There are 5 main garage door styles (or operating mechanisms) available and each type has its own “pros and cons”.

The options are as follows:

Side hinged
Up and over (U & O)
Sliding and

This article focuses on garage doors that use an up-and-over transition mechanism to raise and lower the door. This mechanism is one of the cheapest and simplest options available and it has a long history of reliability.

How they work

The up-and-over garage door is usually made from a single sheet of metal or aluminum that is reinforced with a surrounding ridge or internal fin construction. This type of door is very light and does not bend or flex.

The opening and closing operation sees the complete door lift and tilt before coming to rest in the roof area above and behind the garage door opening.

There are two different types of up and over door, the cheaper canopy and the more expensive and smoother running retractable version. The big difference between the two is the fact that the retractable door does not project outwards (beyond the front face of the garage) when open. The retractable U & O option is the more expensive.

The advantages of an up and over mechanism

As a general guide, comparison with the U & O door is the benchmark by which most other door types evaluate their relative strengths and advantages. For this reason the up-and-over type of door has arguably the lowest performance, selection of features and smoothness of motion when in operation. Even so, its popularity remains unaltered and it out sells all of its competitors.

1. The biggest single advantage of this style of door is its affordability. It is cheap to buy and fit and, although some what jerky in operation, easy to use. It does require more effort to open and close than some other door types.

2. The retractable version of the up and over door can be opened even when a vehicle is parked close to the garage entrance.

3. The simple mechanism of this style of door means that it has few failings and some components can be replaced or repaired if necessary.

4. A retractable U & O door can be motorised and used with a remote control unit and modification/conversion kits are supplied for this purpose. A canopy U & O door does not readily lend itself to electric remote control operation.

5. Modern up and over garage doors are available in a range of different materials and attractive styles with panelled and even textured appearances.

6. U & O doors are readily available in all standard garage opening widths and heights making them the easiest type of door to source.