Sunday, February 26, 2012

Using recycled doors in a fence

Have a bunch of old doors you don't know what to do with? Build a fence!

     This project started out as a simple "vignette" for an outdoor space. Trying to showcase the beautiful camperdown elm (shown in the center), the idea was to frame it with doors and build a small flowerbed in front of it. The above picture shows the semi-finished product. (The flowerbed is still in need of a border.) 
     Morphing from a small vignette into a full-fledged fence (to help keep neighbor dogs out of my yard), this project took on a much larger scale. Over a period of two years, I collected approximately 50 recycled doors from the local Habitat for Humanity Store and a reclamation yard near my home (Wasankari Construction). All the while, my elm tree, that I call "Happy Camper," continued to grow into a nice bushy shape. Nestled next to a pond (that I also built), the plant life in this corner of the yard was beginning to look rather nice!
     Enter... summer 2011. I finally had enough doors to begin the project. After purchasing enough 4 x 4 treated poles, I dug 3-feet deep holes (8 feet apart) for the poles and secured them with gravel and dirt. They were tall enough to mount the doors within a frame. I then decided which order the doors would be put in the fence and lined them all up against the outside of my home:

Hmmm... how many doors does it take? That is a good question...

     When you have great friends that love to be outdoors, you invite them over to help! Thanks to Nick, Dave, and my neighbor Edd, we got this show on the road! After setting the posts myself, the fence building crew begins construction:

Waive to Dave everyone!

     Nick and David get in on the action as we build the frame. The bottom of the frame is made up of 4 x 4 treated lumber (all recycled, of course) that are attached to the posts. The doors sit on top of the 4 x 4 treated pieces.  2 x 4's run from post to post just above the treated pieces. Across the top, more 2 x 4's are attached to the posts.

Nick and Dave hard at work attaching the treated 4 x 4's on the frame

Edd, Nick, and Dave attach the top 2 x 4's

     After the frame is assembled, we begin the process of mounting the doors. Nick held them in place while Edd and Dave used decking screws to attach the doors to the frame. (This was before I discovered "torque" screws.)

This is how you hold the door, hold the door, hold the door... 
(sing along now.... to the tune of "Mary Had a Little Lamb")

Woot!  Woot! The last door goes in place!

The finished product as seen from the back!

Showing off the finished product as I give instructions to the photographer...

Winter time has come.... Mr. Moose has decided to eat the apples that I neglected to pick!

     Well, there you have it... a fence built out of doors. I get asked all the time where I came up with this idea. Being a musician lends itself to creativity. I'll start there... The rest is all about finding economical methods of doing various projects. The entire fence cost less than $500 to build (including doors). Other than the 2 x 4's that run along the top and bottom rails, the fence is entirely recycled. (Well, I also used new screws)
     So, what will we think of next? I have more doors so we're going to build a shed out of doors. I've been trying to buy or build a shed. Both, are very expensive. See how I re-purpose doors, pallets, cedar fencing and more for the shed. That will be the next blog post!

Happy recycling!


  1. Del:
    congratulations for your project. In my country (i.e. Italy) one is required to apply first for permission to the municipal administration before starting with the actual implementation. Does it happen the same in Moscow?
    Good luck for your next steps,

  2. LOL... after all this time, I finally realized someone had made comments :). No, Fabio, I didn't need a building permit to do this because all of it's temporary. At any time, I can take it all down. The shed is moveable.

  3. Indeed! Kudos to your sir! what I nice imagination :-) I wanna try this on some of my projects at garage door opener repair san francisco because I garage door is expensive and I think to make it cheaper is by using your imagination!

  4. I am unable to read articles online very often, but I’m glad I did today. This is very well written and your points are well-expressed. Please, don’t ever stop writing. Garage door repair

  5. Setting the post in a straight line. Look how perfect this is. I used 2x4's to keep the post perfectly level while the concrete cures. Each hole took about 2, 80 pound bags of concrete.pvc picket fence

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