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How to Choose the Right Garage Door Opening Mechanism for Your Home

The sheer choice of garage doors can be overwhelming, so knowing where to start is important. Whilst it’s tempting to think about the colour and design of your new garage door before anything else, the most sensible first step is to work out which particular type of garage door is best suited to your needs. This often begins with the opening mechanism — the way the door is opened.

There are four main ways that a garage door can be opened and the best one for you depends on a number of factors, including the size of your garage, how often it is used and what it is usaed for.

We’ve added some pointers to each of our opening mechanism summaries below to give you an idea of which may be best for you, and which ones to rule out altogether.

Up-and-Over Garage Doors

Hormann Steel Garage Doors

You’re likely to be familiar with the up-and-over opening mechanism, as it’s the most popular type of garage door in the UK, although more modern opening styles are gaining popularity. Up-and-over doors are lifted outwards and upwards, so that the door sits flush to the ceiling of the garage when open. This type of opening mechanism is separated into two different versions: canopy and retractable. If you think an up-and-over garage door is what you’re likely to opt for, it’s worth checking the features of both versions to see which would suit you best.

Canopy Garage Doors

Canopy Garage Door

Canopy garage doors lift up and out, and stick out of the garage entranceway by about a third when fully open, hence the name. This type of opening mechanism is the most commonly seen throughout the UK, but just because you’ve had this type of door before, doesn’t mean you have to continue with the same if it doesn’t quite match your needs.

ticklogoWhy a canopy garage door may be best for you:

– Provides the maximum drive-through width possible

– Offers a wide choice of designs and finishes

– Simple to operate and install

– Available in steel or timber

– Manual opening


Why a canopy garage door may NOT be best for you:crosslogo

– Cannot be easily converted to electronic opening

– Can be blown off balance by rushing traffic or high winds (when open)

– Takes up room in the ceiling space when fully open

– Kicks out of the entrance when opening

If you’ve decided that a canopy door is right for you, here are just a few examples of what we have available in this range:

SteelSolid TimberDecorative
Garador CarltonGarador SeymourGarador Hinton
Garador SuttonHörmann GatcombeGarador Beaumont with Windows
Hörmann Chevron Garador BarringtonHörmann Rutland
Hörmann HorizontalGarador Horizontal Cedar

Hörmann Marquess Decograin


Retractable Garage Doors


This second variety of up-and-over garage door runs on tracks, hence the name. Retractable garage doors open in much the same way as canopy doors, except that, when fully open, the whole door panel fits entirely within your garage space rather than protruding out of the entranceway.  

Why a retractable garage door may be best for you:

– Can easily be upgraded to motorised opening either when new or later on.

– Offers a wide choice of colours and finishes

– Simple to operate

– Available in steel or timber



Why a retractable garage door may NOT be best for you:

– The lifting arms reduce the drive-through width

– Takes up more room in the ceiling space than a canopy door

– Kicks out of the entrance when opening


If a retractable door is something you’re interested in, check out some examples in our range below:

SteelSolid TimberDecorative
Hörmann VerticalGarador Vertical CedarHörmann Garage Light
Hörmann CaxtonGarador BarringtonHörmann Marquess
Garador ChevronHörmann Mallory VerticalGarador Hinton
Garador HorizonGarador WentwoodHörmann Ilkley



What About Security?

Most of our up-and-over garage doors are available in both canopy and retractable opening mechanisms. When purchasing a brand-new garage door from us, you can expect a high level of security, but if you feel you need a little something extra for your up-and-over garage door, choosing from our Garador Guardian range is a good idea. All three designs in this range are approved by Secured by Design, which is a police-led initiative dedicated to ‘designing out’ property crime.

Sectional Garage Doors

Hormann Sectional

Sectional doors have the large panelled look of canopy or retractable doors, yet open very differently. Sectional


garage doors open by moving vertically upwards, and each section separates slightly from the others as it rotates to a horizontal position when it reaches the top. Once fully open, all sections are attached once again and sit flush to the ceiling of the garage in a solid piece. Sectional doors are an increasingly popular choice and they work well with both manual and automated opening mechanisms. You can browse our entire range here.


Why a sectional garage door may be best for you:

– Allows for maximum drive-through width

– Does not kick out of the entrance at all

– Constructed from insulated steel

– Works well with both manual and electric opening



Why a sectional garage door may NOT be best for you:

– Takes longer to install than other types

– Can look more modern than other garage door types

– Takes up room in the ceiling space when fully open


Please see examples of popular sectional doors below:

Hörmann LPU L Ribbed DecograinHörmann LPU L Ribbed Titan MetallicHörmann LPU S Panelled Woodgrain
Hörmann LPU M Ribbed DecograinHörmann LPU M Ribbed SilkgrainHörmann LPU S Panelled Decograin


Roller Garage Doors

Roller Garage Doors

If you’re looking for a door which doesn’t take up too much room inside your garage when it’s open, then one

rollerlogoof our roller doors may be right for you. Opening by moving vertically upwards and rolling around itself to create a neat cylinder, these doors have exclusively been used by businesses and industrial premises in the past. Now, you can enjoy the convenience of a roller door without the ‘business premises’ look — they’re now designed to fit in perfectly with residential properties.  



Why a roller garage door may be best for you:

– Provides the maximum drive-through width possible

– Comes with motorised opening as standard

– No internal tracks or cables

– Takes up very little room inside the garage

– Constructed from insulated aluminium



Why a roller garage door may NOT be best for you:

– Thin horizontal slats essential – no scope for other designs

– Takes longer to install than other types

– Requires a power supply


Check out the examples below to see the options available:

SWS 77mm Painted Roller Door (No Box)SWS 55mm Painted Roller Door (Full Box)SWS 77mm Laminated Roller Door (Half Box)




What does no box, half box and full box mean?

It’s unlikely you’ll know which of these options you’ll need before a survey has been performed, as this is to do with where the door roll needs to be mounted. Sometimes with a roller garage door, it’s necessary (due to the amount of space available, the height of the garage opening or security concerns) to fix the door within the opening or outside of the opening. Where possible, we’d always fit a roller garage door inside the garage itself, but where it’s not possible to do so the roll must be protected. This is where the ‘Half Box’ and ‘Full Box’ come in.

Roller Boxes

The ‘box’ fits over the exposed garage door roll in order to protect it from environmental conditions and debris, as well as keeping the door completely secure. A half box is commonly used with roller doors which are mounted within the opening, and a full box is used when the roll is mounted on the outside.

Side-Hinged Garage Doors


For those who prefer something very simple and traditional, our side-hinged garage doors may provide the best sidehingedlogochoice. Side-hinged garage doors open just like a normal door would — via hinges at the side of the door panel. You can choose to have your side-hinged doors equal in size, so that they open outwards from the very centre, or you can choose to have one of the doors smaller than the other if you’d prefer just to nip in and out easily.



Why a side-hinged garage door may be best for you:

– Offers a wide choice of designs and finishes

– Simple to operate and maintain

– Available in steel or timber

– Ideal for garages with little headroom




Why a side-hinged garage door may NOT be best for you:

– Difficult to convert to electric opening

– Slight restriction of drive-through width

– Requires plenty of room outside the garage for the swing of the doors


Here are some examples of the side-hinged garage doors in our range:

SteelSolid TimberDecorative
Garador Carlton SHGarador Horizontal Cedar SHGarador Tudor SH
Garador Beaumont SHGarador Vertical Cedar SHGarador Beaumont with Windows SH


What if I still don’t know which type of garage door opening is best?

If you’re still unsure about which type of garage door opening mechanism would be best suited to your home, your needs and the use of your garage, we encourage you to get in touch with us on 0345 145 0130 for advice. Alternatively, we’d be happy to send someone to your home to conduct a FREE survey. Our fully trained surveyor will take accurate measurements and consider the qualities of your garage space, as well as your needs, to give you some advice. We’ll then be able to prepare a no-obligation quote for a number of garage door options if you are struggling to make up your mind. You can book in for a free survey here.