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Homeshows, Thermometers, Requests, and More….

 

describe the imageThe proverbial balloon has popped. It seems all the hibernating communities have awoken for this years Spring. It’s certainly coming in with a bang. We were fortunate enough this past winter to stay busier than we’ve ever been but with the thermometer reaching almost 80 today and this past weekend being in the low 70’s with sunshine our phones are ringing and the emails are flying in. Must be my crystal ball was right and you’re using your garage door more and more.

You what’s best about this years uptick in activity? We’re ready. We took the time to do some additional planning and have implemented new procedures, added 3 additional staff members and another truck. On top of all that we have all new software systems in place (which I’ve written about prior) that is assisting us in communicating with you even better than before.

Just like years past we kick-off the upcoming season with the Sports Plex of Halfmoon Home Show in Clifton Park. This one is a no brainer because we are literally in the same park as the show. With no less than 5 of our best people scheduled to work the show they all came away with the same sentiment. People were out early and had questions, good questions. The show was busier than normal and that leads to good things, not just for us, but is also a good indicator of how home improvement will be in general this summer.

We have also seen a pretty large increase in the communities we serve with the Do It Yourself crowd in the form of requests. We’re hoping that our previous blogs on how to maintain your door have had an impact in helping people save money or avoid costly repairs. We are seeing people stopping by for the things they can change themselves like certain hinges, hardware, handles, while also picking up cans of our climate specific lubricant. All good stuff by our account.

Use your door for which it was designed and rest assured  if you hit a snag or want to upgrade we’re here for you just like we have been for the last 20 years.

Your Overhead Door of Albany Team

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It's Garage Door Testing Season

 

Snip20140411 1You know what I saw in my rear view mirror this morning? Winter. I think it’s fairly safe to say that we can put winter 2013-14 safely in the history books. I know this is true because my wife has already loaded my garage with grass seed and fertilizer. She has also started unpacking the potting equipment for her bevy of flowers she enjoys so much.

My weekend will be filled with raking, thatching, bagging and preparing. Oddly enough I saw a big box that was delivered marked Underground Sprinkler System. What the heck am I going to do with that!? Maybe I could call the guys from This Old House.

The cars are now out of the garage and we (she) is filling it with items that need to be stored in there. There has been no consideration on the placement of said items since things I need to get to are now buried behind the aforementioned new arrivals. I’ll figure it out. 

If you’re experiencing the change in weather as well we can assume your garage door is going to be getting more use than previous months. Instead of a car coming out and going in once a day, chances are you’ll be opening and closing more frequently now. Take some time and give your door a quick once over with your eyes. Look at your cables, springs, rollers, and hinges. Run it up and down a few times by hand and make sure it’s still fairly easy. If you’re lucky enough to have a garage door opener disconnect it for this test because you may not know something is awry if you rely on the motor.

If your garage door feels like it’s sticking, binding or making odd sounds then take some action to prevent a future problem. We’ve written at length how, where, and what to use when lubrication is needed. That may be all you need but if you’ve found frayed cables or hinges/fixture that may have started to crack or bend give us a call. If your rollers are rolling as smooth as you think they should let us come out and replace them. Changing out just the rollers is a quick and inexpensive way to make your door run smooth and quiet.

If you find anything that needs attention give us a quick call. In almost every case we can get you a quick quote while we have you on the phone.

 Happy Spring Everybody!

Your Overhead Door of Albany Team

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Special Update: Garage Door Innovation From Overhead

 

It’s very easy for companies to just keep on keeping on. You all know we’re proud of the products and services we provide. Having the industries best products and investing in our staff to make sure they are the best in the area are cornerstones of our philosophy. We could simply maintain the status quo and continue to grow our little company here in Albany New York but that’s not who we are.

We’re innovators in our industry and never stop thinking about how to make our products and services even better. It’s been well catalogued and written about the fact that Overhead Door Company was the first to invent the upward lifting door. You don’t innovate just for the sake of innovation. Listening to your customers and producing items they’ve told you they want is the best way.

garage door colorsWe’re happy to introduce two new friends to our family. Please join us in welcoming Mr. Grey & Mr. Black. Two new colors added to our already stellar lineup of garage doors.

Before you ask the answer is yes, they are available right now. If you’ve been considering a new door and haven’t quite found the perfect color for your home we welcome you to check out these two new tints.

All the greatest features of our doors now available in 2 new colors you’ve requested. 

Necessity is, after all, the mother of invention innovation.

Your Overhead Door of Albany Team

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Your Garage Door and 1970’s Television

 

Remember when Bruce Wayne was on the TV in the afternoons? Before cable TV in most cases. When we look back at those programs we now know that the graphics weren’t great and the writing was straight out of a comic book but that was as good as it got back then. The two crime fighters scaling a building using only their hands and a rope with the capes being held up with mostly invisible wire. Having so many tools on their belts that they were never at a loss for the prefect solution to any super villains attempt to subdue you. I remember those well and my kids think they’re totally corny. In my opinion it was better but I do enjoy the new versions.

You’re probably asking yourself what is a Garage Door Company doing writing about an old original TV series? Some of the highlights of those shows were the fight scenes and the visual aids that were provided for, what I can only imagine, was impact surrounded by levity since violence was politically incorrect back then. If we were going to attempt to equate those TV shows with garage doors and some of the service issues you may have our version of levity would look something like this.

kpowThis noise, generally speaking, indicates a broken garage door cable. Cables snap for a few reasons but mostly from age and wear and tear. They break when your door is being operated so we can assume that for the most part you are in earshot when they decide to let go of your door.

crunchIf you have a roller that has gone bad or has been worn over the years it’s likely you’ll hear the crunching noise of that little guy trying to perform the task he was designed to do but now is bad shape. Even if you’ve kept his bearings well lubricated during his life he’s still going to wear out from contact with your door tracks all this time.

boingWhat other component on your garage door could possibly make this noise. It’s the springs of course and the Boing can be a spring actually breaking or struggling to do the job it’s intended to do. Either way your springs should not make much, if any noise, when your door is operating. If you hear this sound contact your local garage door experts for assistance or advice.

boomThis is the worst sound ever. Almost all of us have heard this at one time or another coming from our garage door. If you have young children you have already figured out what I’m speaking of. It’s a beautiful Saturday and you’re in the garage puttering around when you here a large boom. Chances are little Johnny is in the driveway kicking a soccer ball against the door not knowing you’re inside. Once you get your heart rate back under control you'll probably raise your door and have a little chat. There are other times when a garage door could make a boom, when not a sports event, but we’ll assume that when that happens your next call is to an Overhead Door Company in your area.

We know that when you’re garage door is in need of repair you probably haven’t expected it. Maybe the next time your door makes one of these sounds you’ll take just a moment to reflect on some early 70’s television and that will help lessen the frustration.

Your Overhead Door Crime Fighters

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Right on The Button

 

buttonohdEveryday office banter can be amusing. Generally speaking we try to enjoy ourselves here on a daily basis. No matter how nutty it may get at times the office staff always seems to find a way to add some levity.

Today the discussion turned to the word button. A word like that seems nebulous enough. A button can be on your shirt, in your car, on your computer or smart phone. Around these parts the word button is used frequently when assisting customers with their garage door openers.

On any given garage door opener motor you will find buttons. They can, and will, be used to setup your motor for the first time or make adjustments to your motor over time. You’ve got buttons for limits. Limits, both up and down, tell your garage door opener how far it needs to travel when opening or closing. When set correctly your door seals when it is closed and stops just in time when it opens completely.

You also have buttons for force control. Force control tells your opener how hard it should push or pull. If the force control is set to light then your door may not close all the way. In other words and older door may require a bit more force control if it rubs or struggles a bit to close. The force control lets you make adjustments to overcome this.

You may also have a button for programming your remote. Your opener probably has something called the learn/code button. This button is pressed when you need to program a remote to operate it. Newer garage door openers make this very easy and in most cases you push this button to put the motor in program mode and then simply start pressing, yet another button, on the remote control until the door operates and you’ve got it set.

There is also a button mounted on the inside of your garage so you can make the door go up and down. This is referred to as the wall console. These are normally hardwired right to the opener but have a button or two nonetheless.

Another popular way to find more buttons in via a wireless keypad mounted outside your garage somewhere. This keypad allows you to operate your opener with a super double secret code that only you and 47 of your closest friends and neighbors should know. (Sarcasm)

And lastly, for those who have HomeLink or Car2U as an option in their vehicle you’ll find buttons located on or above the sunshade somewhere. Those two are put there to operate you door.

So yes, we use the word button a lot and I can only imagine this will become more frequent as more and more people attain the convenience of an electric garage door opener.

For those of you who don’t have one and are still using the squat and lift method give us a call. Let us explain how easy and inexpensive it is to get your own set of buttons.

Your Overhead Door of Albany Team

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If This Then That with Garage Door Openers

 

IFTTTNow that I have a full 3 weeks under my belt answering phones and assisting the great customers in our service area my training is almost complete. Almost.

Here’s what I have learned in my short stint so far. I hope you find some of these common issues and their simple resolutions helpful.

 

IF THIS: You press the remote or the wall button for your garage door opener and your garage door goes up a few inches and then stops.

THEN THAT: Look up to your garage door spring(s). In most cases you have a broken spring. If you have torsion springs (located above your door mounted on the wall) you will most likely see one of them in 2 pieces. The other most common spring is an extension spring and they will be located on the back part of the upper track and “extend” when the door goes down. Call a service company to replace it for you. 

 

IF THIS: You think the battery in your remote control for your garage door opener is bad and you change it but it still doesn’t work.

THEN THAT: There’s a good change you have one of two things going on. 1 – The remote needs to be re-programmed (consult your manual for re-programming) or 2 – One of the terminals the battery touches is corroded. This corrosion usually happens on the negative side of the battery and all you need to do is scrape or sand it down a little to make better contact with the battery.

 

IF THIS: Your garage door opener only works if you press and hold down the wall button console. 

THEN THAT: You most likely have an issue with your safety photo eyes. In most cases they come out of alignment especially during the winter months when they get bumped by shovels or garbage containers. This is a quick fix. Using your hand simply rotate one of the eyes slightly until they become re-aligned. Test and adjust again if necessary. A quick call to your local garage door service company can be very helpful too. NOTE: If your garage door, when attempting to close it, only moves a short distance or not at all, this could indicate an issue with the photo eyes as well. 

Here at Overhead Door of Albany we’re glad to assist by phone if possible. This is not always the case with other companies and we are by no means implying that this information will or should be given willfully by someone else. Your garage door is large and in almost every case, very heavy. We always recommend you seeking the advice and or service by trained professionals.  If nothing else, with these tips, you can help whomever is on the phone with you diagnose the problem quickly and efficiently. 

Your Overhead Door of Albany Team

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Insurance and Your Garage Door

 

Overhead Door of Albany NYThis post is not what you think, well maybe a little. In some cases damaging your garage door may be covered by insurance. I’m not an insurance guy but I know from experience there are specific instances when garage door damage is covered. I don’t know what your coverage may be, deductible is, nor am I making any statement you should act upon. What I do know is that we do repairs and installations when a homeowner makes an insurance claim, which brings me to my thoughts.

Now I fully understand that an insurance adjuster has a job to do. They’re the folks who request estimates and compare them to similar cases to make a determination on coverage and payment amounts. They also, in some cases, get multiple quotes from multiple companies to get the best deal for their company. If they can get the same work done for less money then that’s a good thing for them. Hopefully the homeowner ends up happy and we get a little work from it so we’re happy. It can be win-win-win and that’s what everyone is hoping for.

We do get a fair amount of those calls. What seems odd to me is that almost every time we speak with an adjuster we get the job and that gives me pause. Let me explain.

I’ve spoken and written a bunch of articles explaining why we’re not the least expensive company you can find. We take great pride in the level of service we provide, having highly trained technicians, industry leading warranties, and providing support well after the service. Just those 3 things do come with a cost and one that we have found is well worth it for customer satisfaction. Don’t get me wrong. We’re not leaps and bounds higher, in regards to pricing, than some of the other companies, but that’s not the point here.

The point is that if we know we’re not the cheapest and we provide quotes to adjusters who may have other “bids” in hand, and they award us the job, then what the heck are the other companies providing as a cost of their services in these cases? I have one simple question banging around my head. Do they (our competitors) quote differently when then think an insurance company is footing the bill? Furthermore, does that make sense, to anyone? On a few different levels it certainly makes me look at them a little differently.

Collectively our jobs are to make money for our respective companies, I totally get that. Dave Ripley is the owner here at Overhead Door Company of Albany and he is the epitome of integrity, honesty, detail, and professionalism. I respect him for that and follow his lead in all respects, so does our team. We all know there will always be bumps in the road considering the nature of our business but reflecting on those 4 attributes has served us, and our customers, very well. So yes, we make money, but not by modifying pricing or looking for a windfall based on the situation. We do it by providing you with the best possible products and services you can get at reasonable prices for all involved. In the end I believe that our way of conducting business is the honorable way. I hope you do too. 

Your Overhead Door of Albany Team

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Whatever it Takes Wherever it Takes Us

 

describe the imageFor the past week or so I’ve been assisting Danny with scheduling, customer service, and the phones. It’s been a very eye opening experience for me. Leaving the confines of my comfy office and getting into the nuts and bolts of the daily work has been rather enjoyable.

Up until this point my perspective and what the front line folks do has been limited to a quick perusal of the scheduling board in an attempt to determine exactly how busy we are. That alone is impressive considering this is typically a slower season for us since the ground is nicely frozen and many contractors aren’t starting new projects.

My main responsibility has been answering phones. This is something I thought I was well versed in considering my past career where we received upwards of 200 calls per day in our busy call center. I was mistaken, kinda.

My phoneside manner is still well intact as I believe I am friendly and attentive but there were a couple of things I was not prepared for. A typical phone call would be a customer with a broken spring, garage door remote control not functioning, request for a quote on new doors or service, or general door not operating properly questions. Those I can handle pretty well as in my wee younger days I did a short stint as a garage door installer.


When I received a phone call for an estimate on a large steel garage door at a local facility I offered to send one of our sales team out to take a look so we could provide the most accurate estimate possible on the repair this customer replied “That’s fine but to get on our site for the 15minute visit your guy will need to take a 4hr course in safety and be suited up for HazMat.” What? I had no idea we did this, but we do because that’s what it takes.

Our coverage area is big, so big in fact that there are areas that take over an hour to get to. We offer Free Estimates on all of our services and if that means we have to have someone spend almost 3hrs round trip to meet with a customer we’ll do that too, gladly. There are no shortcuts, that’s what it takes.

Out techs call back to the office too. It’s our job to make sure they have the support they need when they need it. When I fielded a call for a technician looking for clarification while at a jobsite it required reaching out to architects, viewing original plans, manufacturing, and the General Contactor. I got all the information necessary and relayed it to the Tech. It would’ve been easier to make a decision on the spot but by working together we know we have it right the first time. It wasn’t the easiest thing to do but to get it correct that’s what it takes.

So wherever and whatever is certainly a mantra we use all the time but it has more value that just maximizing our bottom line.  We do it everyday and would like the opportunity to prove it to you.

Your Overhead Door of Albany Team

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My Office Door at Overhead Door of Albany

 

albanyohd.comFunny thing my office door.  The way I see it my door has 3 possible states of being. Each one implies or sends it’s own message. For this article I must make you aware that my door is all glass. It’s a little like working in a fishbowl but suffice to say you can look in and see me at any given time. From there you may be able to determine my level of focus or detect emotion.

The Closed Door

Sends the most easily discernable message in my opinion. Clearly this is a do not disturb sign and usually requires a knock prior to entry, it’s just courtesy. For some reason Dave, the owner of this business, doesn’t seem to need to knock. I haven’t got that quite figured out yet but I’ll pencil that in for our next staff meeting.

The Door Partially Open

This one causes the most confusion apparently. The majority of the time it makes people grab the handle with one hand, place their opposite hand on the door jam and do the “lean in” technique usually followed by “Are you busy?” or “Do you have a minute?” I always have time for whomever does the lean-in. It always makes me smile. I’m about as approachable as anyone can possibly be and for him or her to ask if I have time for him or her out of respect I applaud that.

The Door That’s Wide Open

The majority of the time my door is wide open, it’s how I operate. The open door tells people that there’s nothing you can do to interrupt me and I cherish conversation and idea exchange that can come out of being completely available all the time. In a perfect world I’d remove all office doors altogether, save a few like in an Attorneys office or where complete privacy is needed.

As the resident marketer here at AlbanyOHD I consistently call on our competitors to find out how they answer the phone, what kind of availability they have to schedule work, and get rough pricing and the such. I do equate to those things to what position they have their door in and to make sure ours stay wide open. I’m sure they do it to us too and I’m glad, they're better for it just like we are.  

Here at Overhead Door our Door is never closed, heck it’s not even partially open, it’s wide open and waiting for you to walk in, call in, email in, or any other way you choose to come in. We cherish the conversations and the relationships we’ve made and look forward to making.

Come on in, no knocking needed, the door is wide open.

Your Overhead Door of Albany Team

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New Technology at Albany OHD

 

January 29th, 2014

Overhead Door of Albany is pleased to announce the completion of new customer centric technology. For the past 20 years AlbanyOHD has been the area leader in garage door sales and service. With this new software they will distance themselves even further.

Dave Ripley President Overhead Door of AlbanyWhen speaking with the owner Mr. David Ripley he offered: “Our sales staff has been asking for a technology upgrade that could free up some of their time and help get organized to a greater degree.  I tasked our Marketing and IT Director, Bob Gates, to come up with some possible solutions. After 6 months of testing different products and also entertaining a custom built platform we found a cloud-based solution that is also accessible from any Internet connected device including smartphones. The new system not only handles the sales force original request but also brings a level of efficiency that we have only begun to explore. We now have complete visibility of every employee/customer interaction and can track changes and results in real time.”

I was offered a brief tour of some of the software functionality and after a five-minute rundown from Mr. Gates I’m impressed. He expressed the following: “Our previous system was not broken, in fact, it worked incredibly well but was labor intensive from a customer interaction standpoint. As more and more people use the web for information and communication we need to adapt accordingly. Our website performs nicely for us but doesn’t have the ability to dynamically communicate with our customers. In the end we’ve got a system that accounts for much more than we set out to find and I am looking forward to being able to expedite everything in our process from phone calls to installations.”

The roll out is happening now with older data being migrated into the system over the next few weeks. Once complete, this new system will benefit the company and, more importantly, the customers they serve. 

Your Overhead Door of Albany Team

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