News From Fimbel Architectural Doors

Meet Our Partners: VERSATEX

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For nearly a century we have chosen our partners wisely. Today, more than ever, we know that choosing partners with shared values of quality, innovation, and sustainability is crucial. With confidence we put our name and our legacy behind every single door we craft, but we cannot do this alone. While our team of dedicated employees constructs the doors, our material suppliers play a necessary role in our consistency and reliability.

One partner who has demonstrated time and again their commitment to the product they make and the industry we serve is VERSATEX Building Products. Since 2004, they have become a leading supplier of diverse PVC products to the building industry. We began using their material in sheet form as our preferred primary material in 2015 because of their incomparable commitment to quality, innovation, and sustainability.


What is VERSATEX?

VERSATEX is a free-foamed cellular PVC material that replicates the beauty of wood yet provides long lasting protection against rot, cracking, and decay— all without requiring any paints or sealants to protect it from the environment. Unlike wood, VERSATEX is impervious to moisture, insect-resistant and will not rot, rust, or corrode. VERSATEX requires less maintenance than wood, wood composites, or fiber cement trims. It is an ideal solution for moisture sensitive areas, including those along coastal zones or regions affected by salt and high humidity.

These attributes of beauty and durability have given us the confidence and the capability to manufacture made-to-order, gorgeous, high quality doors with a product and a warranty that stand strong regardless of proximity to the ocean, rivers, harsh geological environments, and life's everyday messes. 

What do they make?

In its origin, VERSATEX made trimboard to add decorative elements to exterior applications where wood was once used. This offered the customer a lifestyle with less maintenance. This original product then expanded to offer the PVC in sheet form. In this form, we are able to apply the sheet to our fully insulated wood core to surround and protect the frame. Thanks to the nature of the material, we can machine and manipulate it to create nearly endless design options while offering the same, low-maintenance lifestyle on the garage door.

One rather new and stunning product of theirs is the Canvas Series. The tongue and groove PVC trim will complement your next project from porch ceilings to soffits and feature walls, the options are vast! Similar to the rest of the product line, this option removes the repeated demand of restaining hardwood. 

But they don't stop there! They also offer a variety of products, each developed with the end user in mind, that enhance the elegance of various project such as:

  • Corners
  • Column Wraps
  • Soffit, Fascia, & Frieze
  • Mouldings
  • Beadboard & Shiplap
  • And so much more!

Who are they?

First and foremost, the organization is built upon a strong value proposition for quality and innovation which is in line with ours. They also share our commitment to sustainability which they detail on their website. In addition, the team at VERSATEX is simply made of good people that quite frankly, we enjoy being around. In this way, like begets like, and they connect quality with quality. This network creates opportunities for relationships with other builders, OEMs, contractors, and so many others to build outside of this partnership.

VERSATEX is known for its commitment to the building industry to educate and inform. They continue to build models into their system to empower their customers to make the most of their product for the best possible results. Brand Ambassadors are trained and empowered to educate and inform. The Roadshow with Bobby Parks travels the country doing onsite presentations and offering educational opportunities on best practices and tactics for VERSATEX and beyond! (Side note: Bobby Parks is the MAN. He is pictured with me below after a hot August day doing demos in a parking lot with smiles on our faces!)

They have built an insanely strong presence in social media by connecting quality professionals with resources, support networks, and opportunities. Through podcasts, blogs, videos, and so much more, they have created a community of talent and experience from which we can all learn and grow. They even interviewed us twice: once in traditional podcast form and once on video. To join the community, click here to read a note from the team and sign up!

In short, they are the kind of people - the kind of organization - you want to be around, you want to work with, and you want to learn and grow from.

Pairing Fimbel ADS with VERSATEX, "you're only limited by your imagination".

To learn more about them, find them online and on social!

#TheVersatexWay

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Tips for Garage Organization

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2020 has certainly taught us the value of our space - for better or for worse. As quarantine set in and the walls became a little closer and the delivery boxes piled higher, the valuable real estate in the garage became precious. For many the garage tends to act as a collection and storage unit which is great, but the garage is indeed intended for parking vehicles. Don't endure another winter parking the car outside the comfort of the garage.

Below are some simple tips to support your project of reclaiming the garage in a way that will last with limited maintenance year after year. Just like our doors, we want you to enjoy life in a low-maintenance, quality way.

Sort and redistribute:
At first glance, it likely looks daunting to have piles and collections of your life and lifestyle accumulating in the garage, but as with all things large, take it one step at a time. Consider this an opportunity to move the overwhelm of your garage out once and for all. Take a deep breath and begin to address all items in the garage with a new set of eyes. For this phase, you will organize by value by assigning the item in one of three categories:

Discard:

Remove the riff-raff. Yes - you have riff-raff. Identify trash and recycling and remove it immediately. The added space will be rewarding and allow for additional organizing. Let it go!

Donate (or sell):

We know you love the bikes your three kids first learned to pedal a bike on, but do you need to keep them? It is likely your garage is full of items you love that you will never again use. Find a local charity to donate or try your hand at selling independently. The key here is to follow through. Don't decide to sell your items and never take the time to list them. The object is to create more space for you today. If you aren't using it and others will, let it go.

Displace:

Is the garage storing family keepsakes that may be best stored in the attic? Do you have items you borrowed from a neighbor and neglected to return? Where all of this remains is up to you. Just because you CAN store it in the garage doesn't mean it belongs there. Let it go!

Are you singing Frozen now, too? Keep singing and know that the cold is upon us, and this effort will be worth it!

Cluster
Now that the floor of the garage can be seen, it is time to sort and organize by category and purpose. Identify items that are similar and different, and then physically pick them up and put them with items that fulfil the same purpose or require a particular storage need.

For example, it would be helpful to cluster chemicals away from paints and lawn/garden tools away from children's sports equipment. Consider each cluster with a lense of safety first and then purpose second. Let your lifestyle and demands drive the organizing.

This phase is key to sustainability. Get this right, and you get the next step right which leads to a plan that will work year after year.

Visualize
Create your vision - the one where you are moving and functioning in your garage with ease. Consider which categories need to be most accessible to the door of the home and which would have less need for easy access. There are many things here to consider. Some people love to keep garbage bin right by the door for easy access while others want to keep any aromas farther away. Does your garage vision allow the car(s) to enter easily and move in and out of the doors? Be sure there is space for safety and comfort. For those with kids, considering how they will access each item is critical. Putting a toy too high for them to reach leaves the item unused or causes more work for you, so strategy ahead of time allows for peace of mind later!
The old adage in the building industry is 'measure twice and cut once". This is very important at this phase. Take clear and comprehensive measurements of the space and the demand of your clustered items. Measure to be sure your concepts will fit and take good notes to be sure you get the right materials.

Implement
Using the measurements and visualized plan, identify the needed components for the storage systems. Our Pinterest page has a lot of ideas for garage organization on this link. From freestanding storage shelves that will evolve with you over time to mounted storage shelves that allow you so many opportunities and configurations to storage bins that seem to make any mess manageable, your solutions are out there.

We know it is fun to go shopping, and we hope you enjoy it, but be sure to choose items that you can maintain the vision. It is our experience that building smart systems around business and life allow for sustainability and satisfaction. For example, if you collect muddy shoes in a bin, you might select a container without a lid to allow your family to simply toss them in without effort. If there is a lid, the muddy shoes may not make it in.

Once you have identified the needed storage supplies. It may be necessary to schedule time to make this happen because being busy seems to be a way of life. Now that the hard work has been done, the fun can happen. Set up your shelves and systems and bring your organized garage to life.


Protect
Once you have brought this project to its close, be sure that you have the right door(s) to protect your possessions. Weather tight seals will keep out the elements and unwanted little visitors (critters). Insulated sections will offer not only support for climate controlled garages but also reduce noise going in and coming out. R-value helps to manage the balance of the garage's environment.

Why Fimbel
All of this points to a Fimbel door. Fimbel is about sustainability. From the materials we choose to the culture we create to the operations that guide our practices, we want to bring you quality that endures for the next generation. We run on solar and plant a tree for every door sold, so we know are dedicated to making life work for all. All Fimbel products come fully insulated with offerings for insulated glass packages to help control temperature and noise. If you would like to request a sample sent right to your home, please follow this link to get connected!

Find a dealer near you to learn more about our incredible garage doors! 

For more tips and tricks, check out the gems in "The Ultimate Garage Storage Guide" our friends at Porch.com.

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Fimbel Fosters: Our Four-Legged Friends

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Every animal who goes into a foster home brings down the number of shelter pets euthanized each year. Fostering an animal can be one of the most rewarding experiences as each fostered animal is a life saved! At Fimbel ADS we know a lot about this journey. Our participation with fostering has brought 23 pups to their fur-ever home. This passion project, charged by our President, Erin Fimbel, and her family brings our mission of sustainability and compassion for Mother Earth and her creatures to the forefront of our business.

One of the success stories Erin and our company share is mine! Our Sunshine, lovingly known as Sunny (pictured above), joined our family after a two week foster. During this time she was able to meet us and the kids, and we quickly found her personality jived with that of our family. She came to us with a healthy level of trust and basic house manners thus easing the burden of initial training and creating a smooth transition. Her time with a dedicated foster family made that success a possibility.


Did you know?

According to the ASPCA in a 2017 report, "approximately 6.5 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year." The report continues with this information:

  • "Of those, approximately 3.3 million are dogs and 3.2 million are cats.*
  • Each year, approximately 1.5 million dogs and cats are euthanized in shelters (670,00 dogs and 860,000 cats).
  • Of the dogs entering shelters, approximately 48% are adopted and 20% are euthanized
  • Of the cats entering shelters, approximately 50% are adopted and 27% are euthanized"

It has been through the hard work of local shelters and major organizations like the ASPCA that the issue of pet overpopulation has significantly decreased since the 1970's when, according to research, it is estimated that 12-20 million animals were euthanized annually.

Today we celebrate the improvement in those numbers, but we can always do better! As you can see, the burden on our shelters is extreme. This is where you come in!


Why is fostering important?

It is important to understand how the word foster as it is used here. To foster means to encourage and promote growth as well as to take care of. It is not simply the providing of shelter and food but to provide encouragement and promote the animal through love and devotion.

When an animal is fostered versus remaining for adoption at the shelter, the fostered animal has a much better chance of being selected. They are often more at ease with humans and home settings which allows for more relaxed encounters with potential new families. Fostered animals are typically more socialized and quite often healthier making them more appealing.

Animals that remain at the shelter have a harder time getting adopted. The basic facility conditions, despite any effort of those at the shelters, are often stressful with the noise and lack of human or animal connection. They are often less healthy which will deter prospective families. These animals lack opportunities to develop trust which can make first encounters unpredictable.

Erin shared that "most of the dogs I fostered were scheduled to be euthanized had I not said yes." Once fostered and the life saved, these dogs have a clear advantage over others: the chance to be loved. This alone can truly make the difference in finding the right home that will last their lifetime.


What does it mean to foster an animal?

When you sign up to foster an animal, you agree to welcome this life into your home and family to be treated as one of your own. During a period of time, typically ranging from 2 days to 4 weeks, you will provide food, shelter, and basic supplies while offering a loving, stable environment. In this time, they will learn basic manners, lifestyle, and trust. Most organizations will cover the cost of medical expenses though this should be discussed first.

Many adoption organizations will arrange adoption events where animals and prospective families can meet. These opportunities are very valuable to the shelter, the animal, and to you as they tend to get adopted faster.

You must be able to commit your time and devotion to the animal, and you must have the buy-in of your family. Puppies and dogs are adorable! That is for sure, but they require a great deal of work. Many times they have adopted challenging habits because of their inhumane living conditions. For this, a foster family should educate themselves on the best practices for training and understanding the dog as well as how to integrate them into your family.

If you have kids you may be concerned it is hard for them when the foster leaves after building this trusting, loving relationship, but Erin shares with us that "it's a great life lesson on doing the right things and putting the needs of others before yourself. There are so many dogs we have cried over and didn't want to let them go, but then we wouldn't be able to save more."


How to become a foster:

Don't be intimidated! This experience will be one of the most rewarding of your life, but it starts with some research, some soul-searching, and solid partnerships.

Finding the right shelter is critical. Ask your friends for referrals to a shelter or rescue near you. Building a partnership with the rescue is important as it truly takes a village to love these animals the right way and find the right placement. For Erin who believes strongly in "pairing the right dog with the right home is critical", she chooses to work with a shelter that allows the foster family to participate in the selection of the foster's new home. Using her evaluation of the dog's personality and needs, she facilitates the interviews and makes recommendations on behalf of the dog. 


What's this got to do with Fimbel?

"My foster pups often come to work with me", said Erin. "The team loves our four-legged additions to the family. They interact, walk, play, and love our fosters as well as help promote and find them homes."

Our commitment to sustainability is not only prevalent in our products and practices but in our involvement with the earth and her creatures. Our garage doors are made to last and low-maintenance which means there is less to the landfill and less chemicals used over the course of time. Our practices for operations are focused on optimization and reduction of waste, so we recycle what we can and continue to innovate.

If we stopped there and accepted this as good enough, we wouldn't be Fimbel. For 95 years our family has manufactured garage doors, and today we want to give back in more ways than providing to the building industry. Through our partnership with One Tree Planted we plant one tree for every single door we sell in hopes of giving Mother Nature back what she so generously provides to you and I. Our participation in Erin's foster pup mission is just the same. We need to love the earth and her creatures, and this is the most joyful and effective way for our company culture.

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Condensation and your Garage Door

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Over our 95 years in manufacturing, we have learned that condensation can be an issue in many garages. While many associate it with a manufacturing defect, it is important to understand the issues surrounding condensation and how it may impact your garage and garage door.


What is condensation?

Condensation occurs when the moisture in the air is in contact with a cold surface and water droplets accumulate. It often occurs in a warm garage with high humidity, which is the concentration of water in the air, and a colder surface such as the glass section of your garage door. Essentially, it is characteristic of a warm, humid garage and a cooler garage door surface due to a colder exterior temperature. The lower the outside humidity, the faster the interior humidity will be drawn out causing noticeable droplets. People often assume the windows are leaking, but in reality, it is quite likely condensation.


Why worry?

More garages today are conditioned, often heated, as opposed to garages of the past, so this issue is unfamiliar to most. Understanding the impact of a conditioned garage and the environmental region can preserve the longevity of your door and the garage. Consistent condensation can cause structural damage to various aspects of the garage and the garage door.

Unlike the entry door to the home, the garage door will not maintain the same controlled conditions as the garage holds more humidity and additional variables than the entry door.

Condensation can present itself from a variety of conditions. The geographic and environmental impact can play a part if additional moisture is brought in regularly from wet or snow-covered cars or boats. Use of a humidifier or refrigerator or freezer units can contribute to more condensation. It is not only what is in your garage that can impact the humidity and condensation. It can even present more prominently when the laundry room is located nearby the garage. While there are many other factors to consider such as the ventilation and vapor barriers in the garage, we have solutions!


What to do?

Now that you are educated on how condensation presents itself, we have some suggestions to mitigate the situation. We highly encourage the use of insulated glass on a glass section of your garage door. This decision alone can remedy the issue of condensation on your garage door. The insulated glass helps to balance out the humidity and temperature ratio and reduce condensation.

We also suggest utilizing quality weather-tight seals around the door, wiping snow and rain from cars, managing the appliances and heating systems, and opening the garage doors at intervals to balance out the humidity and temperature. If condensation persists, we suggest reaching out to your home builder or find an HVAC professional with whom to consult.


What door do I need?

You have a lot of options in the market today, but your best bet is a Fimbel door. Using advanced materials and technology together with classic craftsmanship, our doors are built to be beautiful and built to last.In this video, you will get a closer look how to buy a garage door, but here are the basics:

  • Our vinyl-coated steel platform on the American Legends offers the Carriage Style design we love with a smooth, clean appearance of the surface and overlays. Our standard offerings come in four sections with a customizable top section to accommodate any height and design preference.
  • The Estate Collection, built on a single sheet of smooth, white Versatex offers vast design capabilities. While nearly every aspect of these products can be customized from the height and width to the top section to the profiles on the face to whatever your heart desires, our standard offerings are three sections with big, beautiful windows.
  • All Fimbel tops are engineered to keep your door free of defects when properly installed and maintained.

Either construction method will bring you a low-maintenance, long-lasting, gorgeous door that will serve your garage needs both inside and out.

To find out more about our products, please enjoy this video overview and use our dealer locator to find a dealer near you! 

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One Door - One Tree

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One family value that drives who we are is a shared respect for and devotion to the earth and its beings – human and animal. This core value is seen today in our commitment to reducing our footprint as we honor the past and move to the future. To sustain this balance, our focus is all about quality and safety. These two measures are applied to not only the products we manufacture, but the processes and people involved. Our priorities are clear: supporting the environment, our global and local community, our team members, and our partners. Each of these priorities drives us to succeed only to the betterment of all.

Going green is more than a slogan:

Through our partnership with One Tree Planted (501c3) we do our part to restore our generous forests and our planet. It is undeniable that mother nature's bounty has provided for the garage door industry and our family since we both began manufacturing overhead doors in the early 1920's. Today, every single door sold by Fimbel Architectural Doors plants a tree through the hard work and commitment of our tree-loving partners. Together, we hope to make the world more beautiful and sustainable one door and one tree at a time.

At the end of the day, we love going green! From our strategy for logistics to the fact that we run on SOLAR and pass along our unused power back to the grid. We conserve on single use plastics, convert practices to paperless, purchase compostable products when single use is necessary, and so much more.

We know we cannot change the world with only a door, but we can challenge how we operate to make the world a healthier place. We do this with a focus to improve efficiency to reduce supply chain demand, retain and empower our Team, and build stronger communities. Our quality allows us to get it right the first time because our goal is to pave the way for the next generation.

We can always do more:

Because we know that planting trees to rehabilitate our forests is only one way to help the earth heal, we also back our donations with our efforts. We built an energy smart manufacturing process to endure and to save. For example, because of our processes and commitment to sustainability, our product results in honest and verified R-Values ranging from 8.12-13.12. This allows a reduction in wasted energy especially when combined with an energy efficient garage. Our quality insulation serves to reduce negative energy consumption, and our windload package allows our doors to withstand extreme winds and provide a safer community by enhancing the stability of the garage.

Our products are all low-maintenance resulting in a rather stress free ongoing relationship. They are easy to clean with gentle soap and water or perhaps Mr. Clean Magic Erasers are needed for stubborn spots. All Fimbel doors are made to be naturally unfinished and virtually maintenance free which reduces processes and requirements for harsh chemicals and finishes. When you do choose to finish our products, our water based and eco-friendly paints bring beauty and peace of mind!

All of these decisions are made to support our internal efficiency drive which will reduce our contribution to the landfills and our precious waterways. Our goal is to conserve resources in how we function, how the supply chain is managed, and how the door will continue our efforts when it becomes yours.

In our day to day operations, we make both big and small decisions to continue the efforts of our partnership with One Tree planted. Most notably, we run on solar, and we pass along our extra collected energy. We initiated this many years ago when it became clear we had to do more than manage our robust recycling program, reduce our logistics, and purchase sustainable supplies and goods. With our solar program, we are reminded daily to make good decisions.

About One Tree Planted:

One Tree Planted is a nonprofit on a mission to make it simple for anyone to help the environment by planting trees. Their projects span the globe and are done in partnership with local communities and knowledgeable experts to create an impact for nature, people, and wildlife. Reforestation helps to rebuild forests after fires and floods, provide jobs for social impact, and restore biodiversity. Many projects have overlapping objectives, creating a combination of benefits that contribute to the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.

"The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second-best time is now." – Darrell Putman.

We cannot look at this and say we are late to the game: We must look at this and say what else can we do? We partnered with One Tree Planted to do our part to restore our generous forests and our planet. Together, we hope to make the world more beautiful and long lasting one door and one tree at a time. To learn more, visit onetreeplanted.org.

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