If You're Building in Bear Country, This Door Is for You
This high-tech solution outsmarts nature’s crafty intruders once and for all.
Photo: Courtesy TGM Architects
When you live in the woods, you have to expect the locals to come a-callin’ from time to time. The occasional visiting deer, fox or moose in your yard typically inspires a collective, “Awwww … look!” response. But a bear on your porch? That’s likely to induce a different reaction.
Bears have gotten smarter than, well, the average bear. No longer content to rummage through your trash, some of these savvy beasts have figured out how to open doors in search of a hot meal inside your log home. To keep the bears at bay, Todd Gordon Mather collaborated with general contractor, Norm Milz, to engineer a sleek, protective “Bear Door” to outsmart nature’s crafty intruders once and for all.
Made of reinforced material with a smooth surface and fully-enclosed edges so bears can’t grab hold and force it open, the Bear Door fuses two tube-steel frames together and weighs a whopping 1,600 pounds, though it’s easily raised and lowered with the flip of a switch on the living room wall. It lifts upward directly out of the deck using two hydraulic pistons operated by a motor that is stored in a separate equipment room underground. When raised, the door’s hot rolled steel is a beautiful design feature, as well as a fireproof barrier. Once the Bear Door is lowered, the glass sliding door and window accessing the living room are revealed, and it seamlessly tucks away under-foot when not in use.