Design has come a long way. In the new age of construction and renovation projects, aesthetic and practical solutions can come in many forms—one of the most notable is the incorporation of motorized doors that can appear as a window, wall or door.
Renlita Custom Opening Solutions, based in Bonham, Texas, is the parent company for EVO-Doors, a revolutionary concept in the industry. Since 2005, Renlita has been the industry leader in custom, vertically opening doors, windows and walls that can transform architectural designs and redefine interior and exterior spaces.
“EVO-Doors offer a beautiful and simple solution for opening your residential and commercial buildings,” says Mike Brewer, director of marketing for Renlita, a company with about 50 employees. “It’s a turnkey, safe and cost-effective way to elevate and refine your home or retail business aesthetic. Clients can get custom-designed and engineered openings that can be installed by a local contractor or, in some cases, by themselves if they are fairly handy. Each custom project is carefully handcrafted by a team of specialized artisans, right here in the United States.”
EVO-Doors are available as a single panel swing-out system or a two-panel vertically bifolding system that creates an awning when opened, and Brewer says there are a myriad of design elements that can customize any door. “With multiple color options and super-durable powder coating, our customers can design their own vision with the knowledge that it will last,” he says. “About half of our doors are countertop systems that open up bars or kitchens to patios or other outdoor living areas, and the other half are full height walk under systems.”
EVO-Doors are sold direct to anyone, including builders, homeowners or anyone who needs an easy and secure way to create flexible space, says Brewer.
The doors start at about $10,000 and can be folding or swing-out style; they come complete with the motors, glass, powder coating, a built-in battery backup system, and a stylish touch screen control panel.
“These custom-built systems end up in all sorts of places, like restaurants and bars, high-end residences, and even historical districts where we need to match the original details of the building’s storefront,” says Brewer. “Options that really make a big difference, such as motorized bug screens or the built-in battery backup, keep these openings useful when they’re needed, and keep the bugs out.”
The doors are specifically designed to match the client’s design intent. The company provides custom-engineered drawings and details of the unique project to the designer or owner prior to fabrication. “Our design consultants take the client’s ideas and literally create their vision,” adds Brewer.
The doors presently come in two options—with plans for other designs coming soon. The EVO-Vue is a single swing-out panel that is much cleaner looking than drafty garage doors, and it packs an aesthetic punch. The two-panel EVO-Wave is a vertical bifold that folds upward and sticks out about four feet to create a dynamic overhang space that upgrades a building with a unique and sleek look.
The majority of Renlita’s EVO-Doors are custom sized for your opening and built by hand using steel frames, aluminum glass captures, and quarter-inch to inch-thick insulated glass; they can also include low-E coatings for better efficiency. EVO-Doors were first released in the summer of 2020 and just recently won the 2022 Architizer A+Product Awards in the windows and skylights category.
“Though we have the capacity to build truly massive systems in our flagship Renlita lines, these electrically actuated EVO-Doors typically are 100 square feet or less and have some design flexibility built in,” says Brewer. “Besides customizing the size, glass type and color of the systems, we can also add bug screens or sunshades, locking pins, different mullion designs, and we offer the added security of strong, electric actuators that do the heavy lifting and also act as a locking mechanism when the doors are down. Battery backup systems come standard and allow a user to open or close a door even in the loss of power. Understanding the technical aspects, options and potential pitfalls can be a daunting task, but we make it easy. We are noticing quite a bit of interest from developers, and several builders have included these doors as part of their new build options. We are seeing a lot of people doing custom homes on the coast and in the South, where people want to take advantage of beautiful days, and these doors maximize the home’s living spaces and beautiful views.”
As Brewer points out, EVO-Doors have gained wide acceptance in a short time. “Think about opening up an entire wall of a restaurant or a beautiful home on the water during a nice day,” notes Brewer. “We do a lot of restaurants and homes in the $1.5 to $2 million range, where a typical garage door won’t cut it. Who wants overhead tracks, panels stacked on your ceiling, and loud, drafty garage doors in your living room? I mean they’re called garage doors for a reason.”
In areas or states where there is a lot of growth, such as Florida, Illinois, Texas, California and the Carolinas, Renlita’s business is escalating at a rapid pace, but the concept is fairly new to many homeowners. “The number one question we get is, ‘How expensive are these?’ I think a lot of people familiar with architectural vertical openings expect these to run a little higher than the $10,000 starting price,” Brewer says, adding, “But also, these hand-built, custom openings don’t price the same way a typical garage door does.” *
Ellen Uribe is an award-winning journalist and a communications expert. She is a sought-after speaker, participating as a moderator and panelist at numerous industry events, conferences and broadcast outlets. She has contributed to Vanity Fair, Palm Beach Life, The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Women’s Wear Daily and Time Magazine.