Schweiss Doors: The Manufacturer with 1,000 Solutions
The last thing a customer wants to hear is “No.” Customers are looking for solutions. Being told something can’t be done does not instill much confidence in these so-called experts.
Schweiss Doors has been finding ways to say “Yes!” to customers for almost four decades. The Minnesota manufacturer of hydraulic and bifold liftstrap doors produces custom doors for hangars, commercial buildings, agricultural buildings and residential applications.
“When we get a call or visit with someone at a trade show, we never know what they’re going to ask for,” says Mike Schweiss, owner and founder of Schweiss Doors. “We get some strange requests, but we’re proud to say we’ll find a way to get the job done and if we can’t find a way to do something, nobody can! Every door we produce is a custom door, the size, the look, the materials … we’ve manufactured thousands of doors, rarely are two the same.”
Here are just a few examples:
Father’s House Church, Vacaville, Calif.
As part of a $10 million expansion, the Father’s House Church wanted a door that would help create more space for its members. Schweiss provided a liftstrap bifold glass designer door, measuring 17-feet, one-inch wide and 15 feet tall and it’s equipped with electric photo eye sensors for safety.
“I’ve been involved with the construction project from day one,” says Executive Pastor Mark Sligar. “The bifold door is an impressive door, no doubt about it. The cool thing is its storefront look that ties the building together. The door is off of our lobby and the design of the door is to extend our lobby outside to a huge patio area that has umbrellas, tables, chairs, fire pits — it’s a big gathering area for our people.”
When open, the door acts as a canopy over the entrance, providing more protection from the elements for members. It was ordered through Industrial Door Company of West Sacramento, Calif., and recommended by Visioneering Studios architectural firm of Irvine, Calif. The building contractor was Overaa Construction of Richmond, Calif.
Cape Canaveral Hangar, Cape Canaveral, Fla.
Schweiss Doors produced two bifold doors for a new steel hangar at Cape Canaveral, Fla. This is no ordinary hangar and needless to say, because of the weight and size, these doors required special engineering solutions from Schweiss Doors.
One door is 40 feet wide and 69 feet tall. The larger door is 90 feet wide and 61 feet tall. Both are equipped with automatic latches and are wind-rated to 150 mph. Upon delivery to Florida, both doors were clad in 26-gauge sheeting and feature 4-inch blanket insulation. Bottom-drive 480-volt, 3-phase motors and patented Schweiss liftstraps do the lifting of these doors that exceed 53,000 pounds!
“We don’t get too many requests for doors that big and heavy, but we knew we could produce doors that would meet the strict requirements in Florida,” Schweiss says. “It’s an honor to be a part of a program at Cape Canaveral.”
The launch manifest is populated by a diverse customer base, including space station resupply missions, commercial satellite launch missions and U.S. Government science and national security missions. With the elimination of NASA funding, this space program has moved to the forefront of space exploration and Schweiss Doors is a part of this ambitious program.
Koehn Construction Services, Fredonia, Kan.
Lyle Koehn got his start erecting agricultural buildings for farmers with large equipment. The hydraulic doors from Schweiss Doors appeal to Midwestern customers who appreciate the value of quality.
“Ag buildings is where we started,” says Lyle Koehn, owner-general manager of Koehn Construction Services. “They compromise 40-50 percent of our business. All our building projects are custom in nature and unique to each customer. One of our farm shops here is a 100-foot by 300-foot facility, 20 feet tall. Farm shops in the 80-foot to 100-foot range are probably the most common sizes we build.
“We are also doing lots of commercial manufacturing projects,” Koehn continues. “Most here seem to prefer hydraulic doors … they understand hydraulics and how that works. We also prefer the hydraulic one-piece doors. The main reason is simplicity. They are a little more expensive than a bifold door but they have less moving parts. Most of the doors we do are 40 to 50 feet wide and 16-18 feet tall.”
Koehn says his company started installing Schweiss doors more than eight years ago and hasn’t used any other manufacturer’s door since.
“After we put in our first Schweiss door, we knew it was a quality product and we’ve stayed with them ever since,” Koehn says. “Our customers are very happy with how they work. We also do the installs, which are fairly easy. We don’t sell or install any sliding doors. Schweiss doors are very good quality doors, heavy and well built. There’s no door out there that is as heavy as a Schweiss door. Everybody else uses lighter gauge materials.”
Korthius Residential RV Garage, Lynden, Wash.
Residential ordinances are usually very strict. Some neighborhoods governed by a homeowners association will have restrictions on home color, siding and roofing material, height, size (both minimum and maximum), landscaping and the list goes on and on. Most of these rules are in place to preserve aesthetics.
Herb Korthius owns a 12-1/2- foot-tall motorhome and wanted to keep it at his home. The “uniformity code” in his neighborhood prohibited the installation of any garage door taller than 8 feet. While on a visit to the Iowa State Fair, he stopped by the Schweiss Doors display and demonstration booth and had an idea. With some drawing help from an architect, Korthius came up with a solution that kept the neighborhood happy.
Using a Schweiss bifold liftstrap door, their design measured 12 feet wide and 16 feet high, creating a 14-foot tall clear opening for his RV. Korthius fastened a regular garage door with windows and no tracks to the lower portion of the Schweiss doorframe, Masonite siding would go above that to match the siding on the house. This made the 16-foot door look like an 8-foot door. Because of the added weight, Schweiss Doors added a heavy-duty bottom-drive motor with two liftstraps. Autolatches, a remote opener and insulation put the finishing touches on the door.
Korthius says that everyone, including his architect, who sees his Schweiss door is amazed. Some have indicated they may steal his idea for their own homes.
“There are all sorts of problems out there that Schweiss Doors can help solve,” Schweiss says. “When we say we want to help owners do amazing things with their buildings, we mean it. There should be no limits.”
About Schweiss Doors
Schweiss Doors is the premier manufacturer of hydraulic and bifold liftstrap doors. Doors are custom made to any size for any type of new or existing building for architects and builders determined to do amazing things with their buildings, including the doors. Older cable-operated bifold doors also can be retrofitted to liftstrap doors by using the Schweiss conversion package.
For more information, visit www.tci-schweiss-doors.com.