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Why you Should Hire a Professional to Install your Garage Doors

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During the COVID quarantine of 2020, you may be among the masses who took a deep dive into the home improvement projects that have stock-piled during our regularly scheduled lives. From painting rooms to planting seeds, we kept our local home improvement stores busy!

Maintaining operations as an essential business throughout, we also heard the stories from our dealers about homeowners revamping their garages. While we fully support the desire to DIY, we urge caution when it comes to the garage door. If you are eager for the reorganization of your garage, please visit our Pinterest page for lots of ideas (it's possible I may be an organization fanatic), but if you need your garage door serviced or replaced, we have some tips for you!

1. Safety First

In our organization, safety is our guiding light. All of our decisions mut first pass through the net of safety. If it isn't safe...it doesn't happen. With this mindset, we encourage you to hire a professional for your garage door needs. While regular maintenance can be handled at home, such as the checking of the photo-eyes or confirming the track is lubed, when it comes to springs, track, and the sections, finding a pro is key.

While many feel the installation of a garage door simply couldn't be rocket science, we have to disagree. We work with many experienced professionals who will share stories told to them of hands being crushed between sections, fingers being lost when a spring is wound too tight, and whole sections being damaged beyond repair when they fall out of the opening. All of these occurrences are avoidable when done by a professional.

2. Not all openings are created equal

There is a good chance, if you have a newer home, that the opening of your garage door will either be 8' x 7' or 9' x 8' if you have a single door or 16' x 8' for a double door. For the most part this is easy when the opening is standard. What gets complicated if there are any imperfections in the level of the floor, the room above the door, and the area designated for the track. Any limitations here may require special set-ups or perhaps a special door.

To be sure your door moves safely, quietly, and consistently, the right tracks, springs, door sections, and operator will be necessary. A professional will be able to assess and prescribe the correct combination for your project. If there are questions, our engineers are standing by to help resolve issues and find solutions!

3. Experience brings efficiency

In a perfect world, life runs smoothly - like clockwork. But we know the world is not a perfect one. During most garage door installations, some aspects of the install may need adjusting. From snipping bottom rubber to accommodate hardware, clipping extra length of bar off the operator in a low ceiling garage to avoid hitting the car, or replacing angle iron to secure the install. Additionally, most installations require working with electricity which should always demand a professional.

Many of these on-site obstacles require the tools and materials to navigate without delaying the install. When the installer is prepared, you can be sure the efficiency (and cost) of the job remains on point.

4. Know when to repair and when to replace

We know it's not always clear when to replace or when to repair. Making this decision on your own may prove fatal. If you have concerns about the state of your door, please call a professional if any of these 'symptoms' occur:

  • It reverses direction
  • It's slow to open
  • It closes or opens by itself
  • You can see track misalignment
  • It makes strange noises
  • It has temperature inconsistencies
  • It's warped or weather damaged in some way

5. Warranties are your friend

Most garage doors and installations come with a warranty; however, most will be voided if repairs are attempted by the homeworner. In most cases, the installer will offer a service agreement during the warranty period, and the manufacturer will offer a warranty as well. Maintaining this coverage can truly help you maintain the life and safety of your garage door investment.

Find the Right Pro

When you seek out the professional to service or sell you your garage door, we encourage you to ask a lot of questions to vet out the right partner for your project.

  • What company reviews are available?
  • What service packages are included with the installation?
  • What warranty comes with the installation and the parts?
  • Does the installer offer a satisfaction guarantee?
  • What can be done in advance of the installation to prepare?
  • How long has the company been in business?
  • How much experience does the installer have?
  • Are they licensed and insured?

When you attempt the repair or replacement of your garage door, you may end up lucky and only endure some frustrations and added finances, but we caution you as the risks may prove far more damaging. At Fimbel ADS, we have 95 years of experience to help us guide you through the experience. Our doors are constructed to last, and we strive for your safety and satisfaction.

To learn more about our products and to find a dealer, please check these links below!

Why Our Finishing Is Superior

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Did you know that 71% of Americans use their garage door as the primary entrance to their home? More often than not, these garage doors are white! For us, our natural, unfinished product gleams in its clean, white simplicity. But when we want to truly allow the garage door to stand out, we are excited to offer our incredible factory finish with myriad options and total confidence in sustainability.

For nearly a century, our family has manufactured garage doors, and in that time, we have learned a great deal about the industry through our partners, products, and passions. Today, we are proud to add to our already environmentally friendly product a paint and faux stain coating that will endure the elements using molecular bonded paint to stand the test of time.

We manufacture our doors using advanced materials and technology to deliver a beautiful and durable product. Depending on your unique needs, we offer our innovative vinyl coated steel for the American Legends series and Versatex and Tricoya across all other doors to offer solutions for any creative, geographic, or budgetary needs. We offer these opportunities to best meet our customers' unique needs. We know that people want what they want, and we are here to provide it through quality, safety, and satisfaction.

Through our partnership with Aqua Sur Tech (AST) over the last decade, we have found their commitment to quality was paramount which is a core value we hold dearly! According to Michael Braeuel, President of AST, "Most coatings are produced by combining a commercially available resin with a series of additives. D200's high performance is created by reacting (under high temperature and pressure) over 25 ingredients to create one single molecular structure. The resultant molecule can 'sense' the surface tension of the surface and align itself optimally with the molecules of the substrate to create a bond based on 'cohesion', in contrast to bonds created through mechanical adhesion." What this means to our final product is the finished face of our door will be one united material as it faces the elements allowing longevity that is unmatched. The benefit goes beyond the gorgeous appearance to the science of the door preventing bubbling, chipping, or lifting of the paint!

Our factory finish, made with D200 High performance paint, is a single application exterior waterborne coating system designed for direct application without primer to our vinyl product. It's extremely fast air dry and quick clean up offers low cost processes for in-factory and DIY finishing. Additionally it is formulated with heat reflective pigments to minimize heat gain for dark colors and is considered non-hazardous by EPA standards allowing for the vast color options in our palette. Above all else, D200 exceeds all environmental and performance standards, and the result is absolutely stunning! 

[pictured: Engine 55 of the Fire Department of New York - FDNY Red with hand applied black paint on the raised wrought iron design]

The magic of this paint system is the versatility to allow us to create our faux stain! Using a two part process of the same paint we use to coat our doors, our team of Artisans use their trained hand to apply first the grain design and then the top coat offering the final overall color. The result of this process allows us to increase grain depth or decrease it as needed as well as custom color match to your desired finish. The image below shows two samples: one is the actual piece of wood used on an entry door - the other is our custom sample. Can you tell the difference?

[pictured: custom match of faux stain]

In case you couldn't tell, the one on the right is the original, and the one on the left is our custom made sample!

Our faux stain will blow your mind! With this paint system, we are able to offer you all the benefits and beauty of real wood without the regular maintenance. The finish has a warranty of 15 years for adhesion, cracking, peeling, and reasonable fading. Additionally, this product can be refinished as time and trends roll on. Add all of these benefits to the long standing quality of our garage doors, and you will be sure to find satisfaction. 

For those of you who prefer to do it yourself, we proudly offer you the D100 system to handle your own after factory paint finish! We worked with AST to develop this system to carry the same levels of quality but the artistry is in your hands!

Using our D200 High performance finish, all Factory Finished products will be delivered with a clean finish to last! While most of our products do not require finishing and may remain natural, adding color to your project can add the wow-factor that we are after! Our vast and ever-expanding color palette includes blacks, charcoals, and dark greens as well as faux stains to truly replicate the look of wood without the maintenance. With solutions for replacement of damaged sections to solutions for navigating tough exposures, we are sure our finishing options will brighten up your home and increase durability!

Click here to find a dealer near you and click here to have samples delivered directly to your home!

Highlights of our Finishing System:

  • Long lasting for continued satisfaction
  • Custom color matching available
  • Water-based coating
  • Safe, odorless, and non-toxic
  • Passes test requirements for AAMA615 (Organic Coatings on Plastic Substrates)
  • Low heat absorption due to heat reflectant pigments
  • Excellent adhesion and abrasion resistance
  • Excellent elasticity can withstand thermal expansion
  • Excellent impact resistance
  • Environmental Advantages:
    • Low VOC
    • Non-flammable
    • Lead and chromate free

Kurtz Exterior Renovation Project

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At Fimbel ADS, we believe in offering your more in your garage door. We aspire to bring options to fully complement your project and satisfy your every need. Our capabilities had a chance to shine with a project nestled in a cozy neighborhood in the rolling hills of Eastern Pennsylvania. Garage door envy set in when they saw a friend's Fimbel Roaring Twenties set of doors sustainably manufactured using vinyl and a faux stain to replicate wood. As these homeowners were mid-swing of their own projects, they had to have one of their own.

With visions of reinventing not only the garage but also the wood and stone façade, we set out to find their perfect door. Their original garage door, specifically, was in need of some TLC. While it was functional, the stamped steel raised panel door simply hung there - fulfilling its only obligations: to close the opening and to open on demand. It did just that. And only that.

Upon seeing the rest of the home's completed projects, the new two-level deck complete with fire pit and the excavated yard between the home and the fountained lake, it was clear this family understood quality and demanded satisfaction. For this family and their project, a Fimbel product was the solution for them: Our only challenge (or as we see it adventure) was to find their right door!

The first step in navigating our product offerings is to understand that we make our doors in two innovative ways to offer a vast variety of styles and solutions. When buying a Fimbel door, you can count on the look of real wood, durable construction methods, low-maintenance, precision fit, bold windows, reliable R-value, and more, more, more!

Our first construction platform offers carriage and traditional styles using a vinyl clad steel pan and applying vinyl overlays to create the look of a classic wood door. This door is exceptional for two main reasons – the first is the platform (pan) made of a smooth, steel base made for the elements that we coat (clad) in a thin layer of crisp, white vinyl. This innovation allows for the American Legends series to live nearly anywhere, even near the ocean, without rusting and rotting away in the elements. To this we add the smooth, solid white overlays made of sustainable material. Separating ourselves from the competition's fake wood grain completes the constructed look to appear as real, traditional wood. Both features ensure the longevity our ethics demand, the look we all crave, and a price point sure to please.

Our second construction platform truly shines in the blend between tradition and innovation. Using a hand placed wood frame and nesting in our insulation, we laminate a vinyl back cover and a solid vinyl exterior that encases the face. This slab now becomes a blank slate to bring you more for your door. Using both 3/8" and ¾" material, primarily Versatex, we have options to add select profiles and nearly limitless designs to satisfy inspiration. You will see these designs in our Euro-Dor and Presidential Collections offering both carriage, traditional, and modern styles.

To achieve a more classic carriage look, we offer the Roaring Twenties. This series starts with the same platform yet adds solid, sturdy overlays pocketed (nested) into the face. The pronounced look of this classic style can be modified in myriad ways to satisfy decorative features and historic applications. Each of these series offers incredible longevity and beauty we can all feel good about!

Before the platform of the door could be selected, we needed to understand its forthcoming home. Measuring and truly understanding the opening – especially of homes older than 25 years – may be a game changer for many products. In many cases, the door is a standard size in the realm of a 9' x 8' or perhaps a double door measuring at 18'. For standard situations, navigating the opening is rather easy, but when a situation is unique – as is this project, it requires understanding of desire and opportunity. Fortunately, we offer both.

The uniqueness of their garage became a driver in selecting the construction platform they would need. The measurements of the opening showed us that the double door would require a low-headroom track and the uneven floor that puckered in the middle would need to be custom matched to properly seal the opening which was a pain point of their original door. Considering their current and anticipated use of the garage, we also needed to include an Insulated Glass package for quality and sustainability. Solving these problems can be challenging to some, but our capabilities allowed us to navigate with ease to the platform of the Euro, Presidential, and Roaring Twenties.

After understanding what we offer, we talked about design. The garage of this home, as it does for many others, occupied approximately 30% of the home's frontage, so we had to complement the remaining 70%. We talked about the wood they would use to refresh the face of the home, the paint color they envisioned on the new front door, and the style of the desired front door.

What they showed me was an overlay front door almost identical to our Roaring Twenties series made by Therma Tru. The RT 12-S Charleston design with its clean, vertical lines and windowpanes would fit right in. 

With the desired design achieved, our next conversation was about color. The anticipated front door was going to be blue, the stone would remain light, and the wood was to be cedar. While the exposure of their garage door came into play with respect to the desired dark color and the known impact of heat on the vinyl, we had a solution. Using our wood composite in place of the vinyl, we were able to satisfy this job using our faux stain. Using a paint system developed with respect to the earth and the demands of vinyl, our finish provides lasting beauty. We hand apply the grain and overlay the stain color to offer a sustainable, virtually maintenance free wood look. For this project, adding a custom match to their chosen cedar became another easy solution.

All had been prepared, and the doors would be ready in two weeks! That was until the COVID-19 quarantine of 2020. We all waited with anticipation of bringing this door to life, so as Pennsylvania began to open up, we set out for install on a cool, brisk spring morning with abundant sunshine. As the old door came out and slowly but surely the new door went in, it became clear that a dream was coming to life! Watching homeowners see each piece of their project revealed was fantastic. The benefit of quarantine is they were all home to witness the transformation. Their sweet daughter almost could not believe her eyes. She looked at me and said, "It's just so beautiful! So much better than the other one! So much more beautiful."

Darlin' we couldn't agree with you more!

Schnecksville, PA – project stats:

  • Roaring Twenties RT12-S Detroit
  • Low Headroom Track
  • LiftMaster Operator with MyQ Technology
  • Custom Pointed Scribe: ⅝" off center
  • Custom Faux Stain to match Cedar
  • Insulated Glass Package

Fimbel Doors on the Front Line

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Since the 1600's in the newly formed New Amsterdam under the ordinances of Peter Stuyvesant, brave residents have been fighting fires on behalf of the city and its evolving skyline. Today, after centuries of navigating changing governments and increasing demands, the Fire Department of New York (FDNY) remains the largest municipal fire department in the United States and a symbol of strength and honor. The world watched as these brave men and women responded to our broken buildings and hearts in the wake of the tragedy of 9/11, and we saw firsthand the level of dedication and bravery one must own to wear the emblems of this organization. At Fimbel Architectural Doors, we are proud to supply the sectional doors that give passage to their life saving efforts. 


A walk through the streets of New York's five boroughs will undoubtedly bring you past one of the 197 Engine Houses associated with the FDNY. Most of the doors you will see have been manufactured by Fimbel either then or now. To bring history to life and reinvigorate the heart and soul of the city, we worked with our Sales and Service team at Thompson Overhead Door in Brooklyn, the FDNY, and the Landmark Society of New York as is required to preserve the history and integrity of the architecture. Our result is the introduction of our custom Presidential Firehouse Series finding a home in many engine houses.

Fun Fact: when we put the replacement doors in, they replace our old Fimbel Doors –some of which have been in place and operating for over 80 years.

We know that engine companies carry the burden of suppressing the fire – saving lives, and we want nothing to stand in their way. For these essential, front-line heroes, safety must always be paramount, so the operation of the door is a critical function in successful missions. Our engineering and production teams designed and built custom sections, operators and hardware equal to the demanding life of the door thus ensuring this safety for decades which gave way for the design experience.

It is no easy task to blend innovation and old-world craftsmanship, but that is indeed what we do at Fimbel ADS. We construct our Presidential Series using innovative technology and materials, and others, by hand to allow for varied sizes. This is a critical aspect in any project, but since the openings of firehouses were not prescribed when first built, there is no guarantee a standard door would suffice. Additionally, in many cases, they have been modified over time to accommodate the changing shape, size, and nature of the engines from horse-drawn carriages to self-propelled steamers to the trucks we use today.

 As seen in this image of Engine 205 which was built in 1869, the architecture of the building is magnificent in its simplicity and strength. Perhaps the most centrally located of the affiliated firehouses, this building and its teams were tasked with serving the most affluent and valuable sections of the city over the course of time. Though times and modes of transport have changed, the architectural structure stands firm yet requires measurements that may typically be challenging to manufacturers. Due to the construction methods of blending custom frames with innovative materials, we knocked the obstacle of shape and size out of the way allowing the design experience to happen.

Designing the replacement door for this building required an aspiration for creativity and beauty balanced with the demand for historical accuracy. In many of our other Presidential Firehouse Series projects, you will see intricate scrollwork and glass patterns to complement the facades, but in this keystone location, simplicity shines. Thanks to the nature of our patented processes and advanced materials, the Team incorporated the shape and size of the five windows situated above the door. With the tremendous amount of light added by the new door in conjunction with the windows make it seem as though the building is watching over its people and structures: The result is a show of steadfastness and safety. And beauty.

As showcased in the June 2020 publication of International Door & Operator magazine, Engine 205 stands as a symbol of hope and strength. Remaining operational during the COVID-19 pandemic as an essential business brought with it a burden shared across the county, but it also brought with it a swelling of desire and pride. Together, we watched and admired the work done by our partners, especially the first responders. We are proud to have our door rest beneath the waving American flag adorning Engine 205 awaiting its call to action. We, the family and team, at Fimbel ADS will similarly be ready to support this effort and honor their legacy and ours.

To all the First Responders and Partners in making our world a safer, better place: We celebrate you and your families and will continue our mission of safety and quality so that you may continue yours.

Independence from Maintenance

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To celebrate the fast-approaching Independence Day and our relief for gradual independence from lockdown, we invite you to celebrate safely and enjoy your independence from garage door maintenance with a Fimbel Architectural Door!

After these many weeks of COVID quarantine, we are all eager for a break. Our team members and industry partners have proudly maintained a steady and dedicated beat. Maintaining essential operations was no easy task, so we know the upcoming holiday will be a welcome relief. It is time for all of us to unwind and relax. The last thing anyone wants to do is worry about issues with garage doors – despite how much we love them.

Servicing your door is a critical item on the homeowner's checklist; unfortunately, it is often and

dangerously overlooked. Knowing that 71% of Americans use their garage door as the primary entrance to their home, we know the wear and tear on the mechanisms can invite unexpected costs, demands on your time, and threats to your safety.


Find a Professional Technician

In our organization, safety must be the first priority. The first and most important aspect of maintaining your garage door is to understand what you, the homeowner, should keep an eye on and what you should rely on a trained professional to handle.

Professional maintenance should be done regularly and will include comprehensive checks of the rollers and hinges, motor, weather seal, cables, track, and most importantly – the springs. Choosing to tackle these aspects of the door may seem easy enough, but a trained professional is necessary for your benefit and safety.


Add to Your Regular Home Maintenance List
Second to safety, we value quality at Fimbel ADS. We believe in regular preventative maintenance, and we believe you should regularly check your door to avoid costly and dangerous situations. Listening and paying attention to the garage door may prevent issues.

Regularly check the mechanisms of the door to be sure they have adequate lubrication to allow the system to glide through the tracks. All moving parts (metallic) using non-greasy, non-silicone-based garage door lubricant. If the movement of the sections become stiff and begin to make a squeaking sound, they may need oil. Be sure not to over oil and subsequently collect residue and debris. You can also check your photo-eyes to be sure the trip sensor is connected.


How it's Made Matters

Basic steel doors do not require much maintenance, but they also tend to live a short life before looking weathered and worn. In contrast, wood doors will last a long time in the right environment, but they require a great deal of maintenance. Maintaining a wood door requires regular cleaning of the exterior to prolong the life of the wood and stain. The finish on your wood door should be inspected no less than every 12 months, and more frequently if the wood door is exposed to direct sunlight (facing south, southeast, or south west) or harsh weather conditions are present. About every 2-3 years it is recommended to sand and reapply a clear topcoat your wood doors with the paint or stain of your choice. Prior to refinishing, you will need to use wood filler to cover any cracks or blemishes and allow it to dry. Sand the door with the grain and with gentle pressure. Allow adequate dry time between each application and be sure to tape off windows and decorative hardware. We believe the maintenance free solution is a garage door made with our vinyl material and our vinyl clad-steel.


Keep it Beautiful with Vinyl

For our naturally white, vinyl doors, you can expect a lifetime of low maintenance pleasure. Similarly, our vast and varied factory finish and faux stain finish, you can count on a warm water rinse here and a little soap there to keep your door beautiful. Should you choose to finish your door, it will merely add to the clean appearance over time!

We pride ourselves on our partnership with a paint and faux stain manufacturer that can offer an array of colors and a solid warranty against fading. Their innovative heat reflective pigments create a product developed to bring dark colors to your door. Should you change your mind down the road, our paint product offers a DIY kit for a fresh coat or a fresh new look.


Fimbel Keeps it Easy

To ensure years of trouble-free performance, the face and edges of your vinyl sections are UV-resistant and may be left in their natural, unfinished white color. This technology allows the material of your door to remain in its natural, unfinished state. You can expect a lifetime of ease. No need to repeatedly refinish. You can repair many dents and dings due to our advanced material, Versatex. And you can count on the quality and beauty of our doors.

For general cleaning of Fimbel garage door sections:

  • Rinse dust and debris from the face of the door using warm water.
  • Use warm water and a mild dishwashing liquid soap.
    • Apply mild hand dishwashing detergents such as Dawn, Joy, or Ivory to the wet door surface using a very wet sponge or a very soft bristled brush.
    • Avoid using/applying Windex directly on the face of the door.
    • Rinse thoroughly with warm water.

For more stubborn spots on white, unfinished doors:

  • Use Soft Scrub, Clorox Cleanup or Clorox Outdoors can be used.
  • Use Mr. Clean Erasers with a gentle hand.
  • Wipe with isopropyl or denatured alcohol to remove any soap, cleaner residue, or dust.

Do not do the following:

X Use solutions containing acid or solvents like MEK, acetone, or Toluene.

X Use Simple Green, as it may yellow the face of your door.

X Use a power washer to remove dirt or stains from the door.

X Use heat or induce heat when field cleaning or painting. Heat lamps, and heaters could cause damage and may void your warranty. Though heat guns may be used to repair some dings and dents, proper guidance is advised.

X Wash your finished door within 30 days of installation.

The final tip is this: Do not sell yourself short on your garage door. You deserve to have a beautiful, low-maintenance door that will welcome you home each and every time with a smile and peace of mind.

If you have any questions about cleaning and caring for your door, please feel free to reach out! We do our best to make it easy for you because we want you to relax and celebrate your independence. We know the pride of being a 4th Generation American Manufacturer, and we are proud to bring you more in a garage door! 

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