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Counterbalancing is the secret.

Counterbalancing is the secret

Visible counterbalances help open these garage doors and hold them in place. They also allow the entire height of the garage to be used, rather than taking space beneath the ceiling as retracting doors would.

Using heavy-duty butt hinges, architect Paul Schweikher mounted the door panels directly to the top of the three-car garage opening at his house in Sedona, Arizona. The plywood- and batten-clad, stud-framed panels swing up on the hinges.

Since the doors were too heavy to be lifted up without counterbalancing, the solution was to suspend weights off pulleys mounted on a roof beam a story above. Steel cylinders (from a local fabricator) filled with concrete provide the weights. To get the right weight to counterbalance the doors, the cylinders were filled with sand and tested, then sand was replaced with an equivalent weight of concrete.

Large eye bolts set in the concrete give a place to anchor the ropes. The ropes lead to barn pulleys suspended off metal straps screwed to the laminated roof beam, then run down and secure to eye screws set two-thirds of the way down the doors.

As each door is opened (with very little effort), its cylinders slide down, eventually coming to rest on the horizontal garage door, providing a positive stop.

Photo: Steel cylinders filled with concrete hang from ropes through pulleys on high roof beam to counterbalance garage doors
COPYRIGHT 1986 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1986 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:garage door
Publication:Sunset
Date:Oct 1, 1986
Words:234
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