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10 Year Anniversary

I'm a couple days late with this post but we have reached our 10 year anniversary! I don't have a completed project to report on but I have a bit of a sneak peak of my latest big project. It's not quite done yet but I'll be posting about it this summer when it's totally finished.

I demolished my 1980s garage last summer, which was basically built out of cardboard. I built a historically accurate garage using some of the salvage from the historic garage that I salvaged a few years back. I built it using new dutch lap wood siding and a slate roof. I have the 4 carriage doors that I salvaged from the nearby historic garage. I am in the process of restoring the 4 carriage doors and hardware. Then I just have to install the carriage doors and the side door and finish painting it.

I have some other good projects coming up this summer including the porch floor restoration, front steps, and balcony railing. Stay tuned...


  1. I'm glad to see an update! That garage is looking sharp! Do you have any plans to set up automatic openers? I'm gearing up to do some rehab and restoration on the 2-car garage on our new place (circa 1926), which still has the original doors! They were built as bi-folding (inward), but one sode was converted to sliding on a curved track along one outside wall. The doors need some disassembly rot repair and some new parts, but are restorable. I'm thinking about setting up a remote opener on the sliding one so my wife can use ir conveniently.

    I'm excited to see your next posts!

    1. Thanks, Seth. I looked into the automatic carriage door openers. They are extremely expensive for one thing, and they would only work if I had the typical carriage door setup where each door opens outward, individually. So I'd need to install the 2 pairs of carriage doors as separate pairs. I wouldn't be able to use the original hardware. I wanted to keep the original rail and pulleys. I thought about doing the setup you have on one of yours, where they slide along the wall. Then, you can use a garage door mounted sideways on the wall. But you lose all that wall space which I really wanted to use to hang ladders and all sorts of stuff. And it wouldn't work with the man door being on the side unless I moved it more toward the rear. I went through a million scenarios but ultimately decided to just go with the original setup. My doors need a lot of restoration work as well. They are put together with dowel rods acting as a blind mortise. After years of someone dragging them across the ground, the bottom ones snapped inside and the outer rail and style started to separate. They were then put together with all sorts of brackets and turnbuckles. I removed all that and I intend to restore them without all the added hardware, somehow.

    2. Sounds like you have it well-though-out. Are your doors two full-bay solid doors that slide past each other across the front in front/behind the adjacent one?

      It sounds like yours are a bit rougher than mine, but restorable. Thankfully, having them in the first place is the biggest blessing. Too often people just throw it away, and making or having them made is SO much more effort and expense than repairing and restoring.

      I probably wouldn't have changed the one door mechanism myself, but it appears to have been done a LONG time ago (I'm guessing 1950s when cars got longer and the inward-bi-folding doors conflicted closing them with the car inside). Since the doors were already in four segments, all they did was put hinges on the inside at each joint, and add an overhead sliding track with curve on the corner. From the outside, the only visible difference is lack of hinges (which are small anyway), and lack of a small batten strip at the center joint. It was done reasonably well, and I've set up some freestanding shelving units in front of the wall it slides along, so it doesn't really waste as much space as I'd feared. Like you suggested, it shouldn't be too hard to set up an ordinary opener to operate it, and that can be my wife's side. I'll leave the other side with manual bi-folding mechanism, as it will probably be occupied by my woodworking projects most of the time anyway.

    3. My carriage doors are like yours. I salvaged them from another nearby historic garage that was going to be demolished. There's a pic of them in the "architectural salvage" post. They opened inward, bi-fold style. I managed to find the original paperwork for them on ebay and the traditional installation was to have them open outward but inward was another option. Like you said, with the size of modern cars, inward doesn't work so well anymore. So I am just going to mount them on the outside. Two of them are attached to each other and they move to each side and fold against the front wall. Each door is 50" wide by 8' tall and they weigh a freakin ton. I have all the original hardware, rails and pulleys. I want to get it blasted and powder coated.

  2. Incredible points. Sound arguments. Keep up the amazing work.

  3. I love this garage from the '80s. In my country, Spain, unfortunately there is no culture of these garages, the truth is that any car would love to be parked there.

  4. You have done so much work over the years!

    Sorry for the comment here I'd rather do via private email but couldn't find yours. I recently wrote a post on my blog listing 16 American Foursquare blogs to follow and admire, and listed your website. I hope it’s OK (if not, let me know and I’ll remove). Look forward to future posts!
    Thanks - Jen


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