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Fitting an Aluminium Sliding Door

This past weekend was a big day for The Container House Project. We spent a day fitting an aluminium sliding door for the north container. This sliding door will lead out onto a small patio area from Cindy’s private living space. This is a big step for the project because it means we can really get to work now on finishing off this section’s interior. We have had to wait for the final finishes as we did not want any grinding or welding work to damage her finishes.

We began work early in the day as we had to have the door in secure before sunset. Kevin wanted to leave time for any problems that might arise. Thankfully, very little went wrong and the door installation ran smoothly. Our biggest hiccup was an old drill that’s giving us a some problems with the clutch. (Solution – use a different drill).

Goodbye Container Doors

Until this step, we kept the original container doors attached to the shipping container. Container doors are heavy and solid. This is an easy way for us to keep the house secure while we are in the building process, so we have only removed doors at the last moment. Since container doors are so heavy, Kevin required some man muscles to help with the removal. Saturday was a good day as Louis and Carl (who works alongside Louis on many of our SSE client projects), were around preparing for a client’s project.

shipping container doors removed and lying on the grass
The container doors are off!

It took about twenty minutes for Kevin to grind off the industrial hinges and for the doors to be lowered to the ground.

Once the doors were off, Cindy and I could help with the rest of the work. We helped by passing Kevin tools, helping hold things in place, and complete a bit of painting work.

Welding the Frame

The next step was to weld a frame in place. To this Kevin could attach the aluminium and glass sliding door that we previously purchased.

Interior frame work is in. Busy working on the exterior framework for fitting the aluminium sliding door
The inside half was completed before we took off the doors so. Well begun is half done.

Currently, it is difficult to source fresh steel in South Africa. There have been delays in imported shipments due to the pandemic as well as closure of refineries in South Africa. Thankfully, we had a couple of pieces left over from previous purchases for the project and were able to complete this step. We’re also being very careful with our scraps and saving off-cuts to use wherever else we can.

Once the frame was in place, we quickly gave the steel a coat of paint to protect it from rust, before fitting the door itself.

Framework for sliding door is complete. Awaiting paint.
A lick of paint before we install the door and clad

Fitting the Aluminium Sliding Door

By this stage, the worst of the hard work was over. It was not too difficult fitting the aluminium sliding door to the frame by drilling the inside of the door frame and attaching with appropriate hardware.

Once that was done, we quickly put up some of the fiber-cement cladding boards around the door where necessary. Kevin finished it off by sealing the gaps with paintable silicon. Soon we’ll paint the boards in the same blue in which the rest of the exterior of the house has been painted.

On the interior, Kevin will fit a bookshelf similar to the one we fitted in the south container to finish it off. It won’t take too long to finish the ceilings, the painting and to fit the floor. Cindy will soon be able to move into her new home!

Fitting the aluminium sliding door was a success. Ready for exterior blue paint.
… And it’s in!

6 thoughts on “Fitting an Aluminium Sliding Door

  1. Well doneπŸ˜πŸ‘I bet Cindy is happy with the progress.

    1. I am pretty sure she is! πŸ˜‰

  2. What are you doing for the glazing signoff – make sure to get the certificate as the building inspector will need it!

    1. Thank you very much for the heads up. If it is needed for our area we have the manufacturer’s contact information and will get it from them.

  3. Wow, what a difference a nice door makes – you can’t even tell that that’s a container anymore!

    1. Doors and windows were an amazing invention!

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