©2014 by Raymond Alexander Kukkee
Old Aluminum Doors Can be Recycled—and Handy!
In home renovation projects, old aluminum sliding doors, storm doors and aluminum windows are increasingly being replaced with door models using more energy-efficient framing materials like plastics and modified wood, and designs are upgraded or modernized regularly by manufacturers, making your exterior doors dated.
The renovation of your home may leave you with two or more surplus aluminum glass or screened sliding doors. What can you do with them? Rather than leaving these perfectly-good doors leaning against a wall as clutter in the garage or basement or sending them off to the junkyard or landfill, consider recycling them. Let’s put those beautiful, durable old aluminum doors to good use.
Here are some possible uses for old aluminum doors:
- Build them into a garden gazebo framework for a glass and screened dining area including a convenient and permanent sliding door. Dine outside in insect-free comfort on those wonderful summer evenings. Door frames made of aluminum are amazingly strong and can be used without framing for smaller screened structures.
- Use the door framework to build a mini-greenhouse or hothouse for those special plants and early starts. Several doors or windows will be required for larger projects. Hint: Need some more doors? Home renovators often give away aluminum-framed sliding and storm doors to avoid paying fees to dispose of them.
- Mount sliding doors on a deep frame on a south wall, to protect frost-sensitive perennials or a winter-sensitive espalier, for instance a pear or peach tree in colder climates. Natural heat loss of the home or building will prevent the plants and trees from severe frost damage, and if designed carefully, you can open the sliding section to control the temperature in the heat of the summer.
- Build a flat-laying or beveled hot-frame for starting bedding plants for your garden. The sliding section should be easily accessible for watering, planting, and opening to adjust the hotbed temperature. Alternatively, use the recycled door hinges and install a prop rod to keep the door open on hot days.
- Build a hot-air or hot-water solar collector. Use coils of copper pipe, black plastic pipe or even soft drink cans lined up vertically in an insulated door assembly to trap heat using water for a solar shower or as an active solar air heater for a garage or play house.
- Fun time ! Create a “kids of all ages” art display in the basement recreation room. Fasten the old aluminum doors to a wall with screws, or create a free-standing structure with the doors mounted on a solid post. Use the tempered glass surface for water-based finger-painting. Change up the artwork regularly and have fun creating new wild and wacky decorative paintings. If a substantial and cherished work of art is created which can happen, simply fasten it to the wall for a permanent display and get another old aluminum door or more for those budding artists to practice on.
- Use aluminum-framed doors for a permanent canvas in professional artwork projects. Professional artists often paint on framed glass, which provides a unique and beautiful effect from background light that diffuses through thinner layers of paint. The frame itself can be also painted as a durable and attractive integral part of the picture.
- Use old aluminum doors to wall off a workshop in the basement to keep wood or ceramic dust under control and in the workshop!
- Install old aluminum doors in garden fences for easy access and to keep out garden critters.
- Increasingly, raising chickens in the back yard is becoming more popular. Include old aluminum doors to construct that in-the-backyard chicken coop for the chooks! Chickens love light, and it makes the chicken-house easier to clean out.
These are just a few of the potential uses of old aluminum doors, aluminum storm doors, sliding doors.
Hint: Try to find aluminum doors the same size for convenience in designing the framing for your project. Don’t forget to include these aluminum windows.
Instead of sending these beauties to the landfill, recycle them; both doors and windows can be used creatively and built into one of these great projects for both satisfaction and enjoyment.!
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