Technicians Receive Certification
At A.B.E. Doors & Windows, we believe that it is absolutely essential to provide all of our customers with superb service and satisfaction. We constantly research, study, and fully educate ourselves in the leading products that we supply and install. This journey can, many times, lead us to receive professional training directly from our manufacturers.
On April 15th and 16th of 2013, four of our technicians, Bob Blickley, Gary Harter, Lenny Heim and Rich Reinhart, participated in and completed ProVia's Installer Certification Program at their manufacturing facility in Sugarcreek, Ohio. During their visit, our installers not only gained improved knowlege into ProVia's superior product line through plant tours and demonstrations but also received hands-on professional training in preparation, installation, and service techniques to better serve our customers. Each technician graduated this intensive two day training experience with personalized certificates of training completion and enhanced service capabilities.
A.B.E. Doors & Windows consistently strives to perform at our absolute best in order to provide each of our customer with a satisfying experience.
See ABE Doors and Windows at the Spring Home Show
Stabler Arena, Lehigh University, April 5-7
Spring is in the air, and people all over the Valley are getting serious about home repair, renovation and improvement projects that have languished for a long time. And that means, we believe, that this year's Spring Home Show at Lehigh University's Stabler Arena, sponsored by the Lehigh Valley Builders' Association, is going to be a well-attended, exciting one.
We're going all out this year, and we hope you'll make point of stopping by, April 5 through 7. (We'll be there Friday 6-10 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-9 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m.-5 p.m. at booths S068, S069, S070, S083, S084 and S085.) Prime examples from every product category we sell will be on display - windows, entrance doors, patio doors, storm doors, and beautiful wood and steel carriage-house garage doors by Raynor.
The real showstopper, though, is a fully operational Liftmaster 8550 garage door opener - one of the premier models on the market today. This unit features MyQ technology, the impressive cutting-edge application that lets you control all aspects of operation remotely from any smart phone. Another cool aspect of this operator is its ultra-quiet direct-current motor. Equipped this way, the door starts and stops slow and smooth, without any extra jerks, vibration or racket.
To support our show presence, we're offering our loyal customers a chance to win a $50 Visa gift card in the ABE Doors and Windows Facebook Sweepstakes. You don't even have to leave the website to enter - just click over to homepage and use the link there that says Enter to Win. You'll see how to qualify for our May 1 drawing just by reviewing us on Google, liking us on Facebook, or checking in on Facebook when you visit our showroom. No purchase is necessary to win.
Paying attention to lead safety
Lead has been banned from household paints since the late '70s, but in a business like ours that involves home repairs and upgrades every working day, you''re bound to encounter a lot of lead-based paint. ABE Doors and Windows is not a lead-abatement company, but we are trained and careful in dealing with this lingering household risk.
ABE personnel have been through third-party training leading to certification in lead safety. The company itself is also certified. We comply with the RRP rule (renovation/repair/painting) of the U.S. Environomental Protection Agency whenever we replace windows or doors in a pre-1978 house. Our skilled personnel will test for lead and use lead-safe practices to contain any dust if the older paints are identified.
This is very much on our minds just now, because March is National Poison Prevention Month. It's a good time to give some thought to the poisoning dangers that lurk in anyone's house. Of course, any old painted surfaces, especially if they're chipped, peeling or flaking, should be looked at by an abatement specialist. But there's much more to be done to protect your family. Here's a short list:
- Make sure all drugs, paints, cleaners, pesticides and other toxic household products are properly labeled and stored out of the reach of children.
- Properly dispose of these items when they're past their expiration dates. Check with your local municipality to find out how.
- Whenever possible, keep medicines and other potentially toxic substances in their original containers. Never store inedible products in food or beverage containers.
- Teach kids not to eat or drink anything unless it's given to them by an adult they know, and don't call drugs "candy."
- Whenever you take medicine, replace the safety cap immediately.
And finally, post this number where you can find it at a moment's notice: 1-800-222-1222. That's the hotline for the Poison Control Center, an excellent source for lifesaving information if you suspect that someone's swallowed something toxic.
Spring Has Sprung!
Oh my, spring has sprung! ... Literally. What do you do? Here at A.B.E. Doors & Windows, the word "spring" takes on a whole new meaning. One of the most common factors that contribute to a misbehaving or inoperable garage door is a broken spring, or two. Although it is a very dangerous task for any homeowner to address on their own, it's a problem that our team of certified technicians are trained to properly repair. Springs counterbalance the weight of a garage door to make the door easy to open and close. Garage door springs are rated by cycle life, or approximately how many times the door should open or close before the spring will break. The cycle life of the springs that we provide and install for our customers have a higher cycle life rating than the springs that most manufacturers provide with a new door. When a spring breaks, it becomes an immediate safety hazard because it will not allow the door to function properly. It is so important, as a homeowner, to be proactive in the maintenance of your garage door, as you would with any other heavily used appliance in your home. So whether you hear the tell-tale "POP!" of a broken spring, or realize that your door is just not operating as it should, please remember to put your personal well-being first and call a garage door professional to come out and do what they do best - provide you with efficient and effective service. To reach our service department at A.B.E. Doors & Windows, feel free to call 610-398-2430 at any time, should you find yourself in any type of predicament.
A Rewarding Relationship Worthy of Praise
Over the past ten years, A.B.E. Doors & Windows has worked together with Mercy Special Learning Center in providing our Showroom as a worksite for the Work Experience Program that is offered to the school's students. Every Monday, since the start of the 2012 school year, one of Mercy's students, Irina, comes into work dutifully with her job coach, Joan. Together, they provide greatly appreciated assistance to our busy staff by labeling all of our product literature and putting together company folders that our estimators rely on when providing free quotes to our customers. This month, we were given an opportunity to sit down with Irina and had the great pleasure of learning more about her.
Irina, who is 16 years old, looks forward to attending school every morning and enjoys her studies in Reading. She is a very busy student and hard worker, participating daily with food preparation in the kitchen at school, rolling silverware, and delivering lunch trays to classrooms. Irina is also a member of the Tone Chime Choir, performing for others during special occasions and Mass. Her favorite extracurricular activities include swimming and practicing gymnastics at Parkettes. Outside of school and work, Irina has a passion for horseback riding, something that she has been doing since the age of 9. She enjoys spending time outdoors and is looking forward to the weather becoming warmer. Irina loves listening to music and some of her favorite artists include Rihanna, Usher, Dave Matthews Band, and Ke$ha. Irina's sunny disposition, authenticity, compassion, and kindness shine brightly in everything that she says and does. Joan expressed that the most satisfying part of her job is working alongside and interacting with the students she is paired with and witnessing their personal growth.
We consider ourselves truly blessed to be involved with such a terrific program at Mercy Special Learning Center and are honored to have Irina and Joan's presence in our office. A.B.E. Doors & Windows holds deep gratitude and admiration for both of these lovely women. We thank you eternally for your selfless hearts and the uplifting positivity that you emanate into the world!
A Garage-Door Spring Maintenance Checkup
Regardless of what a groundhog in western Pennsylvania might think, the calendar shows that winter will be with us until late March. It's really not that long until spring - so it's not too soon to think about what kinds of garage-door maintenance are appropriate with warmer weather on the way. Here are some tips.
1. Inspect. It's surprising how many garage-door problems are obvious at a glance. Just give the door (inside and out) and the operating mechanism a careful once-over. If something appears to be loose, broken or somehow just not right, have it taken care of right away.
2. Lubricate. A good lube spray should be applied periodically to the moving parts of the garage door. Make this part of your spring maintenance routine. Remember, though - don't spray it on plastic parts of the door. It's a good idea to check your owner's manual first.
3. Balance. Making sure the door's properly balanced can avoid serious mechanical problems later on. Start with the door closed. If it has an automatic opener, use the release mechanism so you can move it by hand for this test. You should be able to lift it smoothly, with little resistance, and it should stay open by itself three or four feet above the floor. If not, it's improperly adjusted - something ABE Doors & Windows can fix for you.
4. Check force setting. To make sure the operating force of your door is properly set, hold on to the bottom of the door while it's closing. It should reverse direction easily. If not, see the owner's manual for how to change the setting. You can usually take care of this one yourself.
5. Reversal. This test should really be done monthly, but you can start now if you haven't been doing it. (Be sure that you've taken care of step 4 above before you do this. Trying this test if the force setting is wrong could damage the door.) Open the door all the way, put a length of 2X4 on the floor below it, and lower the door onto the wood. If it's working properly, the door will change directions when it makes contact. If not, you'll want to have a qualified technician service it immediately.
6. Check additional safety devices. Take just a minute more to examine safety devices such as photo eyes or edge sensors. If they're not working, it should be clear after even a quick check.
If your maintenance checkup reveals anything that needs attention, the first call to make is to ABE Doors & Windows: (610) 398-2430. Our expert techs will put things right for you in short order.
ENERGY STAR Most Efficient 2013 Program
A.B.E. Doors & Windows is proud to carry a quality product that is recognized time and time again for its superior design. Soft-Lite Windows have been awarded the ENERGY STAR Most Efficient mark in 2013. This program is an extension of ENERGY STAR that is designed to recognize the most energy efficient products within their category . To comply, windows must meed a u-value rating of < or equal to a .20. Soft-Lite's Elements, Pro, and Barrington windows were all recognized as meeting these ratings.
What does this mean to a homeowner who is looking to replace their windows? Soft-Lite's windows are thermally efficient and have been proven to be very effective at increasing energy efficiency and reducing air infliltration. THis gives you the peace of mind that you have one of the most efficient windows made on the market today.
For more information on Soft-Lite and their ENERGY STAR Most Efficient 2013 products, please visit www.energystar.gov/mostefficient.
Meet Shannon Seng
A big source of pride at A.B.E. Doors & Windows - and, we think, a key part of our success - is the strength of our staff. To let our readers know more about this, we will occasionally profile employees in this blog. We hope in this way to introduce the people who do so much for our customers.
This month, we honor our office manager, Shannon Seng. In April, Shannon will be observing her 16th anniversary with the company. She started here as an inside sales consultant - and today she is among the employees who do a lot to make ABE go, a key member of our managment team.
Some of Shannon's work is what you'd expect from her job title. She manages a staff of three, making sure that all the paperwork in this busy office is done in a correct, expedited way - accounts receivable, accounts payable, and the rest of the bookkeeping tasks.
But this special employee handles a lot more than that. When new rules were put forth concerning lead paint issues, Shannon took charge of the recordkeeping and other requirements needed to keep us in full compliance. Dating to her time in sales, Shannon has always maintained excellent product knowledge, so she's always ready to help when walk-in customers arrive at our Trexlertown office.
She's the front-line person on many customer calls. Shannon is not just knowledgeable, but also polite and tactful. She follows a service ethic that helps us make sure our customers are satisfied, with any possible issues taken care of.
Shannon and her family - husband Dave and daughters Makena and Amanda - live in Breinigsville. We consider her not just an exemplary employee, but also the kind of citizen that contributes to making any town a good place to live.
Energy Efficiency Tax Credits for 2012
We are pleased to announce that energy efficiency tax credits on windows, entrance doors, and patio doors are available again. As of January 2013, the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 has been reenacted to allow homeownersto claim up to $200.00 for windows and up to $500.00 for entrance doors/patio doors. Window & Door Magazine, a publication of The National Glass Association, stated that "the bill reinstates the 25c tax credits that expired at the end of 2011 and extends them through the end of 2013." Homeowners are allowed to claim 10 percent of the total cost of the prorduct (not including labor) and can only receive a lifetime tax credit limit of $1,500.00.
This blog is not to be considered legal or tax advice; it is for awareness purposes only. For more information on the requirements of applying and filing a 2012 Residential Energy Credits Form 5695, pleas visit Energy Star's website at http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=tax_credits.tx_index, or contact your tax professonal.
Technician Builds Playground in Haiti
"...We are all called. Everybody has a calling, and your real job in life is to figure out what that is and get about the business of doing it. It lights you up and it lets you know that you are exactly where you're supposed to be, doing exactly what you're supposed to be doing. And that is what I want for all of you [...] to live from the heart of yourself. You have to make a living; I understand that. But you also have to know what sparks the light in you so that you, in your own way, can illuminate the world."
- Oprah Winfrey
Haiti made world-wide news in early January in 2010 when an earthquake of horrific magnitude occured in the epicenter of the country within the Dominican Republic, devastating an estimated three million people in total. Dedicated efforts of rescue and relief have continued since the quake to try to piece back together a country of wounded individuals and communities that had been so tragically broken. One such organization, Mission of Hope, hosts non-stop and continually expanding projects that provide many specific needs to the Haitian people.
Two weeks ago, Gary Harter, a dedicated and hard-working technician of A.B.E. Doors & Windows for the last seventeen years, went on a mission trip with Lifechurch of Allentown to build a playground at the site of a Haitian Elementary School. Gary, and a small but powerful team of eleven other volunteers, joined forces with Mission of Hope in Haiti and erected a playground over the course of only four days. The playground was then presented to both the school children and community with a dedication ceremony. Harter expressed how emotionally overwhelming the entire experience was for him. "To see these kids, who have absolutely nothing, run out onto that playground and play and laugh and have fun. That's something that they will be able to do for years to come. This trip has given me a greater appreciation for everything that we have in the states, such as electric, running water, safe drinking water at our fingertips, and homes that are structurally safe."
Amidst the poverty, desperation, and unimaginable loss of the everyday within the country of Haiti, it is comforting to know that such brilliant rays of hopeful light shine through the darkness in the form of seemingly simple acts of kindness, generosity, and selflessness of brave and loving individuals. All of us, here at A.B.E. Doors & Windows, are in awe of such tremendous strength of heart and are eternally grateful to those who are involved in making such significantly positive differences in others' lives, whether it be here at home in our local community or for those in need many miles away.
To learn more about Mission of Hope, please visit their website online at http://www.mohhaiti.org.
"The Garage Door Color Wheel"
“You can have any color you want as long as it is black,” announced Henry Ford in 1909 of his Model T Ford, the first affordable automobile and world’s most influential car of the 20th century. 104 years later, and look at how far we have come! It is ludicrous for us to even imagine that, at one time, a product was only available in one color or style. Every aspect of our world has dramatically changed through the passing of time, and we currently live in an age where both creative innovation and technological advances allows us to have more options to choose from than we could have ever possibly imagined in years past.
Until recently, Raynor garage doors were only available in a variety of popular colors: white, claytone, almond, bronzetone, graytone, and brown. On October 30, 2012, Raynor announced that they have developed a new Opticolor™ factory painting program. The Opticolor™ process applies a third layer of durable Sherwin Williams BP Enamel paint to the already pre-painted and galvanized steel sections, adding an extra layer of protection to the garage door. This finish is available on any style garage door in their Innovations™ and Traditions™ series.
This feature is groundbreaking for both Raynor and homeowners alike, and yet another reason why Raynor is the leading garage door manufacturer in the country and most trusted to put consumers’ needs first. Homeowners now have the option to freely think outside of the box and design a garage door that will more perfectly accent the style and beauty of their home. Whether you have been thinking of investing in a new garage door for your residence, or you are only curious to gather more information at this time, we happily welcome any inquiries and are thrilled to share this wonderful new advantage with you.
Power garage doors - when the power's out
When superstorm Sandy landed on the Northeast a few weeks ago, many people learned that they weren't as well prepared as they had thought. Some had stockpiled food, fuel, candles and batteries; some had even bought crank radios or gasoline-powered generators to help them if power was interrupted.
But there was one problem that few people had even considered. What do you do about your garage door if your electrical service is knocked out? Not everyone knows how to open an automatic door in that situation - or how to lock the door afterward. And let's face it, during emergencies you need that door to be functional and secure.
During Sandy, we had many calls about disconnecting or reconnecting operators because the power was out. Remember, when you disconnect the operator from the door so you can use it in that situation, the door can only be secured with a manual lock. Often homeowners don't have a secondary lock for the door, or don't know how to use it if they do have one. The secondary lock may be disabled so that it can't be accidentally engaged and damage the opener.
The best advice is to review your owner's manual to learn what to do when the power's down. Keep that manual handy near the garage door so you can find it easily in an emergency.
If you don't have the manual or can't find it, call us today at 610-398-2430 - we may be able to get one for you or help you search online for a copy. We can also let you know about the right procedures to follow for your specific garage door make and model. We can even tell you about a Liftmaster operator that includes battery backup. That's an emergency feature, though; if the power's out for a long time, the backup will eventually run down and you'll still need to know the correct manual procedures. We're glad to share the information you need.
A Holiday Message from Jim Lett
President, ABE Doors and Windows
As we grow older, most of us develop a mellower feeling about the holiday season. We may no longer have the same eager excitement that animates children as Christmas morning approachs. But however we mark the holidays, chances are that we are still warmed by memories and still enjoy the presence of those we care for most.
A businessperson's view of the holidays has another dimension. This season brings, to folks like us, a time to reflect on our many blessings - and the proper gratitude that we feel for them. That gratitude extends in many directions. And here at our company, it reaches out powerfully to the people we serve.
Every associate here understands how imporant the trust and loyalty of our customers are. We see ourselves as belonging to a community of service - with our valued customers at the center. Without their understanding that we will always do our best for them, there would be no company.
The holidays come just at the moment when days are shortest, bringing the promise of a gradual return to warmer sunshine and renewed growth. So it's only appropriate that we should look ahead with a wish to all our customers and associates for the best of times, now and in a happy, healthy and prosperous new year.
Renovate now with special financing from Keystone Help
In a recovering economy, some homeowners put off household improvements they want and need, thinking that trends will make next year a little better. Fortunately, an option is available for many customers at ABE Doors and Windows to enable purchases now that will improve the appearance, function and value of their homes for years to come.
Financing is available for many homeowners though the Keystone Help Home Energy Loan Program. Since 2006, Keystone Help, a program made possible in part by the Pennsylvania Treasury Department and AFC First Financial Corp., has been backing energy-saving home improvements.
Keystone Help is an attractive program. It makes special low-interest loans available to Pa. homeowners who purchase home improvements through approved contractor-dealers - like ABE Doors and Windows. It applies to ENERGY STAR and other qualifying home improvements - like almost all of the doors and windows we sell.
Among the other conditions:
- Fast action on loans with unsecured financing, in amounts between $1,000 and $10,000.
- Low fixed rates and fixed monthly payments.
- No lien is filed on the home in connection with the loan.
- No home equity is needed, and the program is open to new homeowners.
- The loan involves no points, fees or closing costs.
- Homeowners can take up to 10 years to repay. There's no penalty for prepayment.
You do need good credit and a demonstrated ability to repay, and the loans are offered only for work on primary residences. Conditions are compliant with current Keystone Help Program. Terms and conditions are subject to change. If you're one of the tens of thousands of Pennsylvania homeowners who qualify, it can be a fast, simple way to finance beautiful new doors and windows for your house. To learn more, visit www.keystonehelp.com or phone us today at 610-398-2430.
ProVia Signet Doors – the look of wood, the durability of fiberglass
If it's true that not many entrance doors today are made of wood, it's just as true that people still want the beauty of a wooden door. We know of no fiberglass entrance line that reproduces this handsome appearance better than ProVia's Signet line. It's a really impressive effect.
How is it done? ProVia molds its dies from the grained wood they're simulating. The grain that's pressed into the fiberglass looks like the real thing because it's reproduced from the real thing. When the door receives its carefully prepared staining, it truly looks like cherry, oak, mahogany or fir. The best way to prove it: Compare the surface to the actual wood that's applied at the edge of the door. Our customers say the fiberglass door and the wood trim appear to be identical.
Of course, there's more to the excellence of a Signet door than its looks. ProVia uses the same glued, dovetailed construction seen in fine furniture. Combined with excellent materials, this method produces a door of lasting strength. The surface finish is durable, and it's warranted for 10 years. Foam fill inside the door adds insulating value and additional strength. Locking hardware and hinges are strong and secure.
If you want, you can do different wood-style treatments on the inside and outside of a Signet door. The range of glass, side lite and hardware treatments available is practically unlimited, which makes it possible to tailor a door to practically any home design. For more information, call us today at 610-398-2430.