Deciding to house your plane in your own private hangar as opposed to renting a hangar requires more than just purchasing a building and putting it in place. You will need to plan carefully so that you get maximum functionality from the space. The following tips can help.
Tip #1: Know the rules
There may be specific size and design rules if you will be placing your hangar at a private airfield. These rules may pertain to the shape of the footprint of the hangar or the door type used. In some cases, there may be aesthetic rules, such as color and exterior design, that are in place so that the airfield has a uniform look. Make sure you check to find out before you begin building on your site. This won't be a concern if you are placing the hangar on your own property.
Tip #2: Consider your longterm size requirements
Know your plane ownership goals from the outset so that you size the hangar correctly. It is much easier to build a larger hangar from the beginning than to try to add on to it later. If you plan to eventually purchase a second plane or move up to a larger plane, choose a hangar size to fit these needs. Also, consider what type of non-storage space you need – such as an office, restroom, or tool storage bay. Even if you won't be completing these spaces right away, make sure the hangar is large enough to eventually house them.
Tip #3: Choose the most functional doors for your budget
The main choices are slider doors or overhead hydraulic doors. Slider doors split in the middle and slide open to the sides. While inexpensive and simple, these do impede the opening somewhat so that the entrance into the hangar is not as wide as it could be otherwise. Overhead hydraulic doors swing up and out. This allows you to take advantage of a full front opening while also providing a canopy effect over the hangar entry. This can be nice when you are working inside the hangar in bad weather but want the doors open.
Tip #4: Consider pre-fabricated options
Metal pre-fabricated hangars have one major benefit—they have already been engineered and tested to hold up well. This is important because a hangar must have a clear span frame—which means it can't have any support posts in the main bay area so that there is room for the plane or planes. A successfully engineered pre-fab has withstood the test of time when it comes to this open design. You can still customize pre-fabs, such as by adding additional office spaces or altering door styles.
Contact an aircraft hangar design contractor for more help.