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Wide door for workshop built to passive house standards

I am looking for an affordable wide door for a workshop that meets passive house standards.

I want to preserve as much wall space as possible.

I am looking for at least 6 to 8 feet of opening. With this being a workshop, it doesn't need to be a work of art, just functional.

I had looked at the Zola breezeway panel door. That is not available in their lower priced uPVC lines.



Asked by Andrew Sanderson
Posted May 28, 2017 8:07 AM ET


12 Answers

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Make your own.

Answered by Martin Holladay
Posted May 29, 2017 6:20 AM ET



Do you know of any blogs or videos where someone did build their own?

What about source of multi-latch hardware needed?


Answered by Andrew Sanderson
Posted May 29, 2017 6:50 AM ET


The details of how you do this depend in part on how often you plan to open and close the door. If it's a few times a year when moving equipment in and out, you can have multiple individual latches pulling it tight against weatherstripping. If you are going in and out on a daily or more frequent basis, you will want a more streamlined system.

Note that we have a funny situation in which most truly high-performance doors are made by window companies. Large sections of high-performance triple-pane glass are expensive and heavy. Large sheets of polyiso provide better insulation and are much cheaper, and they are lighter too, making the hardware easier.

Answered by Charlie Sullivan
Posted May 29, 2017 8:25 AM ET


Here's a link to a Q&A thread on GBA, in which Kevin Dickson posts questions about garage doors, and then shares photos of the doors he built: Air Tight Garage Door.

Answered by Martin Holladay
Posted May 29, 2017 11:21 AM ET


For $8k, minimum, Hammer and Hand will build a passive house man-door for you. There's a video on this page from which you can glean a few pointers, if you want to make a project out of it. -the only hope for even remotely affordable, according to my definition of the term.

Answered by Peter Byar
Posted May 29, 2017 10:38 PM ET


Thanks Peter. I guess it will be a couple sheets of plywood on the opening until I can get it made. Time to open up SketchUp an get planning...

Answered by Andrew Sanderson
Posted May 30, 2017 6:37 AM ET


You make a good point about just using multiple individual latches. That seems like the most likely scenario for me. It is not going to be frequently used.

Answered by Andrew Sanderson
Posted May 30, 2017 6:39 AM ET


I'm in Kenora Ontario Canada climate zone 7...I started with a 24x30 garage with 8 ft ceiling, added R60 cellulose in the ceiling, R20 batts in the stud bays, insulated overhead doors were existing so I built carriage house style doors in front of them. They make a Get Smart going into control vibe... the carriage doors are 1x6 frames (on edge as viewed from front or back). I built them to 1/4 inch tolerance top/bottom and sides so 1/4 above and below...YES they are like back vaults. They are filled with 4 inches (so far) of XPS (outer layer) and EPS (inner layer).
The foam was covered in TYVEK and the frame primed. They have overlapping seals at the center and close against strips of XPS on the top/bottom and hinge sides. They lock from the outside with a long carriage house wooden slide bolt and the inside with a drop bar...and that is IFO the insulated OH door.
I haven't finished the trip yet but will be adding 3/8 x 6 trim (by ripping a 2x6 into 3 pieces width wise and then through the 15" planer (DC-380).
I also built insuklated shutters for the three 36x48 double pane double hung vinyl windows. There is NO perimeter insulation yet but its coming the summer...its my biggest heat loss (i'll go 4" wide straight down at the perimeter 4 ft (if rock conditions permit).

Anyway I managed to keep it at about +2c with a 5 kw electric unit heater in NW Ontario and bumped it up to +10 to +12c when I wanted to work...thats balmy when its -35c outside.

That cost an average of 50 a month in addition to my regular electric fee (a great value in the crazy expensive market). I can use the doors in the winter (ATV's are inside) but prefer not to.... they are opened regularly for 9 months of the year and rarely for D, J, and F.

I'll try to post a picture...

Answered by tim brown
Posted May 30, 2017 7:00 PM ET



garage doors.jpg
Answered by tim brown
Posted May 30, 2017 7:06 PM ET



Great stuff. How do you feel about the 24 x 30 size for your activities? Is that the exterior dimension? What size / sort or things do you typically build?


Answered by Andrew Sanderson
Posted May 31, 2017 7:10 AM ET


Hi, its storage and a wood shop combined...I wish it were larger but with 3 ATVs and a garden tractor taking up 50% or the space I only have 1/2 for the workshop..I'll see if I can find a picture of the interior its a 24 ft x 30 ft (slab) so the interior is 23x29.
The house (project) is 100 ft away and the workshop is largely in support of that. I hope to build cabinets in there in the future.
I might add you can see the remnants of last years "idea" for holding the window insulated shutters...that will improve. Also I even added some foam to the exterior of the 1/2 lite man door window... in this part of world saving every little bit of energy is important.

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Answered by tim brown
Posted Jun 1, 2017 11:02 AM ET
Edited Jun 1, 2017 11:02 AM ET.


As it is today....the right garage door has an electric opener and the left does not...I'll see if I can find a picture of the doors open...I have made limiter ropes to prevent the wind from blowing them closed and pounded some rebar (36" long, about 12" sticking out of the ground) vertically into the gravel (with a piece of pool noodle pushed over top as a marker and bumper to limit over opening. This works great and prevents tripping over the rebar: even at night...mind you i'm the deep woods on NW Ontario Canada :) so fashion takes a backseat to function! You can see the ropes hanging and pool noodles (they used to be pink) in the first pic.

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Answered by tim brown
Posted Jun 1, 2017 11:17 AM ET
Edited Jun 2, 2017 10:11 AM ET.

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