Garage Side Door Installation Tips

Garage Side Door Installation Tips

Carage Side Door / Personnel door


Garage side doors are really useful to have. If you are unsure whether it is worth getting one, I will talk you through my experience of recently having one installed.

Garage Side Door

After moving house the other year, one of the first things I agreed with my wife we would do is install a garage side door. The reason for this was that the garage sat at the bottom of the garden and run right alongside it with our driveway also being at the back of the garden.

This might sound ideal but the problem was that there was an 8ft wall separating the two. Up until now, every time I have wanted to store something in the garage, I have had to walk out the front door, walk around the front of the house, then go in to the next road, walk down the side of my house, then walk up the drive, open the garage door – assuming the car is not too far back.

For anyone with a wife or that is a wife, will know that the man gets requested to go out to the garage quite often, and when it’s in the snow or rain (of which we get a lot of here in England), I decided to push forward with the agreement we made.

1) Getting a quote

So the first thing I did was start phoning around local builders. However, I quickly found that builders are under high demand and I didn’t fancy waiting 6 months. I then found a garage door installation company that also installed side doors (also known as personnel doors here in the UK). After that, I phoned around several more garage door specialists and got the best ones to come out for a quote.

Now depending on your garage, it may be a simple task. The side of the garage I wanted the door on was a single bricklayer. The first company that came around to quote told me that a single layer of brick could be risky if the door slammed and recommend that I install a soft close and they do an extra bricklayer around the entrance to support it. I’m not an expert in this field but it did sound like they were up selling for the sake of it.

The other thing highlighted was the brickwork goes right to the top of the garage roof which was pitched quite high (45 degree angle – which looks nice I must say). This means they need to install a lintel above where the side door will go to support the brickwork from crushing the door and anyone walking through it.

After I had a few more quotes, it became apparent I did not need the second layer of brick, this was reinforced by my neighbor who already had the side door on the back of his garage.

Next, I selected my door of choice. Most garage specialists will give you a nice range to choose from. However if you are going down the builder route you can either buy from a DY shop such as Wickes or B&Q, or try and find one on Amazon. If you do order your own, make sure you ask the builder the exact dimensions for the door and whether you need to buy the frame for the door also.

Once the door was picked and ordered, I was ready to book in the date for work to start.

2) Preparing your garage

It is always worth asking what they need you to do beforehand to ensure everything goes to plan on the day. Whilst the garage specialists had the door made to order, I had to make sure the garage was ready for the installation stage.

I didn’t bother emptying the garage completely. Instead, I moved everything I could down to the back half of the garage. I used towels and a big plastic sheet to try and protect as much as possible from the dust.

One thing that did surprise me was that my electric sockets needed to be moved, and the garage specialists said they were unable to do this part. I would either need to call an electrician or have one subcontracted.

I decided to move the socket myself as it was literally moving it from one side of the light switch to the other so it didn’t obstruct where they needed to cut the hole for the door.

For my installation, that was all I needed to do. However, if you ask the specialists whether there is anything you need to do in advance of them turning up it will make your experience a lot easier and save any surprises.

3) having the door installed

Now if you have done everything correctly, installation day should be as simple as sitting back and watching the work being carried out.

My installation day got moved back by 4 weeks due to builders being on holiday. In fairness, I did push for an ambitious date. I also had some issues outside of the installation.  I had planned to work from home that day to keep a check on things. But the internet wasn’t letting me connect to work and the car was playing up so I ended up having to go to work that day. Thankfully I parents were there to advise.

The only thing that didn’t go to plan was the slow close.  I had requested for one to be installed after the scaremongering from a different quote. This apparently is something they only install on industrial doors.

For home use, they use something called a restrictor. This stops the door from going past 90 degrees and slamming on the wall. There is no slow-close functionality but this worked out okay in the end.

You can watch the full video of my installation day. It covers the frustrations I was facing in the morning, the installation and my inspection of the door at the end of the day.

4) Finishing results

All in all, I am very happy with my door. It has made my life a lot more convenient and I am unlikely to open the main garage door any time soon.

Garage Side Door Before Installation

Garage Side Door Before Installation


Garage Side Door After Installation

Garage Side Door After Installation


Are you ready?

If you have followed the steps above, then there is no reason you shouldn’t end up with a nice looking garage side door like mine.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment below. If you have already had one installed I would love to hear how your experience went.


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Daz Posted on1:49 pm - 9 June 2019

How much did the complete job cost (door, Linden, installation etc)?

    Marlon King Posted on12:10 pm - 14 June 2019

    Hi Daz, I paid around £1400 however I got quotes ranging from £1300 – £1800. The company I went with matched the door design to the same style on the house which was a nice touch. Another company that quoted tried to insist I build a second wall in the garage to make the door more stable…. so be careful who you go with as some will over upsell.

      subhash Posted on9:08 am - 20 October 2020

      Can you please share with me the company or guys name who completed whole job?

      Ashley Dunn Posted on11:14 pm - 15 February 2021

      Did you need building regs certificate or anything for this for when you sell the house? Or can this be done anyway without anything?

        Marlon King Posted on6:43 pm - 6 October 2021

        Heya Ashley, As long as they are certified fitters/installers, don’t need anything else done or any paperwork. If I was changing the purpose of the garage then I would need something then, but for side door alone, nothing needed.

      colin Posted on4:06 pm - 1 December 2022

      Garage personal doors £250 you were robbed.

Ian Mannion Posted on3:57 pm - 6 September 2019

Cheers for the info. Looking to do exactly the same. In fact, you garage looks almost identical to mine.

    Marlon King Posted on6:55 pm - 9 September 2019

    No problem – I highly recommend it. Has made my life a lot easier with access from the garden. Good luck 🙂

Arwel Hughes Posted on6:48 am - 19 September 2019

Did you need to inform your local council for building control input before the work started? Just wondering as I have read somewhere online that you might have to.

    Marlon King Posted on12:54 pm - 5 November 2019

    Hi Arwel, For this particular purpose I did not need to get permission from the local council as its not a change of purpose for the garage, it is just an access point. It is best if you check the builder is FENSA registered for installation of uPVC double glazing in the UK for doors/windows as that is important.
    As every scenario is different, I would always suggest asking the builder/company whether you need to get any permissions before the job is done, and ask 2-3 independent companies for quotes and the same question to check that one isn’t lying to you.

Chris Posted on2:57 pm - 8 April 2020

Hi Marlon

Just wondering what were the dimensions for the door and whether there is any building reg regarding size?

Laura Posted on11:16 am - 14 June 2020

This was so useful as we are about to buy a new build and it’s impracticable they didn’t put a door in the double garage.
Thank you for this article it’s been so useful I’ve never ever dealt with anything like this and it’s taken a lot of the worry and questions out of picking up the phone to get quotes.

    Marlon King Posted on9:03 pm - 8 September 2020

    Hi Laura, glad I could help! Yes, it really is frustrating that they don’t put in a door by default, even more so on a double garage. Developers seem to cut as many corners as possible these days. Good luck with your new house and garage project 🙂

Christopher Posted on9:02 am - 27 July 2020

Nice guide, thanks for taking the time to sharing it!

    Marlon King Posted on9:05 pm - 8 September 2020

    No problem 🙂 – any questions, just give me a shout.

subhash Posted on9:01 am - 20 October 2020

I want to install Side door as you shown in your video in my Existing Garage. Could you please contact me

Madhu Posted on11:15 pm - 31 October 2020

Hi Marlon,
Thanks for this useful guide. Please could you share the details of company who did it for you.

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