A garage door is built to last a long time, but eventually it will need to be replaced.
If you plan to install a new garage door, don’t simply send your old garage door into the dumpster along with unusable trash. With a little bit of ingenuity, you can recycle your old garage door, giving it new life instead of sending it to a landfill.
Consider the garage door’s materials. Wooden doors can be broken into firewood or used for other projects where the wood’s appearance isn’t primary. Metal doors can be brought to junkyards or used as shed walls or shelters for tools and outdoor animals. Be creative and you can find lots of new uses for an old door.
Check with your contractor. Most companies will break down and recycle the parts of the garage door that can be recycled. Some may even refurbish and sell your old door as a “Used Garage Door”. But there is another option. You can re-purpose your old garage door.
Look up your local authorities on trash and recycling. Many larger items can be left at the curb with a special permit to be recycled by the same folks who pick up your regular tin cans and glass bottles.
List your door in online and newspaper classified ads. Perhaps you’re eager to get rid of your old garage door, but many sites offer recycling for people looking for used items. Just be sure to consider how you can transport the door and how long you’re willing to wait for someone else to snatch it up.
There are many ways to reuse your garage door. The possibilities are truly endless. Following are just a few of the many inventive and creative ways some people have reused their garage doors.
Frame a Compost Pile or Garden
Garage doors can provide the perfect frame for a raised garden or a compost pile. Separate the door into the individual panels to form the walls, and cut one in half to form the back. Use metal cutting shears if your door is made of aluminum or steel, or a circular saw if the door is wood. Next, dig a small trench to partially bury the panels, then place them standing up to create your frame.
Leave one side open if you are making a compost pile so you can easily roll a wheel barrow in. If you are making a raised garden close off all sides then fill with dirt.
Some garage doors are painted, so be sure to scrape down and sand to remove the paint to keep your garden or compost pile clean.
Create a Green House
If you have a garage door in Cleveland or another area that gets cold, this is a great idea. Turn your old garage door into a mini green house. There are some limitations to this idea, as a steel or vinyl garage door just is not going to help protect against the cold. But if you have a wood or wood composite garage door this really works great.
If you are somewhat handy you can easily do this with a table and jigsaw, some Plexiglas, and screws. On particularly cold nights you may want to consider adding some hay or straw around your plants for extra protection.
Garage Door Headboard
You might want to check with your significant other or roommate before doing this, and it probably won’t work if it’s a newer garage door that looks mass produced, but consider making a headboard out of your garage door.
Back in the day, before they started using vinyl and steel, garage doors were made of fine quality woods like cherry, chestnut, and mahogany. If you have one of these, sanding it down and placing it as your headboard can be a nice room accent. It just goes to show how a little creativity can go a long way when it comes to reusing our old stuff.
Going Green is not only the responsible thing to do but it’s a beautiful thing. Reuse and recycle.