How to Build Sliding Garage Doors

Christina Teter

Sliding garage doors are a beneficial feature, making it easier to remove and place items inside the structure. It is fairly simple to install a nice-looking set of sliding doors with woodworking tools and creativity. The most important factor when beginning construction is the type of wood you choose. Soft woods, including pine and cedar, are ideal choices. Cedar is ideal because it is termite resistant; however the price of cedar is much greater than that of pine.

  1. Cut the groove off two 1-by-10-inch T&G boards using a table saw. These boards will serve as the end boards and don't require the groove. Cut these and the remaining vertical boards to the appropriate length for the size door you desire.

  2. Cut 1-by-10-inch straight-edge boards to the width of door you desire.

  3. Construct a temporary L-shaped jig for the door, using scrap lumber, a screw gun and wood screws. Cut the height and width of the jig the same height and width as the door you are constructing.

  4. Lay the T&G boards vertically in the jig, with the first board being one without the groove. Slightly tighten C-clamps onto the boards to hold them to the jig. To determine the size of the last board, measure the total width of the boards in the jig and subtract that amount from the desired total width of the door. Cut the board to the correct width using a table saw. Remove the C-clamp to place the last board into the jig, then replace the clamp.

  5. Place straight-edge boards horizontally at the top, bottom and middle of the door. Ensure that the boards are flush with the outside edges of the vertical boards. Fasten the horizontal boards to the vertical boards using a screw gun.

  6. Measure and cut the side trim pieces to fit. The side trim should fit along the vertical edges between the top and middle boards and bottom and middle boards. Cut straight-edge pieces with a table saw and fasten to the perimeter of the door with screws and a screw gun.

  7. Prepare cross-bucks for door, using a miter saw. Cross-bucks are installed to strengthen the door and keep it from bowing. Measure the diagonal length, inside the side trim, with a tape measure. The cross-bucks should be the same width as the side trim. Cut straight-edge siding to the proper length and width, miter-cut the ends to fit inside the side trim pieces, and fasten them to the door with screws.

  8. Fasten straight-edge boards to the top, bottom and middle of the inside of the door. This is important to support the door and prevent it from bending and warping. It is not necessary to fasten cross-bucks to the inside.

  9. Install a sliding door track on the exterior of your garage according to the manufacturer's directions. Use a level to ensure alignment. Install the track on your garage at the appropriate height--the height of door plus the height of the rollers. Attach rollers on the inside of the door at the top edge, using lag bolts and a cordless drill, according to the manufacturer's instructions.

  10. Hang the door by sliding the rollers on the door onto the track hung on the exterior of the garage.