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bricking up a garage door for workshop, ideas

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David Lawrence 219/04/2014 10:37:16
16 forum posts

Hi all, I am about to buy a house in Whitehaven, Cumbria, with a large garage which i want to use as a workshop. Bricking up the up and over door will give me more useful space for workbenches and keep the cold out. Has anybody done this and what should i look out for. Garage has a side door as well for access. I was thinking of putting in a window in the new brick wall to give me some light. thanks for looking

colin hawes19/04/2014 11:09:00
522 forum posts
18 photos

I would use outward opening insulated double doors with burglar resistant windows instead so there is plenty of room for receiving heavy machines in future. Colin

Oompa Lumpa19/04/2014 11:21:15
888 forum posts
36 photos

This was my solution, done in a day. 2"x4" pressure treated framework sat on a DPC stuffed with insulation two layers of Soundcheck plasterboard on the inside, tar paper on 3/4" board on the outside with lapboard finishing. I made the door too, that is 4" thick full of Kingspan insulation. Simple, cost effective fast and above all, well insulated, both thermally and sound wise. Don't over think the issue. Oh, and you can try getting the door off if you want, you will fail.

garage.jpg

My garage is split, it is extremely long. Only the front 12' is workshop so about 11'x12' the rest, at the back, is for other stuff.

graham.

Gordon W19/04/2014 11:32:47
2011 forum posts

I'll back-up the don't brick it up advice. Make a new" wall " from timber that would be capable of being opened, even if it means taking out a few screws or bolts ( from the inside of course ). Never when it might be useful. Easy to insulate. Ps Nice part of the world that.

Roger Vane19/04/2014 11:46:05
100 forum posts
18 photos

I have also converted my garage into use as a workshop - the original up-and-over door has been replaced by outward-opening half glazed French doors - taking Colin's point it makes access easier for heavy machines. As the French doors are less wide than the steel door that they replaced I have also fitted a wooden side panel (insulated). When doing the conversion I took the opportunity to specify a 'wheelchair' threshold for the doors - meaning that there is effectively no threshold to trip me up, and moving machinery is far easier. The other thing that I did was to fit a high security (anti-everything) lock to the door - recommend CISA Astral S. Expensive, but far superior to the cheap lock supplied with the doors.

I also removed and bricked-up the existing window - improved security and somewhere for more shelving.

Something else that you might want to consider while you have an empty garage is insulation - I have 18mm thick plywood on the floor, covered with hardboard and painted, plus 25mm insulation with 12mm plywood sheets on the walls. The ceiling is insulated with 50mm insulation above 6mm plywood - the roof space has also been ventilated. Result - no cold surfaces to sweat and no condensation. There is no background heating or dehumidifier in use. However, I am located in the south-east where the climate is probably somewhat warmer that Cumbria.

Hope this helps.

JA19/04/2014 11:50:06
1055 forum posts
54 photos

I disabled the garage door mechanism, locked the door in place and then put two 4' x 8' blockboard sheets (edge to edge) across the space as close as possible to the door. These were fixed to the walls by battens and screws so that they could be removed without too much difficulty. The bottom sheet sits on the floor and effectively stops any ingress of water (rain, not flood) that would be blown under the door. The top, between the top sheet and door, has been left open but the result is totally rain and draught proof. The one disadvantage is that the dummy wall is too weak to carry any shelving.

JA

Bazyle19/04/2014 11:50:16
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5694 forum posts
208 photos

If it has an up and over door be careful about the spring which can have a lot of energy in it. Just releasing it can be problematic. Sorry this an HSE thing I shouldn't mention it.

Graham's boarding looks super. I would suggest making the door extra wide though. Try meauring an assembled engine hoist and make it wide enough for that - just in case. Are tehre any planning constraints if you make it look like change of use?

Steven Vine19/04/2014 12:00:01
340 forum posts
30 photos


| If it has an up and over door be careful about the spring which can have a lot of energy in it. Just releasing it can | | | be problematic. Sorry this an HSE thing I shouldn't mention it.

Bazyle

To tell grown men to be careful of springs under tension is insulting. The worst part is that you are probably serious.

Can you hear my gears grinding.

Steve

Michael Cox 119/04/2014 12:08:11
536 forum posts
27 photos

By bricking up the opening you are probably reducing the value of your property since the next person to buy the property is more likely to want a garage than a workshop.

I would go along with the previous suggestions and build a wooden stud wall in the opening that can be easily removed later. This can be well insulated with say 150 mm fibreglass to keep the heat in. The inside could be clad with 12 mm plywood which makes adding shelving and wall storage easy.The outside can be attractively clad or rendered.

Mike

Gray19/04/2014 12:39:40
1040 forum posts
13 photos
Posted by Steven Vine on 19/04/2014 12:00:01:


| If it has an up and over door be careful about the spring which can have a lot of energy in it. Just releasing it can | | | be problematic. Sorry this an HSE thing I shouldn't mention it.

Bazyle

To tell grown men to be careful of springs under tension is insulting. The worst part is that you are probably serious.

Can you hear my gears grinding.

Steve

Steve, In this case I don't think it is insulting, I heard recently of someone being killed when attempting to remove an up and over door, thinking he had removed the spring tension, the unfortunate DIYer disconnected one of the balance arms connected to the spring, it released and took him under the chin, breaking his neck!!

I replaced my door with a 20mm insulated aluminium electric roller shutter, it has double seals and bottom seal so no draughts (obtained through freecycle !!)

Bob Brown 119/04/2014 13:08:55
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1016 forum posts
127 photos

A friend of mine who has a double garage made up removable insulated panels to go across the two doors and an insulated sectional piece down the middle. The panels are made of wood in filled with Rockwool and are light enough to be easily removed to get stuff in and out just held in place with 4 door bolts. He needed to have easy access but also reduce the heating costs in the winter as he is into classic/sports cars so it's not like he's in and out to frequently.

HIs workshop area which is home to his Myford lathe and Centec mill, is separate and on the end of the garage with a single door access, one from the garage and one from outside.

So David it may be an option to consider as that way you can get new kit in and out with out too much aggro.

I'm about to embark on my own garage rebuild (7m x 4.5m) as the current attached one is too small so I have planning in to build a new one around the old one and then knock the old one down. It is to house my lathe and milling machines (2) and also a 4 post ramp so I can store my classic car up out of the way in the winter.

New garage is going to have round the corner insulated door and is cavity wall with insulation and double glazing could even get a change of use and make it into a 5 bed property but that is not in the current plan.

John McNamara19/04/2014 14:04:25
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1313 forum posts
113 photos

Hi David

Brick walls need a properly designed concrete footing to stand on likely to be 500 to 700mm deep x 300 wide, depending on your local regulations. and the connection to the existing building needs to be flexible you will need sliding ties **LINK**

A lot of work compared to an insulated timber frame, I would go with lightweight construction. You will still need to dig a few pads for the frame to sit on, and have a plan to drain rainwater away or you will have a damp floor.

Regards
John

 

 

Edited By John McNamara on 19/04/2014 14:05:57

FMES19/04/2014 14:15:35
606 forum posts
2 photos
Posted by Steven Vine on 19/04/2014 12:00:01:


| If it has an up and over door be careful about the spring which can have a lot of energy in it. Just releasing it can | | | be problematic. Sorry this an HSE thing I shouldn't mention it.

Bazyle

To tell grown men to be careful of springs under tension is insulting. The worst part is that you are probably serious.

Can you hear my gears grinding.

Steve

Rather be insulted that have to do a trip to the local A & E with a neighbour who tried to remove a McPherson strut spring with only one compressor fitted.

He'll be wearing the scars for the rest of his life.

You carry on Bazyle, a reminder like that is a toolbox talk worth having.

Neil Wyatt19/04/2014 14:26:25
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Moderator
18404 forum posts
718 photos
78 articles

Point of order - safety advice given in good faith is never unwelcome here.

Neil

NJH19/04/2014 14:58:39
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2314 forum posts
139 photos

Hi David

I was in a similar situation to you in that, having moved, I had a large double garage and no workshop! On the principle that cars are waterproof I didn't feel the need to use the garage! I did what you suggest - took off one door and put a window in. I then added a partition so that half of the garage became the workshop.

garage.jpg

 

untitled-2.jpg

Voila! - cosy corner!

I won't bore you all again with the lengths I went to to make it dry and warm but if you would like to know more,  just send me a personal message and I will be happy to oblige.

Regards

Norman

 

Edited By NJH on 19/04/2014 15:00:56

Fatgadgi19/04/2014 15:05:26
170 forum posts
25 photos

Hi David

As some others have replied, I have a double garage with two separate up & over doors which I screwed in place from the inside and made an insulated stud wall inside for each door. From memory the walls are 3" filled with fibreglass insulation and a damproof membrane. The whole of the garage is insulated for both noise and heat.

The inside walls are totally removable to move the occasional machine through. The outside looks perfectly normal but of course is pretty well impregnable to nasty people without major demolition.

Each wall was split in two horizontally - I made chunky hinges for the top part and the bottom parts are just put in position. When fixed in place it has sealing foam strips and lots of screws. The hinges were because of (really surprising) weight and I thought I would use it more - it hooks to the ceiling joists, but I might have split them vertically, perhaps even 3 per door to reduce the weight further (as I age !!) in hindsight.

I used Plywood on the outside, chipboard on the inside for cost and it is also sealed to the floor to remove all drafts.

- Will

Bob Brown 120/04/2014 15:58:01
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1016 forum posts
127 photos

Having re-read the original post one thing to note is "window", very useful to have natural light and an added bonus it is free. If you are not too bothered about a large garage door, I would use light weight blocks to close the doorway in up to window height as they are quite good for keeping some of the heat in and as there are no real structural issues like lintels as the roof is supported anyway would then place a window on that. Tie the block work into the original with some frame ties every course or so. A good source of double glazed windows can be reclamation yards or a local double glazing company as they do have ones that they made a mistake with size wise and they then have to sell them off, some end up in reclamation yards hence that suggestion.

Assuming UK if the garage is detached then no need to worry about building control but if attached that can be a different ball game and my need planning and building control as attached garages are treated as part of the main structure.

Bob

John McNamara20/04/2014 16:35:02
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1313 forum posts
113 photos

Hi David L

Lightweight blocks ?? There are many different kinds. **LINK**

If this is your first build It would be a good idea to draw it up showing the various materials to be used then discuss it with someone that is in the building trade. You will need a concrete footing if you build with blocks even if it is only a half height wall. and it will be the same size as it would be if the bricks went to the roof, and maybe a lintel over the window if the blocks cross over the window frame, an alternative would be to fill that space in with timber.

Whitehaven being on the sea is no doubt subjected to strong winds from time to time, if the wall is exposed it is important to tie it in properly not just at the sides but at the top also. putting a door and window in it may weaken it and require further strengthening.

Regards
John

NJH20/04/2014 17:47:20
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2314 forum posts
139 photos

Referring to my 'photo above - which is probably similar to your garage before modification. No need to bother about a new concrete footing as an extensive slab already existed for the garage base and lightweight blocks were laid onto that. Don't forget a DPC though and do ensure that you tie the new blocks to the existing structure. The blocks were rendered to match the existing - it looks worse in the 'photo than in life! - not helped by all the muck that got splashed up in the recent rains! The ( substantial!) window was made for me by a local carpenter at a price too good to miss. Not much weight in this mod as there was an existing lintel over the original door so it was just the weight of the window frame + glass plus a few lightweight blocks and render.

If some future purchaser of the property wishes to convert it back to a garage it would be an easy ( if very foolish!) job to do so.

Regards

Norman

David Lawrence 220/04/2014 18:39:04
16 forum posts

hi all, Thanks for all the ideas about bricking up my garage door. Lots more to think about now, regards David

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