Roll-Up vs Side Folding: Which Security Door Should You Choose?

Roll-Up vs Side Folding

When you’re looking to install a security door for your pharmacy, airport or bank, choosing between a side folding security door or roll down security shutters can either be a no-brainer or very confusing.

Luckily, we’ve laid out all the benefits and differentiators between these two different types of security solutions to help solve your security door dilemma.

Types of Security Gates: How to choose the Right Gate

We get asked this, or some version of it, OFTEN. Even the most experienced architects & contractors are routinely struggling with this decision.

And in truth, the quick answer is simple but frustrating: Depends.

While both types of security gates serve the same purpose of protecting your commercial business, each thrives in its own unique situation (more on that later). Understanding the application of each type is key before deep diving into your drawings.

Whether you’re starting a new project, refurbishing an existing site or putting the finishing touches on your floor plans, this article will help guide you to a secure solution.

First, A Quick Benefits List

You may also hear commercial security roll up doors called swing gates, roller gates, cantilever sliding gates, vertical gates, or even a vertical pivoting security gate.

No matter what you call it, the security of your space is not only about having additional protection but the right kind to protect your commercial application.


Benefits Of Side-Folding Security Gate Installation

– Easily concealed with a pocket

– Covers long distances

– Modular design

– Emergency Egress Doors

– Curved Tracks

Benefits Of Roll-Up Security Door Installation

– Motorized Operation Option

– Easy to install

– Quick to operate

– Great for covering small spaces

– Minimal visibility during business hours

An easy way to check out the benefits, customizable options, and specifications of these security doors is to download our Product Data Sheets. 100% Free data for you to use. Experiencing common roll up security door problems? Dynamic can help you out!

4 Things To Consider When Choosing A Commercial Security Gate

1) Custom Sizes.

Dynamic Closures’ side-folding security doors are available in heights up to 14ʼ. Lengthwise we can cover the majority of required distances.

As the door gets longer, the stack will grow as well, resulting in an increasing demand for additional pocket space.

Roll Up security door sizes are available for spaces up to 24’ wide by 12’ tall. Overhead roll-up security doors can go as wide as 30‘, however, it complicates the freight & installation process.

Many LTL carriers today use PUP trailers that can only take freight up to 26 foot 6 inches maximum length. A special truck to take longer lengths can cost thousands of extra dollars.


2) Available Space.

Similar to size, it’s important to be cognizant of any obstructions that may get in the path of the door. This can be lots of things; from product displays, multiple heights, fire safety emergency paths and more.

Being aware of the space required and the path the door will travel as it moves is vital.

A side-folding door is your best bet for covering long distances. These commercial doors are grounded with posts every 10ft and can be bi-parted to allow right & left separation of the door. The result is a smaller stack on each end for a larger door, but two pockets are required.

Roll-ups work great for limited openings that don’t have available pocket leeway. However, unlike side-folding, this option requires sufficient blocking to stay supported. This is a great door for locking down retail spaces, pharmacies, “store within a store” spaces, and counters like airport kiosks.

Bonus: Pocket Requirements

In most cases, side-folding requires a pocket door to hold the stack in place and keep the door hidden during hours of operation.

Click here to access our stack calculator to determine pocket requirements.


3) Operation.

Both options are designed to be easily operated but only one option can be motorized. Our Roll Up Commercial Doors have the option of adding a motor. We recommend commercial door operators Model DJ 1/2HP and DHJ 1/2HP from LiftMaster. With a wide range of available options and configurations, these operators will meet and exceed any project’s needs. Instead of motorized security shutters, manual and crank options are available as well.

Side Folding is a different story.

Let’s start with a simple 9 ft long door. A door like this will have two locking posts on each end. Our locking posts come in a variety of types, such as a fixed post which is permanently fixed to a wall or structure or a top and bottom locking post with spring-loaded lock rods engaging a floor or counter socket and the track support.


4) Design

We have a wide variety of models to choose from in both lineups. Depending on the model you choose, you can get materials like aluminum rod and link construction (above right picture), polycarbonate panels (above-left picture), perforated steel, solid aluminum or tempered glass.

We also stock finishes including clear anodized and black anodized, and offer optional finishes such as bronze, light bronze, champagne and unlimited powder coat finish colors.

We even take in customer requests, especially for colors! Our team was just recently working on a gold finish which we’re excited to showcase soon. We are happy to explore special color options for you.

Follow our Instagram for our up-to-date product gallery where you can find 3D rendered images as well as our doors in action.


4 Unique Applications

The application falls at the end of our checklist due to the large amount of overlap these two types of doors can have. Storefronts, airports, pharmacies and more can all use either type, provided that the conditions listed above check out.

However, here are a few implementations you might not have thought of:


Side-Folding Doors:

1) Church – Churches are places of sanctuary, where people gather for prayer and spiritual growth. There are practical concerns that churches must manage – things like safety and security, protection of both the people and the property.

Our roll-ups can look too commercial for a place of worship, so Dynamic recommends selecting our side folding solution instead to secure the entrances. Tempered glass allows for clear visibility through the door and doesn’t come off as aesthetically jarring to anyone passing by.

2) School & University At all school levels, from elementary to university, administrators are tasked with safeguarding students, securing the campus and efficiently managing foot traffic. Schools are often overwhelmed with security requirements; conventional entry doors need a separate solution from larger hallway entrances and other access points.

Because most academic settings require a wide range of openings, Dynamic suggests our Side-folding options which will cover a variety of use cases.


Roll-Up Doors

1) Home windows – If you need a little bit of extra security at home, these window security shutters aren’t restricted to just commercial use. They may end up looking out of place, but they’ll provide the security you need! Note: Do not use these for weather protection, specifically designed hurricane shutters are best suited for that application.

2) Retail checkouts One security solution to keep your business safe. Smaller roll-up doors make for a great option for checkouts, especially those that are positioned outside. Our aluminum is corrosive resistant so despite weather conditions, the door will continue to function. Our Tambour Shutters are similar to our Roll-Ups, much smaller and great options for this application. Dynamic can supply many different retail security gates, so let us know what your project needs and we will get you there.


Reliable Security Door Experts

Interested in pricing out a Side-Folding commercial door or Roll-up security gates for your next project? Reach out to our customer service team with project details and we’ll help you select the right security solutions.

With feature-rich options included and custom options available, we can supply a system that suits each project’s unique demands.

[Contact a Distributor for a Security Closure Consultation and Quote]


3 More Dynamic Resources

The 7 Benefits of Maglock Systems for Your Facility

Why is Retail Floor Space Important?

FAQS About Custom Curves for Side Folding Retail Security Doors


Got a Question?

Got a question or need support?

Call us at 1-800-663-4599

Monday to Friday, 8AM – 5PM Eastern

Download our BAS Guide

Learn how building automation systems can make client goals achievable – especially when integrated with Dynamic Closures maglock-enabled doors.