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Getting rid of the garage door...........

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Morty24/05/2019 19:16:50
25 forum posts
15 photos

Hi Everyone!

This is My first post on the forums, and I'm not sure where to post it!

Just a general question to do with setting up My workshop, I have got a detached garage that never has (or will!) see a car in it, power is already in so would make an ideal workshop.

I have a side entrance door, so would like to infill the up and over door, partial wall and window to replace it.

Had a quick nose around online, it seems to be one of the jobs that is not involved in planning applications etc, apart from possibly putting in footing for the wall, but I know for a fact that the garage is built on a 12" thick concrete slab.

Has anybody done this that can give Me any pointers?

Many thanks!

cheers, Pete


JasonB24/05/2019 19:25:17
17061 forum posts
1839 photos
1 articles

No real need to brick it up below the window. Most double glazing companies will do a full height unit with the bottom half fitted with an insulated panel much like you find on half glazed doors. Other option would be studwork infill to cill level with insulation, boarded on the inside and something simple like a UPVC cladding on the outside.

I have on of my double garage doors sealed up, just left the up and over door and sealed around the edges then built a stud wall behind, insulation between studs and ply skin. Simple to return to a garage if it gets sold.

AdrianR24/05/2019 19:56:11
274 forum posts
20 photos

Advantage of leaving the garage door in place and walling behind is no one knows it is a workshop. Not having a window gives you better security and more space.

Bizibilder24/05/2019 20:00:53
64 forum posts
7 photos

I've seen a garage (not mine) where the owner had put an insulated stud wall across the garage about 3-4 feet inside the main door. This turned most of the garage into a cosy workshop accessed by the side door and, by using the main garage door, you had a convenient small store room for garden equipment. It also left the building looking like a garage and again easily converted back to one if they should ever move away.

Edited By Bizibilder on 24/05/2019 20:01:28

Plasma24/05/2019 20:09:38
350 forum posts
43 photos

Plus 1 for leaving the door in situ.

I did the same thing as above, building an insulated stud wall just inside the roller door, I built a large door into the wall so when the roller door is up I can still get hefty machines into and out of the garage.

Security is thus maintained and access maximised.

Regards Mick

Brian H24/05/2019 20:09:48
1391 forum posts
100 photos

Garage doors are also very useful for moving machinery through.


Clive Foster24/05/2019 20:14:24
1992 forum posts
73 photos

I'd think twice before bricking up the front door. Full car width and over 6 ft headroom is so nice when it comes to moving stuff in!

To my mind the ideal garage-to-workshop front door would be a heavily insulated version of the old Portaldoor fitted with suitable window(s). Those things were a single panel hanging from top mounted hinges with side struts pivoted about halfway up the door having wheels on the other end running along vertical channels fitted to the door frame. Cables ran from near the bottom of the side struts to a concrete block counter weight on one side making it generally easier to operate than most up and overs.

Theoretically the counterweight would hold it up but ours had a simple gravity catch on one side to ensure that strong winds couldn't bring it down on your head or car. Other side had a simple U pin arranged to go round the side strut and push into holes in the door frame for when you wanted both sides properly held up. When raised the door made a splendid cover for a sheltered "outside" working area ideal for dirty jobs. Our front and driveway being reasonably sheltered it had to be raining pretty hard before working underneath became uncomfortable.

I several times contemplated arranging ways of hanging a three sided tent from the door to make an enclosed work area but the need never became great enough. Easier to wait for break in the weather when I needed to work out there.

Ours lasted for over 40 years and was still in good order when I pulled it out as part of build over the garage extension work. The work left me with a 12 ft high by 15 ft wide access hole to the garage so I made myself an American style, horizontally hinged bifold door as there was nothing remotely suitable available commercially in the UK.


Colin Heseltine24/05/2019 23:04:40
361 forum posts
88 photos

Personally I think it is a shame to lose the large access area the garage door gives. I would be inclined to fit one of the insulated roller shutter doors. These are usually fitted with a tamper alarm which operates if someone tries to lift from the outside. If it is warm in workshop you can just raise the door an inch or so to let a draught through. If you are welding or soldering it is also useful to be able to open to let air through.


Morty24/05/2019 23:39:27
25 forum posts
15 photos

Hi Everyone!

Thank You for the multitude of replies!

I really want to get rid of the door,it is well past it's sell by date, and I like jasonb's idea about the full unit with the filler panels,it would be easy to convert back to a door in the future,I would like a good-sized window in,as I work shifts and will be In there In the day a lot.

I'm planning on getting a milling machine, that would be the only hefty piece of gear to get in,before taking the doorway out, so access would not be a major problem.

I am planning a full-length bench across the workshop at the threshold,bolted to the inside of the wall, but I could fit sturdy battens instead,(thinking of a bench top miller so I wanted it secured stabily) ,I have a good 2' x 4' metal topped bench to use for the bench grinder and a hot work area already opposite where the lathe is going.

Bizibuilder's top about s studwall seperator is worth thinking about too,I could turn the smaller area into a painting room.

All in all,, much food for thought,I appreciate everyone's input and ideas,I'll get my sketch pad out again!

Many thanks! Cheers, Pete

John Haine25/05/2019 08:17:04
2833 forum posts
141 photos

I replaced a large roller door of a double garage with windows, stud wall below, and a side door. Inside the garage floor has battens, insulation, and boarding, covered with vinyl. Makes a great studio and overspill workshop. But Pete, maybe you could keep bold text for emphasis?

Pete Rimmer25/05/2019 08:45:01
564 forum posts
25 photos

Wall space is precious in a busy workshop IMO. Shelving and cupboards will store stuff on the wall that would otherwise be wasted space so I am firmly in the 'scrap the door and make a wall' camp. I don't have windows, just plenty of lighting. I have plenty of stuff in my workshop and all of it came through a single pedestrian door, albeit slightly wider than standard.

pgk pgk25/05/2019 09:24:05
1515 forum posts
285 photos

How about some lateral thinking presented to give food for thought?

Since your side door isn't direct acess from the house you might consider losing that to gain wall space. To preserve the benefits of the wide garage door and allow reconversion back to it's original use in the future you might consider part of Jason' s idea and make half of that space a double glazed opener and the other half an insulated shelving unit that can still open as a door if needed. You'ld need to plan a raised edge to the shelves to stop stuff rolling off.

It would take some thought re creating a cill and creating a sealed rebate for the doorway to close against the shelf unit and some DIY joinery work. You could even go one stage further and place an awning above so in warm weather you have a valuable space increase when everything is opened up..just the area for the ocassional sawdust work.


Martin Johnson 125/05/2019 09:33:32
129 forum posts
1 photos

I agree with all the above construction ideas. But keep a double width door somewhere - you never know what machines you might want to get in or out. Bargains pop up unexpectedly, house moves can be forced upon you and how are you going to get that milling machine out? Or you might decide to build a 4" scale traction engine, or take up motorbike restoration.

Plan for the unexpected.


larry phelan 125/05/2019 09:41:35
577 forum posts
11 photos

Hi Morty,

As others have pointed out, a full with door is very useful for moving stuff in or out. I would say keep it ,since it,s better to be looking at it than looking for it Just imagine trying to get a lathe through a narrow doorway ! I have been there, done that, never again. I would leave it in place and build a shelving system which could be removed quickly if needed ,something on wheels perhaps.

Chris Bradbury25/05/2019 11:20:22
17 forum posts

+1 for keeping the garage door. I divided my garage 6ft behind the up and over door for storage. It was cheaper to insulate the remaining 10ft rather than the whole garage plus the smaller space is easier to heat. I did it this way with no windows for all the security and access reasons as given above

Clive Foster25/05/2019 11:32:30
1992 forum posts
73 photos

Pete makes a good point about the advantages of a wall when it comes to shelving.

However when I looked into doing the garage into workshop conversion whilst retaining the hinge up and out Portaldoor system I planned to put the lathe across the door with its back to it. Ex-industrial machinery, which I intended to use, generally needs access to the back anyway for servicing and other purposes. Given forward planning its not difficult to arrange things so the machine can be swung out of the way if full width access is needed. Being easy to get at three sides really helps. The pillar drill was also going to be set up by the door, side on so if I needed to work on a really long piece of material it could stick out through the door, potentially right down the drive, and back into the 16 ft deep garage.

I wasn't going to put shelves up on that side but a lightweight set above the lathe to hold measuring gear et al would probably have happened later. Shelves and cabinets can be put on wheels for easy movement. Its not as if you will often need full width access via the big door but sensible to be prepared. My late mate Andy had his workshop in a double garage with two doors and parked wheel mounted sheves in front of one door. Which got used perhaps three time a year.

Concerning flooring I find the waterproof, sealed surface, chipboard underflooring sheets make excellent workshop floors. Much smoother than concrete, as durable as you will ever need, much less dusty and far kinder to anything dropped.


Tim Stevens25/05/2019 11:36:23
1123 forum posts

My suggestion would be to find out, before you do much else, the cost of fitting a modern insulated up and over door. This will improve warmth, and security, and still retain the ability to get tooling etc in and out, and would ease any future sale (as it leaves the garage as a shed or an office as well, not instead). And it may be that the cost (and disruption) is less that the cost of building works. There are doors with panels across, and roller systems, so do have a thorough search to meet your needs - and what will work best with any division system you may have in mind.

Cheers, Tim

OuBallie25/05/2019 11:51:12
1149 forum posts
661 photos

I converted my Up & Over into a side hinged door, and released all the space it needed to swing up.

If you are going to remove it, PLEASE secure that long spring, using either a nail or R-clip as seen in my photos.
That Spring has an enormous amount of stored energy, and it's sudden release led to it breaking free and causing the tragic death of a man, when the slider arms where disconnected, he having failed to lock the spring beforehand.
When I mentioned what I was about to do to a counter hand at my local Jewsons outlet, he crooked his finger at me to follow him round to the back of the building, where a complete spring assembly had been dumped, and proceeded to show me how and where to lock the spring.
All I can say is fortune smiled on me that day, as even now I have no idea what I would have done, research hopefully before touching that mechanism!

Up&Over Garage Door

Up&Over Garage Door

Geoff - I sliced one end off to make a std width door, the rest kept closed, both insulated.

Howard Lewis25/05/2019 11:54:31
2731 forum posts
2 photos

Agree with all those advocating retaining the big door. You never know when you may want to move something in or out, that is too big to pass via the small side door.

In the interests of security, warmth and shelf space, you could then erect a stud wall just inside the garage door.. If you did need to use the big door, this could then be removed for the time that access is required and reinstated afterwards.

To make it really snug, you could fix battens to the walls, and place glass fibre insulation behind boarding (12 mm ply rather than plasterboard, so that you can fix things, shelves etc, securely ) If you do this, don't forget to maintain access to power points and switches.

Do make allowance for ventilation. Even your breath will increase humidity, and you do not want to make a cosy home for the rust fairy!

To avoid having cold feet on the concrete floor, duckboards are a minimum, or possibly if you could find some rubber or plastic matting. Toys R Us used to sell 1 metre squares of suitable rubber matting, but they are no longer in business, so you need to find an alternative source of supply.

The flooring sold by Cromwell tool is Industrial quality with prices to match!

Mats that allow swarf to fall through, delay the need to sweep up, and reduce the risk of carrying it indoors on your shoes.



mechman4825/05/2019 12:33:30
2551 forum posts
385 photos

I've kept the door to my garage / workshop in situ specifically to allow return to original use if required. It is a motorised roll up 19mm insulated sectional door on which I have attached extra insulation for warmth. Along with boarded & insulated walls /loft space It has helped maintain a temp of 8 -10*C in all weathers, having had some recent good weather I just open the access door & it soon warmed up to outside temp; in winter I have a couple of small oil heaters that I switch on for 1/2 hr or so & it soon gets up to a cosy16*C. On the floor I have interlocking foam workshop tiles ( M/Mart ), usual disclaimer...

insulation (1).jpg


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