Schweiss Counter Korthuis RV Garage Door | Schweiss Must See Photos
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'Crazy Cool' bifold door sidesteps zoning restrictions to give Washington resident a unique motorhome garage

Two patented Schweiss liftstraps and a heavy-duty bottom-drive motor easily lift the 16 ft. RV Schweiss bifold garage door.

Two patented Schweiss liftstraps and a heavy-duty bottom-drive motor easily lift the 16 ft. RV Schweiss bifold garage door.

Herb Korthuis of Lynden, Washington wanted to have a large garage on his new home but he ran into a glitch with a local zoning ordinance which was restricting him to an 8 ft. tall door, too short to fit his 12.5 ft. tall Country Coach motorhome in. Any garage door bigger than that wouldn't conform to uniformity code the city wanted for the neighborhood.

Turning back the clock, a year or so earlier, Korthuis, knowing there were certain restrictions talked to the developer before he bought a home lot to build on and asked him if he were to make a door that wouldn't look like a door could he do it. The developer said yes, but wanted to see what it would look like.

Now you see it now you don't 16ft garage door but when closed only reveals 8 ft garage door

Now you see it, now you don't. Herb Korthuis of Lynden, Washington needed to find a way to be able to garage his 45 ft. motorhome, local zoning ordinance prevented him from building a garage with a door higher than 8 feet. It was Schweiss to the rescue with a 16 ft. x 12 ft. bifold liftstrap door, which when in the closed position gives the visual of a 8 ft. door.

Cool Crazy lift strap RV garage door.

Korthuis had a contractor attach a conventional garage door front with windows to the bottom half of the Schweiss doorframe and finished off the top with siding which exactly matched his new home. In the closed position you can just barely see the seams on the door sides. It alleviated the building inspector's concerns.

He was convinced at that point that he was going forward with his idea for a motorhome garage door and made an appointment with Lynden, Washington architect Mark Ouellette of Ouellette Residential Design, and told him what he wanted to do. He shared the Schweiss Doors folders from the fair and they discussed several ways to do it to conform to the zoning restrictions.

Ouellette and Korthuis eventually came up with a sketch of what they wanted to do and Korthuis approached the building inspector to get his opinion on whether or not they could go forward with it. The building inspector looked at the sketch and said that because the door blends into the rest of the architecture of the home and conforms to the look of the neighborhood he thought there would be no problem with it as far as he could see.

The vertical seam on the horizontal siding has a very tight tolerance making the seam above the door sides almost invisible to the naked eye.

The vertical seam on the horizontal siding has a very tight tolerance making the seam above the door sides almost invisible to the naked eye. A very good example of a architect and contractor doing an excellent job of designing and installing the door.

Ouellette noted that he has used a lot of Schweiss doors on airplane hangars and agricultural buildings he has worked with.

Ouellette's first idea was to use a downward ramp that went halfway into the ground using a conventional garage door. Then recalling photos and things he had seen from Schweiss Doors literature he and Korthuis devised a brilliant alternative to make the top half portion of the garage door above the windows exactly match the siding of the Korthuis home.

At one point Korthuis and Ouellette juggled an idea back and forth whether to use a Schweiss onepiece hydraulic door, but eventually decided to go with a Schweiss bifold liftstrap door 12 ft. wide with a 14 ft. tall clear opening, making the total height of the door 16 ft. Korthuis decided to fasten a regular garage door without the tracks to the lower portion of the Schweiss Door frame, masonite siding would go above that. With the added weight of the exterior cladding he asked Schweiss Doors to supply a heavy-duty bottom-drive motor. It needed only two liftstraps to raise the additional weight. Autolatches, a remote opener and insulation put the finishing touches on the door.

Korthuis says that everyone who sees his Schweiss lift strap Bifold garage door are amazed, and others in his Washington neighborhood are now considering doing the same thing.

Korthuis says that everyone who sees his Schweiss lift strap Bifold garage door are amazed, and others in his Washington neighborhood are now considering doing the same thing.

The contractor, John Schuten and his brother who worked in a metal shop, fastened a metal garage door with windows to the Schweiss Door frame. After some fine tuning they finished the job. So what appears from the outside to be a 8 ft. tall door is really a 16 ft. door.

"I've always liked the Schweiss doors, but the Korthuis door is Crazy Cool, and the vertical seam on the horizontal siding has a very tight tolerance. John Schuten did a bang up job, cutting it on a bevel so the seam is virtually invisible. It locks up like a vault. Even when you stand right next to it you can barely see it. The finished product is better than I ever imagined. I'm still amazed when I look at this Schweiss door," explained Ouellette. "You have to really look to see the seam," added Korthuis. "The siding fits at a 22.5 degree angle and fits in there perfect."

Korthuis says that everyone who sees his Schweiss garage door are amazed. Some of his acquaintances have indicated they are going to do the same when they build their homes.


"The doors live up to my expectations. I'd recommend Schweiss Doors to others. If I had to do it over, I would do it exactly the same, it turned out really well. It all goes to show you, if there's a will, there's a way," said Korthuis.

If you enjoyed this story check out "Minnesota RV Garage Door"
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Schweiss lift strap bifold door built to be most crazy cool bifold door.


"The Korthuis door is Crazy Cool! It locks up like a vault. Even when you stand right next to it you can barely see it. The finished product is better than I ever imagined. I'm still amazed when I look at this Schweiss door."


- Architect Mark Ouellette


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