Timber Sub Frames

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Timber fixing frames

Traditionally, timber fixing frames have been used for the installation of up and over and side hinged garage doors.

Sectional and roller garage doors nearly always have their own steel or aluminium frame fixing system designed to fit directly to the brickwork opening behind or inbetween.
Steel fixing frames have been around for many years with the original Hormann European range of up and over doors only ever having the steel frames for fixing the door to the garage opening.

Timber sub frames are ideal in one way as you can always shave a bit off if the brickwork or stonework is not totally square to enable a square frame to be produced to install the perfectly square garage door panel. You can also use almost any size of timber to produce standard sized openings to take standard sized doors if the brickwork opening does not conform to a standard requirement.
The downside of timber frames is perceived as the maintenance, however properly applied modern microporous wood stains give a very long and durable finish and of course if you are having a timber garage door panel you have to treat the door in some way anyway so you may as well match the timber sub frame. Steel frame systems are fixed in size, cannot be planed down if too big and have limited colour finishes but they do provide a strong and perfectly square sub frame.

Woodrite Doors have recently introduced a timber sub frame system that has sorted the ever present problem of installing a cedarwood timber garage door using a softwood or hardwood timber fixing frame only to find if you are using a light coloured stain the timbers will not match.
Woodrite now offer a frame that has a front and internal face lined with cedar to enable the door and frame or match exactly in graining and in colour.

When looking at timber garage doors of any kind one of the biggest mistakes to make would be to not consider the final colour of your garage door and the potential difference this will make with the sub frame surrounding the door panel.

The most basic timber sub frame you can buy is a softwood frame normally finished at 70mm x 70mm for the majority of hinged and up and over doors. This timber will be quite pale and in most cases the timber will be redwood and this will mean a fair few knots in the timber faces.
As most timber garage doors sold are in cedarwood, unless you are painting the door or staining it a very, very dark colour, the softwood frame will not match up with the cedarwood door panel. The trend for some years has been for lighter stain colours in external timber, so this could be a major mistake.
The hardwood option for most timber sub frames has always been Red Meranti species and although you will get a more durable timber the actual timber is a close grained timber and does have a red tinge to it so once more this timber will not match the cedarwood door panel on all lighter and medium shades of staining.

See the 2 examples below of a cedar garage door panel next to a timber sub frame that won't match. 


softwood timber frame and a cedar door panel comparison
Softwood timber sub frame and a cedar door panel
Hard wood sub frame in red meranti species
Hardwood timber sub frame and a cedar door panel

For the majority of timber garage doors the installation is between the structural opening and this may be for so many reasons but does seem the most traditional. Side hinged doors will always be fitted inbetween an opening so the sub frame will always be in view so the frame finish is very important.
Woodrite are probably one of the leading timber garage door manufacturers in the UK and they do offer a solution long overdue to this issue of matching. As cedarwood is not generally ever used as a strutural timber you do not get cedarwood timber sub frames. so how do we match the cedarwood door panel? The answer is relatively simple using a specially developed sub frame where the front face and return are clad in cedar over a slightly smaller softwood or hardwood timber section. The end result is either a 70 x 70 or a 90 x 70 size section for single and double size doors but most importantly a timber frame that has the same finish as the timber door panel.

Woodrite also offer a very exclusive range of timber door manufactured in Idigbo, an African hardwood with superb properties for use as a garage door, lighter than oak but a graining very similar indeed, also very strong.

See below how a cedar clad sub frame makes all the difference, and an idigbo sub frame next to an idigbo garage door panel, also matching perfectly. The idigbo timber can be used structurally, so is not a cladding, but 100% idigbo.



cedar cladding special woodrite on a timber sub frame
Cedarwod clad sub frame next to a cedar door panel
Idigbo timber sub frame and Idigbo door panel
Idigbo timber sub frame next to an Idigbo door panel


Steel Sub Frames

Steel sub frames have become the most popular in nearly all up and over garage doors since the Hormann Series 2000 came onto the UK market 13 years ago. A well made galvanised steel box section sub frame does provide the best solution when combined with a door panel also using a steel chassis system, The reason for this is that on all the edges you have steel next to steel so the factory tolerances in the gap between the door panel and the frame are tighter giving you get better security and better weather sealing.
So what colours are the steel frames? The majority of standard steel sub frames are either white or dark brown powderocat finishes and that has been so for many years now as this tends to offer sufficient balance for any colour of timber door panel next to the frame surrounding it.

See the examples below of steel sub frames next to a timber door panel

white powdercoated steel sub frame and timber door
White steel sub fixing frame
brown steel frame and timber door panel
Brown steel sub fixing frame

A great advantage of the steel sub frame is that in most cases the frame is prefitted with all the operating mechanism and the door panel itself therefore the on site installation is easier and faster and as mentioned before the factory tolerances are smaller as movement is almost impossible in the door panel or frame.

Think about your sub frame carefully when choosing a garage door as it will make a huge difference not only to the visual appearance but also to the overall performance as well.

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