for offices or playrooms. That’s where garage doors come in handy.”
Disadvantages of a Side Hinged Garage Door
Despite its benefits, an outward-opening garage door like this is not suitable for homes whose driveway slopes upward from the garage entrance. Furthermore, if you park your car on your driveway, you’ll need to leave enough room for the doors not to hit the bonnet as they swing open. They might not be a good fit for shorter driveways because of this.
What are the standard sizes of side-hinged garage doors?
Although they can be built to bespoke measurements for larger openings, side-hinged garage doors tend to be used for single garages. The maximum width (for the entire set) is approximately three meters.
For panels larger than that, additional heavy-duty hinges will be required to attach them to the steel subframe. As an alternative, you can make side-hinged doors as small as possible.
What is the price of a side-hinged garage door?
For unfinished softwood or steel doors made to standard dimensions (on a supply-only basis), prices begin at around $1,100.
The price of made-to-measure solutions can reach £2,500 or higher. Hardwood doors, for example, can easily cost more than £5,000, depending on the specifications.
GRP doors made to standard measurements are typically priced between £1,500 and £2,500. Having the doors automated will typically cost upwards of £500.
How secure are side-hinged garage doors?
When you store high-value items in your garage, security is a critical consideration.
Double-skinned and insulated steel doors are more robust than single-skinned products, thereby providing more protection against potential intruders. Hardwood doors can also offer more protection from attempted break-ins, especially if reinforced with steel.
Choose doors that have the Secured by Design accreditation for peace of mind. Secured by design is a police-led initiative that aims to prevent crime. Among the requirements for qualification are rigorous testing and the ability to resist break-in attempts for a certain period.
The installation process is also essential. The security of your doors is only as adequate as the way it was installed. Have a professional installer assemble and install your doors to function at their best.