Choosing the Right Shed Door
The door that you choose to use on your shed will play a key role in the appearance of the shed, and in what you can store inside the shed. The door also ensures proper security for your belongings.
Choosing the right door for your shed is not difficult if you are familiar with the options available to you, and the benefits and constraints that apply to each of those options. Let’s take a look at shed door options, and what each option offers.
Types of Shed Doors
Traditional doors for a shed are similar to the household doors you use, except the traditional shed door is typically shorter than the average house entry door.
The single doors come in various widths. You can get these doors in widths ranging from 23” to 6’5”. The width that will work best in your shed will be determined by the design of the building, the size of the building, and what you need to be able to get through the door easily.
Metal doors for sheds are more practical than wooden versions. The metal doors are lighter and easier to hang. They also withstand weather extremes like cold, heat, or wind without being damaged. Using a solid-core metal door will give you the insulation factor you want from your door, and it will allow you to have the ultimate security.
- Easy to install, less expensive
- Too narrow to fit large items, like lawnmowers, through
Double doors give you the freedom to move larger items into and out of the shed with ease. They are the preferred type of door for any lawnmower shed or other shed requiring machines to move in and out. These doors are attractive, they can be installed easily, and they can be long-lasting.
Double doors are heavier than traditional doors. When you hang doubles, it is recommended that you use heavier hinges to support the weight. Some shed manufacturers prefer to use double hinges at the top of these heavier doors.
Wooden doors tend to sag under their weight over time. If you choose metal doors, they are lighter, and you eliminate that tendency to sag.
If you are going to move equipment like lawnmowers, tillers, or large items in and out of the shed these doors give you the freedom to do so. These doors also offer the option of only one side being opened when you simply need to enter or exit the shed.
- Ample opening space for many uses
- Hinges and latches require more maintenance
Sliding doors offer a greater amount of wind resistance than typical double doors offer. Sliding doors are aesthetically appealing, and they can come in several materials and designs to suit your tastes.
Sliding doors offer you the ability to have a wider door opening with fewer hinge complications. The problem with the sliding doors is they are more difficult to secure. There are not any real locking options that you can feel secure about on these doors.
Another problem with the sliding doors is getting them to seal so they keep rain from getting inside the shed. The sliding doors do not seal as tightly as the typical double door does. You might end up with a wet shed floor more often than you want.
- No hinges to maintain or worry about
- More installation cost; don’t always seal well
- If the building settles, it can impact the movement of the door
Roll-up doors, or mini-roll-up doors are spring-loaded doors that provide a steel curtain to cover your opening. The big difference between the overhead door and the roll-up doors is the cost and the ease of installation.
Roll-up doors are easier to install than overhead garage-style doors because of the hardware used to operate the doors.
One of the things you must consider about this type of door is how long the door will be left in one position. If these doors are opened and closed regularly they do great, but when these doors are left for long periods in one position, either open or closed, the springs tend to bind and become difficult to operate.
The durability of roll-up doors is equal to the overhead door durability. The working mechanisms of the roll-up door are simpler than the ones of the overhead doors and this allows the roll-up version to require less maintenance, to be lighter, and to be easier to install.
- Excellent sealing
- Heavy. Hard to install.
Garage Style or Overhead Doors
This type of door has panels and is usually found on residential structures. The main difference between the overhead door and the roll-up door is that the roll-up rolls into a coil when lifted and the overhead moves on a track.
Sometimes, overhead doors can be quite large, like on pole barns. They are conducive to uses that go well beyond garden sheds, and are great if your shed or barn is for storing vehicles or large machinery.
Overhead doors have more complicated installation processes than roll-up, double, or standard doors so most people opt to hire a professional to install them.
Overhead doors require a greater amount of maintenance than any of the other styles of door. For many, it is not a safe DIY job.
The most common problem with doors on sheds is with the accessories that complete the door. Hinges rust and need to be replaced, latches fail to work properly, thresholds stop functioning properly, or the door handles get broken, work loose, or fail to work properly.
When you install the shed door if you consider the problems that might see with each accessory it will help you to choose the right accessory so you get strength and durability and have fewer concerns with your shed.
Shed Door Hinges, Latches, and Handles
There is a wide variety of styles and strengths of hinges. The hinges are almost always constructed of mild steel, and then they are coated to prevent rusting and to increase the aesthetics of the hinge.
- Zinc Passivated Hinges must be placed inside the structure. They have a very thin coating and begin to rust quickly.
- Powder coated or painted hinges are great except they rely on that coating to prevent rust. If the coating or paint is scratched then moisture gets under the coating and rust begins.
- Galvanized hinges offer the greatest durability. Galvanized hinges are attractive and strong and they protect the steel beneath the coating far better than any other coating.
- Stainless steel hinges are typically reserved for use in marine applications. These hinges are harder to find, and they cost more, but they are the best of the best. You do not have to worry about rust, and they are stronger than most mild steel hinges.
You can save some initial investment money by using the zinc passivated or powder-coated hinges, but you will have to replace them sooner. Beware that a shed door or barn door hinge might need to carry a LOT of weight. Be sure you buy something tough enough for the job. This can’t just be about aesthetics.
Plastic hinges for shed doors are available. These hinges will not rust. They withstand moisture well, but they often are damaged by extreme temperature changes and long exposure to the elements.
Plastic hinges are designed to be used with lighter doors, and they are not as durable as the mild steel, or stainless-steel varieties.
Shed Door Hinge Types
The type of door you are hanging will determine the style or type of hinge that you choose.
The most common hinge used on shed doors is a T-style hinge.
- T-Style is perfect for most doors and double doors.
- Band and hook hinges work well on heavier doors
- Parliament hinges allow the door to open and stay parallel to the wall. These hinges increase the ability of the door to be opened wider.
Brands you can trust
- National Hardware
The latch you buy for your shed will determine the amount of security you have. You can buy latches that simply hold the door shut, or you can buy locking latches that prevent uninvited guests from gaining entry.
You have to choose how much security you need, and what type of door you have on the shed, and then you can choose the right latch for the job.
Brands you can trust
- ABUS Diskus
- Lynn Hardware
- CLG hardware
Handles to help you open the door will be determined by your personal preference in style, the type of door you are installing the handle on, and the material the door is created from.
Handles for shed doors can be standard doorknobs, or simple pull handles that you grasp to lift a roll-up door.
Handles come in similar materials with similar coatings as the hinges. Stainless steel is the best quality and the most durable material for a handle to be crafted from.
You can buy shed handles that have a built-in lock, or simple handles with no lock. The style of handle should fit your security needs, and the design of the door.
Brands you can trust
- ABUS Diskus
- Lynn Hardware
- CLG hardware
It seems that there is a lot to know about shed doors, and often people find the selection of these items to be intimidating. Just remember to always consider where the shed will be located, how much security you need, and how big the typical objects that will pass through the doors will be.