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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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Ed Fimbel III, CEO of Fimbel ADS Retires

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Press Release: Ed Fimbel III, CEO of Fimbel ADS, to Step Down from Active Role in 2021.

(Whitehouse Station, NJ – January 18, 2021) Fimbel Architectural Doors, manufacturers of custom residential and commercial overhead doors have announced that its CEO, Ed Fimbel III, will formally exit his active role on January 15th.

Fimbel Architectural Doors will continue to be led by its current executive management team, which includes President, Erin Fimbel, Vice President, Bill Rasely and Vice President of Marketing, Michaela (Fimbel) Birdyshaw. "Continuous improvement, metrics-driven quality, and an exceptional customer experience will continue to be at the heart of everything we do." states Erin Fimbel. "Our family values are reflected in our commitment to our people, partners and customers. We pride ourselves on doing what we say we will and providing a sustainable and reliable product that we stand behind."

Ed began his relationship with the family-owned business as a young teenager more than six decades ago packing hardware cartons and loading freight during summer vacations. Having earned a BS degree in business, he went to work for a door distributor where he gained useful knowledge installing and repairing products and equipment. Upon returning to the business that bears his name, Ed combined that real world experience with an innate sense for, in his words, "practical engineering" to lead Fimbel on a path of growth and innovation that places them today as leaders in the overhead door industry.

Ed Fimbel III's decades-long tenure of company stewardship resulted in an exclusive focus on the use of advanced materials using patented manufacturing techniques and authentic period-correct architectural designs from Colonial to Craftsman to Contemporary. Among his many achievements was the introduction of CNC machining technology to the fabrication of Fimbel custom overhead doors.

With a history that can be traced to the early 1920's invention of the overhead garage door, in 1969 Fimbel Door moved from its original location in Hillside, New Jersey to more modern facilities in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey. Its current state-of-the art, solar powered operations, just across the street from its prior Whitehouse Station location, are complemented by 60,000 square feet of additional manufacturing resources in Eastern Pennsylvania.

Ed looks forward to turning his attention to some of his other passions, including activities as an amateur archeologist working with the Flemington Historical Society dating artifacts and curating educational exhibits. During his leisure time he also expects to be spending more time with his wife, grandchildren and three siblings, as well as sharpening his skills at skiing, tennis and golf.

As Ed transitions to a more relaxed lifestyle, he will continue to be involved with Fimbel new product development on a limited basis in 2021.

About Fimbel Architectural Doors

Fimbel Architectural Doors was formally established in 2004 as a custom door manufacturing business by Edward Fimbel III, following the sale of the former Fimbel Door Corporation. The roots of the company date back four generations to the original door manufacturing company founded in 1924 by Edward Fimbel Sr. Today, Fimbel Architectural Doors is a family-owned and operated company headquartered in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey. Using advanced materials and patented production methods, the company specializes in architecturally accurate, custom-made residential and commercial overhead doors. It operates manufacturing facilities in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey and Mcadoo, Pennsylvania. 

For more information, please enjoy The Story Behind Fimbel Architectural Doors

2021 Exterior Color Trends

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Out with the old...in with the new! 

It's 2021, and we are all a little excited to put 2020 behind us; however, we learned a lot during this wildly unprecedented year that shouldn't go without mention. One critical truth is how important it is for our homes to be a place of comfort, safety, and joy.

As the pandemic landed upon us, we realized our home renovation projects were no longer something to do when we found the time but rather something critical for our new at-home lifestyle. With a 95% return on investment at resale (Cost vs. Value Report), we know for sure the value of a quality garage door to the homeowner, and we are here to help with your garage renovation project. The relationship we share with our homes has changed, and we want you to be wholly satisfied.

In the recent blog post by Brick & Batten titled "21 Prediction for 2021 in Exterior Home Design, the author, Tessa, put "Statement Garage Doors" in the #1 spot. She anticipates "homeowners swapping out boring ones for beautiful ones", and we couldn't agree more. She elaborates to complement the beauty of wood doors but advises that, "we highly suggest reaching for imitation wood rather than the real stuff to lower future maintenance efforts." Again, we couldn't agree more, and we have the right material and design capabilities to add the referred to "Statement" to your home.

Color Trends for 2021

We don't claim to be color experts for your exterior renovation project, so we get to lean on the true color experts, such as the Home Depot paint brand, Behr, for their vision of what's to come.

Set to trend this year are the natural, more calming colors such as Behr's Weathered Moss and Cottage White to counteract the chaos of the previous year, but we will still see the darker Midnight Blue and Liquid Mercury adding strength and depth to the upcoming color palatte. Because we all need to have a little fun, Behr's Tornado Season teal is trending as a choice for the home's siding, so keeping your garage door natural, Versatex white will complement the home's vibrant color.

Behr's Exterior Color Collection offers some insights to complement the style of your home with the suggested color palettes presented in the brochure here. For the 'American Casual' style for your farmhouse, cottage, or coastal home, they offer a palette of "soft yet strong pastels", such as Weathered Moss, White, and Little Sun Dress, to complement the natural comfort of the style.

For 'Timeless Appeal' on a Colonial or Tudor home, they suggest the use of 'tradition and elegance [to] define the classic color palette for these dignified homes" such as the combination of Sugar Beet, Swiss Coffee, and Adirondack Blue for a twist on the patriotic red, white, and blue we all admire.

Behr's 'Modern Views' approach to contemporary and mid-century homes offers solutions whose "streamlined sensibility and design support a palette of neutrals with brilliant accents." In this scenario, adding the right pop of color, such as Soft Boiled, to the entry door and Silver Marlin to the garage while Wood Ash covers the home will leave you and your visitors feeling inspired.

Finally they offer popular and trending options for the 'Refined Craft' of your ranch, craftsman, and bungalow style home. "The classic details that adorn these homes stand out when painted with organic, natural hues" such as the subtle, earthen combination of Incognito, Sandstorm, and Havana Coffee.

Before you Commit

A few things to consider as you finalize your color decision (from our previous Blog called "Opening Doors to Color Your World"):

  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. We know that vinyl can respond to extreme temperatures unfavorably when in dark colors. 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.

Why Replace the Garage Door

The most obvious reason to replace your garage door is to improve the curb appeal of the home. The term applies to the aesthetic appeal of a residential or commercial building as perceived from the street, and it was made popular in the 90's with the release of HGTV's show "Curb Appeal". As you may know, the entry door of most homes only constitutes 8% of the home's frontage while the garage door often consumes 30%, we can see the potential for impact with a new door. With the impressive ROI, utilizing the capabilities we offer through our manufacturing as well as additional options such as finishing and hardware, updating the garage door is a slam dunk! To learn more about designing like an architect, please enjoy the attached blog post where we take you through the process!

We manufacture our doors using smooth, solid Versatex for our unfinished doors and innovative, durable Tricoya for our factory finished products. For the factory finished doors, we use AquaSurTech paint products for not only their quality finish but their durability and commitment to the planet. We are pleased to offer this to you in virtually any custom color and faux stain.

Fimbel doors offer you a low-maintenance lifestyle. The clean appearance of the door should last for years to come with a gentle clean with mild soap and water. No harsh abrasives or undue elbow grease necessary.

Fimbel doors are manufactured to be safety first. You, your family, your home, and your belongings will rest safely behind our door. Our doors are engineered for durability! We know that poorly fitted doors are not only unsightly but also allow unwanted openings. Since we can match nearly any opening, weather, burglars, and bugs will not have access to your home through the garage door, and our energy efficient construction allows you to conserve on financial costs and increase comfort!

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..
We have a complete Product Guide available to you on our website, so head on over to learn more!

Historic Fimbel Doors

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During our nearly 10 decades of manufacturing, our family has built doors that continue to live in the openings of many residences as well as historic firehouses of the FDNY and historically specific buildings across the country! Today we are proud to offer the technology of today with the classic aesthetic required by historic societies as well as the particular consumer. While our product line focuses on carriage style doors, we offer a wide range of capabilities for you and your historic project.

For 96 years, our family has committed to quality. We are proud our products do more than bring lasting beauty but also support our mission for sustainability. Behind the smooth, high end look of wood, we use composite materials from partners who share our values. Fimbel doors are durable to stand the test of time and low-maintenance to add time to your lifestyle. Residential or Commercial. Carriage Style to Modern Design. Historic Restoration or New Build. We offer you more in a garage door. 

Classic Carriage

As the 90's came to a close, 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 final appearance lacks the quality and accuracy of a historic carriage style door.

Seeing this opening in the market, Ed Fimbel III developed two platforms upon which the Fimbel Carriage Style door was born. With innovative materials and outside the box engineering, the Fimbel Carriage Style products brought the timeless allure of a painted wood door with the longevity, cost, and low-maintenance appeal for the needs of any home and homeowner!

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 Estate Collection offers 1" height and width increments. That said, the construction of the top section of all Fimbel products 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! 

Make it Your Own

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! 

Complement the Past

When the platform is established, the rest is up to you! Based on the needs of the project, we are able to add a faux centerpost to make it pop, custom arches to complement non-standard openings, custom rails and designs to match architectural features, and whatever else you desire. With the design determined, you can now add factory finish, decorative hardware, specialty glass, and so much more! 

Built to Last

We know the garage door is no longer simply a function of access and storage, but it has become a showpiece to many projects. At Fimbel we offer you more beauty. There is much to know about our capabilities, but you can be assured that if you can dream it, we can build it! The products offered today originated on old-world craftsmanship and classic designs, but we have added innovative technology and materials (more on a few of them below) to offer unmatched beauty and durability. You can design to your heart's delight.

We offer a wide range of finishing options from our faux stain and factory finish to two tone doors and custom color matching. We have recently published several other blog posts detailing our finishing, so if you want to learn more, please check out the value in our finishing! But our options don't end there. With Fimbel you can make selections for your door on the glass options based on the style and purpose of your space. You can also incorporate design details into the interior of the door to complement the splendor of the exterior. Adding decorative hardware is another way to enhance the sophisticated beauty of Fimbel Doors and no matter the size, we can customize most aspects of the door to accommodate. 

Looking Ahead

Our ability to design and engineer custom applications makes us a favorite among architects and design-build firms. We make the Fimbel ADS's engineering department available to provide insights and inspiration to architects and engineers seeking to solve a tough challenge or simply needing to design a completely unique door from advanced materials. Enjoy a quick 'tour' of our showroom.

In 1924, traditions began. The world meets the first ever Winter Olympics in Chamonix, France, and our family meets the world. Our commitment remains to that time-honored tradition today. We will design and build your door using low-maintenance, energy efficient materials, manufactured in a sustainable way because we know the past is what got us here, and the future depends upon our good choices. We look forward to our family working with your family to create something truly special.

When we build, we build for beauty and durability that will last because we care about your satisfaction as well as our environment. From our processes to our products, we reduce, reuse, and recycle everything we can. We run on solar, and we love to help reduce your overall maintenance efforts and costs. Challenge what you think is true of garage doors! We dare you! Find a dealer or reach out to the factory for more specifications.

Prism Glass

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There is artistry and inspiration found in the unique style of glass honed in the 20th century that brought light in, around, and under. While it was born through function, today we enjoy it for the fashion. Originally crafted to solve the struggle of limited light in the underbelly of ocean crossing ships, prism glass absorbs the outdoor light, pulls it in, and disperses it through the interior of the designated space. The fact that the end result was stunning even then is a total bonus.

When this type of glass is used today, it is a representation of an era that valued quality, ingenuity, and sustainability. Today we use this glass on many of our Landmarks doors produced for the FDNY with the same values in mind: quality, ingenuity, and sustainability. Let's take a closer look at prism glass.


What is Prism Glass

Prism glass is an architectural glass which bends and redirects daylight through refraction and reflection. If you aren't thinking of Pink Floyd's album, the Dark Side of the Moon, we will have to talk later; however, many of us are familiar with the single beam of white light hitting the triangular prism and splitting the beam into its individual parts thus creating the rainbow. This iconic representation may be the most widely known (at least by music and cultural standards) depiction of how light refraction works. 

This innovation in glass became common around the turn of the 20th century. The first patent for prism glass described it in this way: "Whereby the reflection of the light into the room is considerably increased without increasing the size of the window." It elaborated to state the innovation would "double the quantity of reflection or illumination."

At this time (1882), Edison had formed the Edison Electric Illuminating Company of New York which was, (albeit slowly) bringing electricity to much of Manhattan. During the transition, many people still relied on gas light and candles to illuminate their homes. It was some 50 years before half of New Yorkers were able to incorporate electric power into their homes. It's no wonder this innovation was applied to rooms and spaces beneath sidewalks and entryways as New Yorkers awaited their Edison electricity!

The same was true of structures of the time such as firehouses. In many cases, prism glass was used to shine light from the front of the building into the living space and the basement of the structure. Many firehouses were known to have removable floors inside the door that would illuminate the basement.


FDNY

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. Together with our team at Thompson Overhead Door in Brooklyn, the FDNY, and the Landmark Society of New York, we bring the facades of historic firehouses back to life with stunning commercial garage doors that look like art. Utilizing block prism glass is one way that we incorporate art, function, and history into our vinyl and composite constructed doors. Our low maintenance products have the look of painted wood and are built to last.

If you would like to learn more about our products, please enjoy this blog and the many others we have available, or find a dealer to start the conversation at www.fimbelads.com/dealers.

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