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View Full Version : Garage as workshop: Weathertight door possible?



mickeyf
03-15-2015, 12:27 PM
Every garage door I've known showed lots of daylight around the edges and let the wind howl in. Does anyone have any solutions to this? Is there a type of door that size that shuts as tightly as a regular human-sized door (and hopefully does not cost as much as the rest of the building)?

I may be building a workshop and I'm thinking that it should at least be able to function as a garage also, if only for eventual resale value when they finally haul me to the scrap dealer. Otherwise I'd just put in a 4 ft wide people door, which should be large enough to bring in any machinery I'm ever liable to have.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

sarge41
03-15-2015, 01:12 PM
mickey: How frequently will you need to access this big door? If infrequently, consider a wooden, sliding (horizontal, like a barn door on track). They can be setup to seal when closed. You can build your own with track from Rural King. When closed, can be clamped shut to seal. Most people doors are 36".

Sarge

RWO
03-15-2015, 01:34 PM
In my old shop I had regular people style double doors. This gave a 6' wide opening when needed. There was good weather stripping around all the edges so air leakage was not a problem. The threshold was removable so a pallet jack could roll in easily.

In my new shop I have a standard insulated metal panel garage door for the large opening. There is lots of leakage around the bottom corners, but the sides, top and most of the bottom are pretty well sealed. Since the 2 man doors are well weather stripped and there are no windows, I accept the leakage at the garage door as fresh air inlet. I usually keep all doors closed because the shop is air conditioned and heated. If you find a way to seal the garage door bottom corners that is easily removable when needed, I hope you will post it here.

RWO

boslab
03-15-2015, 01:42 PM
Brush strip the edges
Mark

Toolguy
03-15-2015, 01:48 PM
I have an 8' x 8' garage door. It is the only entrance to the shop. It has flexible weather strips on the sides, top and bottom. Nothing special, very weather tight. The top and side strips are on the frame, bottom strip is on the door.

lakeside53
03-15-2015, 02:11 PM
Assuming a vertical door.. Your favorite box store will sell you the flap type weather seal for the sides/top and a cushion seal for the bottom. Check the adjustments - most are purposely put in sloppy so they don't bind, but can be often be tightened up considerably. There are some high end epdm seals you can buy, typically mail order.

Good Commercial roll doors in track steel seal well, but you'll need another mortgage ;)

If you want to put in two swing doors, then you can make those seal just like any other. Again, not cheap for quality doors, and you need the space to open them. On my barn shop I made two doors to open a 90 inch wide space - basically "opening wall sections". Insulated the same as the wall and very tight except the bottom which I still haven't got around to dealing with (they will have a flexible drop seal that rises when the door is opened). Hinging and the frame had to be super sturdy to support the weight.. took some time and effort to make. I needed the insulation... no point in having a well insulated shop and a poorly insulated door.

R.Bolte.Jr
03-15-2015, 03:14 PM
If you aren't going to use a roll up door, but want to plan for the future, just frame the building to take a big door, but frame in the opening to use a double entry door for now. Best of both worlds, warm for now, easy to convert later.

-Ron

Cuttings
03-15-2015, 03:33 PM
I'm just a little ways up the island from you. I had garage/ workshop built and number of years ago.
It has a people door that I use all the time and an extra high roll up door that fits quite well and appears to be fairly air tight.
I spent the extra money and put in an insulated door. The building is well insulated so I just need a 240 volt drywall heater to keep it warm in the cool weather.
I think these roll up door are just fine as long as they have the good weather stripping around the edges and are installed and adjusted properly.

Gary Paine
03-15-2015, 05:47 PM
When I built my shop out back, I chose to build my own 4 foot wide insulated doors from 2x material and the same siding as my building. They swing outward on hinges. They overlap the concrete slab by an inch at the bottom to allow a seal there when closed. The doors overlap at the center for a seal which also requires one to open first. That door sports top and bottom gate bolts, the bottom one fitting into a hole in the concrete slab. Very secure and well sealed. These doors are only used when I want to open the shop up. My main entrance is through my blacksmith shop.

Paul Alciatore
03-15-2015, 06:21 PM
Ditto on adjusting the track. I plan to do that on mine. And I plan to look for some seals and insulation.

But I really need new doors and will do that some time in the future. I will price that along with any improvements to see the cost differences. Perhaps new doors would be the thing to do right off.

firbikrhd1
03-15-2015, 06:22 PM
My new home in NC has two 10' W X 8" H folding garage doors. I bought the polyurethane insulated models. The trim around the outside has a vinyl flap that is a weatherstrip that lies atop the edge of the door and prevents rain and wind from entering. The bottom has a weather seal as well where it meets the concrete floor. My doors also have windows to allow in some light and I sprung for the insulated glass in them. The area covered by the weatherstrip around the door has only the weatherstrip, and zero insulation value at that small area, perhaps 3/8" wide. Since the garage is part of a walk out basement with one concrete wall buried to 10' below the upper grade the heat in the ground seems to prevent freezing in my climate at 3700 feet altitude, and in fact I have not yet experienced temperatures lower than the high 40's F in that area. The remaining walls are insulated with foam to keep any latent heat in.
The area within the garage is pretty large so it would take some time to heat it, however, since heat rises most lost would eventually migrate to the upper floor and help heat the living area.

SteveF
03-15-2015, 07:44 PM
When I built my shop out back, I chose to build my own 4 foot wide insulated doors from 2x material and the same siding as my building. They swing outward on hinges. They overlap the concrete slab by an inch at the bottom to allow a seal there when closed. The doors overlap at the center for a seal which also requires one to open first. That door sports top and bottom gate bolts, the bottom one fitting into a hole in the concrete slab. Very secure and well sealed. These doors are only used when I want to open the shop up. My main entrance is through my blacksmith shop.

That's exactly what I did for my shop, except each door is 4 1/2 feet wide so I can drive a vehicle into my shop if I want. The doors are 2x4s for the outer frame and filled with XPS rigid insulation boards.

Steve

oldtiffie
03-15-2015, 09:11 PM
If you have a totally air-tight shop the fresh air will be minimal when the doors are closed.

Some 100% air change-over is required else the stale air and its CO2 and lack opf oxygwen might "get" you and that is insidious and creeps up on you with what can be serious issues if you are using machines etc.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sick_building_syndrome

https://www.google.com.au/?gws_rd=ssl#q=lack+of+fresh+air+symptoms

J Tiers
03-15-2015, 10:02 PM
If you have a totally air-tight shop the fresh air will be minimal when the doors are closed.


I have yet to see any building that has a garage type door that could ever be an issue for ventilation, unless you are referring to too MUCH ventilation.... Do whatever you like, they LEAK.

mickeyf
03-15-2015, 10:33 PM
Lots of good ideas - thanks everyone.

No, I was not looking to hermetically seal myself in, just wanting to avoid spending too much heating the outdoors. Ideally, similar to a regular living space. Every garage I've been in has been much draftier than that. I will have an exhaust fan for welding, and obviously the replacment air has to come from somewhere, even if I have to have a special inlet for it, as many furnaces now do.

justanengineer
03-15-2015, 11:05 PM
Buy a good door, good seals, and carefully install them. Rollup insulated steel commercial doors made up more than half of the area of the walls of the shop I worked in while stationed in Alaska. At -70F you noticed within a few odd seconds when someone opened the door, otherwise you never noticed the doors. My garage now has a 16' door on a 24'(?) front wall and I work in there all winter without issue, cant say I notice the door at all.

JoeFin
03-16-2015, 02:19 AM
Lots of good ideas - thanks everyone.

No, I was not looking to hermetically seal myself in, just wanting to avoid spending too much heating the outdoors. Ideally, similar to a regular living space. Every garage I've been in has been much draftier than that.

You could be blaming the garage door when you should be looking at your insulation factors

My shop is in a converted garage and the first thing I did was to convert my rafters to trusses and hang 5/8" sheetrock with a generous application of R-30 insulation above that. This limits the amount of space that needs to be heated or cooled in a big way. Additionally the walls are finished in 5/8" sheetrock with r-13 insulation. The thicker sheetrock adds density to the equation and helps to prevent wild temperature swings

Of course the garage door is insulated as well with Styrofoam and the track adjusted to fit snug against the sheetrock walls

Combined with the density of a 5" concrete floor the temperature doesn't change very much in there winter or summer. So if the mid 40s where it sits all winter long while its in the low 30s or below freezing outside is too cold, then I turn on a small heater the night before to gradually increase the temperature. You got to remember with a 5" concrete slab, 5/8" rock walls, and 10 - 15 tons of iron laying around - it takes time to bring all that up to temp

SteveF
03-16-2015, 07:58 AM
Combined with the density of a 5" concrete floor ...................

The term you want here isn't "density", it's called "thermal mass".

Steve

ironmonger
03-16-2015, 08:53 AM
I have a two car garage with a four panel door. On mine the center of the door bows away from the jamb, especially with strong winds. As my garage ceased being a home for my cars years ago, I now fasten a block of 2x4 to the header that pulls the top of the door tight to the jamb.

paul

SirLesPatterson
03-16-2015, 09:08 AM
On mine I adjusted the tracks, put good weatherstripping on, then studded up and insulated a removable wall plug. I maintain heat out there all winter no problem.

fjk
03-16-2015, 09:24 AM
Can you put in a lightweight partition inside the structure, with a regular door in it? Use the side with the garage door for material storage, welding/grinding, maybe painting ... and keep the other side heated/ac'd/dehumidified/...?

Frank

Seastar
03-16-2015, 10:31 AM
When I built my shop out back, I chose to build my own 4 foot wide insulated doors from 2x material and the same siding as my building. They swing outward on hinges. They overlap the concrete slab by an inch at the bottom to allow a seal there when closed. The doors overlap at the center for a seal which also requires one to open first. That door sports top and bottom gate bolts, the bottom one fitting into a hole in the concrete slab. Very secure and well sealed. These doors are only used when I want to open the shop up. My main entrance is through my blacksmith shop.
+1 for this.
I did almost the same thing for my blacksmith shop.
I built the doors and the hinges and it seals pretty well.
It's big enough to drive a car through with plenty of clearance.
Bill
hthtp://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/150x100q90/199/img0563od.jpg (https://imageshack.com/i/5jimg0563odj)

Glug
03-16-2015, 11:03 AM
Don't underestimate the benefit of hanging a sheet of visqueen plastic over the inside of the door. Staple it along the top edge, secure the sides with spring clamps (or even staples). This does wonders.

The same can be said for stapling it to the rafters of an uninsulated garage. That helps greatly with heating in the winter. The big surprise was how much it helped keep the garage cool in the summer.

Yukon
03-16-2015, 09:43 PM
I have the flap type seals from Menards, on insulated overhead doors. Not air tight , but keeps the wind out.

aribert
03-17-2015, 07:43 AM
My workshop garage is about 880 sq ft and has 3 9x7 sectional garage doors. I added a second flap seal (nailed on top of the first flap/modling asm) around the perimeter of all three doors. Before I could see some light leakage in spots - now I don't.