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DIY carriage garage doors

4926 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Mike in Arkansas
I was thinking of eventually installing real carriage doors on my garage (not painting/adding veneers to the existing overhead door). My garage is too small for a car anyway, and it would offer me greater flexibility in adding a garage attic if I could just do away with the overhead door altogether.

I've looked up information on garage carriage doors, and all I can find is how to add veneer to an overhead door, or at the opposite end of the spectrum, where to buy extremely expensive custom-built hardwood carriage doors.

So what I want to know is, how hard can it possibly be to rip out an overhead door and build a swinging double door in its stead? It seems anyone capable of building a garden gate could do this, but it doesn't seem that anyone HAS done this and written about it. I grew up in a house with a detached garage with swinging doors that were just made out of dimensional pine. Anybody got plans? Should I look at barn doors, perchance?
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I did this about 3 years ago. There wasn't any door on the carriage house but it was framed in for a door. I built mine from 3/8 plywood siding with a 1 by 4 lumber frame around the perimeter on both sides screwed together for rigidity. Also some extra 1 by 4 on the front in a decorative pattern that helps add more rigidity. Each of the two doors are almost 8 feet wide and pretty heavy. I used big hinges available from the Borg. I guess they were gate hinges. They mount on the surface and there are 3 of them on each door. If interested I could post a picture. Because of the weight it is a must that the hinges (whatever kind you use) are screwed into framing members and not just though the trim. Also, I found out after the fact that I should have allowed more clearance on the bottom as the cement pad outside wasn't exactly flat and the door rubbed and bound up on a high spot. I'm planning on cutting a bit more off the bottom and finding some kind of rubber strip that will seal out the leaves and such. I used an idea I saw online somewhere to use a regular garage door opener to open and close the door. It works very well. They have been up about 3 years now with no problem except a sag on one side because I didn't get the hinges on that side into framing.
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