Life is given meaning by celebrating little victories and we have another success story here at A.B.E. Doors & Windows. Our general manager’s son, Dylan, just received his second-degree black belt in karate. Congratulations Dylan!
Life is given meaning by celebrating little victories and we have another success story here at A.B.E. Doors & Windows. Our general manager’s son, Dylan, just received his second-degree black belt in karate. Congratulations Dylan!
Life is all about celebrating the little things and we have a lot to celebrate in the A.B.E. family. Today, we’re highlighting the achievements of our office manager’s daughter, Makena Seng.
Here’s the truth—working in an office is dull. We’re stationary all day everyday like a bunch of barnacles stuck to a ship. Lucky for us, our office manager Shannon is one of the most active people I know and she motivated my coworker, Joe, and me to start off our morning strong with our now-trademark Office Plank.
It’s that time of year again—every kid’s nightmare and every parent’s dream. It’s Back to School Season! It seems like everywhere you go this time of year, you’re bombarded with colored folders, giant binders and notebooks, divider and tabs, pens and pencils, markers and crayons in every color, glue sticks and staplers. It looks like our office supply closet multiplied by about a thousand.
We all have our favorite folksy sayings and our general manager Marc is no exception. Recently, we were chatting in the office about getting things for free and Marc hits us with a kernel of wisdom—‘Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.’ At first, I thought that was the end of it, but Marc expanded on his lesson by asking if I knew the origins of that expression.
“Know what’s below,” sounds like the tagline to a campy horror movie. While it might not be the best advice for dealing with the mole people or the creatures from under the stairs, it’s actually sound advice when beginning summer projects. Every nine minutes, an underground utility is damaged by third-party excavation. If you call 811 three days before beginning a digging project, they will come and mark the underground utility lines for you.
We’ve all heard about them, read about them, had the misfortune of seeing them or stepping on them. Yup, lanternflies—plant-hopping insects native to China, Vietnam, and east Asia—are taking over Pennsylvania. They’ve been invading since 2014 and are now officially established in Berks and Lehigh Counties. They’re nasty buggers that feed on woody plants, stunting their growth and even eventually killing them. They present a serious threat to our industries of grapes, fruit trees, and logging. [Those of you that enjoy wine should especially care since we need grapes to make wine.]
It was a typical Friday at A.B.E. Doors and Windows… until we found ourselves kidnapped by the dastardly science teacher and infamous serial killer, Miles Fish. Fortunately for us, Miles had stepped out to cover his tracks and left us alone in his alchemy laboratory for precisely sixty minutes. That was all the time we had to put together clues from his previous victims and escape with our lives. The owners of A.B.E. Doors and Windows had booked a team-building experience with Captured Lehigh Valley, an Escape Room.
There’s nothing I like better than a tradition mixed with a little superstition. I personally can’t celebrate the incoming New Year without the memory of my grandfather’s voice proclaiming, “We have to have pork and sauerkraut or this year’s going to be an unlucky one.” As a kid, I had no idea what he was getting at, but the tradition has persisted in my family. After all, who doesn’t want the coming year to be a fortunate one?
Every year Lehigh Valley Style conducts a survey of local residents to determine which businesses are delivering the highest level of service, products and commitment to the consumers they serve.
We are honored to have been chosen in this year’s Who's Who in Business, under the category of Door & Window Replacement.
A.B.E. Doors and Windows is proud to be serving the Lehigh Valley area and beyond for over 40 years. When we started this company, our philosophy was “Treat employees, customers, & business partners as you would want to be treated." That principal is evident in every area of our business and is displayed by each member of our staff.
We would like to thank you...our customers...for participating in this survey and for recognizing our business as a leader in the Lehigh Valley. We value the personal and business relationships we have made over the years and appreciate your choosing A.B.E. for all your window and door needs.
On April 1-3, 2016, visit A.B.E. Doors & Windows booth at the LVBA Spring Home Show at Stabler Arena (124 Goodman Drive, Bethlehem, PA 18015).
|Friday, April 1||5 pm - 9 pm|
|Saturday, April 2||10 am - 8 pm|
|Sunday, April 3||11 am - 4 pm|
As of early August, Remodeling magazine published The 2014 Remodeling 550. After hosting surveys and collecting data, this article lists the biggest remodeling companies in the United States, based on each individual company’s sales, jobs, and prospects. A.B.E. Doors & Windows has been ranked #124 nationwide for Replacement Contractors – or, rather, companies that focus mostly on exterior home components, such as windows and doors. We are very happy to have made such an exclusive list along with the great year of business productivity that 2014 has provided us. A.B.E. Doors & Windows looks forward to creating even more opportunities to better serve our customers within the Lehigh Valley.
We are happy to have been notified that A.B.E. Doors & Windows has been recognized in Window & Door Magazine’s national 2014 Top Specialists rankings. According to the publication, the Top specialists list is Window & Door’s first effort to identify the largest independently owned specialty window and door companies in the United States, based on sales volume. In light of celebrating our 40th anniversary as an independently owned and operated business, we are honored to have been recognized nationally and published as a Top Specialist. A.B.E. Doors & Windows is excited to continue moving forward, especially as we transition into the second generation of our company. As we gain a much grander perspective of all that is to come in the future, we look forward to continuing and expanding upon the services that we offer to homeowners and businesses in the Lehigh Valley.
On April 8th, 2014, A.B.E. Doors & Windows was recognized as a member of ProVia’s Platinum Club. As specified by ProVia, this award “is a performance-based recognition program for a select number of dealers who excel in service, installation, and promotion of ProVia’s products. As a homeowner, you can rest assured the product you purchase through a Platinum Club Dealer will be furnished by one of the best dealers in the industry.” As a Platinum Club dealer, A.B.E. has exclusive access to ProVia’s new Embarq™ fiberglass entry system, which is currently the most energy efficient entrance door available in the U.S. Market. This door was introduced at ProVia’s Platinum Club Dealer event as the first creation of ProVia’s new way of thinking, “EnVision” – which pushes the door manufacturer one step closer to fully realizing their personal philosophy of creating unrivaled efficiency in home building products. A.B.E. Doors & Windows is pleased to have been recognized as one of ProVia’s best – and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to provide our customers with unbeatable service and full access to the most leading edge technology when it comes to energy efficient door replacement.
This month, A.B.E. Doors & Windows would like to focus a spotlight on one of our employees, whose outstanding efforts makes him shine brightly among the rest. Working with us since 1993, Jim Osborn (better known to us as “Jim O”) began his career at A.B.E. as an installer and service technician. He has acted as our Warehouse Manager/Product Distribution Manager since 2001, making certain that every detail of each customer’s installation needs is fulfilled. Jim finds great pleasure in interacting with many diverse customers throughout the course of a workday, particularly when he is able to deliver the exciting news that we are ready to schedule an installation date with them. Outside of work, Jim appreciates life most when he is able to spend it with Kathi, his wife – especially when they are able to escape on quiet mornings and take their boat out fishing. Jim also finds much happiness in spending as much time as he can with his grandson. All of us at A.B.E. Doors & Windows are so very grateful for the dedicated and reliable contribution that Jim provides our team, every day in so many ways. Thank you for the last twenty-one years of service, Jim O!
Lead Safe Work Practices – what are they and how do they pertain to homeowners everywhere? On April 22, 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2008 Lead-Based Paint Renovation Repair and Painting Rule became fully effective. The EPA issued this law, stating that “federal law requires contractors that disturb paint surfaces in homes, child care facilities and schools, built before 1978 to be certified and follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination.” Lead is a naturally occurring element found in small amounts in the earth’s crust that can be toxic to humans and animals. Lead and lead compounds have been used in a wide variety of products found in and around our homes, including paint, ceramics, pipes and plumbing materials, solders, gasoline, batteries, ammunition, and cosmetics. Though lead is especially dangerous to children under six years of age, it is also harmful to adults and can pose many health dangers. Before taking on any home renovation project, it is important for any homeowner to educate themselves in Lead Safety and make certain that any company they hire to assist in any future home renovation project is federally qualified to honor and abide by EPA’s Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rules (Rule 40 CFR Part 745). A.B.E. Doors & Windows is an EPA Certified Renovator and we pride ourselves in providing our customers with proper and professional installation and service. Our company and staff recognizes the significant dangers of lead poisoning and are compliant in following all Lead Safe Work Practices to assure each of our customers comfort and security. To learn more about Lead Safe Work Practices, please visit www.epa.gov.
Among the many special gifts of the holidays, one of the most powerful is hope. Hope shows itself in the warmth that families share when they gather to celebrate, looking ahead to the best for each member in the year to come. Hope shines out in the tidings of comfort and joy friends and neighbors offer one another. Hope is revealed most grandly in the dreams of peace that people everywhere share as they look to the future. Some folks think of optimism as a little old-fashioned. But that's never been the way we've seen things at ABE Doors and Windows. From our point of view, it's always worth pausing to consider with gratitude the good fortune that so many of us enjoy as Americans - the life, liberty and pursuit of happiness that is our birthright. We think that's the foundation for a positive outlook for all of us. As we make our way through this delightful time of year and look ahead to the days to come, we have every reason to feel hopeful. Though the nation's economic recovery has been slow getting started, it does seem now to be well underway - and a better economy means better times for almost everyone. For the customers we've valued through the years, for all our co-workers and their families, and for everyone who shares our communities, our nation and our world, here's to a joyful holiday season and all the hope it brings.
One of the most common questions and concerns that we address around this time of year is whether or not we are able to perform product installations in the frigid months ahead. And, yes, we do! It is a well-known fact that things expand in the summer heat and contract in the freezing winter, but, by using forethought and taking proper precaution, we are still able to complete most types of installation during this cold season. We use silicone caulk that is rated for lower temperatures. We also plan each installation before arriving at the job site, in order to do our best in minimizing the amount of time the house is exposed to cold air. We prep each opening so our installers can replace an older product with the newly ordered product and have it fit right into the opening, without leaving an opening in the home longer than absolutely necessary. We also back our work up with a 5-year workmanship warranty that we offer on every installation that we do. The only time that we may need to push back any type of installation is if we should experience severely inclement weather that can cause unsafe working conditions and jeopardize the safety of our crew and the well-being of the home. In order for us to perform jobs that require the removal and reinstalling of pre-existing siding, it is crucial that temperatures be above freezing. By following these extra steps with care, winter weather is not an issue for our team of certified installers!
At the start of September, A.B.E. Door & Windows had the wonderful opportunity to welcome our newest addition to the office staff – Kathleen! Kathleen, who has been chosen to work alongside us through the Work Experience Program, offered at Mercy Special Learning Center, will be joining us every week for the duration of the 2013 – 2014 school year. Along with her job coach, Joan, the pair provides great assistance to our busy office staff by labeling product literature and compiling company folders that our estimators use in large quantity when providing free quotes to our customers. This month, we had a chance to talk with Kathleen, in the great hopes of learning more about her.
Seventeen-year-old Kathleen is most distinguished by her always cheerful, polite, humble, and pleasant personality, which lights up our office on even the dreariest of Monday mornings. She is very involved in both her studies at school and extracurricular activities. Kathleen has a great appreciation for attending Mass, and is more than happy to be an Altar server at school. She also is a member of the “Tone Chimes,” a group of musically gifted students who play bell chimes and perform for others during special school functions. Kathleen is passionate and quite talented in both gymnastics and dance, and has found a love for anything involving physical activity. She was excited to explain that she is a great at running and shares this common bond with her parents, whom are both passionate runners as well. She enjoys listening to country music and is a great fan of baseball. Kathleen is very close with her Mom, whom she admits is her best friend, and is happiest when spending time with her.
Kathleen has enjoyed her time working with A.B.E. Doors & Windows so far, though, we must mention, that it has been our absolute pleasure to be blessed with the presence of such positively lovely women in our office almost every week! We are truly fortunate and honored to be involved in the Work Experience Program at Mercy Special Learning Center. From the bottom of our hearts, we offer our deepest gratitude and thanks!
After sorting through our closets for the past several months, the entire staff of A.B.E. Doors & Windows cleaned out their personal wardrobes and gave away a large collection of gently used clothing to the Big Brothers Big Sisters Lehigh Valley. All donations will benefit this long-running mentoring program, which focuses on supporting children who most need positive fostering and inspiration in our community. Not only was this company project a unique opportunity to strengthen unity within our staff, but it also cultivated a greater sense of personal well-being. The final results were a brilliant reminder that our seemingly small acts of kindness, compassion, and selflessness do indeed add up to create a world of difference in the lives of those around us.
Picture above (viewed from left to right): Shannon Seng, Jim Lett, and Jim Lett II
Windows are a character defining feature on any home. One of the biggest mistakes that a homeowner can make, when replacing windows, is choosing a style that is wrong for the style and period of the house. The Old House Guy (www.oldhouseguy.com), a website dedicated to educating homeowners on their older homes, offers suggestions to guide them through proper restoration of their historic properties. They explain that during the 1700's and into the mid 1800's, a double-hung window sash would be composed of smaller, true divided lites. The upper and lower sash could have 6, 9, or 12 window panes in each sash. As technology improved, larger panes of glass became available. Houses constructed after the Civil War (Victorian architecture) would most likely have two window panes in the upper sash and two window panes in the lower sash. The Colonial Revival style of architecture would have six window panes in the upper sash and one large window pane in the lower sash. Although the late 19th century offered double-hung windows with one solid pane in both the upper and lower sashes, the type of window was dependent on the style of architecture at the time.
Soft-Lite has announced that they now offer Simulated Divided Lites for its vinyl windows and patio doors. These Simulated Divided Lites (SDLs) offer homeowners the opportunity to achieve a visual replica of the historically classic design of divided lite windows, at a more cost-efficient price. The SDLs are made by applying contoured grids during the production process to the outside of both the interior and exterior panes of glass. The grids are then permanently adhered to the glass with an incredibly durable adhesive. SDLs are available on Soft-Lite Elements Windows and Kingsroyal Glide Sliding Patio Doors. Products with Simulated Divided Lites are available with all of Soft-Lite's high-performance Low-E glass systems and are offered in all of Soft-Lite's interior and exterior color options. This is an exciting advancement for Soft-Lite's product line and will surely offer homeowners even more personalized home renovation opportunities that properly compliment the style and period of their home.
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.
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.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.
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.
"...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.
A.B.E. Doors & Windows is pleased to welcome Ellen Rauch as the newest addition to its family. Working for us on a temporary basis since January of 2012, Ellen was made a permanent member of our office staff on April 9. As a Customer Service Representative, Ellen is fully enjoying her work experience thus far:
"I'm absolutely thrilled to have been given the opportunity to be a part of a company who embraces and embodies teamwork and strives for greatness always. It's truly a blessing to work amongst co-workers who genuinely care about assisting others and are personally driven to always provide the best quality of service possible. I honestly don't consider my employment with A.B.E. as just a career - each day is unique and offers new opportunities for me to utilize every single one of my skills in interacting with and assisting others. I love that my realm of work engages and challenges every aspect of my being, and I am excited to continue experiencing new things, learning from them, and growing stronger as an individual and profesional. I am honored to be a part of something so much greater than myself, and I am thankful for all that A.B.E. Doors & Windows has given to me thus far."
Ellen, who just celebrated her twenty-fifth birthday yesterday, is now our youngest employee and will be utilizing her passion for writing by regularly contributing to both our Facebook page and blog. Outside of work, Ellen's interests include music, movies, reading, and pop culture. She also enjoys volunteering within the community and has recently become involved in taking both kickboxing and acting classes.
We congratulate Ellen on her dedication and hard work thus far, and we look forward to seeing what her future holds within A.B.E. Doors & Windows.