DIY Doors: Garage Side Door
The need for a garage side door became evident upon moving into our new home. We have a small, one car garage. It functions as a shop and a shed for this Handy Father. With a large metal Garage Door, on one side, I was the only one able to enter easily.
I knew that I wanted a side door for the garage, so the kids could use it to get their toys and bikes. Also, my wife prefers not to open the large door.
How to frame a garage side door
The first thing I did was select the location for where I wanted the door, and made mental plans for the garage side door installation.
Searching craigslist, I was able to locate several doors that would have worked. I didn’t want to spend much, and had a set of criterion that I just wasn’t finding. The solution to my need for a garage side door happened while I was talking of the project with my friend, Scott, who is the founder of Selling Songs, a site for people who want to sell their songs. He said that he had a couple of exterior doors taken from an old lake house before it was remodeled.
The price was right, and the door is nice! A Solid wood door with several glass panes make my garage side door, the best part of the structure.
I took measurements of the door and laid out a plan for installing it. I chose a section of the garage with three studs, and removed the center stud. Then I framed in the doorway.
Since this was to be a garage side door, I didn’t bother with a standard door framing. I used double studs on the sides, making sure they were 1/8″ wider than my door itself, and level. Once framed, I drilled holes through the siding from the inside, and marked the location of the door on the siding. I used my circular saw from the outside and cut through the vinyl siding and old wood siding on my marks.
Then I mounted the door using some standard door hinges that I had salvaged from some other project. I mounted the door on the innermost part of the double studs, and have the door opening into the garage.
The door came with a handle on it already, but I didn’t have a key. I purchased an exterior door handle and had it keyed to match my existing house keys. This way I don’t have to add to my key ring. It installed easily on the door. I had to remove material from the latch side of the doorway to allow for the door to latch shut. I marked where the latch plate should go, eying the latch itself, and used a 1″ spade drill bit to make the hole. I attached the plate with the screws provided.
once the door shut and latched, I added some 1×3″ strips of wood on the outside of the door with hardwood trim nails. This serves as a stopper for the door. It also eliminates light coming through the cracks.
I cut the vinyl siding around the exterior back enough to add some 1×4″ trim. The is old and brittle, so I had to painstakingly cut it with a Stanley Knife to keep a straight edge.
The last thing I did was remove the door, and paint the frame white to match the garage trim.
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How can I keep the side entrance garage door from sticking? In the winter I can’t get it open!
Jane, If you have access to the framing, remove some of the shims on the latch side of the doorway, leaving more room for the door to swing!