Installing Weatherstripping on a Garage Door Really Warms Up the Workshop

Last year I froze my handy buns off working in the garage. (This year they returned after eating loads of Christmas cookies! Ugh.) In all seriousness, while searching for bigger and more powerful heaters it occurred to me that I might want to weatherstrip my garage doors first.

When you have garage doors with no weatherstripping, you might have a gap as big as your hand!  Can you imagine? That is 68 linear feet (2 doors) of cold air rushing in. This is the equivalent of all the windows in your house being cracked open an inch. You’d never dream of doing that in the winter, and yet that was the situation in our garage.

Weatherstripping garage doors is a very easy DIY task that shouldn’t take more than an hour. Buy neoprene rubber stripping from your local hardware store or home improvement warehouse. (I purchased the Garage Door Top and Side Seal by Frost King for under $20.)  The rewards of this project are that you can take your garage from an icebox to comfortably cool in less than 60 minutes!

Here are my unscientific results of the temperatures in our garage before and after weatherstripping.

Before Weather Stripping:

Outside Temperature Inside Garage Temperature Temperature Difference
45˚F 55˚F 10 degrees
30˚F 45˚F 15 degrees

 

After Weather Stripping: 

Outside Temperature Inside Garage Temperature Temperature Difference
45˚F 65˚F 20 degrees
30˚F 58˚F 28 degrees

I was so thrilled by the difference it made that I knew I wanted to share the tutorial with y’all. But, sadly I didn’t take any photos. So, I asked my friend, Holly (the one with the adorable house that has loads of character and charm), if I could help her install some on her doors. Luckily I didn’t have to twist her arm too much. Here is how we did it (the super quick way, but not necessarily the “correct” way.)

Materials:

  • Frost King Weatherstripping for Sides and Top of Garage Doors
  • Hammer
  • Air Compressor and brad nailer
  • U-shaped staples for nailer
  • Ear protection
  • Safety glasses
  • Scissors

Open the package of weatherstripping and remove the bag of nails included. Put on your hearing protection and safety glasses.

Unroll the weather stripping and pull the end up to the top of the garage door on one side. The short side of the foam strip should be against the frame of the door, and the longer side should be pressed lightly against the garage door.

Nail one nail into the frame of the door to hold the stripping in place.

(Here is where we cheated.) Instead of using only nails, use the brad nailer to attach “U” shaped staples into the weather stripping. After every 4th staple, hammer another nail into the frame. By using mostly staples we were able to cut down significantly on the install time. Be sure to start and end with a nail.

At the bottom of the door, trim the weatherstripping at an angle as shown. We left a longer tail on the door frame side to close up the gap under the door frame.

Continue attaching weather stripping along the top of the door. Alternate between hammering a nail and then four staples.

When you reach the sides, cut your weather stripping so that it meets the side pieces. Do not let the weatherstripping overlap or it will create a gap.

Repeat for the second garage door (if you have two.)

Here are a few other bonus features of the weatherstripping:

  • Quieter. Which means I can get away with using power tools a little later at night.
  • The bonus room above the garage stays warmer. Before it was always chilly up there.
  • Less critters. Since installing the weatherstripping I’ve seen a lot fewer spiders and centipedes.
  • Now when I use the space heater, I can bump up the temperature in the garage by a few degrees per hour. Before the weatherstripping, the space heater really didn’t warm the garage because all the heat was being lost out the sides of the doors.
  • Do I even have to say it? Energy savings! We don’t have to pay as much to heat the bonus room. And I don’t spend hours running the space heater.

I should note that our garage has insulation in the walls. If yours doesn’t, you may not notice as big a difference as I did.

I’d love to hear from you if you tackle this easy project and if you notice a huge change in temperature in your garage too. I can’t tell you how excited I am with the results. I can continue to work in my garage/workshop in comfort through the winter now!

P.s. Holly just started a blog showcasing her beautiful furniture transformations. If you get a chance stop over and leave her a comment.

Comments

  1. The ‘critter factor’ alone makes this a worthwhile project.

    What a great idea. I don’t know why I never thought of this. My sewing room is right above the garage and it’s the hottest room in the summer and coldest in the winter. Well, hello! Of course.

    Thanks for enlightening me!

  2. I have been considering applying the commercially available insulation panels to our garage doors to keep the garage temp down, especially in our Florida summers. I’m not sure if they are as helpful for the cold, though. The weather stripping is a great idea.

  3. I’ve been wanting to weatherstrip my garage door, too. But I was concerned about additional drag on the garage door opener. Did you have any problems with that?

    • OK, I’m going for it. But I just bought a package of this stuff, and it says to nail long side on the facing, and I see that you nailed the short side to the facing (which looks like it makes more sense). Did you intentionally go “off label” on your installation to get a better seal?

  4. Thanks for the handy tips! I will definitely look into this.

  5. Another great tutorial. Perfect fitted corners! I think our garage would warm up a lot if I replace the 2 broken windows (soccer ball incidents) -I refuse to do it on my own though. I will only replace the windows by walking each son through the process. They might need to do so on their own home some day. :)

    • Shelly, definitely get some help on that one. My son snuck colored applesauce into his closet and ended up spilling it. It sat there unnoticed for days. Needless to say it left a stain. That same son has been learning ALL about stain removal and how to use the steam cleaner!!!

  6. I noticed that it was installed on the frame of the door rather than the door itself. Do your garage doors roll up into the garage? And does it all stay in place with the door likely sliding up against it?

    We are also in Florida, and we are going to be insulating the inside of the garage door itself to cut down on the heat in the Summer, but this looks like a great idea too!

    • Angela, you are correct, the side and top weatherstripping needs to be attached to the frame rather than the door so the door can raise and lower on its track. The stripping just lightly presses into the door. The track of your door is likely at a very slight angle so the door pulls away from the frame as it raises.

      The weatherstripping on the bottom is usually attached to the bottom of the door itself. Does that help?

  7. Great tips! Thanks for sharing!!

  8. OMGsh!! We are SO doing this!! Thanks Brittany!! You rock, girl! :)

  9. Sounds like a winner…but I don’t have a white frame on the outside around my garage doors and it would look tacky and dorky to have that going around my trim. Can it not be tacked to the inside of the frame?

  10. Dear Pretty Handy Girl,

    You really inspire me with your home maintenance skills updates, so practical, especially in this economy! I have a question: Are you familiar with bathroom vent fan maintenance? My cousins just had a house fire that originated in a bathroom exhaust, and I can’t find much comprehensive info ion this maintenance topic online.

    Noel

  11. My hubby just bought a propane heater for our garage. We live in the Great White North (ahhh…Canada….) and we have very, very cold winters. The heater helps, but unfortunately our garage is not insulated. So while the heater helps, it’s not the best solution, since all of that heat escapes. I’d like to look into insulating our garage and I will definitely be adding some weather stripping. Thanks for the great tutorial!

  12. This is one of the best descriptions (photos, etc.) of a DIY project I’ve seen online. Way to go! Clopay Garage Doors salutes you and wishes great DIY luck to your dedicated readers :)

  13. Nice idea. I did that too and it definitely increased livability in my garage because it is already an energy efficient garage or workspace. I was also able to save money and lower my utility bills because of it.

  14. This is an awesome idea. Do you think you’ll ever do a tutorial on how to put weather stripping along the bottom of a garage? We have a really large garage – Probably about 15 foot in length. Only 2 feet of the weather stripping is missing, but they’re saying we’d have to have the whole thing replaced, and it would cost several hundred dollars.

    I’m looking for an alternative for doing it myself. Where, it will be cheaper, and maybe I can even do just 2 feet, rather than 15.

    • Amanda, weather stripping the bottom is easy ;-). You can buy the kind that literally lays on the floor of your garage. It is a rubber piece. Or nail rubber weather stripping to the bottom of the garage door. You local hardware store can help you pick one out and give tips for installing it.

  15. Do you have to use an air compressor and brad nailer for this project?

  16. PHG – Thanks so much for this post. I bet I’ve walked past this exact weather stripping a thousand times at the various hardware stores. After seeing your walkthrough, I’m really looking forward to this project!

  17. Nice article………Thanks for sharing

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