Better Shed Doors?

We've put off replacing our shed doors a few years now due to funds and time. However they have reached the point where I doubt they can make it through another winter. What I want to know is what is the best way to replace them.
Our shed is 12x16 classic barn style. Two doors with trim x-patterns on the bottom half (trim falling off due to rot on the backside from water pooling). We've had to move the hinges a few times due to them pulling free of the 2x4's and weather. The doors close together in the middle and have always been a little out of alignment making sliding bolt locks useless. Other than the doors, only a 4-5 inches of the bottom along one side is starting to spearate. Otherwise the shed is in good shape. Nothing a cleaning, a little filler and paint can't fix for another serveral years.
I would love to put a metal roll up door on it but finding one that would fit, and not cost a fortune, has been impossible. So far I have found one that might be small enough but it is darned expensive.
Hubby wants to put new doors on using piano hinges, but from what I have read, that's a bad idea.
I would love to expand the door side another 8 feet, as we have the room, to utilize as a small workshop. Basically a door at either end, one for storage and one for a shop.
Unfortunately, my husband was laid-off yesterday and that will again be put on hold. So it's fix the doors for now and wait.
I am open to any suggestions on the best way to fix/replace the doors so that we don't have to keep moving hinges, suffer from rotting trim and can actually lock it securely.
`Casper
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On 8/16/2012 9:21 AM, Casper wrote:

...
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Well, there's expedient to get thru vs an ideal--sounds like expedient is probably in the works for the moment.
I'd just rebuild a new set of doors as the old except be sure to a) prime and paint thoroughly behind the battens if want to reproduce the present look, and
b) make sure there's a little air space on bottoms so the water can drain to minimize the capillary effects.
If there's some room in the budget, you could go w/ the Azek or other varieties of trim lumber to provide rot-impervious material.
--
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On Thu, 16 Aug 2012 09:29:22 -0500, dpb wrote:

Or make the frames of cypress and the sheathing of cedar. Don't use cedar for the frame because it doesn't have a lot of screw holding power.
--
Intelligence is an experiment that failed - G. B. Shaw

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Larry Blanchard wrote:

Or forget screws an use bolts that go all the way thru the hinge, trim, and base.
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We've had to move the hinges a few times due to them pulling free of the 2x4's and weather.
Use treated 2X4s for replacements.
Sonny
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If you are looking for a "roll-up" door, check out your local auto wrecking yard and look for a roll-up door on a delivery truck, the smaller sized trucks such as used by parcel delivery people. They make a number of smaller sizes, and there may be a used one of a close size, that could, with some creativity, be adapted to fit your shed at minimal cost.
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wrote:

Put a rain drip edge over the doors to reduce water intake.
To fix doors, drill holes where the water pools so it doesn't pool, then paint them inside, too. If rebuilding the doors, saw a couple of 1/4" V grooves vertically on the tubafores at the bottom of the doors (plywood side) so the rain has a groove to exit. If one of the doors doesn't already have one, add an external batten to it to reduce rain coming in between them.
To align doors, making them instantly realignable, get some of the gate anti-sag kits from ACE Hardware. $12, and worth every penny. http://www.acehardwareoutlet.com/productDetails.aspx?SKUR99029
Tip: grease the turnbuckle in advance with anti-seize.
-- All of us want to do well. But if we do not do good, too, then doing well will never be enough. -- Anna Quindlen
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How about checking out Youtube. I saw some really cool aircraft style doors. They were home made and counter balanced. The nice thing about them is they give you a ton of shade if you want to work outside, and if you just want to raise the door during rain, you have a huge awning that prevents the rain from coming in since the doors extend half the length of the height away.
I think you might be amazed. Plus you can use corrugated metal, or corrugated plastic or the new flexible fiber type instead of wood to keep them lighter and more rot resistant.
Just an idea. Take a look each one I looked at had little gems of hints on what to do and what not to do.
I hope your hubby finds a job. I know what it is like.
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I have seen those in the past but forgot about them. They would be great but I am not certain my shed is tall enough for them.

I would love to use something other than wood, especially to secure the shed better. The doors haven't rotted so much as the trim on them.

Thanks for the idea. I will keep it in mind.

Thanks for that too. We certainly are hoping so and one that lasts instead of all the short contracts everyone out here seems to prefer. If this keeps up much longer, we may move out of state. `Casper
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On 8/18/2012 8:53 AM, Casper wrote:

Is your husband in the computer field?
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Yes he is .. in networking and security. Me too but I prefer hardware. Less frustrating. ;)
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On 8/18/2012 11:53 PM, Casper wrote:

Then I understand. I have been the only American on my last 3 projects.
I just started a new job (3 month contract) this past Monday after being out of work since Feb. I am one of 3 Americans on a team of 50..
And while I love this country, I hate what it is doing to itself. I hate being an outcast in my own country. One of the Indians was talking about how much he was making on this job. He's making $15 / hour more than me. You gotta love it.
We are a country with out a direction.
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On 8/19/2012 5:25 PM, tiredofspam wrote:

Down is a direction.
--
Jack
Add Life to your Days not Days to your Life.
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Thanks for the the replies and suggestions. They are much appreciated.
I am leaning towards a temporary fix by replacing some wood and using bolts for the door hinges. It's going to depend on what materials we can find and at what price. If we can repair it enough to last another year, two at most, then I hope to be able to expand it and have that larger workshop.
After hearing talk about metal sheds, insulation and other ideas chatted about here, I'm getting great ideas on what we can do. Now just ust have to put the pennies in the jar. :)
Thanks again for all the great ideas.
`Casper
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Casper;2910883 Wrote: > We've put off replacing our shed doors a few years now due to funds

I built some doors about two years ago using wood from pallets. They are free and alot of businesses give them away. It takes a bit of time to get the wood off the pallets, but hey it's free. I uses a 2x4 frame for the doors, trimmed it around the edges and laid the 1x4 pallet pieces horizontally and painted. I get a bunch of hardware online at 'Shed Accessories To Build a Shed Windows' (http://www.shed-windows.com/Shed-Accessories.html ) I used the 6" decorative hinges.
--
FLguy


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Hi Casper,

I have built a few different shed doors and haven't noticed any problems with my design over the last 20 years or so.
1. I build a frame with a 2x4 rail at the top, a 2x4 rail in the middle, and a 2x4 rail at the bottom. Then I use 3" deck screws to secure 2x2 stiles on each side of the frame. The 2x2 stiles cut down on weight, while the 2x4 rails give some "meat" for the hinges to screw into.
2. Then I attach an outer "skin" of rough sawn plywood, usually 1/2" depending on what is easily available at the time. I usually use 1-1/2" screws to secure the skin to the frame.
3. Finally, I nail on decorative trim made of 1x4's to the exterior of the door. This covers the screws that attach the skin to the frame, and allow you to decorate the door as you wish. It can be a simple perimeter frame, or you can add an "X" pattern. I like to use pocket screws to preassemble the trim frame before attaching it to the door, but that's entirely optional.
4. Attach similar 1x4 trim around the door opening in the shed.
5. Attach hinges to the door, making sure they are located over the 2x4 rails for a secure connection. I like to use 4" gate strap hinges. Two are usually enough for doors up to 4x6, but I would install a third hinge in the middle for more strength or for larger doors. I use Simpson Strongdrive screws to attach the hinges. They are self tapping, drive easily, and are very strong. They're usually located with the joist hangers and other metal construction brackets in the home centers.
6. Temporarily prop the new door in the door opening, with a spacer to keep it off the floor. Then screw the hinges to the building using the strongdrive screws again (use the longest screws you can to have the most secure connection to the building structure).
7. Install whatever handle and/or lock you want to use. I've always just used a sliding gate latch with a padlock. Good enough for my needs.
8. From inside the building, nail on boards as "stops" so the door doesn't swing all the way inside the building. You can attach adhesive weatherstripping if you want to cut down on drafts, but that's usually overkill for a shed.
9. Caulk around all of the decorative trim so water can't get behind and cause rot. Then paint as desired.
Of course, you'll have to make the door slightly smaller than the door opening so it has room to swing out. I usually make my doors about 1/4" narrower than the opening, which gives me a gap of about 1/8" on each side. Once the door is installed and exposed to weather, the wood may expand from moisture. You can either make the door smaller to start with, or trim a little off the outer edge if it starts sticking. Just remember to take out the deck screws on the sides before making any cuts with your saw, handplane, or belt sander.
My sheds all have concrete slabs, so I make my frame about 1/2" shorter than the door opening, and make the plywood skin larger so it overlaps the edge of the slab. This keeps rain and wind from blowing under the bottom of the door.
I recently built a pair of 4'x8' shed doors for a garage at my in-laws. I made one frame about 3/4" wider, and the other frame about 3/4" narrower than the plywood skins. This allows the doors to overlap in the middle, covering the gap that would otherwise be between the two doors. I did use 3 hinges for each of those large doors, but otherwise it was the same construction method I always use. I couldn't find a large latch to secure the two doors together, so I made a crude system with a couple of pieces of electrical conduit and a long piece of threaded rod to slide inside. They rarely open the garage doors, so it worked rather well.
These are big heavy doors, but are very strong. There are a variety of methods you could use to make the doors lighter and thinner. Make the inner frame out of 1x4 boards pocket screwed together, or just omit the internal frame entirely. It's mostly there to prevent warping and give something to secure the hinges to.
Heck, you could make a door using nothing more than a sheet of 3/4" plywood cut to size if you wanted to. In that case I would probably use bolts and nuts to secure the hinges to the "door" rather than screws.
Good luck,
Anthony Watson Mountain Software www.mountain-software.com
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