"How to fabricate your own garage doors."October 16, 2009 by Mike Strawbridge
When I built my barn to house my Jeep workshop, I was not sure what kind of garage doors I wanted. At first I considered the standard overhead roll up garage door. I could have gotten these included in my steel building kit. However, price for these garage doors was higher than I wanted to pay for my barn.
I shopped around for some used garage doors, but I never found any that I liked. When I built my house a few years back I found a really nice set of wood garage doors that had a little rot at the bottom. I was able to make replacement parts for the doors out of redwood using my table saw and a little creativity.
However, for my barn, all the roll up and overhead garage doors that I found limited the overhead space too much. One of the reasons I chose the arch steel building construction as to eliminate rafters so I did not want garage doors getting in the way of all my hard earned headspace.
In my dad’s shop, we always have to make sure we close the doors before jacking anything up very high because it will hit the garage doors. I did not want to repeat that problem in my shop.
I finally settled on fabricating my own steel garage doors. Since I had plenty of space outside the barn, I chose a garage door design that allows the doors to swing open to the outside. To limit the stress on the hinges, frames and other garage door parts, I covered each each garage door opening two separate garage doors. Each 10 by 10 garage door opening has two 10 by 5 garage doors. Four garage doors total for the two garage door openings.
I started by fabricating a frame for each garage door out of one inch square tubing. The frame was a 10 by 5 rectangle sized to fit just inside the garage door opening. I faced the frame with light gage corrugated steel sheeting. The sheeting makes a nice match for the galvanized finish on the rest of the barn.
The garage door frame was welded together using but joints at each corner and a diagonal brace going from the bottom of each hinge side up to the opposite corner. The completed garage doors are flexible enough to withstand being caught I the wind and plenty strong enough to provide security for the building.
I welded a lock hasp to the joining sides of the garage doors so that they are locked to each other for security. A simple padlock is all that is required to seal them up.
I think I spent about $200 on materials for the four garage doors. These cover two ten by ten openings. They are easy to open and close so I don’t need an electric opener that I would have felt was required if I had chosen a roll up or overhead garage door. I was not able to find even a single used door for that cost in my search.
Overall I am very happy with my barn style garage doors. They keep the rain and vermin out and my tools in at night. They allow quick and easy vehicle access and most importantly don’t take up any inside headspace. And with no tracks or motors, these garage doors have been totally maintenance free.
For photos of these garage doors and more barn raising pictures, see http://www.mikestrawbridge.com/new_jeep_garage.htm
Mike Strawbridge October 16, 2009
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