Door Designs for Metal Buildings

Published February 16, 2015 by Whirlwind Team

door designs steel buildingsThe type of door you select for your metal building depends on what you’re using it for. You need to take into account the number of people and size of the items going in and out, what the environmental conditions are like in your region, and even the aesthetics of the door itself.

There are several types of doors to choose from, one or more of which may suit your needs.

Roll up Door

The roll up door is just like it sounds. The door is composed of multiple narrow panels that roll up into a horizontal column at the top just like a roll-up shade. This type of door is extremely easy to install and takes up less space than some other choices.

Roll up doors come in a wide variety of colors and sizes so you will be able to find one to fit your needs and match it to the building colors.  And they are rugged; they are made of steel or fiberglass and strong enough for any use. Electronic remote and manual operations are both available features.

Roll up doors are also:

  • Reliable
  • Easily maintained
  • Easily insulated

If your building is in a high wind region such as the coast, this door can be manufactured to meet the requirements for high wind loads.

Roll up doors are perfect for everything from light duty to heavy industrial use.

Sectional Door

Another option for an overhead door is the sectional. Purchased with either low profile or high lift hardware, this door also comes in a variety of sizes and colors so you can match it to the building and surrounding landscape.

The sectional door can also meet high wind load requirements (sometimes called Wind Locked) and can be insulated if needed. Operation is manual or electric motor with a remote.

Sectional doors are appropriate for light duty to heavy industrial use.

Sliding Door

The sliding door is custom designed with robust hardware that simplifies operation and lasts for years. It can be manufactured in any size. And, as with roll up and sectional doors, it can come in any color and can be insulated if needed.

Sliding doors are manual operation only; they cannot be motorized.

Bi-Fold Door

A bi-fold door is built of two panels hinged horizontally at the top and panel joint to allow them to fold together as the door is lifted. Because it can have a wide, clear opening, this is a very popular type of door for airplane hangars and other uses where wide loads must be moved. In addition, there is no loss of headroom; once the door is lifted it can fold nearly flat with the roof.

Bi-fold doors can be opened and closed quickly, within a matter of seconds, adding the benefit of keeping the environment inside the building more stable. This door is also designed for any wind load and can come with engineered stamps. Made of the same material as the walls, this door can be perfectly matched to your building.

Hydroswing Door

These doors are operated hydraulically and are another good choice for airplane hangars. Built of a single solid panel, it is hinged at the top and is opened and closed using two hydraulic actuators. Opening and closing can be done very quickly and the door is built to withstand any wind load.

Hydroswing doors can be matched to the walls and come with engineered stamps.

Customization Options for Safety and Special Uses

Safety drop bottom brackets prevent a door from falling in the rare cases of cable failure. This safety feature is used in high lift and vertical doors that are on a 2 inch or 3 inch track. However, they are not appropriate for standard lift applications.

Pass doors are smaller openings in a large sectional door. If you have a lot of people who need to enter and leave the building, a pass door makes it possible to do so without opening the big doors, saving power and time.

Full vision sections are glass and plexiglass panels placed into a multi-panel door. This allows more light into the building reducing the need for electric lighting. Glass panels are best in corrosive environments. Another option in this area is the window lite panel, a smaller type of panel section.

Another version of this door is the create-a-sign. If your building faces the frontage, your business name and advertising can be placed right on the door.

A removable center mullion can be used for those times a wider than usual load must be moved through the doorway. With this feature you can select a smaller door for everyday use.

Breakaway bottom sections save time and repair costs. Use this feature in buildings where vehicles operate and increase the chance a lower section will be hit. The breakaway feature is easily reset and the rest of the door isn’t damaged. Alternatively, larger sectional doors can be reinforced to avoid breakage.

Outside keyed locks will keep your valuables safe. However, you will need interlock switches if there is an electronic opener.

Insulated doors may come as two-layer steel (PAN) and three-layer steel (SANDWICH) versions. Both are very strong with wind resistant ribbing and save money on utilities in regions of extreme temperatures. For a lighter door for lower cost a non-insulated steel door of any design is durable and appropriate for most industrial, institutional, and commercial use.


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