Got any thoughts on hangar doors?

Have you had any experience with hangar doors, especially from Schweiss Bi-Fold and Hi-Fold, that you are willing to share?

Bruce Goldberg of Hackensack, NJ, writes that he is soon going to be building a hangar home in South Caroline and is interested in feedback on hangar doors.

Any experience you’ve had with these doors or other products that you want to share will be helpful not only to Goldberg but probably to numerous other Living With Your Plane subscribers.

You can add your comments easily by clicking on the comment button at the bottom.

18 replies on “Got any thoughts on hangar doors?”

Bought a 10 by 40 Hi-Fold door. Order well in advance, they get backlogged.

Price of the door does not include skin, so add for 400 square feet of something plus installation and delivery – pick the color of the skin to match the building (wife’s advice!)

Trucking company insisted on delivering during the work week, wanted $325 extra for Saturday delivery. Not a problem if you are on-site during the week, it was for us. Make sure the truck (tractor-trailer) can get to the site and get back out again. Big trucks like this leave deep ruts in grass runways and taxiways (ask me how I know this).

You WILL need a crane to unload the door off the truck – we paid $300 for crane rental. Under ten minutes lift time, total, the rest was transit time. The crane leaves more ruts.

Door company and hangar supplier are not responsible for connecting the door frame to the hangar, your door erector will do this, just hope he is resourceful and brought a good selection of angle iron, expansion bolts, metal screws, etc., and a generator because you can’t do this with hand tools – you MUST have power.

Paint the door framework before the door is erected and the skin is on. You can’t get to it once it is up and assembled. This prevents rust on the back of the door frame later.

You absolutely will need a professional door erector if this is a big door – these things are heavy, there’s a lot of cutting and fitting, and working off a ladder is OK only if you have a death wish.

The door frame has to be fastened to the foundation as well, so there’s some concrete work and design work there, too.

I’d characterize this as a “kit” door, this is absolutely not a shake-the-box-and-stand-back deal.

Finished door looks good and works well (for what it cost, it darn well better!), but have your checkbook on full alert and ready because buying the door is only a part of the package.

You may also need an electrician (unless you do this part yourself) because the Hi-Fold door has a motor and cannot be operated manually.

I have bought several doors in the last couple of years. Once thought Wilson was the way to go, but their customer service when you have a problem sucks. Bought Schweiss Hydraulic one piece doors a couple of months ago and have had great service. Once price was a drawback on Hydro doors but now the difference is miminal. Great for gaining tail clearance for little. Hi-folds are not as good a deal as Schweiss IMO

I bought a Hydroswing door about three years ago and love it. It is fantastic!

The door arrived as scheduled so my erection crew could unload the truck with their SkyTrak and install it. The door was the wrong size — too small by six inches each way which is the difference between rough opening and finished opening that is taken up with the integral door frame.

The company admitted it was their mistake and within one week they had fabricated a new door (the correct size). The president and salesman delivered it from southern Minnesota to central Texas through a blizzard and installed it with the help of my erection crew on a Saturday. Sometimes the best companies make mistakes. I measure companies by how they react when they do. I think Hydroswing hit that one out of the park. Excellent recovery and customer support.

The door has worked flawlessly since then. The built in frame makes installation easy. Essentially you bolt the top and bottom halves together, stand the entire unit up on its frame in the opening and weld it to the metal building frame along the top and sides (if you have a wooden frame, then you through bolt through the frame into the header and sides). Then all you have to do is finish hooking up the the hydraulic plumbing and electricity and you’re done.

I understand that the Hydroswing design loads the hangar frame differently than bi-fold doors and so some additional reinforcement may be necessary. You should check with your building supplier (who hopefully has an engineer doing load calculations) and have them talk with Hydroswing so they get the right loading information.

There are five or six Hydroswing doors in our residential airpark and no one has had any complaints about them.

The one knock I have heard is that you have to look before you open the door since it doesn’t fold. If someone has parked an airplane too close to the door you’re going to hear some expensive noises. That’s not an issue with me.

Bottom line, I highly recommend Hydroswing.

I live at Dogwood Air Park in Fredericksburg Virginia. We have all of the hangar doors represented at our park. Wilson and Hydroswing seem to be the most popular depending on your needs. From my personal experience, the Wilson Bifold is made of Aluminum, comes in 4 sections and goes up easily with the delivery man/installer and 4 guys. Wilson also now makes a single panel aluminum door that operates like the heavier steel Hydroswing door.

If you care to call me on my personal cell phone
call 320-905-3241 I will try to answer any questions
on our New “One Piece” hudraulic door or our strap bilfold doors –call any time of the day !

I purchased a Hydroswing door in 2000 for my hangar-home. I’m not impressed. My door shuts unevenly, even after their after-market modification. One side shuts slightly faster than the other side causing a certain amount of shaking and roughness. Two hydraulic specialists have improved this door but I am still disappointed. My door also creeps open an inch or two regularly requiring constant closing.

I installed a Hydroswing door myself with one helper 1 1/2 years ago. The door went in easily and as advertised. I had a small problem with the hydraulic pump after 1 year and Hydroswing replaced it with out hesitation at no cost. I would paint the door again before installation, it comes painted, but not as well as I like. We did not need a crane to unload or install. The door is 12 X 40 and we unloaded and installed it easily with a rented fork lift. I would be glad to talk anyone though the process, just call. 512-250-3462

Don Howard
Austin, Texas

I bought a Hi-Fold door about 5 years ago. Works great. Most of my neighbors have this brand of door and we have had very few problems with them. They also open higher than any other bi-fold door. Would definitely buy from again.

I have installed and used Schwiess, Hydroswing and Horton Stack doors recently. I like the Horton because it is manual, works easily and is easy to install. And it is just about bulletproof. Schweiss gave me great service when I had a problem but their big bi-fold is always snapping and popping during opening and their lock up is Rube Goldberg-like if you ask me and keeping it adjusted is problematic. The Hydroswing is a good door and they give good service. Have heard that Wilson is good too. But for my money I would still go for the Horton. It’s a dead simple idiot-proof design that can handle really heavy wind and they too are great with service. The Horton comes with a translucent skin that makes a hangar a much brighter place that is much easier to work in. Most of the other doors come without skin.

Schweiss doors are offering customer choice’s hydraulic or bifold every one has a unique situation and we are willing and able to do just that. Clean slick doors that are the one piece door thats operated by 2 heavy cylinders.
And Schweiss have the best prices today, and the quality to go with each door.
Yes Schweiss Doors listen to their customers, give us a try

If anyone needs more info on the Bi-Folds, Sliders, and Hydro Hangar doors feel free to call me on my cell #404-456-6703. We furnish and install all of these doors talked about across the U.S. I will be more than happy to answer any questions.

Schweiss is offering good prices…on our new design hydraulic doors..check out our pumps and overall components, best money can buy at very reasonable prices… Save money . Remote controls are a nice feature –operate the door just like your garage door..Nice
Schweiss Hydraulic hangar doors !

Schweiss doors are the very best money can buy.As a building erector for 25 years i have hung just about everthing out there.I have been out of the erection business now for 5 years and now i am in the sales area of steel buildings.I always call Schweiss the doors come in one piece for smaller doors .This means you unload the door and hang it .When planning for a large door of this type you will need the Door,sheeting,trims,insulation,delivery,unloading and installer.But also be sure your building is correctely loaded to support a very heavy load of the door weight.

Is anyone having problems with Hydroswing orders? I paid my deposit on May 2010 and still no door Oct-27-2010, multiple excuses on their behalf and of course my deposit of 50% is still with them. Please contact me directly at
I have found three other fellows that are on the same situation…

I have installed hi folds and the bifold and hydraulic doors from by aerodoor. If anybody needs a quote on installing a hangar door in the south then either contact me on here or call aerodoor hangar doors in florida.

Looks like an old post but gotta be in to win.

I work for AeroDoor in Florida. We are a hangar door manufacture and ship across the US. If you wish to talk about hangar doors my number is 407) 654-0591

I can also help with finding you a good GC, builder and architect.

I have a home on the Put-in-Bay airport (3W2), an island in Lake Erie in Ohio, and my hangar is on my property in my yard. I didn’t want my hangar dwarfing my house so it is only 32 x 42, vinyl sided to match the house. I built my hydraulic door for under $600 using cylinders from a car delivery semi, a hydraulic pump and valves from a scrap yard and rectangular tubing 1 1/2 x 3 for studs. My down spouts cover the seam between the wall and the door so it isn’t obvious that there is even a door on the hangar. My hangar is finished inside with knotty pine, the door included. I am very happy with my door and the money I kept in my pocket by building it myself.

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