Choosing the right type of door
Garage Doors are available not only in a variety of different styles but also come fitted with operating systems to suit circumstances unique to the particular installation. Common types of operating system found on modern garage doors include; Canopy Up and Over, Retractable Up and Over, Sectional Overhead, Roller Curtain, Roller Shutter, Round the Corner and Side-Hinged.
Canopy Up and Over
This type of mechanism is ideally suited where either economy is a factor or in situations where the garage cannot intrude fully into the garage due to obstructions such as soil pipes, gas meters or doors that open into the garage from the house. Approximately one third of the door extends forward of the frame to form a canopy. Suitable for automation but using a bow arm converter which makes it expensive to adapt.
Retractable Up and Over
This type of mechanism is becoming increasingly popular as it can have automation easily added without expensive conversion. Also unlike the canopy door above which is reliant on cables to assist opening, retractable doors use side mounted spring assisted lifting arms which being more substantial, rarely require replacement. The entire door retracts back into the garage on most makes.
The principal benefit of a sectional overhead door over an up and over door is that it does not swing out when opening or closing. The whole door is divided horizontally into four or more panels which run on rollers in vertical tracks that then turn 9o degrees at the top into horizontal tracks that follow the roofline. Ideal for automation and low on maintenance.
Individual horizontal slats constructed from either steel or aluminium are linked together to form a tightly coiling curtain which rolls up around a shaft located above the door opening. These doors do not swing out during operation, they are usually fitted behind the structural opening to maximise width and height when open and are most often supplied ready motorised. Other types are available made from a castellated sheet that forms the panel.
Round the Corner
Historically one of the earliest types of gear used to operate a garage door.The door, usually made from timber panels, slides sideways on an overhead track, and bottom guide rail and then turns through 90 degrees to follow the wall back into the garage. Larger doors can be supplied as bi-parting, where 2 separate doors slide in opposite directions. An ideal solution to low headroom problems, do not swing out and can be automated.
The original type of garage door fitted before the advent of the up and over door in the 1950s. The doors hinge outwards making them ideal for garages that are used for everything except the car because only one leaf of the pair has to be opened. access bikes, freezers etc. Some makes offer a one-third/two-thirds split for each leaf reducing the size of the pedestrian access door. Side hinged doors are easily automated using a conversion kit.