Replacing Single Garage Door Panels

To Replace, or Not to Replace Garage Door Panels? That is the question.

Rusted out bottom panel of a steel garage door

Q: Can you replace a single section, also referred to as panel, of an overhead garage door?

A: Absolutely. 


Q: Should you replace the section? 

A: That depends. 


Q: How do you determine if replacing your damaged garage door section is worthwhile, or if it is time for a completely new door?

A: Read on and I will explain. 

1. Garage Door Section Material

First, identify what type of door you have. Is it wood, steel, aluminum, fiberglass? 

Wood Garage Door

If it is a wood door, the model may not be relevant or important as many wood doors are custom. However, if you do know the manufacturer, that could save you a lot of time.

Steel, Aluminum, or Fiberglass Garage Door

If your door sections are made of steel, aluminum or fiberglass your best bet is to determine the manufacturer and model/design/series of your door.  Not all doors are the same. I repeat, not all doors are the same. This comes as a surprise to many homeowners as their door “looks just like the one in our showroom”.  It may “look” similar, but unless it is the exact manufacturer/model it is NOT the same. There are many ways that doors sections will vary from one manufacturer to another; color (you’d be surprised how many shades of “white” there are), stile placement, how the section meets the other sections of the door, decorative panel size, embossment pattern, section thickness, and in some cases installation hardware. 

Now that we have established that there is no “one size fits all” when it comes to your garage door let’s move on.

Where to Find Your Garage Door Manufacturer’s Label

Often times the manufacturer’s label will be on the end stile of one or more of the door sections. This area is often overlooked by the homeowner; this is the end cap of the section that is facing the vertical tracks. With the tracks and cables just inches away it often difficult to spot the label(s). Take care when looking as steel components can be sharp and DO NOT touch the cables as they have a lot of tension and are dangerous. 

Caption edit: The photo on the left is an example where replacing the entire door may be a more cost-effective solution. Where the door shown in the right photo may be eligible for a single panel replacement. 

2. Garage Door Condition

Second, evaluate the overall condition of the other sections, the condition, and functionality of the door’s hardware components and the age of the door.

Great Working Condition

If your door is in great working condition, has been properly maintained throughout its life, isn’t ancient, you like the way it looks, and perhaps it matches another door(s) on the structure then a single section may be a wise and economical choice

Poor Condition

But, if the door isn’t looking great overall, the hardware is in poor working order, you dislike the door, or you need more than one replacement section; it is time to look at your new door options.  Keep in mind that when you are buying single sections they are essentially replacement parts, often special order and priced accordingly. Therefore, 2 replacement sections can often exceed the cost of a brand new door (which includes all new hardware).

Not Really Sure?

Uncertain? Price out both options. 

Pricing All Options

If this is a DIY Project:

Be prepared to provide your local professional distributor with the following information about your damaged section:

  • Manufacture
  • Model
  • Section Width / Height
  • Description
  • Is it a top, bottom or intermediate section

*For wood doors that do not have identifiable manufacture we have sketch sheet you will need to complete

If you are interested in Professional Replacement:

Simply call to schedule a free estimate. We’ll do all of the measuring and research to try to determine the material, make and model of your door. Before we leave, we’ll provide you with a written proposal for both options (section replacement vs new door).

When you call Forest we will provide our expert opinion, so that you can make the best choice for your situation. If you are happy we are happy.  


I have used Forest Garage Doors multiple times to repair my garage door, and recently to replace it because my neighbor ran into it. The two guys who came to replace the door did an excellent job, and helped me program the keypad. They did a great installation in just a few hours WOW, and cleaned up the work area afterward. The work was done for the exact cost of the estimate, and great communications on confirming the date and time to show up on time! Great service and great work, thanks.

– R. Harper

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *