What is an Up and Over Garage Door?


Up and over garage doors are by far the most common garage door type here in the UK, and with their easy-to-use functionality, and a vast array of styles and finishes – it’s easy to see why.

The simple one-piece design allows up and over garage doors to be operated with low effort and great speed – making them the ideal option if you’re planning on using your garage for the job it was born for; to shelter your cherished motorcar!

There are many benefits to having an up and over garage door, such as:

  • Easy to operate
  • Sturdy, long-lasting sub-frames
  • Available in highly durable GRP or Powder Coated Steel
  • 2 types of operating styles available

The most important thing to know here is that there are two types of up and over doors to choose from; either retractable or canopy. These terms simply refer to the type of operating mechanism the door uses to open and close.

up and over door

A commonality across both types is that they need to be fixed to a subframe – in either steel or timber. Without a subframe, you’ll be unable to install it, so whether you’re ordering a replacement, or drawing up plans for an all-new garage, do ensure you’ve accounted for a subframe.

In our latest blog, we break down the key differences between the two operating styles and outline the features and benefits of both.

Retractable Garage Doors

The most popular of the up and over mechanisms, these one-piece garage doors retract fully into the interior garage when they’re open.

If you’re planning on installing an electric mechanism, this is the style that converts most easily into a remote control system, as much less equipment is required. What’s more, it’s also a safer door for electric motors, compared to the canopy style.

However, one of its few disadvantages compared to the canopy style is that the drive-through width is reduced. This is because the arms that lift the door sit in between the sub-frame, so if you’ve got a larger car – do be wary that you’re likely to have less space to manoeuvre yourself in and out of the garage.

On the flip-side, retractable up and over doors can take much heavier loads, due to the tension springs mounted at either side. In real terms, this means you can have up to 16ft door working smoothly on retractable gear.

Canopy Garage Doors

The canopy garage door is the simplest and most common type of up and over mechanism, and gets its name from the way about a third of the fully opened door protrudes from the front of the garage.

Two of the key advantages of the canopy style is that it gives the maximum possible width to drive your vehicle through, whilst it’s also being known as the easiest aftermarket door to install.

From a technical perspective, the door is balanced and assisted by torsion springs positioned above the door panel at the head of the fixing frame. The canopy door mechanism is generally only available for garages with a maximum width of eight feet.

Canopy styles are not usually used if the garage door is powered by an electric motor, although, when used with a high quality ‘bow arm converter’ and a very strong motor, it can be automated successfully. For more advice on this, feel free to call one of our experts on 01942 311 110.