Let us start by saying there are a handful of hangar door manufactures, and that handful comes in all shapes and sizes. All of the companies that claim to manufacture hangar doors 70% are legit factories and manufacture their doors, rather than some that broker and collect sum of parts and resale to others. Those firms have little invested and when it comes to saying they make sliding hangar doors, this as farther from the truth. In any case it is the competition that exists and we can deal with it. the down side is that Sliding hangar door manufacture is just a broker so reviewing them as a manufacture makes this more difficult. So to that you want a Hangar door reviews so you can pick a good one, so what are the steps to get these hangar door reviews?
- Start with a simple process to define the mission. Many aircraft owners purchase a plane based upon the mission the aircraft is going to used for. example traveling up and down the coast of Florida I have a single Piper to take me to relatively close airports at an economical cost. Saving time and money. So when we review hangar doors we do the same. Are we only keeping a small plane? Is there future needs of larger aircraft, and how realistic is that? IF you are designing a large commercial facility what is the use? Bulk aircraft storage? Single box hangars? FBO? This will help and eliminate certain door systems. This is the point Sliding Hangar Doors are much more reliable for commercial FBO’s. You will see Bifolds and hydraulics however the Mechanics of each have units that if power or mechanical failure occurs then the aircraft would be locked behind the Hydraulic Hangar doors or Bifold hangar doors. For many owner operators of general aviation this doesn’t bother them. Also, cost becomes a factor when looking at the size smaller sliding hangar doors that have the high-quality parts and drives require more steel and drive the cost up. With Bifold hangar doors and Hydraulic hangar doors there is cost savings because of first there is a high amount of competition for the smaller doors. This reason alone makes for hangar door reviews more important than ever. Using this format for figuring out what you want is the first step in getting a hangar door that fits your needs.
- Examine the region you live in and where your door is coming from. This step is easy because there are plenty of manufactures in Minnesota living the dream. As Hangar door manufacture in Florida we are strategic in supporting the product in the south. Where the northern guys ae good up there. That doesn’t mean we don’t ship worldwide because we do and we do it well. The reason why is because our product is of a higher quality that is less apt to have the issues that are common amongst most volume hangar door companies. Again there is nothing bad about high volume however if you prefer the white glove approach to service you may want to consider that as well as a factory that has representatives capable of handling the problems that may and often occur. This regional approach is to not say we are purchasing for the sole reason that a vendor is close by, however take that into account when you are doing your Hangar Door Reviews of the manufacturers.
- Take a field trip to the local airports, I strongly suggest when selecting the hangar door manufacture you should look at product. Recently I was on the floor of our factory and witnessed one of our fabricators and he was buffing down some welds. I asked why he was doing the grinding and buffing and his response was “because I want to be part of the team that makes the finest Hangar Doors”. Honestly that is not a fiction story. So the point is go look at products. Look at the fit and finish. Each manufacture has certain qualities. We don’t do well on selling small t-hangar doors because the companies push out complete junk. The welds are horrible and the fit and finish is downright unacceptable, unless that is all you can afford, if it is that’s okay just buyer beware, the high price paid is long forgotten however the poor quality lasts forever. This is only spoke over time and seeing what happens when you only take price into account.
- Pricing – need we say more. I saved this for the last because this is the most important. First off all don’t expect something for nothing. Most of the doors we fabricate are made of steel. Steel is a commodity and priced from our suppliers this way. I can tell you when the price of steel goes up we raise our price. When it goes down we lower our price. The cost of our doors is weighted on the weight of steel. The lighter the door the less labor and less steel so the cost is lower. Most suppliers offer a weight and balance report for the bifold and hydraulic doors. Do your homework. A hydraulic hangar door that is weighing less grossly may be a real issue, you may get taken to school by an unsavory salesman. When dealing with sliding hangar doors the details are in many forms, I had a client call and said he got misled by a pre-engineered metal building company that builds sliding hangar doors. Guess what, they got casters made of pot metal, no weather seals, not one and no pick up bars. This is a common occurrence from the pre-engineered guys that make their own doors. I can’t hate them because often we sell parts to fix the problem at retail pricing to the end user. This about this we specialize in hangar doors, not metal buildings. Sliding hangar doors are an art, there are only a handful that make them because they are a complex item.
In closing do your own review. I would say go get honest opinions from pilots an owner that have level heads, cause we all know that one guy that is never happy. Use that as weight in your hangar door review and if possible go visit the factory, if you call and they say there are no visitors allowed that is a red flag. We are on an airport, come fly in right to our door and take the nickel tour, grab a cup of coffee some cheap fuel. If anything you had a learning experience. Good luck with your future hangar, remember it’s not a hangar without a hangar door!