Just wondering if anyone has built their own garage doors?
After looking at the sorry crap that is available for $350-500, I get
the distinct feeling that I could build something much better.
Vanilla looking, fake emphasized woodgrain steel doors with 1/2" of
tacked on foam and REALLY poor sealing between sections is worse
(R-value wise) than what we are removing due to spotty deterioration
of the wood. They just plain SUCK! And have no character whatsoever.
Please refrain from commenting on extension and torsion spring dangers
(I've got the tools/experience - and have already R&R'd them both due
to a rebuild of the termite infested wall.) ;-) And yea, I know
they have to weigh around 100-140 lbs, depending on springs, for
conventional hardware to work on a 105"x84" door.
And as far as calling a "professional", the last ass-hat that was here
changed out 2 perfectly good springs for WAY too light springs. Why?
To wear out the existing garage door opener so that he could hard sell
a $700 opener + installation. I wasn't home. Ain't capitalism great?
Greg - do a google search. Someone posted a url a while back (within the
past 2 years or so I believe) with pics, of overhead doors he built himself.
Nice looking doors as I recall. Wish I could remember who the poster was,
but I don't.
Greg G. (in firstname.lastname@example.org) said:
| Just wondering if anyone has built their own garage doors?
| Got pictures?
I built a replacement (bottom) section for my 9'x7' garage door a
couple of years ago. It wasn't difficult - a 3-panel frame built from
2x4's with plywood inserts. I picked up a pair of (fairly hefty)
router bits from MLCS and routed all parts in about a half hour at the
router table. I spent a Saturday afternoon on the project and think I
spent most of my time removing the parts to be reused from the old
section (removing the old bottom seal without damage was a challenge.)
I didn't take any pictures. I can shoot a photo of the thing now; but
don't think it'd tell you anything you don't already know.
Building a complete door would just be a matter of building more
DeSoto, Iowa USA
I've also been interested in building my own garage doors. I've seen
really nice 'carriage house' style doors on some high end houses.
I think they are from someplace like this:
Check out those prices! $2000 - $3000.
I currently have new decent quality aluminum 4 section rollup doors
(filled with insulation).
Does anyone have any suggestions of how I would skin the exterior my
current doors with wooden panels ?
You could try screwing the wood panels on with sheet metal screws
countersunk into the panels and then covered with some sort of trim....
If covering the entire thing with wood you might have to adjust the
door track or door jamb to give you more clearance between the door and
the jamb. It depends on what you have now and what thickness of wood
you are thinking of using.
You can also purchase garage door "slabs" and add your own exterior trims.
I've built several over the years using the slabs as a base and facing them
with T&G redwood, etc. for the "carriage house" look (the doors look more
like they would open out than just be a conventional garage door). --dave
Thanks for the answers, everyone.
I actually brought a Wayne Dalton 8100 door and iDrive opener home to
install, but after opening the box and inspecting all the plastic crap
inside, it's going back. I'll be building my own - better looking,
more durable, higher R-value, and cheaper.
The Door - 26 gauge steel - not galvanized as the promo lit claims.
Poor fitting joints that let air pass through between the sections.
The insulation isn't even bonded to the door. Just pads of foam
tacked to the back side. A plastic manual door lift.
TorqueMaster torsion spring - Come on guys, plastic torsion spring
retainers? Plastic tensioning gears? Plastic cable drums? I'd give
this one a life expectancy of about 3 years of light usage.
The iDrive seemed like such a good idea, but plastic drive gears,
Chinese PC boards and bad software don't inspire my confidence either.
According to most owners on the net and their horror stories, the
iDrive is one big POS. And what a tiny, tiny little 30v DC motor.
I'll just build a conventional door with real hardware, and install a
Chamberlain LiftMaster Belt drive opener.
And by the way, do you stupid marketing morons just HAVE to put ' i '
in front of everything? iPods, iMacs - I can almost swallow that, at
least you can connect to the internet with those. But a garage door
opener? Get serious! iDrive my ass. Apparently it means Intermittant.
Greg G. (in email@example.com) said:
| Greg G. said:
|| Just wondering if anyone has built their own garage doors?
|| Got pictures?
| Thanks for the answers, everyone.
| I'll just build a conventional door with real hardware, and install
| a Chamberlain LiftMaster Belt drive opener.
A tip of my hat to you. It's both wonderful and horrible to realize
that you can build better than you can buy! It isn't as convenient as
being able to pull one "off-the-shelf"; but this way you'll have
control of the quality.
I find myself wishing that I'd taken a pile of pictures to share with
you. Perhaps you can do better and take pictures to help the next
It's not difficult. Work safe and keep us posted on how it goes - and
feel welcome to ask questions here when/if you find yourself in
DeSoto, Iowa USA
I've been following this topic and saw your post about using the MCLS bits,
which seem pretty straight-forward. What I wanted to ask you was how did you
match that panel to the existing one above it?
The door that I need to replace has rails between the sections that appear
to be split in half with some sort of "ship lap" joint , if that's the
correct term, on each edge. It gives them the appearance of evenly spaced
panels. That said, other than aesthetics, would it be better to use the same
size 2 X 4 stock for each panel and match them to each other, or simply use
smaller stock for the rails where each panel meets an adjoining one?
Being new at this, and really needing to replace the door, it's more a
matter of function over form. My main concern is how to make the panels meet
By the way, I have looked at doors that the local Borgs have available,
along with their high prices, and came away with the feeling that one could
be made for far less with better results. At the very least, it would be a
Thanks in advance to either you or anyone else who posts a reply.
Peter Bogiatzidis (in e4s9f.5156$ firstname.lastname@example.org)
| I've been following this topic and saw your post about using the
| MCLS bits, which seem pretty straight-forward. What I wanted to ask
| you was how did you match that panel to the existing one above it?
| The door that I need to replace has rails between the sections that
| appear to be split in half with some sort of "ship lap" joint , if
| that's the correct term, on each edge. It gives them the appearance
| of evenly spaced panels. That said, other than aesthetics, would it
| be better to use the same size 2 X 4 stock for each panel and match
| them to each other, or simply use smaller stock for the rails where
| each panel meets an adjoining one?
| Being new at this, and really needing to replace the door, it's
| more a matter of function over form. My main concern is how to make
| the panels meet correctly.
| By the way, I have looked at doors that the local Borgs have
| available, along with their high prices, and came away with the
| feeling that one could be made for far less with better results. At
| the very least, it would be a learning experience.
The lap joint prevents rain from running into the interior of the
garage between the panels. I routed the basic "laps" and then used a
shoulder plane on the top of the frame to slope the bottom slightly
(to improve drainage).
I used 2x4 stock because that was what had been been used before and
would match the remainder of the door. The only change I made was to
pin each of the joints with a pair of 3/8" x 6" dowels - which was
probably ridiculous overkill (but it was /my/ door to build as I
DeSoto, Iowa USA
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.