Barn Door Options for Post Frame Construction
Large door choices for post frame buildings
Large doors are a key part of farm shops and machine storage buildings. The size and type you choose will greatly affect how well your building works for you and your site. A key consideration is how the large door system frame outs impact the structural integrity of your post frame building.
Here is an overview of the common door types:
Sliding doors are best used on cold storage post frame building construction applications. It lets you take full advantage of the wall height and works especially well on sidewalls, where you can get horizontal sliding doors up to 48' wide with a split sliding door and 24' wide with solid sliding doors to accommodate today's large agricultural equipment like a combine with a head or an unfolded planter. You do need to consider walk door and window placement. The sliding door may cover them when the doors are open.
FBi Buildings' aluminum-framed EasyMotion sliding doors set the standard in the industry. Special features, like our exclusive weatherproof Posi-Guide bottom track, and bird-proof flashing and top door trim, ensure year-round, trouble-free operation. Our lightweight aluminum frame and smooth-operating components with nylon rollers and door guides make the door incredibly easy to move and will not warp like wood frame sliding doors. Lastly, aircraft-grade alloys, interlocking frames and an extra-stiff girt design provide impressive strength. The Step-Saver Latch system allows you the flexibility to open your sliding door from the inside or the outside, eliminating the hassle of having to enter a walk door to lock and unlock traditional cam latches.
If energy efficiency and the widest maximum door opening possible are your top priorities, consider a hydraulic door on your building. With widths up to 90' possible, these one-piece doors are essentially moving walls. Windows and walk doors can be built into them. Hydraulic doors open very quickly and let you take full advantage of your building height. Opening and closing a mammoth one-piece door does put a lot of torque on the building. Therefore, beefed-up headers, columns and foundations are often specified.
Although usually seen on airplane hangars, bifolds are sometimes used for farm buildings. You can get very wide openings – up to 100' on a post-frame structure – but without putting as much stress on the building as a hydraulic. And you can park a lot closer to it. The downside is diminished vertical clearance in the door opening. This requires a taller building to get the same opening clearance as is possible with a slider or hydraulic. (Overhead doors have the same problem.) An abundance of moving parts may also mean more maintenance down the road compared to other choices.
Overhead doors seal up well so they are popular on farm shops. But they are limited to widths of 40' (although multiple doors can be placed side by side). They also reduce your interior headroom and can potentially interfere with your lighting and heating units when in the open position. Color choices are limited as well. When you get up into the largest sizes, it is often more economical to consider a hydraulic or bifold door.