If you are looking to replace your existing garage doors with a modern design, you should definitely consider installing a space-saving garage roller door. This is because these designs offer far more benefits to the user than a conventional up-and-over design, which are fitted to the majority of homes up and down the country.
As such, this article will take a look at the most common types of roller doors available in the UK and examine the main differences between them, enabling interested parties to make an informed purchasing decision.
What is a roller door you may ask? In essence, this type of garage door follows one simple principle – “vertical lift operation”. This basically means that the door curtain rises and descends in a vertical manner (the same way as a shop front shutter would do). This simple yet time proven design enables many benefits to the user which we will look at below.
Single Skin Roller Doors (non-insulated)
As the name suggests a single skin roller door is basically one sheet of steel roll formed with a corrugated profile to give it strength. Connected to a spindle and drum wheel the curtain simply coils around it as it is operated. Whilst basic in design the door offers many user benefits as detailed below
Space Saving: Designed to be mounted inside the garage a single skin roller door fixes straight to the brickwork meaning that no additional frame is required. As such the maximum width and height of the opening is maintained making parking inside the garage far easier. Additionally as the door rolls up extra storage space can be created in the position a traditional door would normally sit when open (ie the ceiling)
Cost Effective: Compared to the insulated design the single skin door offers a cost-effective means of securing the contents of the garage. Available from a number of major UK manufacturers at a price that is affordable to the average UK homeowner, they are excellent value for money.
Made to Measure Sizes: Unlike an up & over or side hinged design that is only available in a set amount of standard sizes, a roller door is always manufactured in bespoke sizes to ensure the perfect fit to any residential application. This is important because proper installation improves security and ultimately prolongs the life of the door.
Choice of Operation: Doors that are manually operated work under spring tension making the curtain light and easy to operate (even for large double door). Electric operation offers more convenience and is the best option for regular access.
Installation Space Requirements: Due to the space required to house the roller mechanism not all garages will be suitable for this style of door. This is because the roller diameter is in the region of 450mm deep meaning you need a good amount of headroom above the opening to be able to mount the mechanism.
Limited to One Design: Due to the rolling nature of the design it is only available in one style. If you want the benefits of vertical lift operation but want to maintain a traditional appearance a sectional door will be more appealing.
No Insulation Value: As the door curtain is thin it does not provide any kind of insulation so is really only recommended for detached garages that are only used for storage or parking the car inside.
Insulated Roller Shutter Garage Doors
Rather than being constructed from a single sheet of steel, an insulated garage roller door is made up twin walled foam filled (insulated) slats known in the industry as “lath”, which interlock together to create a single curtain. The benefit of this design is that even though the door is much thicker than the single skin design the amount of space they need to be installed into is much smaller allowing for a more flexible approach in terms of how it can be installed.
Thermal and Acoustic Performance: With a dense foam filled core the door will help prevent cold air from entering the garage and warm air from leaving the building. This is especially useful where there is a bedroom or living space directly above the space as these room have traditionally always remained a few degrees cooler than the rest of the house due to heat loss through the floor.
Automated as Standard: As this style of garage door sits at the premium end of the market they tend to be supplied with remote control operation as standard therefore providing added convenience to the user.
Provides High Levels of Security: Featuring minimal weak points, a reinforced bottom section and strong locking mechanism an insulated garage door is a strong and durable physical security solution that is unrivalled in terms of the level of protection it offers.
Designed with Safety of the User in Mind: To prevent accidents and injury the leading edge of the door is fitted with a safety sensor that will automatically stop downward movement if something gets in its path of travel. In addition to this should one of the major components ever fail a safety brake will prevent the door from dropping down like a guillotine.
Cost: Constructed from expensive aluminium and electrical components this design normally cost twice that of a cheap up and over door and around 1/3rd more expensive than the single skin counterpart meaning they are out of the reach of many homeowners in terms of affordability.
Dents are Difficult to Repair: Due to the double skinned design if you dent the front face it is difficult to repair as it cannot be tapped out from behind. In these instances replacement lath is required.
To conclude, if you are looking for a cheap door to secure a detached garage then the single skin door is the best option however if you are looking for a high performance door that will offer security, convenience and thermal efficiency select the insulated garage roller door.
This article has be written by Dan from Roller Garage Door Sale who are an experienced UK based garage door retailer who specialise in vertical lift doors.