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Buying a new garage door may appear pretty straightforward until you start shopping around, and then all of a sudden it can get rather confusing. The sheer choice of garage door panel designs, opening mechanisms, extras and materials can be overwhelming, so making sense of the different options is important before you jump in with both feet. We’ve compiled some common Q&As below – you can also visit our FAQ section for further information.

What is a roller garage door?

roller garage door is one which opens by moving directly upwards (rather than outwards and up), rolling around itself at the top. This creates a rolled up cylinder above the door when it’s fully open. This is a great door if you don’t have a large garage opening, as it ensures the maximum drive-through width possible. All of our roller garage doors are constructed from insulated aluminium and come with automatic opening as standard, although manual versions can be requested.

What is a canopy garage door?

A canopy opening mechanism is probably the type of garage door which is most familiar to you. Hugely popular in the UK, a canopy garage door opens by being pulled outwards and upwards. Once open fully, the door sits in a horizontal position flush to the top of the opening. Around a third of the door panel sticks out of the opening when in this open position. Our canopy garage doors are available in steel or solid timber versions, with many designs available.

What is a tracked/retractable garage door?

tracked garage door may not always be distinguishable from a canopy garage door when it is closed. Opening in the same up & over fashion, tracked doors then slide back into the garage space rather than sticking out of the entrance. This makes them much easier to convert to electronic opening. Tracked garage doors are recommended for those who live in an area of high wind/next to a busy road. The fact that the door panel does not stick out means that it’s protected from strong gusts which may unbalance the mechanism springs. Our tracked doors are available in both steel and timber versions.

What is a sectional garage door?

Sectional garage doors are very popular in the US and mainland Europe, and they’re starting to catch on in the UK too. Ideal for both single and double width garages, sectional doors open by moving directly upwards. Each section of the door then turns to a horizontal position when it reaches the top, until the full door sits horizontally just under the ceiling when fully open. This type of garage door comes with manual or automatic opening and is constructed from insulated steel, ensuring efficiency and security.

Which is best – solid timber, aluminium or steel garage doors?

The best garage door construction material entirely depends on the needs of each property – there is no standout ‘winner’ when looking at them in general terms. Each of these materials has its benefits and downsides, so it’s ultimately down to your preference, although our surveyors and engineers will be happy to discuss the benefits of each option as they apply to your particular circumstances and property. See below for our at-a-glance pros and cons:

Steel (canopy & tracked garage doors)

Pros: Steel is light and easy to use, durable and maintenance free, highly secure and often cheaper than other door types.

Cons: Steel doors are not insulated so garage temperature may fluctuate. Although constructed from a single sheet of strong galvanised steel, doors like this will dent more easily when driven into than other garage door types.

Insulated steel (sectional garage doors)

Pros: Insulated steel is light and easy to use, durable and maintenance free. The twin-walled steel with insulated core gives this type of garage door strength and integrity, making it much harder to damage should it be driven into by accident.

Cons: This material is only available for sectional garage doors, which may be out of budget for some households.

Timber (canopy & tracked garage doors)

Pros: Timber is long-lasting when looked after properly, suits the majority of property styles and is a natural, beautiful addition to any home. It’s also naturally insulating and very strong.

Cons: Timber requires treating and maintenance at regular intervals, and should be painted with a wood stain (not a varnish) once every couple of years or so. Timber doors also tend to be more expensive than other garage door types.

Insulated aluminium (roller garage doors)

Pros: Insulated aluminium is light, strong and will keep the temperature within the garage at a comfortable level, even when it is very hot or very cold outside. Insulated aluminium requires little to no maintenance.

Cons: Insulated aluminium is only available as a roller door, which may not be to everyone’s taste looks-wise. It also tends to be a more expensive option compared with insulated steel.

What if I don’t know which garage door I want?

You don’t need to know exactly what you want before you get the ball rolling. We offer a free no obligation survey prior to preparing a quote for you. Our surveyor will take accurate measurements and discuss your needs with you. They’ll also look at the specifics of your property and will be able to make recommendations based on environmental considerations, the size of your garage and what you intend to use your garage space for. You’re welcome to try our garage door builder, where you can start from scratch and create your ideal door. Many of our customers find this easier than looking through each option separately.

How safe and secure are garage doors?

We only use manufacturers who create high-quality garage doors out of decent materials and fixings. Each of our current three suppliers have years of experience within the industry, and put money into developing their products in order to constantly improve. Due to this, all garage doors listed on our site are safe and secure to a high standard. We do understand, however, that sometimes an extra level of security is required, either for genuine practical reasons or simply for peace of mind. In this instance we have a range of three garage doors – the Garador Guardian range – which have been built with extra security features and are approved by Secured by Design, a police-led initiative aimed at ‘designing out’ crime. We also have garage door defenders in our Accessories section.

Can I have windows in my garage door?

You absolutely can – we have a number of both steel and timber garage doors in our canopy and tracked ranges which have windows incorporated into the design. We also have a range of window options for sectional doors. Having windows in a garage door is great for those who like to spend time in their garage, perhaps by using it as a workshop or similar, as they let natural light into the space without compromising on security.

What colours are available?

Each of our door types have a variety of colour options available, although it is best to check this before ordering as a handful of doors are only available in white. Should you want a completely bespoke colour for your door, we can often accommodate this for you for an additional fee.

Many of our non-timber doors are also available with a woodgrain foil finish, which mimics the look of timber very well. This could be the perfect solution for those who want the look of a timber door, but perhaps do not want the cost or the worry about maintenance. You can find available colours for each door design on their individual product pages.

How do I measure my garage door?

Garage doors can come in a huge range of different sizes, and it may surprise you to know that there is no ‘standard’ garage door size. All garages are different, so measuring your door is important to ensure you can get an accurate idea of costs. Our guide about how to measure your garage door should provide the information you need.

If you’d rather leave the measuring to us, we will be happy to do this during your free, no obligation survey. Even if you have already provided measurements to get an idea of cost, our VPS247 surveyor will double check these before going ahead with your order.

Can I have a motorised garage door?

Yes you can – our roller garage doors all come with automated opening as standard, although you can adapt this to manual if you prefer. Our sectional doors can be either automated or manual and all tracked garage doors have the option of adding an electric motor. We do not recommend that canopy garage doors are converted to automatic opening, simply because expensive extra parts are needed and the door may not work to the best of its ability. We can convert existing garage doors with an electric motor, but this would depend on the condition of the door and whether or not you have a power supply in the correct place.

What is the cheapest garage door?

Our best value garage doors are the Garador Horizon and the Hörmann Vertical. Both of these steel up & over doors start at £599 for a white canopy version in a size of 7’0” x 6’6”. These doors also happen to be part of our Express Doors range, which can be sourced and fitted within just 7 days of your order.