Big Shop Door Has Built-In Windows, Access Door

Replacing a worn out shop door with a flat panel raised by an electric hoist provided multiple benefits for Virgil Poock and his son Travis. With the flat panel lifted, they have a shaded work area outside the shop. In the closed position, they get easier access and better lighting because of the walk-through door and windows built into the big panel.

"In the past we had to walk to the other end of the shop for an exit door. It saves steps and the windows light up that end of the shop," says Poock.

The Poocks kept costs and complications down with timing and design. They bought the electric hoist from a local school. It had been used to lift basketball hoops out of the way in a gym. The frame for the 18-ft. wide, 12 1/2-ft. tall door was fabricated at a local trailer maker out of 2 by 2-in. and 3 by 4-in. aluminum tubing.  Nearly everything else was excess from other farm projects.

"We insulated it, sided it and installed the entry door and windows," says Poock. "We added a framework with gussets to the bottom of the door to reinforce it for lifting. Without that, the door would likely have started bulging."

Nine hinges hang the door to the old header. The winch was installed inside the shop with cables running to pulleys on two outside lift posts. From the posts, cables run to the sides of the shop door.

"The door doesn't lift real fast, but speed isn't a problem," says Poock. "It has an automatic shut-off at the opening and closing positions."