Roll Up Shed Doors: How to Frame and Install

You’re in the wall building stage of your shed construction, and it’s time to think about adding the door. You’ve decided against your standard hinged wooden door. Perhaps you want to keep vermin from invading your shed. Or maybe you’re just looking for more convenience.

Whatever the reason, you’ve decided you want to finish off the entrance of your masterpiece with a roll up shed door.

But roll up doors seem complicated. How do you frame out your door to make it fit. How do you secure it so it’s safe? Is it difficult to frame and install a roll up door? Don’t get intimidated. Framing and installing a roll up door is a relatively easy task that can be completed in less than a day.

Roll up shed doors

What Is a Roll-Up Door?

If you’ve ever rented a storage unit, then you probably know the answer to this question. Roll up doors are the corrugated metal doors that roll upward in the same fashion as a garage door.

Only, unlike a standard garage door, which is comprised of metal or wood panels that follow a track up into the ceiling of the garage, the roll up door, well, rolls up. When raised, it wraps around a large cylinder that is mounted on the ceiling just above the entrance of your shed.

Benefits of Roll Up Doors

There are many benefits to a roll up door. Roll up doors are ideal for sheds due to their space saving characteristics.

These doors do not require the long ceiling-mounted track of a standard garage door, so they save valuable ceiling space. Roll up doors need only a comparatively small amount of clearance just above the doorway.

Roll up doors also offer improved ease of use and security over a standard barn style shed doors. Whereas the latches on a standard wood or aluminum shed door can be pried apart fairly easily, tough metal roll-up doors can’t be easily penetrated and feature strong latches that can be securely padlocked.

Roll up doors also offer a tighter fit. This makes it harder for vermin to invade your shed. Roll-up doors are also lightweight and can be quickly and easily raised and lowered thanks to the tension cylinder that carries the weight of the door.

The heavy-duty design and material of metal roll-up doors also make them a low maintenance option. No chipping paint, rotting wood or sagging hinges to worry about here.

Types of Roll-Up Doors

There are generally two types of roll-up doors: section roll up and rolling steel. Section roll ups are comprised of at least four sections which roll up onto tracks that go into the ceiling of the shed.

A rolling steel door, the most popular type of roll up door, consists of a single piece of material that rolls up onto a cylinder above the garage door.

Most Popular Options for Door Materials

You have a few options to consider for your roll up door: wood, fiberglass and steel. Wood offers insulation benefits but can only be used for sectional doors.

Wood offers natural beauty and therefore the best aesthetics of your options. However, wood is very heavy and needs significantly more maintenance than other materials as it is more susceptible to weather and certain types of insects.

Steel is also lightweight with a finish that is primed, painted and usually sealed with a protective topcoat. Steel doors are also more affordable.

However, they do have some downsides. Steel doors can be easily dented and are also subject to corrosion if you live in a coastal area.

Vinyl is lightweight, attractive and easy to maintain as it is made to be weather resistant. Unlike steel doors they are difficult to dent. They are also durable and require little maintenance. These features make vinyl the material of choice for garage doors.

Typical Roll Up Shed Door Sizes

Size is an important consideration before you begin framing out the door opening of your shed. You might want to take into consideration what you will be storing in the shed when determining what size door you want. A riding lawnmower with a 48″ deck will require an opening of at least 5′ to comfortably move the tractor in and out of the shed.

Standard roll-up door sizes are 4’x7′, 6’x7′, and 8’x7′.

Best Roll Up Doors for Sheds [Available at Amazon]

Mini Self Storage Roll Up Door

roll up doors for shedsMini Self Storage Roll Up Door door is lightweight, easy to install and offers a variety of colors and sizes.

Although rated for light-duty, this model includes features you would find on commercial-grade storage doors including full hard galvanized grade 80 steel and Super Durable polyester paint that comes with a 25-year no-fade paint warranty.

The door is also designed for smoother operation and offers some tough security with a heavy gauge zinc coated steel latch.

Pros

  • Commercial grade door features.
  • Durable
  • Heavy-duty latch for added security.
  • Comes in a wide variety of sizes and colors.

Cons

  • Instructions are not thorough.

DuroSTEEL Janus Mini Storage Roll-up Door

shed roller doorsIf you’re looking for a durable door for your shed, then look no further than DuroSTEEL's Janus mini storage model. This door is made to take a beating.

Unlike other doors on this list, this door is rated to withstand winds of up to 130 mph. Sizes range from 3′ wide to 10′ wide, making it one of the more versatile doors on the market.

Instructions are lacking with this model; however, online instructions through YouTube should help you get through the install without too much trouble.

Pros

  • Strength. This door is rated to endure hurricane-force winds.
  • Designed to operate super smoothly.
  • Wide range of sizes from 3;’ to 10′ wide and up to 12′ high.
  • Affordable priced.

Cons

  • Bare bones instructions make installation more of a headache.
  • If orange isn’t your new black, you’re out of luck. The doors come in one color: orange.

Roll Up Shed Doors: How to Frame and Install

Framing a door jam for a roll-up door requires accurate measurements and some planning to complete successfully.

While framing and installing a roll-up door might seem like a complicated task, it’s something that can be completed in just a few hours.

How To Measure For Roll Up Door

Begin by determining what size door you want. After purchasing the door, refer to the manufacturer’s installation instructions to determine the required rough opening needed to install the door.

Generally speaking, most doors will be about an inch bigger than your opening so that the door will overlap your frame with the guide rails mounting to the face of the frame. Of course, consult the manufacturers’ instructions to ensure a proper fit.

Some manufacturers will custom cut the door to fit any rough opening. If you plan on using one of these companies, frame your rough opening, then measure the width of the opening at its widest point.

You will also want to make sure you have enough clearance around the door to install the vertical track. Check the door’s specifications to determine how much clearance is needed.

Remember, you will also need clearance above the door. Check the manufacturer’s clearance requirements for the door you plan to use then measure the space between the top of your shed’s rough opening and its ceiling to make sure it will fit.

If you plan on installing a paneled roll up door, then measure back room to make sure you will have enough space to store the door when it is rolled up. Back room is the distance from the door opening to the back wall of the shed.

Step 1: Frame the Opening for a Roll Up Door

Once you know what door you plan to use, you can go ahead and frame the wall that will include the door. Begin the framing for your door opening by first creating a header board.

This board will provide the strength needed to support the span of the doorway. The header is especially important when you consider it will be supporting the bulk of the roll-up door’s weight.

Create the header board by using a piece of OSB and two 2x12s. First, cut two pieces of 2x12s to the desired length for your door opening. Then cut the OSB to a length that is slightly shorter than the two 2x12s.

This will prevent the OSB from sticking out from either end of the header. Align the three boards together and attach them with 12D nails.

Now, begin by assembling the wall that will include the doorway. Nail the king studs, the studs that will run from the bottom plate to the top plate on either side of your doorway header, to the header. Nail the top plates and bottom plates to the king studs and header assembly.

Finish assembling the wall, then install two 2x4s on either side of the doorway between the top plate and bottom plate. Install the trimmer boards by attaching them to the king studs and the bottom plate with 10d nails.

Step 2: Assemble the Roll-up Door

Assembly of the roll up door will vary depending on the type of door and manufacturer. Use the manufacturer’s instructions to guide you through this step. Once you’ve put the door together, you will need to install the assembled door to the door frame of your shed.

Although the process may vary, this step generally involves assembling the door’s guide track, wrapping the door around the cylinder and threading it through the tracks.

You will likely also need to set the tension for the cylinder and attach any handles or latch hardware to your door.

Step 3: Install the Door

Now that you’ve put the door together, the next step is to raise the door assembly into place. Before doing that, use a plumb bob to mark vertical lines on either side of the frame. This will help you align the door to ensure both tracks are plumb.

Next, raise the door into place. The assembly will likely be heavy, so I suggest finding a second pair of hands to help lift and hold the door. Once the door is raised and aligned with the guide marks, follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for securing the door to the frame.

Test the door to ensure that it rolls smoothly on the tracks and raises and lowers easily. You shouldn’t have to use much effort to open or close the door. If it’s a struggle, adjust the tensioner on the cylinder.

Don’t forget to install the safety stops on the door. Safety stops prevent the door from rolling too far up, damaging the door.

Step 4: Weather Proofing and Sealing

The door is installed and you’re patting yourself on the back for a job well done. The tension is so well adjusted and the door so well aligned that you could lift and close it with your pinky. You’ve nearly completed the install, but don’t forget to finish off your hard work with proper weatherproofing and sealing.

Begin by trimming out the door with one-inch thick strips of cedar. Attach plastic weather seal to the side of the cedar trim, then install the trim around the inside perimeter of the opening.

This will decrease the width of the opening by two inches, so make sure to take this into account when calculating the width requirements for your shed door. The weather seal should rest against the door, creating a weather-tight fit between the door and the door opening.

Conclusion

Roll up doors offer some great advantages for shed doorways. They improve the security and functionality of your shed.

They also offer a professional look without requiring a professional to complete the installation. By following these instructions, you can install a roll-up door on your shed in no time.

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