As a 30-year pilot in the captain’s seat for Continental and United Airlines, Kirk Simonds has been a part of many successful landings. In retirement, his landing spot is in The Woodlands, Texas, about 30 miles northwest of Houston.
Simonds recently hired the services of Vanderwal Architects and contractors Harry Hammond and Brett Chamberlain to execute a complete remodel of his garage, including the installation of an 18'-wide x 7'-high bifold liftstrap door from Schweiss Doors. The door is equipped with an automatic latch system and remote opener and can be operated with a backup generator in the event of a power outage.
The backup generator nearly became the main source of power. The door was installed just before Hurricane Harvey started on its $200 billion wave of destruction. The eye of that storm passed over Rockport and Houston in August 2017. In nearby Spring, Texas, cars were floating and streets were flooded over 4 feet high.
“The water level came within six inches of entering the house,” Simonds recalled. “We had 47 inches of rain and 25-30 mph winds during that event. We got the door installed the night before the hurricane hit, so timing couldn’t have been any better. We’ve told neighbors that if there ever was another hurricane here, they are welcome to come and stay in our garage!
“I believe, initially, I found out about Schweiss through an Internet search for a bifold door. A lot of the examples that were illustrated there, I’d say 70 percent of them, were labeled as Schweiss Doors. Highly impressed with the Schweiss doors, we did not do any further searching and got the specifications and price on the door.”
Having three vehicles and space for a two-car garage, Simonds decided to make the roofline higher on one side to facilitate a lift that could eventually create room for the other car.
“What I like best about my door is the mechanical operation,” he says. “It’s amazing and very well built. On a scale of 1 to 10, it’s an 11. I like to watch it go up and down, it’s very impressive and the structural integrity is just overwhelming. It surpassed my expectations. That is one heck of a door.”
Simonds, along with Hammond and Chamberlain agreed the door installation went well despite some challenges.
“Roy Weisinger was fantastic and chosen as our number one recommended installer from Schweiss Doors,” Simonds says.
“He was probably the easiest to work with and the best installer I’ve had in 45 years of construction,” added Hammond.
Simonds says it was great working with Jeremy and Brent at Schweiss Doors, the duo that kept him informed on delivery times. Simonds added the bifold door arrived in good condition and on schedule.