Tag Archives: recycling

Recycle Old Garage Doors Into New Treasures

These days, recycling is understood to be vital for the survival of the planet. 

Old garage doors pose a disposal problem in that they are large and heavy and are made of materials that do not decompose.  Even wooden garage doors are treated and sealed to maintain strength and beauty over many years of use.  Because they take up a significant amount of space in a landfill, individuals who attempt to dispose of old garage doors may face hefty disposal fees.  Many companies that offer garage door service now include complimentary removal and recycling of old doors, often free of charge with garage door replacement.  However, a creative homeowner may choose to keep the used doors and get creative with recycling options.

A great way to recycle used garage doors that are no longer wanted is to take them to builder supply re-use stores, such as the Habitat for Humanity Restores.  A donation to a Habitat Restore counts as a charitable donation for tax purposes, keeps the doors out of landfills, helps Habitat for Humanity raise funds with which to build homes, and offers the doors up for a minimal price to persons seeking inexpensive, used garage doors.

Used garage doors can easily be cleaned, painted, and even dressed up with decorative hardware and used on outbuildings like sheds and greenhouses.  The doors can be hung and used just like on a vehicle storage garage, complete with electronic door openers.  They can also be used as walls for building small tool sheds.  Keep in mind that the neighbors may not like the look of a shed made out of mismatched, used garage doors.  A clever paint job should help pretty things up.

Using paint to give an old door an all new look opens up a whole new list of uses for the recycled material.  The doors can also be used whole or in pieces as roofing for out buildings.  A couple sections of an old door can be decorated and used as a roof for a child’s playhouse.  Or, use prettily painted metal door sections to build creative planters for flowers and vegetables.  Using recycled metal garage doors as planters set around the garage entry and to beautify the driveway is a creative use that will impress friends and neighbors.

Many old wooden garage doors have carved sections and decorations.  An attractive old wooden door makes an original and lovely headboard for a bed.  Wooden doors can also be used in sections as unique wainscoting for interior decorating.  Treated and sealed wooden doors can also be cut or separated into sections and used as landscaping materials, or put hinges on them and use them as fence gates.

Before throwing a replaced garage door away or having it hauled off for recycling by the garage door service, consider the many uses around the home and yard that recycled metal and wood can come in handy for.  If nothing else, securing a used door to the back of a garden shed creates a wonderful outdoor canvas for children to paint murals on.  If nothing comes to mind, donating them to charitable resellers of building supplies benefits many people.

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Recycling Garage Doors

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.

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