Roll up shed doors - What are the main components?

You might be attracted to roll up shed doors for several reasons;

  • They offer a high level of security
  • They look great
  • They are extremely convenient in use

But what you really need to know is - How easy is it to install roll up shed doors?

To answer this question we need to start at the beginning and find out what the main components are that form the roll up shed door system.

There are three main components to most roller shutter door systems:

  • - The side guides
  • - The support brackets
  • - The roller door assembly

To understand how the system works as a whole lets find out a bit more about each of these components, starting with the side guides.

What is the purpose of the side guides?

The side guides are fixed to the door jambs and act to retain the sides of the roll up door. The sides of the roll up doors have nylon rollers in them that fit into this track and allow the door to open and close smoothly.

The side guides are either made from cold formed steel or a welded section. The cold formed sections are used on more typical domestic systems and smaller opening sizes. The fully welded guides tend to be on the higher security systems and industrial sized doors.

The side guides are fixed on to the door jambs in a variety of ways depending on the construction of the building. The fixing details are slightly different dependent on whether you are going to be fixing to masonry, steel or timber. So when you are doing your product specific research you need to ensure that the system is compatible with the situation on your shed. The guides will typically be fixed to the door jamb at 2’ (600mm) centres and on a timber shed it will be fixed with coach bolts.

The side guides are important to retain the door in its open condition. However it is the support brackets that are the real load bearing component as far as supporting the weight of the door.

The fixings to the support brackets need to be robust

The support brackets are located at the top of the side guides near the top of the door jamb. The exact location and relation of the support brackets to the side guides varies from system to system. Whichever system is used there is no getting around the fact that the brackets are a key component as they carry the full weight of the door in both the open and closed conditions.

The weight of the door roll can range from 100 to over 400lbs (50 to 200kg) dependent on the size and type of the door so this gives you some idea of the load requirement that these items are required to support.

As well as having strength the two brackets need to be accurately positioned height wise so that the axis of the door is horizontal and also so that there is sufficient clearance to the ceiling to accommodate the dimensions of the rolled up door.

The final component is the roll up door itself

The door is normally supplied rolled up in the closed condition and is lifted into position before releasing the retaining straps. Lifting the door assembly into position is a critical operation of the door installation procedure. A typical roll up shed door will weigh about 5lb/sqft (25kg/m²). For a relatively small 6'x6' opening, the door will come in at about 180lbs (80kg) so you will definitely need assistance to help you lift the door into its final position.

The precise details of the door and the control mechanisms vary from system to system. The manual systems have a heavy spring that needs to be adjusted to the correct tension to assist with the opening and closing of the door. There are also doors that are electrically operated and there is detailed procedure that will be outlined in the instructions as to how to set this up so that the door opens and closes to the correct points.

DIY installation of roll up shed doors is fairly straight forward

Now that you understand the main component of the door system; the guides, the support brackets and the door assembly. The installation of the door from this point is fairly straight forward and doors for the domestic market are made with DIY installation in mind.

However before you can enjoy the benefits of that highly secure, good looking and convenient door system you will need to check out this article to make sure that the door you buy fits perfectly in the opening that you want to secure.

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