How to install a six foot four inch roll-up door in the side of a 40-foot standard one-time used shipping container.
You may be wondering why the door is six foot four inches and not just six feet. The corrugations on the container are eleven inches on center so we plan our doors to be six foot four, seven foot three, eight foot two, nine foot one, and ten feet. That's what works out perfect where we always end up with an outside corrugation for our side frames. We will show you how to safely drop a corrugation panel to avoid any injury to yourself or others. We've got the rough opening marked out it's 76 and 5/8 of an inch wide by 84 inches tall as you can see, it lands to be just about center in the outside corrugations, leaving us room to rivet the sides, and frame the pieces on the top. It's only eight inches down from the top tubing, the header is also another four inches thick, so we'll have 12 inches from the top tubing and about 14 inches from the ceiling inside the container. That's the max we can get out of the door opening height so it'll be an 80 inch door opening which is similar to any man door. Pro tip: Cut right on the top of the bottom weld, the material is the thinnest there. You don't want to cut through the weld, it's just a lot harder. Leave a little bit of corrugation uncut at the bottom so when you drop your panel from the inside, it hinges along the bottom and safely drops on the ground and the panel won't slide back at you to potentially take out your ladder or your legs.
The door frame consists of four pieces. There's the left and right side frames, the footer and the header. The side frames have pre-laser-cut holes that will drill through and rivet into the outside corrugation. The footer is laser cut perfectly. We have left the welds for the footer to rest on that and it's designed to sit flush there. We have the threshold plate so there is an area to stop the water from actually pooling into your containers, so the water will flow out of the can. This gets wood screwed into the wood floor of the container using number eight Phillips head screws. The rough opening is just slightly larger than what it needs to be so the footer and the side piece aren't touching. The footer is the exact framed opening that you want it to be, so once you have this all in place, get your hole squared up. You can make sure that you have the right dimensions by just making sure those two pieces are flush. The header tucks up in place and the pre-laser cut on the outside corrugations, so you'll drill from the inside out through the inside corrugations and then from the outside we'll rivet back through and that will hold the corrugations nice and tight up against the header and provide that structural rigidity back to the container.
The proper order for installing the roll-up door frame is drill and rivet your bottom holes, then get your header installed across at the top. That needs to get aligned and you need the movement of the the side frames up at the top after your headers are riveted in place, then you can jump inside the can and use self-tapping screws up in the top two holes. Once that's done then you can wedge the corrugations out if there's a gap. Drill out the rest of your side frame holes and rivet them in place. Last, would be snugging up and screwing down your wood screws into your threshold plate at the bottom. You'll see with the header this return fold actually wraps around the fold on the side frame. A couple holes on the side of the header are aligned with holes on the side of the side frame. Those we just quickly rivet in place. That keeps everything nice and square and your framed opening to be the proper width dimension from the inside. You have to drill through the pre-laser cut holes and the inside corrugation, once these holes are drilled out, then from the outside you rivet through the corrugations through the header. What we found with this container is that the corrugations are slightly bowed inwards after we cut the opening.
Now we will do this top one here, but it's about an eighth to a three sixteenths of an inch away from the corrugations, so from the back side we'll pry something in there to bring the two sheets of metal nice and snug and then rip it together. Just continue that process all the way down. One tidbit of advice is, if where you're installing this frame has dents, pound those out prior to cutting your opening because once you start hitting it after it's cut out it just seems to reverberate. Pound out the dents so that prior to cutting out the opening. If you have a random dent here and there it's not an issue, but just do your best to pry from the back side. Get as many rivets as you can into the side frame. Another thing that's really cool with these side frames is that they're five and a half inches wide, so if 11 inches over a corrugation over another roll-up door was to start here, the side frame would come back around and then the two frames will connect through these laser-cut holes. So basically you can fit four eight-foot roll-up doors nicely in the side of a 40-foot container and have super strong vertical posts. Floor-to-ceiling you can see that the side frame actually secures into the top two by two tubing. The side frame actually goes right from the floor to the ceiling and provides a support column for this cutout top of the side frame. We use self tapping screws to go into the 60 millimeter tubing, so in the header we'll drill from the back side and then rivet from the front side. If the cans bowed slightly out and the corrugations are a bit spaced, you just work from both sides into the middle. As you go across, it will bring the corrugations closer to the header and save you from needing to clamp.
Once this is all done, a nice bead of silicone along here just to potentially avoid any water intrusion. When working with the teak plywood flooring, which is most common, you'll be fine using a wood threaded screw. If you're going into the bamboo flooring which seems to be a little bit harder sometimes, we've had to pre-drill these screws, because the wood thread just seems to be a little bit too coarse and it ends up snapping the head off. We've got the entire frame all riveted up and the threshold plate screwed down. We've also siliconed around all the edges and we've siliconed up top above the header to make sure that no water intrudes into the container. We're about to hang the roll-up door, I just want to go over what it all kind of comes with, you'll have the door, your left and your right tracks and a hardware kit where you get your handles and your mechanism that stops the coil. Once it's all installed from rolling up and past and unwinding, we need to make sure that the tracks are secured to the door itself.
Well that's it for the blog, if you want to go further into detail, watch the video above!
Check out containervents.com for all your shipping container ventilation needs.