Tag Archives: Schweiss doors

Bi-parting Doors on Airplane Hangars

Double Bi-parting Sliding Doors for an Airplane Hangar

airplane-hangar-buildingEvery once in a while I get asked a Dear Pole Barn Guru question which just demands its own space in order to do the subject topic true justice. This happens to be one of them.
DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I want to build a 50x40x16 for an airplane hangar. I need a 45×14 door. Without spending a fortune on a bi-fold or hydraulic is there a way to double sliding barn doors? LUKE IN SARAH

DEAR LUKE: The answer really comes down to would sliding doors be the best design solution and/or be practical.

Bi-parting sliding doors on double tracks would mean you would have four sliding door panels of roughly 11’6” in width each. In order to fully open these doors, they would have to be able to slide PAST the corners of the building and out into space (actually they could slide on a header out to a column which would be planted 9’ away from the building corner).

This poses some challenges – first being, do you have exclusive access to a location this far away from the building corner? Second, if you do have the exclusive rights, these posts tend to become targets for things to run into. When (not if) something does run into one of the columns, it is going to damage the something, as well as potentially create a “fall down, go boom” situation for your sliding door track.

You can read some of my own personal experiences with sliding doors on hangars here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2013/09/hangar-n3407s/

Now the practicality part (yes, darn the practicality thing).

In order to get four sliding doors to function properly it will require steel guide brackets to be poured into (at the least) concrete piers at the intersection of each door. These will tend to get in the way of your plane (or vehicles) going in and out.  The piers should extend below the frost line, to minimize the possibilities of frost heaves making it impossible to open the doors.

Sliding doors, on their own, tend to not be the tightest for security. Placing them on double door tracks multiplies the possibilities of being unable to seal them well. Plan upon visits to the inside of your building by small rodents and feral cats. Neither of which is ideal (mice can chew up the insulation on wiring faster than one might imagine).

My recommendation – we can design a post frame building kit for you which will accommodate a Schweiss Door.  No, they are not free, however they are a well-regarded door and should provide for you years of operation as a happy hangar owner. Here is an article with more information: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2015/02/hangar-doors-2/

How Pole Barns Accept Hangar Doors

A very common statement is: “I love my building, but hate my doors.”
Don’t put cheaply made inferior doors on a great building. Not all door companies offer the same quality!

Hanger DoorHansen Pole Buildings has provided a significant number of pole building hangars located all across the country. By far, the most prevalent choice by our clients of hangar doors have been from Schweiss (www.bifold.com). This is not a recommendation to use Schweiss Hangar Doors, other than to certainly give them every opportunity.

Today’s guest blogger is Pat Schmidt from Schweiss Door.

What Schweiss supplies a contractor or Building provider

Door weight, engineering data, wind load specifications and design specifications

Schweiss can install doors or customer or contractor can. Schweiss provides instructions.

Schweiss bifold and hydraulic doors adapt to any building large or small with no loss of headroom. They can be tightly insulated to save energy. Doors will not sag or bow. Snow and ice will not bother. They seal tightly with a 12” rubber boot at bottom of door. Top rubber seal is the same. Prevents flow of moisture into the door or building.

Each door is custom built for new or existing structures (to the inch). No cookie cutter standard door sizes.

Everything comes complete on the doors except the outside sheeting. Electric top or bottom drive motors available on bifold doors.  Hydraulic doors come with a compact hydraulic pump unit which can be mounted anywhere within the building, up high, low, under a bench… Doors come with external or internal trusses for added strength.

How to measure your building for a bifold door

Schweiss needs need to know the clear inside measurements or air opening, height and width.
Door is hung up and above the clear opening, (usually 12”, 24”, 30” or 36” above the clear opening) on the outside of the building so there is no loss of headroom. This varies from door to door. A header if needed is placed at 12”-22”-28” or 34” to center above the clear opening to hang the Schweiss door on. This can be built into the endwall of a new or existing building. The header is placed above the bottom of the rafter for no loss in headroom. Endwall rafter header placements are different for Wood and Steel Buildings.

The customer and building manufacturer are responsible to ensure the building’s structural design is capable of handling all the imposed loads the Bifold or Hydraulic door exerts the door header, endwall and building. Doors exert considerable horizontal loads on the building structure in the open position. A building header design must meet standard deflection and strength criteria, both in vertical and horizontal directions to support the door in all positions. Schweiss Door factory will help customers fill in the Spec Sheet Details.

Multiple Doors Side-by-Side

Multiple doors can be mounted side-by-side. Often used for T-Hangars. Two doors share the same building column.

Hydraulic Doors

Say “No” to wood on a moving door frame. Some door manufacturers try to replace the horizontal cross members with wood 2x4s instead of metal. Hydraulic and bifold moving doors flex unlike a permanent wall in a building. Besides probably not engineered to support applied wind loads, wood girts in doors tend to warp, twist and shrink, causing a myriad of problems. Stacking wood on a steel member doubles the weight and the thickness of a door and takes away the R value when insulating.

Hydraulic door frames are pre-hung inside their own sub-frame on all Schweiss doors.

To maintain clear opening with an internal truss the door must attach higher on the building.

There is a choice of a “flush mount” which mounts below or under the building header (you sacrifice some headroom with this method), or there is an “exterior mount,” where no headroom is sacrificed.

When hydraulic doors are open they provide a large canopy which offers more shade. There are no obstructions protruding back into the building like a roll-up door.

Building costs will be lower with a hydraulic door because of lower sidewall requirement, less insulation, less sheeting and less labor. Building does not have to be made taller to maximize a clear opening. They are designed to adapt to any size and any type building.

Schweiss “One Piece” hydraulic doors come with a continuous header tube, but when extra strength is needed to support your build/door, Schweiss will supply a free standing header. All headers are custom built to add extra strength. Schweiss offers many door mounting styles to choose from.

Walk doors and windows are available for both styles of doors. Multiple decorative cladding options and glass doors can also be had for the asking.

Thanks Pat, for the info on Schweiss doors!

Dear Pole Barn Guru: Can I Use Concrete Brackets with a Foundation?

New!  The Pole Barn Guru’s mailbox is overflowing with questions.  Due to high demand, he is answering questions on Saturdays as well as Mondays.

Welcome to Ask the Pole Barn Guru – where you can ask questions about building topics, with answers posted on Mondays.  With many questions to answer, please be patient to watch for yours to come up on a future Monday segment.  If you want a quick answer, please be sure to answer with a “reply-able” email address.

Email all questions to: PoleBarnGuru@HansenPoleBuildings.com

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Can you do metal plates with anchor bolts to mount the poles to? CAN I IN CANTON

DEAR CAN I: I will assume you want to either mount columns to an existing foundation wall, or to pour concrete brackets into a future foundation wall. If so, then the answer is yes, we can provide wet-set or dry-set concrete brackets for either situation. For more information on specifics, please read:


DEAR POLE BARN GURU: In a previous article, you discuss sliding doors for hangars and mention that you will be writing an article about better options (I assume to include bi-fold doors, stack doors, etc).  Did I miss this article in your index, or have you not yet written it?  Would be very interested in your ideas, as I am looking at constructing a 50×60 hangar with a 40-45’x12′ hangar door.  Have not yet decided whether I will pursue this in a steel or wood frame, thought budget may determine that.  The building is to be located in Boise, ID.  Thanks for your time. GLIDING IN GOLDSBORO

 DEAR GLIDING: You’ve caught me! So many topics to write about, and just not enough days of the week to post them. I’ve just returned from the 2014 Frame Building Expo, where Schweiss Doors (https://www.SchweissDoors.com) was one of the exhibitors. Keep a watchful eye open, as I will be writing about their products and other hangar door options in the very near future.

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: How do I insulate a pole barn cost effectively. COLD IN CONNECTICUT

DEAR COLD: This is one of the most often overlooked areas when people are planning their new pole buildings (as well as one of the most asked questions after construction). Provided you are still in the planning phase, here is some good reading on the subject: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2012/04/climate-controlled/