Andrew and Carri Ann Mueller of Palmer, Alaska, live in a pilot’s dream home. In addition to having a spectacular view of nearby Pioneer Peak, the residence has a hangar out behind it, with direct runway access. When it’s time to get
the planes out or put them away, the couple can count on their Schweiss Doors bifold liftstrap door to make it easy.
Andrew is a lucky man. His wife, Carri Ann, is the family pilot. She earned her wings several years ago. Andrew enjoys being along on flights that can take him on hunting and fishing trips, or just flightseeing excursions with neighborhood pilots and
The couple’s 50’ by 50’ hangar was built by Ron Kuzina Builders of Wasilla, Alaska. It features a 44’-wide by 14’-6” Schweiss Doors bifold liftstrap door. The door is equipped with a remote opener and automatic latching
system. Four 2’x4’ southern-exposure windows in the door provide natural light.
Kuzina is no stranger to Schweiss Doors, having installed a number of the company’s bifold and hydraulic doors. Like usual, the install on the Muellers’ door went smoothly.
“When I started learning about the doors, I remember walking into one of Ron Kuzina’s hangars at Anderson Lake in Wasilla,” says Carri Ann. “He told me Schweiss builds the best hangar doors. I asked him to walk me through the whole
process of how the bifold door operates and I was absolutely intrigued! He gave me a demonstration on a newly installed door. There was another couple there that loved the door as well. It’s almost as though the Schweiss name sold itself, and
the people there stand behind it. When our door arrived at our house, I just wanted to put a big red bow on it because it was the most exciting part of the hangar for me.”
Andrew and Carri Ann were previous residents of Sterling, Alaska, but after Andrew retired from work on the North Slope oilfield, they moved from the Kenai Peninsula to Palmer, which is about 45 miles northeast of Anchorage in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough.
It was there that they built their beautiful three-bedroom home.
“We sometimes leave the hangar door open and set chairs outside to enjoy the beautiful view of Pioneer Peak,” Carri Ann says. “I kid around and tell people my airplane has the best view. From what I learned we chose the bifold door based
on the wind conditions in Alaska.”
The couple is amazed at how quiet the door is when going up and down and love the fact they have remote control.
“Last spring, in March when we were starting to get warmer days, we were excited to go flying with our two neighbors,” Carri Ann says. “As we watched their hangar doors go up, right when I hit the open button on the remote control, an
earthquake started. The first thing you think of, ‘How big is it going to be?’ I took my finger off the remote and wondered if the door was coming down.”
Everything was fine.
Kuzina, who is also a pilot, said he personally prefers the quiet operation of the Schweiss hydraulic doors and how they seal up nice and tight. “Everybody’s got their own thing,” he says. “I think all of the Schweiss doors are
great and they all go together quite well. We’ve had no issues.”
Andrew Mueller says, “It’s a great product. We’ve had flawless operation since it’s been installed. The straps seem more user-friendly. I like the straps over the cables; they just look better and have a smoother operation. We
get a lot of use out of the door and open and close it about four to five times a week.”