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Texas Architect Uses Clever Detailing To Hide His Home's Bifold Garage Door

Now you see it. Now you don’t. A vanishing garage door is what Wayne Braun wanted and with the help of a 21-foot by 10-foot bifold liftstrap door from Schweiss Doors, that's precisely what he got!

“The door is hidden under the siding, matching the rest of the house,” says Braun, who recently retired as the Principal in Charge of Design for PDR Corporation in Houston. “I had a local metal fabricator make a continuous steel metal plate bracket to ‘cradle’ the siding system along both vertical edges and welded it to the door frame. This allowed us to extend the siding beyond the width of the door to align with the corners of the house. Using cabinetry terminology, the door is designed as a ‘flush overlay door’ and gives very few clues as to its existence and how it might work.”

The bifold liftstrap designer door on Braun’s two-car garage is equipped with an automatic latch system, electric photo eye sensors and remote opener.

I first learned about Schweiss Doors years ago when I was working at PDR,” Braun says. “We had a project for a major corporation, building a new wellness facility and they are going to do an indoor swimming pool. The client asked whether a big door could be put on the back end of the swimming pool to give it the option of making it open-air when the weather was accommodating. I started doing some Internet research and came across Schweiss Doors. The product stuck with me. When I designed my new home, I decided I didn’t want to put a big ugly garage door on the face of my house. And so, I recalled that I could do a hidden garage door using a Schweiss Bifold Door System.”

To conceal the garage door, he placed weather-treated 1x4s on the top of the steel door framing and then a layer of ½-inch marine-grade plywood. On top of that he used the same vapor barrier that was used on the house. The siding was then screwed to the plywood.

“I like the uniqueness of the door and the quality of the manufacturing,” Braun says. “The way it is designed and engineered; it has the capacity to carry the weight of the siding on the face of it without me having to do anything else special to it. The liftstraps are fantastic. A point to be made with the way the bifold works is I get 100 percent of the overhead lights in the best place, whether open or closed.”

Braun says technical support at Schweiss Doors was very helpful in providing the detail he needed along with electrical information needed. To help with the design, Schweiss offered up some images of other doors on its website that were designed to be hidden or semi-hidden.

“I’ll tell you, everyone who has seen the house for the first time asks, ‘Where is your garage?’” Braun says. “They are kind of shocked when I tell them the garage is actually under the siding.”

The door was installed by Hangar Rental Inc. of Brookshire, Texas, a company that has installed hundreds of bifold and hydraulic doors and stands by the quality and ease of installation of the Schweiss doors.

“If I get a phone call from a gentleman who’s thinking about building a hangar, I ask him, ‘What are your door needs? What are you looking for?’ Let’s talk about the best products on the market,” says Oscar Stout, installer for Hangar Rental. “The first words out of my mouth are always Schweiss Doors. The second words out of my mouth are Schweiss Doors, because we start talking about the hydraulic door, then we go to the bifold. Nothing beats the strap system, period. I’ve got a little bit of engineering background: the liftstraps are bulletproof. The safety and reliability of them, the fact that they are effectively maintenance-free as long as somebody doesn’t cut them or expose them to harsh chemicals; it’s a phenomenal way to go.”

About Schweiss Doors

Schweiss-logoBased in Fairfax, MN, Schweiss Doors is a leading manufacturer of bifold and hydraulic one-piece doors, and is an established leader in the design and manufacture of designer and custom doors for all types and sizes of buildings. No door is too small or too big for Schweiss Doors. The company has more than three decades of experience and has sold its doors worldwide. Key markets for the company’s doors are aviation, agriculture, commercial and industrial, but its products have been used in theaters, major league ballparks, homes, exclusive hotels and buildings of all types. To learn more, visit www.bifold.com or www.schweisshydraulicdoors.com.

And to learn about Schweiss' new Build Your Own Door Kit, which gives customers the plans and essential components to build their own Schweiss Doors, visit www.bifold.com/build-your-own-door.php.

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