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News From Fimbel Architectural Doors

Historic Engine 55 - FDNY

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What do New York City's Little Italy, actor Steve Buschemi, and Fimbel Doors have in common? Very simply, the historic and honorable Engine 55. Nestled in the heart of Little Italy, this structure stands tall and proud telling the gravest and bravest stories of the City. This grand structure was home for several years to the notable actor, Steve Buschemi. His return to service after 9/11 and his advocacy for the FDNY has earned him the title of Honorary Battalion Chief of the FDNY. His dedication and commitment demonstrate the core values of the organization and those shared by us at Fimbel.

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, we worked with our 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. The brave men and women of the FDNY have shown up through the most challenging of circumstances to serve the community. At Fimbel Architectural Doors, we are proud to supply the sectional doors that give passage to their life saving efforts.

When buying a Fimbel door, you can count on the look of real wood, durable construction methods, low-maintenance, precision fit, bold designs, reliable R-value, and customizations to complement any style! One project that has become a showpiece of Fimbel's products is the door designed for the historic three-story firehouse of Engine 55. In researching the building for this blog, the site for the FDNY patches offered the
following information:

Built in 1889, this building was designed by R.H. Roberson to represent a transition from Romanesque Revival and the more ornate Beaux Arts style, both popular in the late 19th century. The iconic facade is a combination of limestone and terra cotta, decorated with ribbons, oak leaf wreaths, lions heads, and at least one phoenix. Engine 55 is known as "Cinquantacinque," Italian for "Fifty-Five," as it has been the firehouse in Lower Manhattan's Little Italy for over a century. 

When we were called in for this design, we worked with Thompson Overhead Door and the Landmark Society to create the perfect architectural doors. Landmarks provided the vision, and we provided the solution. Our result is our customs Presidential Firehouse Series finding its home here in New York City and across the country. To best bring this dream to life, several factors needed to be considered.

There are few firehouses in the vast array of FDNY locations that have wrought iron, so we wanted to incorporate the design of the original transom into what was once a flat, simple door. We also had to accommodate the unique size of the opening. The Engines have evolved and grown over the years, and even though Engine 55's side view mirrors are tucked in tighter than on most fire apparatus, the opening is still tight. The firehouse's historic and narrow archway allows just an inch or two of clearance on either side of the truck as it exits and enters the building. The image below, found on Instagram, demonstrates the narrow passage.

Our Presidential Series offers the best solution for this design obstacle. Using innovative techniques and advanced composite material, we are able to construct a door that can fit any opening - even the 10'4" x 10'6" of Engine 55. 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 creating an impenetrable and long lasting platform. This slab now becomes a blank slate to bring you more for your door. Using ¾" material for the Presidential, we have options to add select profiles and nearly limitless designs
to satisfy inspiration.

We complete the look for this door with the highest quality paint in the market. Not only is the bold red color indicative of the FDNY but also of Fimbel. When my great-grandfather, Ed Fimbel Sr., began as the first franchise in the Overhead Door corporation, he wanted more for his family and more for our blossoming industry. Now, after 95 years, a quick tour of our history will reveal that we are big fans of red! Since 1924, this bold color has been our brand identity before brand identities were a thing. Today, we apply our "FDNY Red" to the vast number of doors for the elite Fire Department of New York.

Continuing this level of quality requires the best today as we uniquely offer a cabinet like finish unknown to architectural paint. Our factory finish, made with D200 High performance paint, is a single application exterior waterborne coating system designed to provide the type of protection deserving of the FDNY. Our family remains proud to give passage to so many firehouses in the FDNY family of firemen and women. We know that quality and dedication drive them to succeed, and we thank one and all deeply. 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.

Many thanks to the information found at the FDNY Shop to support this post!
https://www.fdnyshop.com/

Location: 363 Broome Street, Little Italy, NY 

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.

Opening Doors to Color your World

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Or at least the doors that welcome you home to your world!

These days, during the COVID-19 Quarantine, our homes have taken on a new meaning. For many of us, our homes have become our whole world. If you are anything like me, refreshing and refining the projects on my to-do list have taken on a life of its own. As the summer heat keeps us contained even further, it is fun to fantasize about days and evenings outdoors again!

One project at the top of many people's lists is the garage whether it is cleaning out the clutter or diving in to a new door! When faced with this challenge, we encourage you to head on over to our Pinterest page to find ideas for both your organizational needs as well as your design needs. To fully understand which Fimbel door is right for you, feel free to read our recent blog from a project profile we did in Pennsylvania as you will see how we moved through the process to find the best color for their project.

You can rest assured when buying a Fimbel door is getting the look of real wood, the design of your choice, durable construction methods with a solid warranty, low-maintenance, a precision fit, bold windows, reliable R-value, and more, more, more!

Choosing a Fimbel Door:

As with any project, starting at the base, the foundation, is key. We manufacture our doors using two basic platforms - one on a steel base and one on a wood frame and vinyl base. When this is decided, the rest is all about the designs and desires! For a basic understanding of our products, you are welcome to check out this 3 minute video taking you through the various products and letting you get to know me!

When the platform and design are selected, it's now time to color your world! At Fimbel ADS, we offer the highest quality, most sustainable product for our paint and faux finish offerings. We worked diligently with the paint manufacturer to find the best because quality and safety lead all of our operations. Choosing the right paint finish for your door is critical to be sure you get the lasting look you desire.

Fimbel Red:

Offering you more is not just a cute slogan we enjoy. It is the core of our business. When my great-grandfather, Ed Fimbel Sr., began as the first franchise in the Overhead Door corporation, he wanted more for his family and more for our blossoming industry. Now, after 95 years, a quick tour of our history will reveal that we are big fans of red! Since 1924, this bold color has been our brand identity before brand identities were a thing. Today, we apply our "FDNY Red" to the vast number of doors for the elite Fire Department of New York. Take a closer look at the work we do for the FDNY.

Offering red doors to a fire station seems standard, but offering red doors to residences might seem unexpected unless you are also following the color trends for garage doors! 

Trending Door Colors:

If you search "trending garage door colors 2020", I assure you the list will read as follows:

  1. White
  2. Light Gray
  3. Dark Gray
  4. Black
  5. Red

You will read about the soft appeal of light gray, the statement dark gray makes against white trim, the bold timelessness of black, and the daring nature of red! As you read on, you will be comforted and enticed by the natural elegance of a wood tone. You will read all of this and more, but the important tid-bit to know is that you have options.

Factory Finish:

For our standard factory finish, the color palette is virtually limitless. Our ability to custom match your color to complete your look allows you to make it your own. The benefits remain the same - the smooth finish and enduring color will be yours! 

Factory Faux Stain:

Using the very same paint system, we use a two step application to create the woodtone look. On our smooth, composite surface we artistically apply the grain appearance then layer on the topcoat to create the true stain appearance. In many cases, because this is hand applied, we are able to custom match samples of wood such as cedar and driftwood to match your entry door and other design features of your project. 

Before you Commit:

A few things to consider as you finalize your color decision:

  1. Your entry door is the focal point of your home. You do not have to match it! Do your best to complement it. Focus on matching the quality and design not the color.
  2. The garage door color works best on many homes when it is coordinated to the details of the home: the siding, the windows, the trim.
  3. If the overall design of the home is unique, we invite to think beyond standard doors and make it your own.
  4. While the garage can consume 30% of a home's frontage, the garage door should add to the overall feel - not stick out like a sore thumb. We offer a lot of options to make it unique without making it outlandish!
  5. Be sure you understand the material of the garage door. Be sure you have the right paint product on the right material (again, no worries here for us, because we offer you more).
  6. If you cannot decide on a color, a natural white finish is a tried and true solution! With our product and our ability to offer you the DIY kits, so you can change your mind down the road.
  7. Do you plan to sell your home anytime soon? If so, consider what a potential buyer might want for their garage door! In this case, purchasing a garage door with the after factory option of our DIY kits may be the solution.


Now What?

So you have some ideas and perhaps some questions. Fantastic! The goal here at Fimbel is to invite you to think beyond a basic, standard door and consider what design inspiration may be lurking. Your result may be a beautiful white garage door, or you may just find a gray or blue to highlight your life! In either case, we are here to help:

  • To learn more about our finishing and paint products, please enjoy another recent blog dedicated to just that.
  • To start designing your dream door, please find a dealer near you by using our Dealer Locator [insert link] or reach out to our Customer Service Team at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
  • You are just in time! For a limited time (starting in August 2020), we have a finishing sale taking place. Check it out on the website! If it isn't there, the limited time has come and gone!

American Legends Carriage House

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When my dad, Ed Fimbel III, gets a glimmer in his eye, you better watch out! Whether it's the next crazy thing to entertain the grandkids or the next great idea for innovative garage doors, you can be sure to be left in awe! His relentless pursuit for joy and and his curiosity for life have coupled with nearly six decades of industry experience to bring to life the American Legends series: The first classic carriage style door made with vinyl clad steel and solid overlays. 

He knew there was a way to make a true carriage door at an affordable price-point. He knew the market lacked a true carriage door with the classic big windows and the sturdy overlay look. Other manufacturers in the industry had come close using steel with the lumpy, embossed wood-grain texture in the face and plastic snap-in inserts as the window grille. They came close, but the end look lacked the quality and accuracy of a historic carriage style door.

Seeing this opening in the market, he developed a platform upon which the American Legends Carriage Style door was born. With innovative materials and outside the box engineering, the first vinyl-coated steel carriage door found its home as a quality Fimbel product at an affordable budget. The end result has all the appeal of a painted wood door, but the longevity, cost, and low-maintenance appeal for the needs of any home and homeowner!

Fimbel American Legends doors can be found in garages of old-fashioned neighborhoods and new developments alike. With head-turning curb appeal, they provide extraordinary beauty and require very low maintenance. Built using advanced materials, every American Legends door delivers superlative style, lasting beauty and a terrific return-on-investment.

Customizable Glass Section:

One of the predominant features found on a classic American carriage house door are the big windows. This highlight of the product is one to truly make it stand out. Where many others use window inserts or have to joint the pieces together, our tops are made of solid, one-piece vinyl material. This means the entire face of the top, or grille as it is referred, is one quality sheet of carved material with no joints or inserts.

Although the American Legends is limited to standard widths, the construction of the top section allows for either larger or smaller window options and are available in 1" height increments for greater flexibility. To truly make this top your own, custom designs and arches are available in nearly any configuration for simulated divided lites. You can also choose from a C-profile (standard) or a V-profile to complement the details of your home! For those projects that require a full, solid top, we also offer this product without glass! You can find a closer look at the standard available tops and profiles linked here!

Lasting Beauty, Proven Durability:

You cannot go wrong with an American Legends. The smooth white, vinyl coated section with the look of real wood will satisfy your project needs. Yielding a 13.12 R-Value, the vinyl coated steel platform, is constructed with powder coated end styles (caps), an insulated core, and a vinyl backcover. Added to this are solid vinyl, decorative cope and bead overlays. Using a tenacious adhesive and a template system, our overlays come with a precision fit and a union that will endure.

Although we coat our exterior steel in vinyl, we made sure the rest of the steel would hold up as well as the rest of the door. Using 20-gauge vinyl coated G90 design for over 3 times the rust protection of other door brands, we feel confident offering a warranty regardless of proximity to the ocean, waterways, or riverine locations. Other manufacturers with less quality in the process and in their materials cannot offer this, but we are committed to giving you more! 


Life is Messy

We know that life can be busy and quite frankly messy! Fortunately the American Legends Series takes the stress out of life (at least as it pertains to your garage door). From damage to dirt, we have solutions.

Generally the doors simply need to be cleaned with gentle soap and water. When more demanding dirt presents, because sometimes it does, a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser will do the trick! If anything beyond that has you puzzled, we are always here to help.

With matching replacement sections readily available we have your back when little Tommy or little Susie send a hockey puck into the vinyl clad steel of the intermediate section! Most other manufacturers will require full purchase of a replacement door to make sure it all aligns - not at Fimbel. We are proud of our precision fit technology to be sure that when left in its factory state and installed by an authorized dealer, our replacement sections will fit in snug as a bug!

We also know that sometimes their hockey puck may end up in the solid white vinyl overlays! Provided the damage is a dent and not a puncture, an easy repair with a heat gun is an option. Slowly distributing the heat over the damaged area will oftentimes pop the PVC back into its natural state!

Finishing:

We recently published several great blogs that address the topic of paint and our faux finish. Please take a look to understand more!

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 and regardless of exposure!

Why Choose A Fimbel Door:

If you want the best bang for the buck backed by a superior warranty – even in harsh waterside conditions, Fimbel ADS has the door for you! Whether it is the American Legends series or another of our fantastic options, you will be offered vast design options for your garage doors with the high-end wood look and virtually no maintenance. Add to this our Factory paint and faux stain options, you get the best quality in the industry.

We are proud to be a 4th generation business, driving excellence since 1924 that today is offering you more: More quality in our products and in our expert customer service with over 20 years average experience.

Find a dealer today to get started on your Fimbel door!

The Basics of the American Legends Series:

  • Available Heights: Any size in 1" increments
  • Available Widths: 8' ,9', 10', 16', and 18'
  • Thickness (whole section): 2 1/2"
  • Overlay thickness: 3/8"
  • R Value: 13.12
  • Fastening Points: White powder coated steel end and center stiles.
  • Section Joints: Interlocking tongue & groove vinyl-clad steel
  • Interior Face: High impact pre-finished white interior cover
  • Exterior Face: 20 guage vinyl-clad steel face with solid PVC overlays
  • Heavy Duty Bottom Astragal: Seals the bottom of the door and keeps water and debris from coming under the door. Our heavy-duty Astragal lasts longer.

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. 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 must 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!

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