Instructables

Homemade "Carriage House" Garage Doors

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This is a step-by-step on how your average schmoe can build beautiful "Carriage House" style garage doors.

I'm a computer programmer and this is the first time I've done anything like this.  I made it happen, so I think anybody armed with minimal carpentry skills and these simple instructions could get as good of results!

Finally, if you're looking for similar wood ideas, check out this site.  I'm not affiliated with, nor have I even done business these guys (yet).  I just find the projects are quite inspiring!


UPDATE: Looks like I didn't win anything. :_(
Oh well, many thanks to everyone who voted!

Also I should add that these doors have survived the winter well, including several heavy wind storms.  It appears that the design is sound and should last for quite some time.  (Unlike my shed roof which, well... lets just say there's never a dull moment around here.)
 
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Step 1: The Boring Backstory

Okay, so I recently bought a house and noticed there were slight gaps between the garage doors and the wall.  "Slight", as in, so big you could shake hands with somebody outside -- with the door closed! 

Having heard the horror stories of the limb-rending power of garage door springs I opted to shelve my DIY nature and hire a guy to come out for this one.  The dude looks it over and says, "I could probably fix that if you really want me to, but these kind of doors are such junk that the manufacturer has gone out of business".  Spiffy. 

I had him rip them out, but that left me with gaping holes in my house in the middle of winter.  Uh oh.  Now what?
cooked18 months ago
Nice report, I picked up a few ideas and managed to avoid the mistakes you said you made, was also resigned to the fact that I was going to have to fit and refit the doors. My entry is somewhat wider , so from the beginning I tightened galvanised wire between the upper hinge side and the bottom middle side (if that makes sense). Made all the difference.
togo19191 year ago
Beautiful doors!
In the case of wanting to use the doors to enter and exit, what would you suggest to use to cover it up and look more presentable
rpace19061 year ago
This is way awesome! I'm trying to find a place that does garage door repair in Minneapolis, and was wondering if you had any suggestions as to what to look for when selecting someone who does garage door repair?
PS118 (author)  Uweara1 year ago
That's a good perspective. I like that.

Best of luck on your project as well!
I bought carriage "look" doors for my house, love them and the way they look. Now that I am remodeling my barn I wanted a set of doors to match. My garage door is 9' by 11' and hard to find any good looking doors. I searched and searched the Internet for door plans or ideas, very little help. Long story short I decided that worse case I would be out lumber and built my own.

They are massive and heavy but I am pleased.
minstrel4582 years ago
Thank you so much for this post. As you so aptly noted in your tutorial, DIY plans for Carriage Doors on the internet, are NON-existent. I've been looking for some on and off for months. You've helped me clarify my thinking and have provided some excellent explanations. Thanks SO much!!!
PS118 (author)  minstrel4582 years ago
Thanks, I appreciate that! :)
Uptonb2 years ago
Congrats on being a finalist, and good luck!
sandisroses2 years ago
Perfect. My 1908 house & garage thank you. I thank you.
pbates1232 years ago
Nice Job PS118. You have a very attractive set of doors there! I particularly like the window re-purposing.

As you know "hind site is...." and like you, I have learned from many mistake in the past so not to dis your work I have a couple of suggestions for anyone considering building there own.

Toward the end you show the post sitting directly on the concrete. A sign your concerned about it too. At your typical box hardware store you can purchase a 1in. square galvanized post base.

Like this: http://www.lowes.com/pd_108719-72913-ABA44Z_0__?productId=3006427&Ntt=simpson+strong+tie+post+base&pl=1&currentURL=%2Fpl__0__s%3FNtt%3Dsimpson%2Bstrong%2Btie%2Bpost%2Bbase&facetInfo=

Cut off the post short and slide the block underneath. The reason is the lumber will absorb water from the concrete and the wood will rot. Using Pressure treated lumber would help in this regard but it is still not the best.

Next, even though the door frame doesn't touch the ground "now" they may sag in the future. It looks like you used Douglas Fir or Pine (just a guess) in the frame neither of which is particularly resistant to water damage. It maybe wise to make the frame a little shorter by maybe an inch or even two and let the clapboards fill the gap. That way if the door sags you can trim the clapboard without reducing the strength of the frame and still clear the ground. That keeps the frame clear of water and away from critters.

Many years ago much if not most of the lumber was kiln dried and therefore it shrank very little over time. Today most wood unless specifically purchased as such is not dried. I purchased 8" dog eared redwood fencing, then it was very close to 8" but today it it's more like 7 1/2" to 7 5/8" and redwood normally shrinks from end to end(dimensionally) rather than side to side. Most other woods shrink from side to side more than end to end.

What is the point? I would butt the clapboards together rather than leave a gap or at the most I would leave a nails width between the boards. When the boards shrink the gap will still be covered.

By the way I grew up in and around the mountains and I really took to heart the outline where you mentioned why you move to the area!! Great work!!
riff raff2 years ago
Nice instructable. You got my vote.

Two things come to mind; the use of CCA or "Yella Wood" for the 4x4's would eliminate the need for tar, and the use of safety cable inside garage door springs GREATLY reduces the danger of them injuring anyone (or just replace them every 20 years or so...they don't fail that often).
Rob O2 years ago
Very Nice! I learned a few things. I like how you pointed out how things could be done differently for different results. The real question is... Where the heck do you live?? It looks majestic!
PS118 (author)  Rob O2 years ago
Since you're curious, this is a small valley in the Rocky Mountains. About 5000 feet elevation.

A little chilly in the winter, but even so I'm enjoying it more than smog and suburbia. :)
cblair12 years ago
My home is Victorian from top to bottom inside and out except our detached two story garage, you just finished our total Victorian theme redo!!! Thank you so much!
PS118 (author)  cblair12 years ago
Victorian? Very cool!! Post pics. ;)
macwhiz2 years ago
For an opener you could use a set of electronic gate openers
PS118 (author)  macwhiz2 years ago
Good idea.
vincent75202 years ago
great ! …
where do I vote ?…
PS118 (author)  vincent75202 years ago
Sorry about that. The moderators only just barely added it to the contest today. Now there should be a vote button on the top of the page.

Alternatively, it's on the contest page as well.
http://www.instructables.com/contest/shopbot/?show=ENTRIES&sort=RECENT

Thanks for the vote!!!
pegasus502 years ago
Nice Work! I've been researching a similar project for my town house's one-car garage that I'm hoping to convert into a workshop. I'll be attempting to "recycle" the current steel "flip' style door for added security and because the frame will save me some time. Also thanks for the link you included which had some good insights. Hoping your's will hold up well...it looks a little chilly out there where you are!
inkdan2 years ago
Thanks. Very good.
kwhitacre2 years ago
Well done. I enjoyed your writing style. If I ever have to replace my very large door I want to make it look like fake carriage doors, but be from wood as you have done. Thanks for the good read.

I want to actually build a gate for my deck and your doors are helping me think about my gate. Thanks.
PaulaTx12 years ago
Thanks for the detailed instructions and photos. You have inspired me to try this project! I think I will try insulated windows to help keep cooling costs down.
tuppence2 years ago
Great job and a great read
raviolikid2 years ago
Fun description of your project. I love the pictures and your comments.

I hope you win!
emmakrazy2 years ago
Getting ready to build an earthship home and this is just what I need for the finishing touch to my garage doors! Thanks for sharing!
WoundedEgo2 years ago
Elegant.
zomfibame2 years ago
I like the way you used the windows in the doors. nice.
l8nite2 years ago
really nice build
mikeasaurus2 years ago
These look great, thanks for sharing the story!
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