There are a variety of types of garage door, such as rollers, canopy opening, and side hinging. Each of these types use different opening mechanisms, and each type has the option of being mechanically assisted. These doors are assisted with an electrical motor that can be of various levels of voltage, which will determine both the weight of the door that can be lifted and the speed at which the opening and closing of the door occurs. Although a standard door isn’t really that heavy, when you start improving the materials used along with expanding the size of the aperture being covered, the weight can increase significantly and a more powerful motor will be required.

The first type of door to be described is a canopy opening door, also know as an up and over door. This type of door operates through rollers on either end of the frame that guide the door upwards when the top of the door is lifted. This is all assisted by a counter spring that reduces the weight of the door, making the process of lifting it up and opening it much more achievable for most people. This is a great option for lighter weight models of garage door, and the only reason why you might want to upgrade this garage door into an electric door is a matter of convenience. An electrically operated up and over garage door uses an electric motor to start the lifting process, usually through a simple winching system that doesn’t require much drive, making this quite a cheap upgrade to get.

The second type of door is similarly a canopy opening door, but it is a retractable up and over door. This has a similar opening mechanism, however rather than having the rollers on either side of the frame, to door’s rollers are to the rear of the door and work to pull the door back into place, fully retracted into the garage. The downside to this is that you lose more head space in your garage, however you gain more room for your driveway. An electric door variation of this door uses a winch type motor, such as a Hormann motor, that drives a belt to pull the door back into place.

A roller shutter garage door is another type of garage door that is quite dissimilar to other types of garage door. For the roller shutter, there are, broadly speaking, two varieties of door, which is the sideway opening and the upwards opening. In both instances, the roller shutter is constructed with multiple slats, which are small metal flat bars, usually of galvanised steel. These slats are connected together to form what is referred to as a curtain, and are oriented vertically for the sidewards opening door, and horizontally for the upwards opening door. Although both sidewards opening and upwards opening door variations are available, you will find that the upwards opening doors are far more commonplace, and you may need to do a bespoke order for the sidewards models. In either case, both open through similar mechanisms, relying on what is referred to as a roller assembly. If you can imagine a rolling pin, this performs much the same function, drawing the slats upwards and around the roller assembly so that minimal space is used, and there is no projection out onto the driveway. In order to upgrade this into an electric door, you simply need a motor that will drive the rotational process, which means that the footprint of this motor is much smaller than the ones available for the up and over doors. As a downside, these motors typically need greater strength, and as a result are moderately more expensive, although still nothing to really be concerned about.

Another door that you can look at is a sectional garage door. This is kind similar to a roller shutter garage door, in that both are made of interconnected sections of metal, however, this is where the similarities end. The sections of a sectional garage door are generally much wider in size, roughly four times greater than the slats of a roller shutter door, and as a consequence the door can’t be opened up using a roller assembly. The door’s opening mechanism instead resembles the retractable up and over door much more closely, however the door rollers that an up and over door rely on as a guide are replaced with tracks instead. These tracks also work to guide the door backwards into an overhead position within the garage,.