What is the difference between canopy and retractable lifting gear for an Up and Over garage door?

The UK’s garage door market isn’t standing still, it’s moving forward on all fronts with technical and product innovations each year.

With an ever expanding range of up and over garage doors from lots of different manufacturers, there’s an ever increasing choice of materials (steel, timber, GRP, PVC), gear types (canopy, retractable, retractable plus), designs and colours, which means choosing the right door for your property can be difficult. Saying that it’s “not easy” might be a bit of an understatement, like trying to buy a stereo for a car without knowing anything about it other than the fact that it can play music. But sometimes putting in the time to get the stuff right that’s “not easy” is really worthwhile and can pay dividends in the long run… choosing the right type of lifting gear for an up and over garage door is one such thing! So today we are going to look at what each one does, what its benefits are and in what scenario an up and over garage door with canopy lifting gear, for example, would be the most appropriate.

With up and over garage doors, there are generally three types of lifting gear to choose from:

  1. Canopy lifting gear
  2. Retractable lifting gear
  3. Retractable plus lifting gear

1. Canopy lifting gear

So canopy lifting gear is usually the least expensive type of lifting gear and is perfect for manually operated up and over garage doors, as opposed to garage doors without an electric operator.

If you intend to fit an electric operator (i.e. the box with a long stick on it, that opens and closes your garage door when you press a button), then you really should try to avoid canopy lifting gear as this will require a bow arm to work with an operator. Buying a door with retractable gearing is a far better option when the door is going to be used with an electric operator.

Garage doors fitted with canopy lifting gear also protrude approximately 1/3 when open, forming a small canopy in front of the garage, hence they are commonly referred to as ‘canopy garage doors’.

Another great thing about a canopy garage door is that they don’t have any tracks running back into the garage, which can be problematic for homeowners who want to keep their ceiling space clear or ensure they can still gain access to the roof.

Garador doors with canopy gearing are also fitted with an anti-drop safety system to prevent the garage door from crashing down in the event of spring or cable failure.

Typically, an up and over garage door with canopy lifting gear would be used where the homeowner wants a manually operated garage door. They also want a single garage door size (i.e. below 10ft wide), not a double garage door size (i.e. 10ft wide or more) which would require retractable gearing. The homeowner may also have a limited budget and could make a small cost saving by purchasing a canopy gear door.

2. Retractable lifting gear

Retractable lifting gear is a bit more expensive, but can be really worthwhile spending the money on if you intend to have an electric operator fitted. As the cost of a bow arm and canopy gearing combined would far outweigh the cost of just retractable lifting gear.

Retractable gear runs on horizontal tracks which go back into the garage, so when the door is open it is tucked behind the reveal of the garage door opening and does not form a canopy like a canopy geared door, but it can protrude a very small amount (from 10mm – 60mm).

Garador doors with retractable gearing are also fitted with a secure parking position feature, which helps to prevent the door from uncontrolled closing.

3. Retractable Plus lifting gear

Retractable plus lifting gear is the same as retractable lifting gear, but it features specially designed lifting arms which are purposefully designed for narrow openings. Retractable plus lifting gear provides a little bit of extra width across the garage door opening, to allow those with wider cars to be able to drive their car through the garage door opening, without clipping the wing mirrors.  

A Garador Retractable Up and Over garage door is opened by steel arms which lift the door open along horizontal tracks inside the garage. When the door is open, these lifting arms sit either side in between the fixing sub frame and this can reduce the opening width by between 4 – 6 inches. The Retractable Plus option, however, moves the side arms upwards, allowing vehicles the full width of the garage door opening at wing mirror height.

Garador’s Retractable Plus mechanism offers specially designed lifting arms including bottom spring brackets for narrow openings which give more room horizontally in the garage door opening.

There are a few good reasons why Garador’s Up & Over garage doors remain Britain’s top seller year after year. They are safe, reliable, secure and let’s not forget that with a 10-year limited warranty, they are built to last as well.

Head on over to www.garador.co.uk to view the full Garador range of garage doors and read more about lifting gear types for up and over doors, as well as technical specs for other types of garage door. 



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