Building a shed door?

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  #1  
Old 07-08-08, 04:50 PM
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Building a shed door?

I'm in the process of building my self-designed shed (pictures forthcoming), and am trying to plan the door. I want to do a double door, about 6' x 6', perhaps two 3 footers? I just want to build the sturdiest door possible that will have the least possible chance of sagging or falling apart after a while, and not sure of the right design. And curious about the right hinges. I was thinking good solid piano hinges would be best, but I can't find them anywhere. All the ones I find are like 3 feet long. So any suggestions?

Also, the shed will have vinyl siding, so what finish on the door would look good with the vinyl siding?
 
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  #2  
Old 07-08-08, 06:18 PM
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I wouldn't recommend piano hinges for this sort of thing, and they'll quickly rust. You'll want to use some large barn door style hinges- the kind that has a 4" rectangle on one side and a long triangle on the other. Probably 3 of them on each door, or 6 in all. I'm partial to the hardware that's prepainted black.

It's hard to say what the best design for such a door would be. I try to #1, keep them light. The last ones I made, I made a frame out of 2x3's, (very light, dry cedar 2x6's cut in half- I feel that cedar has less of a tendency to warp) then I glued and screwed some 3/8" OSB to it. I applied aluminum trim coil to the front with contact cement. And then I screwed a 1x6 border around the face of the door, which I also clad with aluminum trim coil, wrapping it around the edges of the door. If you're not handy with a metal break and trim coil, you could do something similar by using 1x6 Azek (or similar) then cover the interior inset portion of that frame with some j-channel and vinyl siding. The 1x6 around the outside edge of the door would give you a nice flat surface to screw the hinges to. You'd want to use screws long enough to penetrate into the door framing (the 2x3's). I also like to use barrel hasps to lock the passive door (at the top and bottom of the interior side of the door) and then mount a deadbolt lock on the operating door. 2 pull handles on each door looks nice.
 
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Old 07-08-08, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by XSleeper View Post
I wouldn't recommend piano hinges for this sort of thing, and they'll quickly rust. You'll want to use some large barn door style hinges- the kind that has a 4" rectangle on one side and a long triangle on the other. Probably 3 of them on each door, or 6 in all. I'm partial to the hardware that's prepainted black.

It's hard to say what the best design for such a door would be. I try to #1, keep them light. The last ones I made, I made a frame out of 2x3's, (very light, dry cedar 2x6's cut in half- I feel that cedar has less of a tendency to warp) then I glued and screwed some 3/8" OSB to it. I applied aluminum trim coil to the front with contact cement. And then I screwed a 1x6 border around the face of the door, which I also clad with aluminum trim coil, wrapping it around the edges of the door. If you're not handy with a metal break and trim coil, you could do something similar by using 1x6 Azek (or similar) then cover the interior inset portion of that frame with some j-channel and vinyl siding. The 1x6 around the outside edge of the door would give you a nice flat surface to screw the hinges to. You'd want to use screws long enough to penetrate into the door framing (the 2x3's). I also like to use barrel hasps to lock the passive door (at the top and bottom of the interior side of the door) and then mount a deadbolt lock on the operating door. 2 pull handles on each door looks nice.
Thanks, that's good info. I'll stay away from the piano hinges. But you're starting to talk in a foreign language! What exactly is aluminum trim coil?
 
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Old 07-09-08, 04:08 AM
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Aluminum trim coil is the roll of aluminum tht you use to make your facia board covering and anything else you intend to cover with aluminum.

Covering the door with aluminum would pretty much make it maintinence free but as an alternative you could paint the door to match the vinyl or an accent color.
 
  #5  
Old 07-09-08, 06:15 AM
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Originally Posted by marksr View Post
Aluminum trim coil is the roll of aluminum tht you use to make your facia board covering and anything else you intend to cover with aluminum.

Covering the door with aluminum would pretty much make it maintinence free but as an alternative you could paint the door to match the vinyl or an accent color.
Ah I see. Thanks. Aaaand apparently I need 25 characters to make a post.
 
  #6  
Old 07-09-08, 08:21 AM
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Ok, so we've got materials covered, keep it light, got it. How bout a sturdy design? Standard "Z" frame? "X"?
 
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Old 07-09-08, 08:27 PM
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Aluminum trim coil is only 24" wide, so you can't completely cover a 3' wide door with it alone... that's why I mentioned the border made out of 1x6's, etc, just in case that didn't make sense before. I'd recommend that you make the doors between 24 and 32" wide.

Also, once a sheet of OSB is glued and screwed to the 2x3 frame, it isn't going to sag, so you don't need to worry about any X or Z, and so on.
 
  #8  
Old 07-09-08, 09:45 PM
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Sturdy design?
Omitted: whether both sides of the doors should be an appearance grade, or whether alternate base materials (other than wood) are acceptable.

Xsleeper outlined a standard “framing diaphragm”. Face sheet(s) mechanically fastened (and glued) to wooden stiffeners (for doors - Styles & Rails & possbily auxiliary stiffeners). This is a starting point. A few improvements will increase sturdiness.

For purposes of outline - 2 x 4s (on edge) will be used for Styles & Rails

Sawing or routing a 3/8 deep rabbet in both styles & the upper & lower rail to receive the 3/8” close fit face sheet (or vertical siding) will enhance sturdiness greatly. Accuracy is the key.

Using an 2 x 2 intermediate rail midspan behind the face sheet provides: (1) an intermediate fastening point of face sheeting or vertical boards (2) helps control face sheet & style warping (3) a point of attachment and the space for a full length diagonal brace.

1 x 4 Let-in 45 degree diagonal braces at all four corners is another enhanser with multiple purposes. If you object to through cutting the let-in braces stop them short of the exposed edges.

1 x 4 full length diagonal brace – from the bottom corner on the hinge side to the upper corner of the meeting styles. Close fit this brace. Fasten it to both let-in corner braces & the midrail.
 
  #9  
Old 08-28-08, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by 2000 View Post
Sturdy design?
Omitted: whether both sides of the doors should be an appearance grade, or whether alternate base materials (other than wood) are acceptable.

Xsleeper outlined a standard “framing diaphragm”. Face sheet(s) mechanically fastened (and glued) to wooden stiffeners (for doors - Styles & Rails & possbily auxiliary stiffeners). This is a starting point. A few improvements will increase sturdiness.

For purposes of outline - 2 x 4s (on edge) will be used for Styles & Rails

Sawing or routing a 3/8 deep rabbet in both styles & the upper & lower rail to receive the 3/8” close fit face sheet (or vertical siding) will enhance sturdiness greatly. Accuracy is the key.

Using an 2 x 2 intermediate rail midspan behind the face sheet provides: (1) an intermediate fastening point of face sheeting or vertical boards (2) helps control face sheet & style warping (3) a point of attachment and the space for a full length diagonal brace.

1 x 4 Let-in 45 degree diagonal braces at all four corners is another enhanser with multiple purposes. If you object to through cutting the let-in braces stop them short of the exposed edges.

1 x 4 full length diagonal brace – from the bottom corner on the hinge side to the upper corner of the meeting styles. Close fit this brace. Fasten it to both let-in corner braces & the midrail.
It's been a while since I've replied to the thread, but I'm now ready to build my door and put it on. I'm thinking I have a good idea of what I'm going to do, but I can't quite picture everything you're explaining here. You don't know of any pictures out there that would help me visualize what you're saying, would you? I just don't know all the terms you're mentioning. And they're somewhat vague, so googling them doesn't turn up much. I can guess at some of them, but still not quite sure, terms like:
midrail
let-in corner braces
close fit
styles and rails
intermediate rail midspan
face sheet

Sorry so ignorant. Just having a hard time picturing it all.

Thanks.
 
  #10  
Old 08-29-08, 05:46 AM
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Door

Stiles are the vertical members outlining the door. Rails are the horizontal members.

Since you are building a double door design, I will offer a suggestion I have found to be very beneficial. Building double doors to fit a shed opening and to fit correctly in relation to each other can sometimes be a challenge.

What I have done in the past is start the construction by attaching all the hinges to the building door opening and to the rails, leaving the rails in one piece all the way across the opening. Build the doors onto the rails leaving the appropriate space where the two doors meet. Then cut the rails at the points where the two doors meet.

To do this easily, you will need another way to access the inside of the shed. I normally do this before I finish installing the siding.

Good luck with your project.
 
  #11  
Old 08-29-08, 07:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Wirepuller38 View Post
Stiles are the vertical members outlining the door. Rails are the horizontal members.

Since you are building a double door design, I will offer a suggestion I have found to be very beneficial. Building double doors to fit a shed opening and to fit correctly in relation to each other can sometimes be a challenge.

What I have done in the past is start the construction by attaching all the hinges to the building door opening and to the rails, leaving the rails in one piece all the way across the opening. Build the doors onto the rails leaving the appropriate space where the two doors meet. Then cut the rails at the points where the two doors meet.

To do this easily, you will need another way to access the inside of the shed. I normally do this before I finish installing the siding.

Good luck with your project.
Thanks for the great info. I've actually decided to change the design of the doors. I ended up making the she or 4 feet wide instead of 6, so I think two 2-foot doors would be a bit much, so I'm going to do one 4 foot door. Will it be too heavy for the hinges? I'm going to use 2X3's for the styles and rails, and 5/8 OSB for the sheathing. And I'm actually going to face it with the vinyl siding I've got on the rest of the shed.
 
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Old 08-31-08, 12:51 AM
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  #13  
Old 08-31-08, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by 2000 View Post
Thanks, great pics. I'll let you know how mine goes. Now how about hanging the door? What's the easiest? Is it easier to put the hinges up, then try to attach the door to the hinges, or is it easier to attach the hinges to the door first, then attach the whole thing? And how do you make sure the hinges are perfectly straight so the weight of the door gets evenly distributed across all three hinges?
 
  #14  
Old 08-31-08, 12:00 PM
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OK, bud, I'm going to simplify your life. You're going to slap yourself when you find out how easy life can be.

A. Ensure that you build things square, level, and choose your materials well. The only ones excused are the truly inept, the unable, and dumb trainees.

Place (tack) two or three 1/8” thick spacers on your hinge jamb. Check them for plumb. Make sure! Place two or three 1/2” spacers across the opening. Check them for level. Make sure! Do anything necessary to ensure both sets of spacers are in position.

Slap the door in the opening on top of the bottom spacers. Butt it to the jamb spacers. It's plumb in one direction. It needs to be plumb along the narrow face of jamb and style also (90 degrees to the spaces on the jamb). If you built the opening and the doors plumb & level you should be able to pull both faces into alignment, and when checked with a level they should be plumb. If not move them plumb (keeping face alignment). Use clamps or screws to affix the door and jamb temporarily.

Apply the hinges across the narrow faces of the style & jamb.

If you've done everything correctly to this point a square placed across any position on the faces is the equivalent of having plumbed the door with the hinges attached. Find the mid point of the door (top to bottom) Place the square there. Set a hinge on the square. Center the hinge pin in the clearance area created by the jamb spacers. Run you level along the barrel of the hinge. Make sure it's plumb. Affix the hinge.

Position upper and lower hinges 7 to 8 inches from upper & lower edges. Use the same method, but add a check with your level between two hinge barrels. Remove clamps or screws and spacers.

If you don't like these instructions, make up your own.
 
  #15  
Old 08-31-08, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by 2000 View Post
OK, bud, I'm going to simplify your life. You're going to slap yourself when you find out how easy life can be.

A. Ensure that you build things square, level, and choose your materials well. The only ones excused are the truly inept, the unable, and dumb trainees.

Place (tack) two or three 1/8” thick spacers on your hinge jamb. Check them for plumb. Make sure! Place two or three 1/2” spacers across the opening. Check them for level. Make sure! Do anything necessary to ensure both sets of spacers are in position.

Slap the door in the opening on top of the bottom spacers. Butt it to the jamb spacers. It's plumb in one direction. It needs to be plumb along the narrow face of jamb and style also (90 degrees to the spaces on the jamb). If you built the opening and the doors plumb & level you should be able to pull both faces into alignment, and when checked with a level they should be plumb. If not move them plumb (keeping face alignment). Use clamps or screws to affix the door and jamb temporarily.

Apply the hinges across the narrow faces of the style & jamb.

If you've done everything correctly to this point a square placed across any position on the faces is the equivalent of having plumbed the door with the hinges attached. Find the mid point of the door (top to bottom) Place the square there. Set a hinge on the square. Center the hinge pin in the clearance area created by the jamb spacers. Run you level along the barrel of the hinge. Make sure it's plumb. Affix the hinge.

Position upper and lower hinges 7 to 8 inches from upper & lower edges. Use the same method, but add a check with your level between two hinge barrels. Remove clamps or screws and spacers.

If you don't like these instructions, make up your own.
That's great info, thanks! I'll do just as you say. Only one small problem. I've fashioned my door so that the three rails are one, in the very middle, and the other two, on the very top and bottom of the door. The hinges I bought, have long triangle ends that extend past the styles, so I really felt that I needed to place them right over the rails. But I don't have any rails 7 or 8 inches from the top or bottom. So is it ok if the top and bottom hinges are right on the very top and bottom of the door? If not, I may have to make a few small changes to the door. Thanks again for your help.
 
  #16  
Old 08-31-08, 11:15 PM
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Ah, missing info. I use butt hinges (door hinges). So, disregard that section when using T-strap hinges. Do as you planned.

Personally I don't like either T-strap hinges or strap hinges, because most use inferior base metal, (a few don't), and they are not manufactured to the same tolerances as butt hinges. This causes premature sagging and failure. I don't like doing the same thing two or three times when it's avoidable.

No, changing hinge styles is not required. Your's will work fine for a while. But someday you'll ask yourself if there was a better way.
 
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Old 09-05-08, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by 2000 View Post
Ah, missing info. I use butt hinges (door hinges). So, disregard that section when using T-strap hinges. Do as you planned.

Personally I don't like either T-strap hinges or strap hinges, because most use inferior base metal, (a few don't), and they are not manufactured to the same tolerances as butt hinges. This causes premature sagging and failure. I don't like doing the same thing two or three times when it's avoidable.

No, changing hinge styles is not required. Your's will work fine for a while. But someday you'll ask yourself if there was a better way.
Wow, that's strange, I replied to this like a week ago, but it must not have posted. Anyway, what I said in my last response was that I can easily return the hinges I've got. In fact, I'm going to this afternoon. I totally realized what a newb I am when it comes to doors and hinges (and construction in general), and realized that what I've got really are gate hinges. I only picked them up because I figured the longer side would be better for holding up a lot of weight. I'm not sure exactly how heavy my door is, but it consists of a 4x7 piece of 7/16th OSB, (2) 2x3 styles, (3) 2x3 rails, and then the same lengths of the hardiboard trim on the outside. Then there will be some vinyl siding on the front, but that will add minimal weight. The door's got to easily be 150 lbs or more. Not really sure. Maybe I should throw it on the bathroom scale! I've been meaning to post some pics but have been really busy.

Anyway, so I'm going to return those hinges. Should I get butt hinges? Or would regular front facing hinges be ok, as long as they have a shorter face so they fit good on the frame? If I go the butt hinges, do I need to recess them in with a full mortise, or can I just face-mount them? I really just want to do what's best, and what will support this heavy door for a long time. I'm willing to put in the work to do whatever is best, just lacking the know-how. That's why I'm here!

Thanks for your help!
 
  #18  
Old 09-09-08, 12:41 PM
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Well, don't know if anyone's interested, but I thought I'd post an update on my door. I wasn't able to use butt hinges, because the door was too thick with the osb and the trim, that onle the two screws on the end of the hinge would actually go into the 2x3's on the frame. So I ended up going with some shorter t-hinges, which ended up working pretty good. Below are a couple pics. Because I framed it with 2x3's, even the two end screws on these ones didn't get through the frame, but I still think they'll be about the sturdiest thing I can find. I got it all hung and everything seems to be working great!

Here's one with the door closed. (as you can see, I still have a little siding to put on.)


And here's the back of the door:


Anyway, it seems to be level, swings smoothly, and everything looks ok. So thanks for the help! Anything you noticed I did wrong, or could have done better?
 

Last edited by paqman; 09-09-08 at 01:01 PM.
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Old 09-09-08, 05:10 PM
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Vinyl siding lets a little water in, along the sides of the j-channels. So if you would have covered the front in Tyvek or felt paper, it might have lasted a little longer. The cut edges of the OSB will wick up water too. But maybe when you paint, if you coat those edges (even on bottom) it will help.
 
  #20  
Old 09-09-08, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by XSleeper View Post
Vinyl siding lets a little water in, along the sides of the j-channels. So if you would have covered the front in Tyvek or felt paper, it might have lasted a little longer. The cut edges of the OSB will wick up water too. But maybe when you paint, if you coat those edges (even on bottom) it will help.
Damn you're right! Crap, I cover the entire shed in tar paper and forgot the door. I can't believe that. Well yes, I will paint the edges of the door, and along the bottom. So how long are you thinking the wood can last like this? I mean, I guess a door is replacable in the long run if I have to, but do you think it will last 5 years or more?
 
  #21  
Old 09-09-08, 08:20 PM
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Looks like everything is primed/painted right?..Drill some drain holes if needed in the bottom "J". Check once in a while for collected crapola plugging the holes
 
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Old 09-09-08, 08:26 PM
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Well, if you'd consider removing the bottom half of the siding, there's one improvement you could make. Buy a small roll of 4" wide window flashing tape- the butyl peel and stick kind. Cut a strip about 1 - 1 1/2" longer than your siding panel is wide, and bend it out over your bottom rail (in the shape of an L). I see you left the bottom j-channels a little short to allow drainage out the ends. But what worries me is the bottom j-channels filling with water, which would be spilling out the ends every time it rains, and rotting the bottom left and right corners of each sided area. But a little flashing tape in this area would sure protect it, especially if you detailed the corners just right, folding the flaps where it overlaps so that no water could get in. Then apply some felt paper on top of that.

If you did that to the top and bottom portions of the door, I think it would last a lot longer, and all you'd have to worry about is keeping those edges painted. How long it lasts probably depends mostly on how often it gets wet.
 
  #23  
Old 09-10-08, 06:20 AM
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Originally Posted by XSleeper View Post
Well, if you'd consider removing the bottom half of the siding, there's one improvement you could make. Buy a small roll of 4" wide window flashing tape- the butyl peel and stick kind. Cut a strip about 1 - 1 1/2" longer than your siding panel is wide, and bend it out over your bottom rail (in the shape of an L). I see you left the bottom j-channels a little short to allow drainage out the ends. But what worries me is the bottom j-channels filling with water, which would be spilling out the ends every time it rains, and rotting the bottom left and right corners of each sided area. But a little flashing tape in this area would sure protect it, especially if you detailed the corners just right, folding the flaps where it overlaps so that no water could get in. Then apply some felt paper on top of that.

If you did that to the top and bottom portions of the door, I think it would last a lot longer, and all you'd have to worry about is keeping those edges painted. How long it lasts probably depends mostly on how often it gets wet.
That's a good idea, and it wouldn't be too hard to remove the siding from the door temporarily. It doesn't rain a whole lot around here, but my sprinklers are going to be pounding directly on it every day or so. And I'm sure the snow in the winter won't be too nice to it. In fact the snow will sit up against there all winter. It usually gets over 6 inches and stays that way for a few months. I'll think about doing what you recommended.

Thanks!
 
  #24  
Old 09-10-08, 12:41 PM
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I'd re adjust those sprinklers. That shed won't grow no matter how much you water and fertilize it
 
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