Which Hangar Door Type is the Most Economical?

Well Bilt Hangar Door Types - Bifold, Hydraulic, and Rolling Doors

The question really boils down to price when considering what type of hangar door system to purchase based on economics. Our competition takes a general approach when evaluating which type of hangar door is the most economical. This process gives you incorrect results because what they are considering is the overall costs of the purchase, installation, and maintenance of the hangar door. Costs are predicated on details such as the size of the hangar door system as well as the hangar door manufacturer. Here at Well Bilt Industries however, we understand the importance of the details for price and quality, as well as, what to consider when looking into an economic hangar door.

Here are the details… all hangar doors come with a cost, so in general let’s look at the size of the door and use a 50 ft. wide door by 16 ft. tall. This may be a small door for some people and a little more than others may need but, it’s a good size for the purpose of this example. If the client is an end user that happens to be hands on and lives and breathes the aviation world and would rather spend time making aluminum bling like a shiny nickel, then a bifold hangar door may be a great choice. However, if they are a person who uses an airplane like they use a car and treats it like a time machine, then we would suggest a different solution. The reason is that a bifold hangar door requires much more maintenance than a rolling or hydraulic hangar door (Unless it’s a higher power door which requires more routine adjustments than a typical single panel hydraulic door). 

The economical factor of a bifold hangar door also has dimensional drawbacks when it comes to building size. In most cases, the cost of the building itself will be more when installing a bifold hangar door because you will need to have a taller eave height. Now this “economic hangar door” is not so economical because the entire perimeter of the building will need to be elevated by 3 feet to accommodate the wedge in the door. This is something that the manufacturer does not typically point out and you, as a consumer, need to consider. 

The hydraulic hangar door has some economical drawbacks as well. You need to consider the cost of lost ramp space in front of the door. You should also consider the additional overhang you gain to use as a sunshade or rain cover. Better yet, how about the cost to heat and cool your hangar because a hydraulic hangar door is the best sealing hangar door on the market. Then again during heavy snow and ice, you may lose time clearing the ramp space to use the door, even though it may only be 1% of the time you need to use it. 

Lastly, let’s consider the stack door and sliding hangar door when looking for an economic hangar door. First of all, stack doors are like accordion style hangar doors, which admittedly have some benefits, however, the economics are very different. First hand experience, we kept a plane in a hangar with stacking doors and it was a pain to open and close. Each section had to be locked and unlocked, so for the guy going to bore some holes in the sky it’s a BPA door. The other economical factor to consider is the many moving parts of the stacking door. There are multiple bearings and swivels, hinges and bushings, plus there is no way to automate. On the other hand, the nice thing about sliding hangar doors is that they have options for automation and have fewer moving parts. The downside is that sliding hangar doors require more clear floor space and potential outriggers to hold the panels when open.

So, the question, “which hangar door type is the most economical?” can’t be answered in a simple format, for there are complexities in the question of use. Like we said in our article about the best hangar door operator for your hangar door system, it all comes down to the project factors and specifications of use for the end user. To know which hangar door type is the most economical you must consider the building cost, apron and land size, as well as the end users preference. For some, an economic hangar door may boil down to just the initial cost of the door alone but for truly savvy buyers, they are looking at the costs of use and maintenance as well. The quality of the door should factor into the equation as well, however, that can be in the eye of the beholder and is not the topic of this article. We want our customers to be well informed and know they have choices. Just because they have a friend with a certain type of hangar door system doesn’t make that door the right economic choice for them.

For more information please contact us directly at 352-528-5566 or email at [email protected]. We’re here to help you make the right choices when it comes to buying hangar doors.