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We need to get new garage doors. Currently it's a two car garage, both doors are on rails driven by chain/motor.

We want to order two doors, but one of them we want static - it will never need to open. It will just be a pretty wall. The other door will need to be motor driven.

Can you install a garage door without the rail? Or, what I'm really after is making sure that side won't have rails on the ceiling. Is this possible?

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    Costs a lot less to just build a wall there if you don't want a door.
    – Ecnerwal
    Jul 14, 2023 at 13:39
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    @Ecnerwal I think the idea is for the doors to look the same from the outside. OP could probably blank the one opening with a framed wall, but maybe the front is siding and hard to color-match. Dunno—no pics.
    – Huesmann
    Jul 14, 2023 at 14:12
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    If you install the entire door but do not install the lift cables that attach it to the springs then the garage door will be ready to go but will be effectively inoperable. It's nearly impossible to lift a garage door without the springs. This way you will have all the pieces in place, nothing will get lost and all you have to do is attach two cables should you ever want/need to open the non-operable door. Say, for instance, if you decide to sell.
    – FreeMan
    Jul 14, 2023 at 16:55
  • Do you simply want the door to be inoperable, or do you want the additional head room of not having the rails there?
    – FreeMan
    Jul 14, 2023 at 16:56
  • Yeah, I'm with @Ecnerwal. A door that doesn't open isn't a door, it's a wall. So just build a wall. It'll be easier and a lot cheaper. Also, it'll give you the flexibility to put in any shape of windows you want. Jul 15, 2023 at 15:39

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You will need to install rails on the sides of the door, as this is how these doors were designed to be held. I can't imagine any other solution that would look right.

However, there's nothing stopping you from not installing the ceiling rails. The rails come in sections, so just not install what you don't want.

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    If wasting money on a non-operable door at all, the pair of 2x4s suggested by @jsotola will look better, and take less space, than rails and rollers going nowhere, and hold the door just fine.
    – Ecnerwal
    Jul 14, 2023 at 13:59
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    @Ecnerwal it's not a waste if a person wants the two doors to match visually and to have the door on hand if plans change down the road. Your assessment is overly rigid. I'm also not clear on what suggestion you're referring to.
    – isherwood
    Jul 14, 2023 at 14:43
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    No one needs to use standard rails. There are a thousand alternatives, none of which are visible from the outside.
    – isherwood
    Jul 14, 2023 at 14:43
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    You would not want or need side rails and rollers unless you want to have the capability of later completing the installation and having a working door. These doors are normally suspended from the header above the door by steel cables which attach to the bottom of the door. What options do you want for the future? Jul 14, 2023 at 15:17
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    Whenever you make non-standard changes to your house, it's s good idea to make it easy for you to later change back to the standard way. The OP mentions replacing the doors, so the railings might even be there already. And if they later decide to sell the house, they'll want two operable garage doors
    – Cheery
    Jul 14, 2023 at 15:34
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I would use standard hardware and simply detach the curve and the horizontal rail. There's usually a joint there anyway.

enter image description here

You'll need to secure the top roller to the wall somehow, but that shouldn't be too difficult.

Otherwise, sure, you can fasten the door panels in place any number of ways. Here are a few ideas:

  • Z-brackets, two at each end of each panel. Lap them over the panel and screw them to the framing.
  • Lumber. Rip a board the same thickness as the panels and fasten it to framing outside the panels. Now screw another over that board, lapped onto the panels.
  • Screws with fender washers. Run them in at the ends of the panels with the washers lapped onto the panels. You may need to put bushings on the screws (bits of small pipe or whatever) to keep the washers flat.
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  • Have it professionally installed to working order and then remove those parts, +1. "if a person wants the two doors to match visually and to have the door on hand if plans change down the road." - which they will when you sell the house as a two car garage instead of a one and a sort-of-a half and then you take a hit for both getting replaced, again, anyway.
    – Mazura
    Jul 15, 2023 at 15:17
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Just a brief notice that side sliding garage doors are a thing, if it's ceiling real estate you're trying to free up.

enter image description here

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I would suggest instead building a real insulated wall into that opening, dressed up with surface trim and paint to look like a door, just as sone garage doors are dressed up to look like swinging carriage doors.

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We did exactly this 11 years ago to reclaim half of our double garage.

  • Our contractor bought a garage door and installed it on the vertical rails. The ceiling rails were never installed.
  • Once the static garage door was secured (and caulked to the ground) we built a fixed wall against it.
  • The fixed wall contains two double-glazed frosted windows that exactly match the dimensions of the frosted windows in the door, letting natural light into the room.
  • We blew insulation into the cavity between the door and the new wall.

Good luck!

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    Did you connect the panels of the door with the hinged connectors that allow the door to bend around the track when raised? Jul 14, 2023 at 22:44
  • Oh. It was 11 years ago and I don't recall. I bet he just left the hinges in place. If that makes you uncomfortable, I suppose you could tie the panels together. One thing to note is even with the ground seal, we are kind of meticulous about maintaining drainage on the exterior driveway. It would be a shame to get rainwater pooling and entering under the garage door.
    – Daniel
    Aug 29, 2023 at 4:09

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