Hello. Anyone have experience with old carriage house doors? It seems my 129-year-old carriage house sliding doors are not what they used to be….. over the years these doors have drooped and sagged so they no longer meet in the middle like they should. It is obvious that the hanging bracket they roll on has sagged because of the weight of the doors. A foundation specialist told me that in order to remedy this they would need to jack up the building on both sides of the door and replace the sill and the post supporting the sill in order to align the doors. We do not want the building jacked up and would like to try something else.

Does it sound feasible to just lift up the doors and run a very long 2x4 under the area the door will slide on (sort of like a track) and then remove and realign the hanging bracket. I think the 2x4 screwed into the existing wood flooring would be more than sufficient to support the doors and act as a sill plate.
If anyone has any experience with this sort of thing, I would appreciate your recommendations.
Thank you.

Views: 488

Comment by Randall Marder on October 16, 2009 at 8:52am
Please send pictures of the interior and exterior header/ top plates/ also the exterior face and interior so I can see the ground
RM Design & Construction
Comment by jane on October 17, 2009 at 9:41pm
If your doors are too heavy for the frame, the frame itself needs to be strengthened.
Perhaps the hanging bracket is no longer secure or has rotted. Perhaps you need new fasteners?

I do not understand why the foundation or sill would need to be touched at all. Has it settled? Have the sides of the carriage house on each side of the door bowed in or out, or been damaged?

can you post pictures?
Comment by jane on October 18, 2009 at 9:15am
can you post some pictures?

If the doors no longer hang squarely that usually is because the hinges ( or in your case the hanging brackets) are no longer well attached to the header.
If the header was undersized and has bowed, it could be reinforced or replaced. If the posts framing either side of the doors have also bowed, or rotted on the bottom, they can also be replaced.

So far, as I mentally check out why the doors might be sagging, the foundation has not been a factor.
If you have been talking to a foundation specialist, perhaps there is more happening with your carriage barn than you mentioned?
Comment by Randall Marder on October 18, 2009 at 11:21am
I can not see any comments?
Comment by Charles J on October 18, 2009 at 9:07pm
Thank you all for your responses. Here are some photos:

Comment by Randall Marder on October 18, 2009 at 9:54pm
I do not get why the building needs to be jack up. I have a few questions;
Do you want the building squared and level or do you want to stabilize the structure?
The door brackets are old but look great. You should be able to adjust the doors by adjusting the roller brackets.
Does the grade slope into the building or away? I sure you have some grade changes.
Is the wooden header continuous or are they 2 pieces?
I Need more info. The repair look easy, from my experiences.
Normal old building, normal sagging.
Oh by the way one simple way to fix the sagging door is to jack or shim up the lowest end to where you want it, than nail or screw a 1 x 4 or 1 x 6 from corner to corner (on the inside). You can also use plywood but that could add to much weight. Go to my website to get my phone number.
Oh by the way nice doors very well built.
Comment by jane on October 19, 2009 at 9:37am
note to Randall: that's why I posted twice - thought maybe I'd forgotten to click 'add comment'.

I'll wait for your analysis. I'd want to see an overview of the barn before I added anything else. I'm not sure I can say much without actually being there.
Comment by Charles J on October 19, 2009 at 4:38pm
Hi Randall and Jane- the ground slopes away (down) from the front doors. The doors are flat but at the top of the slope. We did have a tension cable run from left to right across the second floor beams, but there is no noticeable slant in the building and it is stable. I just need to get the doors working as I am in and out of there frequently as we built a sealed and self-contained (but easily removable) storage room immediately inside the doors to store some of the fabrics and wallpapers we sell.
I will check out your website, Randall, and give you a call shortly. Thanks again.
Comment by Charles J on October 20, 2009 at 8:10pm
Thank you Randall, for your messages and phone call, and thanks to you too, Jane, for both of you sharing your expertise and time. I really appreciate your patience and efforts in explaining this to me. Now that I understand the way it works I am confident that with the help of one or two friends it will not be very doable. Thanks again.
Comment by Byron C Trott on December 8, 2009 at 11:12pm
This one is easy. Hi. I had a "garage" behind old house. Turned out to be carriage house with similar rolling things on tracks. In my internet research I found that these track and roller arrangements are still in use. They are called barn door hardware. They are still available.

After reading some comments and replys, it seems the problem may be more extensive than bowed metal tracks. Possibly you do have some structural or support issues.

If this serious, I call a few different "foundation" contractors to check it out. You could always take a big level and just do a little study---check to see if exterior walls are plumb, and so on. Once you have an intuitive appraisal as to the origen of the problem, you can proceed from there to find out how much money it will set you back. Most of all, please don't become discouraged. These problems are normal.


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