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I need to build a wall
the garage door broke

 1:44 am on Feb 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

Will you look at that... a cable on one end of the garage door has disengaged itself from the spool. Not only that, but when it broke, that end of the garage door dropped, and the other end, with cable still attached, wanted to come up. Of course, things like hardware and railing got moved around. Temporary solution, get the door closed on both ends and nail it shut!

But I need an opening, a door. The best solution would seem to be to build a wall in the existing garage door opening, with a couple of walk thru doors and maybe a window. Why is this the best solution? Because all of my deliveries come thru that door. I would rather open a regular door than continue to lift an overhead door.

I can read a blueprint, and there is a lot of info for this sort of thing. But at least one piece is missing... probably more since this is new for me. What is the best way to fasten this wall to the floor? Should I drill a few holes into the concrete and sink some sort of fastener that will hold the bottom of the wall in place? Also, should I put some sort of caulk under the wall to prevent moisture from seeping in?

I know that someone out here has pounded nails until they were driven to find something easier, like building websites. What say you then, can you give this programmer-turned-wall-builder a few helpful hints?




 2:28 am on Feb 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

3 feet or $300 is the rule of thumb for needing a building permit. Not sure where you are, but it is a consideraton ;)

Assuming you have a concrete floor, there are expanding bolt anchors that will serve your needs well.

Get a masonry bit of the right size (probably 3/8 - 1/2 inch) and drill holes to the correct depth. Drop those little bugars in the holes. Thay have a pin that you smack a couple of times with a hammer, which causes them to expand within the hole and become firmly anchored.

Use treated wood for your sill plate. Drill holes to match the anchors you just put in.

When your wall is framed in, tilt it up into place. The floor sill plate will settle over the anchors. Drop on nuts aned tighten it down. Nail off the sides to the existing wall.

Next, if you need to put on outer sheathing, do that, or else put on your siding. Insulate. Sheetrock. Splatter some texture on it and paint.

You can get all this done in a weekend, but you may need help at a couple of points.



 9:50 am on Feb 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

3 feet or $300
Lucky for me then, I have only 2 feet and I haven't seen $300 all at once in a long time ;)

sill plate
Understanding the terminology will help. So, that bottom board is called a sill plate. That might get me a little respect at the lumber yard. I still have a question about a moisture barrier. We get both rain and snow blown into the garage door. Is treated wood enough at the sill if it's firmly fastened down? Is a bead of caulk even recommended here?

I have found everything else I need to know about a wall except this one thing? Maybe I shouldn't think about it...


 2:58 pm on Feb 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

Calk would be good.

You aren't going to just cut a hole in the garage door are you? Better to replace the door with a wall, and then put a door in the new wall.



 3:24 pm on Feb 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

>>>You aren't going to just cut a hole in the garage door are you? Better to replace the door with a wall, and then put a door in the new wall.

Luckily my construction days are long passed. But, yes put a 2 x 4 frame in place of the door. Rough in a doorway, drywall the inside and drop by a buiding center to see what they have for the outside of the new wall that is easy for you to install. Brickwork is a skill that should not be attempted by an amateur. Don't forget to insulate the wall and a vapor barrier. Install the door before the drywall and outside cover.

I was looking for plans to build a simple structure to hold garbage cans and recyclables. It was really a hard thing to locate on the web. Might be an opportunaty for a web professional looking for a niche site to monetize with adwords and stuff. ;-)


 5:55 pm on Feb 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

Right on fellas. So far the advice has been great. I'll add my 2c too ;) since I do this kind of work.

On the moisture issue, definately caulk! I would:

  1. build the wall(treated 2"x4" layed in caulk nailed with cut nails, no hammer drill needed)
  2. sheath it(1/2" plywood)
  3. vapor barrier(Tyvek), making sure the bottom is tight to the concrete
  4. now run a nice bead of caulk to seal the vapor barrier to the concrete
  5. then you can caulk the siding to the concrete as well, thats three lines of defense

I wish I could come help ya grandpa(i can if you happen to be in eastern MD :) ), but I hope this post and previous ones help out.


 10:22 pm on Feb 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

Great info guys, I think we can get it done and call it good. Rugles, go for it!

No, I won't be cutting an opening for a door in the overhead door. The overhead has got to come out. That actually looks like the bigger part of this job. One side of the door is still tensioned. I'll probably play it safe here and call the overhead door people out to remove the tension, and maybe even pull the door out. There are 5 panels, and its a double wide door. Without the tension I think we can pull it down one panel at a time.

could come help ya
Thanks. I have help on the way... the father-in-law is coming up from Mexico and he loves to swing a hammer. Actually, he builds furniture.

Now I'm just rambling.. but I almost wish I had gone to Kentucky last summer when I had the opportunity. I would have a chance to help build a couple of cabins. For someone whose Dad was a construction guru, I'm woefully under-educated in the area of home construction.


 10:50 pm on Feb 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

I'll probably play it safe here and call the overhead door people out to remove the tension, and maybe even pull the door out.

Good choice. I have heard of serious injuries (and deaths) when amatuers screw around with garage door springs.

Good luck with the home improvement project.



 3:50 am on Feb 27, 2006 (gmt 0)


I don't know just how screwed up the current door is, but if you can get it back up (as in open) that should relieve the tension on most designs. You will notice that the spring sags when it's open all the way.

One note: If you get it open and remove the spring, be careful. When you go to shut it, it's going to come down in a hurry without that spring. Especially if you have a heavy wooden garage door.



 4:02 am on Feb 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

Just in case you approach these types of projects like I sometimes do - I thought it was worth asking: All of the cars are out of the garage, right?


 7:48 am on Feb 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

All of the cars are out of the garage, right?
Yeah :)
The garage is our widget factory.

An aside to all of this, and the reason that we are suffering from the lack of a usable door at the moment is because of Matt. You guys don't know Matt, but he's the fellow that works here who is generally the reason anything goes wrong.

'It's Matt's Fault'

Matt brought in a sign [geocities.com] one day and we hung it on the door leading into the house. No sooner than you could shake a stick, the overhead door blew a spring. Now we're all using the back door!


 8:17 am on Mar 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

Well, I know everyone is waiting...the wall goes up Monday. I got a deal on getting the overhead door pulled out and hauled away. Today we bought the lumber, anchor bolts, sill foam and other sundry items including sheetrock and 3-ply exterior sheets.

I got one great used door, we may just build the other door. And we still need a window. So far the cost is under $200 US, with maybe that much to spend tomorrow... I need things like a ladder and we're adding one of those twirly things on the roof to help vent the space.

The Great Wall continues on Monday.


 9:29 am on Mar 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

I don't have a clue where you live, but where I am from, which some call hell in august, changing something like that on your house without a permit and approved plans is totally illegal. I would love to convert my garage over to offices, but with all costs considered would probably set me back over 10 grand. I do not have an HOA or anything like that, but they are pretty strict.

A family member of mine converted thier garage over without permits and some neighors complained and they had to convert it back. Talk about an expensive mistake.

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