Do you have what it takes to build your own Garage Doors

Have you ever thought of building your own Garage or Shed Doors for extra security. If you add Garage doors onto your car port it will not only give you more privacy but added security.

If for instance you have a modified car and your insurance policy requires your vehicle to be behind locked doors then this idea could fit those requirements.

Insurance policies are a worry in this aspect:

  • You have to have your car behind locked doors while at your home
  •  Yet you are covered when parked anywhere else. This could be when you are travelling or parked by the side of the road or visiting someone and parked on their front lawn.

Where is the logic in that?

Therefore we decided to build our own solid steel door on the front of our huge car port. This is what we did and if this idea interest you then you could do something similar.

For Steel doors you will need:

  • Enough Steel depending on whether you wish to build one or two doors.
  • Colorbond sheet metal of your choice or you can use cheap corrigated iron or custom orb profile
  • Welder and Welding Rods
  • Power supply and power leads
  • Good metric Tape Measure
  • Metal Square
  • Large level – this is a must unless you want lopsided doors
  • Metal Tek Screws
  • Full swing Hinges
  • Pad bolts and padlocks
  • Strong Clamps
  • Wood or bricks to support weight of gate until you have it on hinges
  • Concrete to put in hole to lock the door bolt into the ground
  • Rust proof paint – if using second hand steel work this is a must although I would use it anyway
  • A good Trade assistant- that was me, running back and forth and lugging the steel.

Note: A good T/A needs to anticipate what the tradesman will require next without having to be asked. Believe me it will make a smoother build if you can do this.

Let's get started on the Garage door project

Before you do anything, you will need to make sure that the carport steel poles are strong enough to take this extra weight. If not then reinforce them by either adding extra struts across the top or sides.

Measure the distance between the two uprights. Take off the thickness of hinges, and a 5ml space between the two doors. Halve that measurement, and that will be how wide each door will be.

Cutting your Steel

You need to cut 4 pieces of steel that long.  Work out the required height and cut four of those. Keep in mind that these need to be inserted inside the top and bottom pieces.

Before you weld these make sure they are exactly square. Clamp them together so they cannot move.

Tack them and again check they are still square then weld these eight welds, four on each corner of the doors. Grind these to a smooth finish.

If these are large doors then you should reinforce them with another steel going from (right door) the bottom right to the left top. Left door is the opposite from bottom left to top right. Cut these to fit snug into the corners and weld in place.

Now comes the hard part -Hanging the doors

Ours are built out of very heavy steel so we had to be very careful that it didn’t move or fall. You will still have to make sure that you have everything safe.

You will need to work on one at a time. Place bricks or wood on the ground to required height to support the weight of the new door. If you do not have any helpers then you will have to use a couple of pieces of wood and clamp them so it can not fall at one end. If you have a strong carport you could tie a rope from the top to help hold the door upright.

Now sit the hinges in place and make sure you have it correct. Put a couple of pieces of wood over the support and the gate and clamp in place so it cannot move.

Do the same with the other gate. It is no good welding everything in place if the doors do not quite fit. Make sure you have something under the centre where the two door meet to make sure they are level.


If you are satisfied that everything is correct use secure tack weld the hinges in place. Now it is time for the swing test. Remove all the clamps holding it in place and open your new door frames. Will they open as far as you need. If not you will have to fix it before you completely weld the hinges.

Are the gates hanging level. This is not easy. We had ours level but we still had to remove one and reposition it.

Whew! That took a lot of energy and it was in 40 degree temperature so we only worked in the mornings in the shade. We are not as young any more so we took a few days to get this far.

Now you can rustproof and paint the frame.

Fix Sheeting on Garage Doors

Again put something under the garage doors to rest the sheeting at the correct height. It is very important to make sure that each sheet goes on straight. If one is out by one ml then by the time you get to the other end it will be worse still. Clamp the metal sheet at the top to the gate so it does not move.

Do this with each sheet. Once you know it it right then start tek-screwing them in place. Where you put the screws will depend on the profile of sheet metal that you use. We put one every second.

TIP: If you have added a cross member across the gate then you need to mark where it is as you put each sheet in place so you don't put hole in the wrong places.

Fit the closer on garage doors

Dig a small hole in the ground where the two doors meet. Mix some concrete and poor into hole, before it is completely set make a hole in the centre to suit the closer bolt. Leave to dry out.

TIP: Do not put bolt into this for a day or two, so it is solid.

Fix your pad bolt to garage doors

Now all you need to do is fix the pad bolt onto garage doors. And of course padlock it up so you are covered with your insurance policy.

Timber Garage doors

If you make them with timber frames then follow the same principles. The difference is you will need different materials and fixings. You have to cut timbers so they fit together using a butt or cross halving joint and nail together.

Note: If you are installing large garage doors then remember it will be safer to have a concrete section on both doors to bolt the open doors in place in case of strong winds. Large doors could kill someone if caught with the wind so make sure you secure it correctly.

In conclusion

If a couple of 70 year olds can make big heavy Garage doors like these then I am sure you younger folks can do it too.

To reduce the cost you can also buy second hand steel and corrugated iron. This will save you a few dollars. Although you will have to finish them off with a coat of paint.

If you are not that handy type of person you can still have a garage door installed to give you more security. There are all types of garage doors to choose from; Roller doors, tilt-a-doors, hinged doors and they all come in a variety of colours and designs.

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