It may look like Captain America’s home, but the house near North Plains, OR with a decorative star and big blue door actually belongs to Jim and Star Weitman, a free-spirited couple with a zest for life and passion for flying. Newly remodeled, their home includes an attached 40’ x 40’ hangar featuring a 38’-wide polycarbonate-clad bifold door—in blue—manufactured by Schweiss Doors.
The Weitmans live adjacent to a private grass airstrip just outside of North Plains. In addition to the blue polycarbonate facing, their bold-looking Schweiss hangar door is equipped with automatic latches, electric photo eye sensors and a remote opener. In the open position, it provides 9 feet, 8-3/4 inches of clearance.
“With the exterior enhancements, including a new roof, cedar siding and a colored concrete apron, we really wanted to replace the old-style, twin 20-foot metal garage hangar doors with something that really stood out and complemented our lifestyle,” Jim Weitman said. “I love the bifold and the appearance of the door. Even on the inside it has clean lines. I love to open up that door on a sunny day. Even on a rainy day, my wife and I sit out in the hangar shielded from the elements and watch the clouds go by.”
A pilot for nearly three decades, Weitman says flying brings balance to their lives. They prefer unpowered flight and the free feeling that comes with it, but in most cases, the couple fly in a 1946 Cessna 140. Plans are to add an Experimental Vans RV-14 to their hangar.
While the blue polycarbonate cladding brightens the exterior of the door, appearance was not the only reason for its selection.
“Star and I were looking for an energy-efficient, lightweight product with light transmission qualities to clad the door,” Weitman says. “We had worked with polycarbonate products in similar arenas in the past and decided on the interlocking 40mm Lexan Polycarbonate system for this application. Besides having high-impact qualities, this product provides a thermal insulation of 4.47 R-value, a UV-protected outer surface and a 10-year limited written warranty against long-term weathering conditions.”
Light transmission values can range from 20 to almost 60 percent with the type of polycarbonate Weitman used. The deep blue color was at the lowest end of that range.
Weitman said he was introduced to Schweiss Doors by a neighbor installing one of the company’s doors on his hangar. When it was his turn for a door, he too turned to Schweiss.
“We did check with other door manufacturers before deciding on Schweiss Doors,” Weitman says. “It wasn’t a long review process. We quickly understood that Schweiss Doors set the benchmark in their industry for hangar door designs, customer service and support. Price wasn’t a factor in our decision. We were looking for quality and functionality of the finished product.”
Weitman pointed out that his bifold door, as manufactured, is designed to seal well in all types of weather. But, he cautions, attention to accurate dimensioning during the framing process is a must.
“As contractors ourselves, we chose to install the Schweiss door ourselves and it went well,” he says. “Separate from the door installation itself, retrofitting an existing opening provided its own unique journey. Working with a local structural engineer, we designed a steel-framed system to fit within an existing wood-framed structure to carry the operational loads of the door. The system complemented the door so well, we look forward to utilizing the same process on future new and retrofit hangar homes.”
Weitman gave a thumbs-up to the helpful staff at Schweiss Doors and mentioned the door arrived on time and in good condition.
“Now that our door is installed, the benchmark Schweiss Doors set early on as the industry leader in design, customer service and support processes followed their product with quality, on-time delivery and the attention to details, all surrounding safety and functionality,” he says. “We were very impressed.”