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Our Guide to Converting Your Up & Over To A Sectional Garage Door

Up & over garage doors are easily the most popular garage opening style here in the UK. Both Canopy and Tracked garage doors fall under the ‘up & over’ category, with Canopy being the more common of the two. It’s likely that you or someone you know will have a garage door which opens in this way. However, in many parts of Europe and over in the US, Sectional garage doors are quickly becoming the most popular form of opening mechanism for garage doors in residential homes and many in the UK are opting for this ‘new’ type when replacing their old or damaged door.

What’s The Difference?

  • Canopy garage doors open from the bottom and lift outwards and upwards. They’re usually manual and should always be opened from the centre point so that the springs do not become unbalanced. If this happens, the door may become very difficult to open and could even tilt or sag when in the fully open position. The door will stay in the horizontal open position without assistance and protrudes from the opening by about a third, creating a canopy.
  • Tracked garage doors also open from the bottom and lift outwards and upwards, but instead of staying in the horizontal position and protruding from the opening, the door can be pushed back on tracks to fit fully within the garage ceiling space. This type of garage door can be manual or automated, but should also be opened from the centre to ensure it stays balanced.
  • Sectional garage doors are often automated but can also come in a manual version. They’re very different to up & over doors in the fact that they don’t open outwards. Instead, the door slides directly upwards and moves back into the garage space in sections, with each section transitioning from vertical to horizontal separately. This frees up space outside the garage, as the door doesn’t kick out during opening.
Sectional Garage Door Opening
A sectional garage door opening, viewed from inside the garage.

What Are The Considerations?

When changing from an up & over door to a sectional one, there are a number of things you’ll need to consider. Firstly, if your current door is a Canopy garage door, you’ll need to be prepared for the fact that a Sectional garage door will take up more space in the ceiling space of your garage. The full door will fit inside your garage rather than protruding out of the front, as a Canopy door does. Those with shelving, light fixtures or things attached to the ceiling (such as a punch bag in a home gym) will have to move these elsewhere unless there is sufficient room.

Automatic Garage DoorsFor those wanting to enjoy the convenience and benefits of an automated Sectional garage door who have not had automation previously, it should be noted that you’ll need an electricity supply in your garage. This may need to be a certain distance from where the motor will be placed, so please enquire about this when registering your interest. During your free survey, our garage door specialist in your area will be able to advise you accordingly.

If you’re not sure whether you want manual or automated, Sectional garage doors are perfect for converting at any time. Unlike Canopy garage doors, the opening mechanism won’t become weakened over time and therefore will continue to be efficient for longer and adapting to automated with minimum hassle.