What Material Do I Want My New Garage Door to be Made From?

When you buy your new garage door remember to consider not only its looks but also the amount of maintenance required to guarantee you get the right door for your needs and avoid making the wrong choice.

Steel Garage Doors

When doing your research you’ll find the biggest choice of garage doors are made from steel and virtually all the major manufacturers offering similar designs of varying build quality. You can buy Steel Garage Doors to suit modern or traditional houses in both standard sizes and made to measure. A steel door is a practical combination of robust construction and great value for money.

Steel garage doors are manufactured from corrosion resistant galvanized steel and are available with canopy, retractable or side hinged lifting gear as well as the more secure sectional and roller mechanisms. Depending on the garage door brand and your chosen style of door, there are 7 different finishes to choose from:

    • Primed Ready for Painting Yourself in a Colour to Match your Home.
    • Fully Finished White Powder Coating.
    • Factory Painted in a Standard Range of Colours.
    • Factory Painted in a Special Colour of Your choice.
    • Plastisol Maintenance Free Plastic Coating in White, Black and Dark Brown.
    • Attractive Timber Effect Foil Coating to match uPVC Window Frames.
    • High Quality Polyester Primer Coating & Fully Finished Factory Applied Paint.
    • There is also the optional factory fitted steel frame in a matching finish for all Steel Up and Over Doors to make your installation easier.

As the cheapest material available, steel garage doors are sturdy and tough. We strongly recommended that you clean your door regularly with fresh water and a mild detergent to prevent salt corrosion in coastal areas.

Timber Garage Doors

A new Timber Garage Door will bring the natural beauty of wood at the forefront of your home. You can choose from a range of high quality factory applied Sikkens stains to guarantee weather protection or the doors can be supplied treated with a base coat for you to paint or stain on site. Remember a wooden garage door will require regular care and attention to retain it’s appearance.

Wooden Garage Doors are mostly constructed from solid Cedar or a Cedar/Marine plywood combination depending on the design you choose. Some of the more distinguished garage door makers also offer superior timbers such as Hemlock, Nordic Pine, Okoume and Northern Spruce, as well as Oak, Meranti, Douglas, Larch, Chestnut and Teak.

You can buy timber garage doors with Canopy, Retractable, Sectional, or Side Hinged lifting mechanisms.

And another thing, if you are looking for a totally exclusive look to your garage door, Hormann’s innovative Open for Infill is a garage door ‘chassis’ for you to infill with your own choice of timber to your own unique design!

GRP (Glass Reinforced Polyester) or Fibreglass Garage Doors

The great thing about GRP garage doors is that they give you a low maintenance finish and unlike timber they do not need staining or finishing. GRP Garage Doors are available in either gloss white or authentic Woodgrain. The Woodgrain GRP faithfully replicates the beauty of the grain in timber, making it hard to tell the difference between GRP and real wood.

As well as being able to replicate the look of a real timber door, fibreglass is tough and durable with a superior strength to weight ratio to steel and it only requires the occasional wipe down to retain its quality finish.

To get the perfect match to other timber features on your house there are more than 15 attractive woodgrain colours to choose from for your new Fibreglass garage door including Oak (Light, Mid, Dark), Mahogany, Rosewood, Teak, Ebony and Chestnut. Another bonus is that there is no surcharge for made to measure GRP garage door sizes.

GRP garage doors are available with canopy mechanism or retractable mechanism and can also be Sectional or Side Hinged.

There are various qualities of GRP garage door, this is defined by thickness of the GRP panel itself, translucency to light and the type of structural sub-frame used below the layers of fibreglass.

Depending on the manufacturer and style of door you choose, be sure to specify the finish to be applied to the reverse when ordering your new door.

Finish Options for the Reverse of Your New GRP Garage Door:

Option A

Sub frame is bonded over for a more attractive finish.

Option B

Bonding is coated to give a smooth and even appearance and lessen the effects of translucency.

Option C

The rear of the garage door is covered in a flat panel that fully conceals all the subframe.
Option D As above, but the door is fully insulated before the panel is applied.

ABS Garage Doors (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene Plastic)

ABS is the same material that some car bumpers are made from which means superior impact resistance when compared to other garage door materials. ABS is also low maintenance which means you will never need to paint it and it closely match white PVCu products such as windows, fascia and soffit. ABS Garage doors are available in single car width up and over sizes and side hinged up to 2438mm (8ft). Gloss White is the only colour option.

Aluminium Roller Garage Doors

Roller doors are made to measure from extruded Aluminium with PU foam insulation giving you strong, lightweight, corrosion resistant qualities meaning less maintenance for you.

Aluminium Roller Doors are finished in a range of factory applied colours or realistic textured foil woodgrain effects designed to match the finishes available on PVCu windows and front entrance doors.

What Size Garage Door Do I Need?

The garage door size you need can quite often dictate the choice of lifting mechanism, material or manufacturer that you can choose from. If you have a more unusual size or garage with limited internal headroom or clear depth for the door tracks, your choice will be reduced further.

Up and Over garage doors are generally available in both standard single and double sizes as well as made to measure. Single garage doors (for 1 vehicle) are typically between 2134mm (7’0″) and 2438mm (8’0″) wide, and 1981mm (6’6″) and 2134mm (7’0″) high. The majority of styles also come in double sizes (2 vehicles), usually 4267mm (14’0″) wide.

Some manufacturers offer made to measure up and over garage doors that can be made up to 5486mm (18’0″) wide and 2438mm (8’0″) high.

If the size you require is more than the maximum available for Up & Over doors, take a look at sectional & roller doors which have size ranges up to 6000mm wide and 3000mm high. Both these types of door will need internal headroom of up to 350mm for their lifting mechanisms.

Side Hinged Garage Doors are mostly limited to a maximum aperture width of 2438mm (8ft).

What Opening Mechanism Do I Need?

Canopy (Trackless) Garage Door Mechanism

The Canopy Lifting Mechanism is the cheapest option and is really easy to fit especially when ordered with a factory fitted frame. They are popular but aren’t ideal for automation. A canopy door operates in vertical tracks on the side frame of the garage door and is usually operated with lifting cables that coil round a drum. When the garage door is fully open it forms a ‘canopy’ above the opening of about a third of the door’s height.

Although canopy doors can be automated we do not recommend it as the conversion kit needed reduces the opening height of your garage by up to 200mm (8”), restricting your access for taller vehicles and the door’s operation is never smooth. If you are considering a manually operated garage door, we would always recommend going for the retractable mechanism as the extra cost is marginal. This will allow you or future owners of your home to easily automate the garage door at a later date.

Where available always upgrade to multipoint locking to improve the security of manually operated Canopy Doors.

WARNING: The Hidden Dangers of Automating a Vertically Tracked Canopy Garage Door with a ‘Bow Arm’ or ‘Canopy Arm’ Adaptor.

The canopy door adaptor or ‘bow arm’ was designed to enable a conventional horizontal boom type electric garage door operator to lift a vertically tracked canopy door. It does this by converting some of the motor’s horizontal force into a vertical force, enabling it to raise and lower the garage door on its vertical tracks.

The bow arm reduces your clear drive through height as it protrudes approximately 150mm – 200mm (6″ – 8″) from the underside of the open door. It puts undue strain on the motor and garage door support mechanism resulting in premature failure of the installation. If you would like an electrically operated garage door then we recommend renewing your canopy door to either a retractable up and over, sectional or roller garage door.

Canopy Bow Arm Safety Issues

Because a canopy garage door fitted with a bow arm adaptor requires a very high level of motor force in order to move the door, the motor’s safety-stop device has to be programmed to allow dangerously high levels of push /pulling force, resulting in a higher risk of injury if children or pets become trapped under the moving door.

We do not recommend canopy bow arm adaptors because doors fitted with this device are unlikely to meet EU Machinery Directive Safety Regulations for power operated garage doors to which all your installation must comply.

Retractable (Tracked /Slideaway) Garage Door Mechanism

Retractable Up & Over Garage Doors are guided by horizontal ceiling tracks inside the garage allowing the door to recede completely when fully opened. Tracked garage doors are ideal for automation or if manually operated we recommend upgrading to multipoint locking to improve your security.

Sectional Garage Door Mechanism

Available in Steel, Timber & GRP, these superior security sectional garage doors are opened by a reliable vertical lift action and guided by fixed vertical and horizontal tracks resulting in a steady and consistent movement that increases the durability of the door and its moving parts Sectional garage doors have the benefit of no outward swing when opening or closing which allows you to park right up to either side of the door making them ideal for short driveways and use with larger vehicles such as 4×4’s and people carriers.


All Sectional garage doors are neatly weather-sealed on all four sides to reduce draughts and the irritation of leaves and rain being driven under your door.

Steel & GRP sectional doors are available with either a single skin or double skinned doors which have an insulating core of either 20mm or 40mm providing tremendous heat retention within the garage and U-values as low as U=1.30 W/m2K making them ideal for converting your garage into a playroom, workshop, gym, home office or storeroom.

Easy Access

Sectional doors maximise the drive through width of your garage as they are usually fitted on the rear face of the garage opening eliminating the need for a timber frame. Because of this, the shape of your structural opening is no longer of prime importance. Whether square, angled or arched a sectional garage door always gives a perfect fit.

    • Reduced Draughts & Water/ Debris Ingress
    • Ideal for Short Driveways
    • Ideal for Oversize Vehicles Such as 4×4’s and People Carriers
    • Maximises Opening Width – Existing Frames Can Be Removed
    • Maximises Headroom Clearance
    • Ideal for Garages Used as Habitable Rooms
    • Thermal & Sound Insulation
    • Superior Security than Traditional Garage Door Types
    • Optional Wicket Door for Easy Pedestrian Access


If you have limited internal headroom sectional garage doors can be fitted with a side sectional mechanism which allows the door to run on floor and ceiling mounted tracks so that the door opens along the internal wall. By doing this you get the added bonus of convenient pedestrian access by opening the first door panel only.


Sectional Garage Doors are available from stock in standard sizes or made to measure up to 6.5m wide and 3m high.

Please note the ordering size of your sectional door is your structural opening size for behind the brickwork opening.

Security & Safety

Because the door is fitted behind the brickwork it provides an excellent level of security as there are no gaps for the door to be forced open. For safety, if a garage is built directly next to the pavement, it is not permitted for the garage door to swing outwards. In this case a vertically opening sectional door presents the best solution.

Quality & Style

Sectional Garage Doors are available in either ribbed or panelled designs. Timber Sectional Garage Doors are also available in a variety of attractive designs and you can also have a unique door made to your exact design on request.

Optional Extras

    • Choice of Handles with the Manually Operated Version
    • Stylish Stainless Steel Detailing
    • Matching Side Doors
    • Easy Pedestrian Access with Wicket Doors /Sectional Garage Door Combination
    • Glazed Window Panels


Roller Shutter Garage Doors

Roller garage doors have strong, corrosion resistant aluminium lathes offering proven security to help you protect the contents of your garage. The curtains are weather-sealed and the lathe panels are energy efficient as they are insulated against heat loss with a typical U value of U=5.2 W/m2K.

If you need to save space within your garage, roller doors are the perfect solution as they take up very little ceiling area unlike other door types. To ensure a customized installation for you, roller doors are made to measure and come in a variety of attractive colours and finishes. Roller Doors are ideal if you’ve got a short driveway or oversized vehicles as they are opened with a vertical lift action allowing you to park right up to your door.

Side Hinged Garage Doors (Barn Doors)

These traditional garage doors are ideal if you are unable to accommodate other styles of door mechanism within your garage and for you to achieve a classic look to your property. They are available in Steel, GRP, ABS, or Timber for openings up to 2438mm (8ft) wide.

Pedestrian access into your garage is easy and convenient with a side hung garage door. These doors can easily be automated using an overhead operator and adaptor kit or by using bespoke hydraulic opening arms.


To improve the safety & security of both you and your home all Up & Over, Roller, Sectional and Side Hinged Garage Doors can be automated using a range of electric openers. Our range of automatic operators are also suitable for retro-fitting to most existing garage doors provided they are in good working order. Please note we do not recommend the automation of Canopy Doors.