Garage Doors

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Forum topic by bayouman posted 06-16-2009 05:26 PM 1335 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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94 posts in 3629 days

06-16-2009 05:26 PM

Hey fellow jocks. Has anyone had any experience with building their own garage doors? I’m considering it and was hoping someone could either encourage me or talk me out of it. Thanks.

3 replies so far

View BTKS's profile


1986 posts in 3428 days

#1 posted 06-16-2009 05:52 PM

No experience building my own, but have installed several. Some refits and some new construction. Are you talking swinging or overhead. Swinging can bet real heavy, would suggest some type of roller / support on swinging end to take a lot of weight off the hinges. Overhead doors, weigh them and get springs or torsion bars to match the weight. Torsion bars can be tricky and take out some teeth if you’re not sure what your doing. Linear springs do need a safety cable down the middle to arrest them when they eventually break. Another option, look at the old style pivot doors. The hardware may be near impossible to find but can be made out of readily available steel stock. Mostly angle iron and some bolts with large springs. I’m not sure how to measure and weight match that style. Also think the pivot style is really limited to size.
You may search this site, I’m sure I saw some homemade garage doors on here a couple of months ago.
If nothing else, I would take a good long look at some existing doors and copy the hardware arrangement.
Best of luck, BTKS

OBTW, long strap hinges are on all the old barn doors around here. They eliminate a lot of torque on the hinge and hold over a large area. There is also the option of a left to right sliding door, like most barn doors today. Cannon ball track and a couple of hangers will have you in business. Only drawback, have to have room to one side to extend the track and a spot to slid the door. Can’t leave door open for long periods if it goes past the building, wind will wreak havoc and sometimes hold it closed when it’s blowing hard into the door. Ok, I’m finally done. BTKS

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

View patron's profile


13600 posts in 3305 days

#2 posted 06-18-2009 06:31 AM

i had to make folding barn doors to a badly built barn .
the openings (2) were 10 ft (high) x 12 ft (wide) .and were out of square !
i made a 2×10 casing and shimed it true and lag bolted it to the framing , lots of lag bolts !
i made 4 doors rougly 3’x10’ with that new door weatherstrip ,neoprene and foam with a fin that goes in a 1/8”
saw kerf around doors to seal ( you have to acount for this as it takes up about 5/16” when closed .
i made 2×4 frames flat , and put spreaders (6) where 10” tee strap hinges would go , they would be lag bolted on latter, ( i had to drill them for 5/16 lags , as i don’t trust 1/4 lags , i’ve had to many break ) .
i covered 1 side with 1/4 ” ply , and glued and air stapeled it to frames ( lots ! ) .
i forgot to tell you about the fixed thermopane 1” glass , 1’ wide x 3’ tall that were in the middle of each door .
then i cut and fitted 1 1/2 ” styrofoam in the cavities in the frame , and covered other side with ply also .
well i strapped 2 doors together with 6 hinges and lags and stood them up on shims to get allignment and
hinged to casing .
the 4 doors in each set were opening out , 3 were slide bolted top and bottom and one had a regular
door entry knob and a stop so you could go in and out without opening all doors .
so the deal is both middle doors hinge on door to its side that hinges on casing all doors opened out and folded
to each other and folded open , they would open to 90 deg. as middle door would hit bldg at 90 deg . .
this kept the weight close to hinges and not long lever arm .
i wanted to put a farm gate wheel on the bottom , but as the cement in front of the barn had a slope to it i could not do this .
it has been 4 years now , and they still work , so i guess i did alright .
there was some shrinkage and i have to put a 1/4 ” strip down the catch side of 1 door to move the catch over to the latch .
paint like crazy , as they get lots of rain .
i tried to talk the client into overhead doors with glass and insulation , but he thought that would be to expensive,
push a button and the door goes up out of the way underneath shelf for storage .

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View TomHintz's profile


207 posts in 3362 days

#3 posted 06-18-2009 09:45 AM

Years ago I used the idea of building my own garage doors as an excuse to buy a new table saw. AFTER buying the saw I started talking to fellows who had actually built their own garage doors (roll-up overhead type), priced it out and then admitted defeat and bought insulated steel doors which I installed myself. (not a real tough job)
Certainly it can be done but with the folks I talked to, getting wood thick enough and then straight enough for the long rails was all but impossible. Most went with redwood because it was the cheapest alternative but as you might suspect made the doors wildly expensive. Nobody I spoke with that had actually done it would do it again though they were happy with the finished results. The cost and headaches on the way to completion were just too great.

-- Tom Hintz,

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