Depending on how much snow and ice you get, the direction the door faces can be critical. If possible face it to the south. I have an eastern exposure and I get ice building up in front of my door all the time. I hate it. Beyond that be careful about the scissor / slide out doors depending on the ground in PA. I have one of those. Here it's clay. As in... you can dig it up and turn it into a vase. No matter what I do, those support posts on the outside heave up every year. Sink them 10 feet and they'll still heave up.
Anyhow, there are a couple of inexpensive manual door options (at least compared to the hydraulic versions) but I can't find links to them. Most companies that make hangars also have some kind of manual door option too so given the cost of shipping it's in your best interest to look for someone local.
Another inexpensive option is a homemade door that is counter weighted. I no longer have the link to the design but I'll try to describe it to the best of my ability. The door had a center beam running horizontally across the door exactly mid way up. So if it's a 12' tall door, the beam would be at 6' and run the width of the door. The door is just a welded rectangle but the trick was that there were five eye bolts connected to that center beam. Five steel cables went up, over some pulleys and through holes in the exterior of the hangar. The pulleys were mounted just above the main beam across the door entrance. Once inside, the cables were routed via pulleys to a single steel ring which had two more cables running to the back of the hangar that were attached to a counter weight. The counter weight was slightly less than the entire door weight. The design I saw then had another cable attached to a boat winch which was used to raise and lower the door. Now here's the trick. Since those five cables are essentially "lifting" the entire weight of the door, all they used to guide the door back into the hangar was standard garage door track. When the door is open, exactly half the door is inside the hangar and half is outside the hangar. There's no massive front loading like there is with a bifold or swing out hydraulic door. It's sort of a poor man's version of www.hpdoors.com
We installed a 45' wide x 10' tall one piece door lifted by 2 Schweiss hydro cylinders. It's heavy so the hangar structure (header, front walls, side walls and footings) must be stout enough to support the door. It faces south so ice and snow pose no problems.
Definitely Horton Stack Doors
I am so glad I bought Horton Stacked door! Live in North Georgia. Reasons why best door:
- I can open any number of panels and leave the rest closed. Allows car or tractor in/out but keeps weather out.
- They are translucent, letting lots of light in. No additional cost on installation of windows/panels on hangar structure.
- I can fully open my doors faster than electric or hydro neighbors. They roll with one finger.
- They ALWAYS open, even when power is out!
- Less exposure or possible damage from wind while open.
- Can be reasonably weather tight, especially if you use above ground rail.
- Doors standard height is 12 foot, controls cost. Less cost than other powered door options.
- No costly header structure on full length opening. (As req'd for pwr doors)
- Least maintenance/upkeep of any door out there.
- Save money by installing yourself, very easy to do.
The only negatives I can come up with:
- They don't offer overhead shade or rain cover when open.
- They do require more effort than just pushing a button.
- you have to plan extra width for opening (But so little more!)
- enough ice could require lots of effort to remove before opening.
Don't forget, airplanes can move diagonally in and out of hangars! I don't work for the company nor have any relationship with them. But I wear their hat, because I think everyone should know how good these doors are.
Im in GA and recently replaced an old wilson bifold with a hydraulic door from aerodoor. they were in florida and came up here to install it. www.aero-door.com
think they do bifolds as well but i wanted this one.