How can I open and insulate a single heavy wood sided garage door not using an electric opener or traditional hardware?

I have 3 single, older, traditional wood-sided garage doors. I am making a room out of the garage and, fixing 2 doors, but still want 1 door to open. Each door is 8'Wx7'H with 5" horizontal T&G siding. I planned to add some 24"x14" wood window sashes across the top, add insulation and some kind of thin paneling, doorskin or such to the back side and trim out the front side with 1/2" x 3" redwood. The fixed doors are no real issue, but what I'm puzzling about is how to make one door openable, but yet weatherized, and without all the traditional opening hardware showing inside. The windows & their framing, the trim, and  back panels will add weight, maybe alot. I want to remove all the exsisting spring hardware, so it looks like a room inside and not a garage. I thought about some kind of block & tackle, or manual gears to lift the door, but I just don't know. Also, I want to keep the doors appearing on the outside like regular doors, but modernized, and all 3 the same. Any ideas, (wild or otherwise, I'm open) to lift and open a door like this? I considered remaking the doors into carriage doors, but my driveway is sloped, so that could be a problem for rollers and any type of weatherproofing. I wanted to avoid completely remaking the doors any more than I already am. Thanks for any ideas.

From the sounds of it I suggest you look at making the door hang on overhead rollers to push it to one side when you want to open. On the inside you could place rubber weaterstripping (like what is on the bottom of the door usually) on both sides/top of the door to keep out wind/rain. Some type of locking mechinisim (eye & hook) to hold it against the stripping when closed. You may need to make a frame out from the wall on the outside, which could be covered with moulding, to ease opening/closeing and hide the rubber. By doing it this way your not losing interior space for your room and its still fuctional.

I hope this comes across right. I sometimes have trouble typing what I see in my minds eye.

If you go with the over the head type door I would use a very heavy counter weight.. like something that weighs as much as the door, like a car block lol.
geniem (author)  RedneckEngineer5 years ago
I think it came across fine. I really appreciate all suggestions, thanks. I'm not sure how the slider would match the other 2 doors though. There are 3, 8' doors with a 6x6 separating each of them. Presently the doors are tilt ups with springs. Your suggestion sounds like a barn door type mechanism which I would love to have, but I'm afraid my wallet won't allow at this time. I will most likely go with a carriage door type. Alot easier to match the other 2 doors and the hardware is much less expensive, although the beefy hinges will not be cheap either. This won't be an everyday opening door. I only wanted the option, if necessary.
Yes, if I chose the overhead method, I figured an engine block might do the trick too. Great minds think alike....LOL
Re-design5 years ago
A block and tackle or maybe a motorized winch like those on a Jeep will be required. Without the balance springs that door is going to be extremely heavy and even dangerous. When it starts coming down it will come down with lots of force and anyone in the way will be severely injured.

On the other hand if you brace it solid then cut the door in half vertically and hang it on side hinges it will only take a few ounces of pressure to open and close it.
geniem (author)  Re-design5 years ago
Yes I was concerned about the weight with an overhead door, as you said and the carriage door type would resolve the safety issue. However a carriage door would definitely require some beefy hinges. Other than that, the next concern with a carriage door would be weatherstripping. My gut feeling is to treat it like any other exterior door that swings out. Keeping in mind it's much more difficult to weatherstrip a door that swings out than in, how would you go about it?. Then there's an issue with an exsisting center vertical 2x3 framing of the door. It would require reframing the door I think. Would you be so kind as to comment on these other issues? Thank you for your help with this.