Shed Doors - Design and Installation

Shed doors are one of the key moving parts of your shed so I have spent a fair amount of time detailing the many types of door that are available and the hardware that helps them function 'just right'. This article is more than an overview it is a doorway into the many other articles deeper in the site about all aspects of shed doors.

From the different types of hinges and locks you might want to use to whether a roll up shed door might be the answer to your shed security problems.

shed door Your entrance into everything you every wanted to know about shed doors!

To get started let's have a look at 5 essential qualities your new shed doors should possess.

5 qualities that you need from your shed door.

Security

Shed doors must be able to provide the level of security that you want to provide for your possessions.

Security also includes whether you want or need a window in the door. On the plus side a window will let in light to the inside of your shed but conversely it will also allow unwanted visitors to see what you have stored.

shed door Castle doors are of a very similar design to shed doors (though perhaps the wood is a little thicker and more robust?)

Size

How big an opening do you want for your shed? Is there such a thing as a standard shed door size?

A good basis for working out what size of door you want or need is the size of existing domestic doors. Shed doors on shop bought sheds are normally smaller than domestic house doors. However if you have specific need for larger openings you can make your own doors or use sliding or bifold doors as described further on.

The table below is a good starting point showing the sizes of external domestic house doors.

shed door Table showing relative sizes of shed doors

Shed doors are even more variable in size and less standardised. Generally, storage shed doors are slightly smaller than those used on domestic dwellings.

If you are building your own shed, using second hand/pre-used doors is a good way of saving money as old doors can often be bought very cheaply. If you do go down this route make sure that you have your doors and are sure of their dimensions before you frame your shed door opening



Appearance

What is the style of your shed and will the door fit in? If you have a smart painted shed then a rustic style unpainted door won't fit in. Conversely if you have a rustic style shed and you try to install a upcycled smart front door then it will look a little incongruous. Call me old-fashioned but appearances do matter.

shed door The style of your shed door says a lot about the user!

Durability

How long do you want your shed door to last? Materials such as Oak and Accoya will last much longer than straightforward red or whitewood pine. But how long do you want your shed door to last? When the shed itself may only be good for 20-30 years.

So many questions and so little time

Convenience

This one is a biggie too. Are you prepared to live with a cheap shed door that warps and sags? Would you like your shed door to fold neatly out of the way so that you have a large section of your shed open to the fresh air?



Let's move on to the details of how shed doors are built.

What is the most common form of shed door construction?

The standard shed door type, the hinged ones, come in many varieties: Plain doors, stable doors, doors with windows, ledged and braced doors, framed ledged and braced doors are all discussed on this page. (storage shed doors - shed door types).

Building a shed door can range from the straightforward to extremely complex. One of the most commonly used types is the ledged and braced shed door. This type of door comprises a series of boards lined up to form the face of the door. Three horizontal ledges which connect the boards together and a pair of diagonal braces that keep the door square and stop it sagging.

Read how to make a shed door here

shed door Building a ledged and braced shed door is fairly straight forward

However the door itself is only part of keeping your shed secure

A large part of how a door functions is down to the shed door hardware

The ironmongery that you use to swing the door, connect the components together and make the door secure are available in a large range of strengths, qualities and durabilities.

Understanding the properties of different items of shed door hardware will prevent you getting stuck with a set of hinges that rusts after less than a year or shed door lock that is easily overcome by even apprentice burglars!

Perhaps the best place to start is with a look at one of the most essential components of a shed door the shed door hinges. These come in a range of designs and it is important to match the strength and function of the hinge with the size and location of the door. This article will help you to make the decision as to what sort of shed door hinges are appropriate for you.

shed door Shed door hinges come in a variety of styles

After the hinges, shed door locks are the next essential component. They are responsible for securing the door shut. Locks come in a wide range from a fairly nominal type of lock to keep out passersby to full blown security bars that would require dismantling of the door and its frame in order to gain access. Read more on how to securely lock your shed here.

Of course your shed doesn't need to be kept locked 100% of the time. If you are just pottering in the garden or in and around the house then a shed door latch is what you need. Latches are normally fairly simple affairs that can be made in your own home workshop out of wood or you can opt for one of the slightly fancier metal, shop bought ones. I wrote about a whole bunch of shed door latches here.

shed door Attractive method of keeping the shed door shut

You might be stuck with a shed door that has started to sag slightly and needs a little help to keep it in shape. In this article I wrote about how to fix a shed door using an adjustable length shed door brace. The important thing about this piece of shed door hardware is that it can help you to adjust the level of a shed door so that it will once again lock.

So we have now covered most of the topic of traditionally hinged shed doors. What to expect from a shed door? What are the various types of shed door, including the pieces of hardware that can be utilised to get the best out of your shed door.

However it may be that a traditional hinged type shed door isn't for you.

It may be that the best shed door type for you is not the traditional hinged style

Other less common forms of shed door can offer benefits in the form of larger opening sizes, improved security or better convenience.

If you have a section of wall adjacent to the door opening and limited space for the door to swing then a sliding door can be a very practical option. Sliding doors don't have to be hugely expensive. This article shows you how to use the right shed sliding door hardware and a standard external door leaf to make a well-functioning sliding shed door.

shed door Sliding door that has seen many years service

Another option for those limited on space is the bifold door. This type of door is relatively easy to make yourself. Study the articulation diagram in this article that I prepared on bifold shed doors and also pay particular attention to the door construction and shed door hardware to make a space saving shed door that will give you years of service.

shed door Bifold doors are useful where space is limited

You may not have considered using a roller shutter door on your shed. However these are a practical option. Made of steel, aluminium or PVC, this type of door is ideal if you need a flush threshold for getting machinery in and out of the shed.

The door is stored on a roll at lintel level and so it kept well out of the way when the door is open. As the door rolls up and down, it requires no space to either side for it to swing.

Roll up doors aren't as complicated as they look at first sight either. Their installation is well within the reach of an experienced DIY hand. Roll up shed doors comprise three major components. Find out more about roll up shed doors here.

Conclusion

I suspect that most of the shed doors in use are of the ledged and braced type and that they provide the required

  • Security
  • Size
  • Appearance
  • Durability
  • Convenience

If you ever need to replace a shed door making your own is a relatively straightforward project. Upgrading from a standard ledged and braced door to one with a frame will increase the security and durability of a door. So is a good upgrade if that is what you need.

However it is good to know that that there is a huge variety of shed door design ideas out there as described in the other links to solve almost any problem that you can imagine.

Next Step

I have been asked a lot of questions about shed doors over the years as I have built this website. Have a read of some of the questions and answers below to build on the information already on this page.

Readers Questions and Answers

Click below to see Questions and Answers from other visitors to this page...

Shed Door FAQ - All Your Shed Door Questions Answered 
Shed Door FAQ – I get asked a lot of questions about building shed doors and so I have pulled together a lot of these onto one page for you to browse. …


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