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  • Lisa Gardener

Garage Doors - What Styles Are There?

There's a surprisingly wide range of garage door options on the market for you to consider

Up and over

This one-piece design is the classic garage door. As the name suggests, it lifts up from the bottom, either sliding out of the way below the garage ceiling when open, or creating a canopy at the front. It's a sound choice for a garage that's actually used to park a car in and it's space-efficient. However, enough room is needed to allow it to move forward of the opening as it lifts up and down, so the combination of a short driveway and a car parked waiting to drive into the garage could be an unhappy one. These doors can be opened manually or automated.


Like a sectional, a roller door opens vertically but this design makes a roll above the opening rather than having internal tracks. They're suitable for garages without good headroom, when you want to leave the ceiling free - for storage, perhaps - or where something inside the garage might block other mechanisms. Both insulated and non-insulated designs are on offer, and they can be teamed with a remote control.


Rather than moving outwards like the up and over, a sectional door, made up of vertical panels, moves upwards vertically and then backwards under the garage ceiling to open. This style of door maximises space both inside the garage and in front of it. Large versions for big garages are available, and there's a choice of insulated double-skinned doors, or single-skinned for a garage that doesn't require insulation. The design offers a good seal against the weather and can be electrically operated.

Slide sliding

If stashing the open garage door in the ceiling isn't possible, a design that moves round the corner and down the side of the garage on a track is an alternative. Side sliding doors are useful when you frequently need access to the garage on foot, as you don't have to open the door all the way to get a bike out, for example. They work well on large openings and can be automated.


Another option when the garage height is an issue, as bifolding doors don't need wall space for a mechanism. Whether outward or inward opening, they require sufficient room to fold back. The panels allow the garage to be accessed without opening the door fully. A bifold door can also be automated.

Side hinged

Double doors opening to either side are often traditional in design, so could work for an older home, although contemporary versions can be sleek and modern. they could have a one-third, two-thirds split or half-and-half across the opening if you prefer. Although generally opening outwards, there are models that open the the inside, and the slope of your drive could influence the choice. These doors might be selected where the garage isn't a home to the car, with one door opening sufficiently wide for on-foot access. These combine well with a ceiling used for storage as there are no tracks there, but enough driveway space to swing them open is essential. It's possible to automate them.


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