Reconsider Classic Side Hinged Garage Doors

Everyone knows that side hinged garage doors look great on a carriage house, but why are they often ignored in favor of a rollup door or up-and-over garage doors in homes across the country today. There are many benefits to a garage door with side hinges and it is time for many homeowners to reconsider this classic style that has endured for decades.

The benefits are easily categorized and just some that this article will touch on include ease of use, maintenance, safety, style, convenience and security. There are distinct advantages to a door that only side hinges can provide.

Ease of Use

There are many people that do not rely on automatic garage door openers. Lifting a large two-car garage door that spans a garage’s entire width can become backbreaking work especially when the springs, cables, and rollers are getting old. The great thing about a side hung garage door is that the weight is transferred to the hinges and frame and the resultant balance makes them almost effortless to move. Also, because they move in and out rather than up and down, the effects of gravity are negligible. Anyone that suffers from a bad back or is forever finding their garage door bottom seal frozen to the ground during the icy winter months will appreciate the ease of use.


side hinged garage door with cathedral style windows

Stylish and Low Maintenance

Many people with traditional overhead doors ignore routine garage door maintenance until it is too late. This can not only lead to costly repairs, but it makes the door harder to use as well. As mentioned earlier, most overhead doors have springs, rollers, tracks, cables and pulleys, sensors and electric openers to keep maintained. The simple side mount door has hinges. A quick shot of lubricant once in a while is all that is needed to keep them working smoothly.


Across the country each year a falling garage door hurts many people. Crush injuries (especially with children) are common. While overhead doors come with garage door sensors now, many homeowners disable them. This can cost damage to a person or a vehicle. The advantage here is obvious. Side hung doors have no way to pin someone underneath and are a great choice for those with children at home.


In high traffic households or businesses, a side mount door really shines. The ability to open just one half of the garage door at a time makes it easier to retain heating or cooling and keeps the interior area more private. Normally, the use of side hinges takes two doors and they do not have to be equal sizes. Some people use a smaller door for personal entry or to load bicycles or motorcycles in and out quickly. Both doors can be opened for full-size vehicles as needed.


There are some great looking overhead doors. There are now fiberglass garage doors that mimic the look and texture of wood and there are real wood garage doors as well. Common overhead doors can be dressed up with a window insert, but there are still limitations. These doors are still comprised of horizontal panels that must “break” every couple feet in order to bend around the track. This limits what can be done stylistically. A full panel side mount door has no such limitations. It is not subject to heavy vibrations from raising up and down and has a large unbroken surface. This allows for large panes of beveled or stained glass, security glass, metal embellishments or anything a homeowner can dream of to be attached.

wooden side hinged garage door

Arch Top Side Hinged Garage Door

A simple overhead door is limited to use in a square or rectangular opening only. Curved openings like arched entryways to a garage are stylish and for any homeowner who loves this more European look, a side mount door is the only real option. Also, the decorative hardware like hinges and pulls can really add an extra touch of style to the garage.


There are so many more ways to secure a side hinged garage door. Overhead doors are limited by the type of garage lock that can be used. There are many more options available with the side mount door. The interior can have a cross bar. The outside can have a traditional padlock hasp. There can be vertical latches that slide upward into the ceiling and floor. For peace of mind, these doors are hard to beat.

These are all good reasons to reconsider the classic side hinged garage door. They are available in a range of materials from timber, fiberglass, metal, and high-end wood to modern composite materials. They look great on a carriage house or with an Edwardian or Victorian era property, but they also look fantastic on today’s upscale modern homes as well. They can even be attached to motors to offer the same convenience that many people can’t live without.

This entry was posted in Garage Doors and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.