06 April 2017
As we wrap up Window Safety Week

 

Over 3300 children are injured each year from window falls.  As you begin to open your windows to let the fresh air of spring in, please take a few minutes to make sure your windows are safe and pose no risks for small children. To wrap up National Window Safety Week we offer these guidelines to ensure your family is safe. 

  • Always supervise small children that may be playing in an area that has open windows. Perhaps consider designating a play area that is further away from open windows.
  • Kids love to climb!  Keep furniture away from windows to avoid potential risks.
  • Never rely on a screen to prevent a fall.  Let's keep the bugs out and your sweet children in.
  • If you have double hung windows, open the top sash to allow for cool air to ventilate the room.
  • Home stores offer limited opening hardware kits, that allow for fresh air, but limit opening to only a few inches to prevent falls.
  • Always lock windows when not in use.
  • Cords are another potential hazard to small children.  Keep cribs and furniture away from corded windows.  If a long cord is present, wrap it up in a manner that does not pose a risk.  The Window Covering Safety Council offers free retro fit cord devices.  Please visit their website to learn more and obtain a kit for your window. http://windowcoverings.org/ 

Mark your calendars to check your windows at least once a year.  A few invested minutes could prevent a serious injury.   Have a safe and happy Spring!

 

16 March 2017
Ways to Re-purpose Your Old Doors and Windows

 You've heard the phrase, “When one door closes, another one opens”.  What if we tweaked it a bit to: 'When one door or window closes....it's time to re-purpose!”  There is so much charm in the patina of an old door or window.  Keep your eye out at yard-sales, flea markets and thrift stores to score a great find.  Look for wood that is still solid, don't worry too much about peeling paint, that can lend some character to the piece or be repainted. We recommend asking the age of the door or window, items before 1978 may contain lead paint, which can be hazardous. If you proceed, wear goggles and gloves if sanding and consider using the item more as artwork that won't be handled.   We choose several DIY projects.....a few simple ones and several that might take an afternoon to complete.  Be inspired by looking at things in a new light. 

1.     Just a few modifications will give you a sweet little seat to put on your boots and store away your kids gloves and hats.  Choose a solid, not hollow, door for this project.  Sand and paint the door a cheery color or allow the older paint to stay.  You can take measurements to add a bench or small shelf.  Some decorative hooks for purses, coats and scarfs complete the look.

  

Entryway Bench

2.     Look for a slender door or even an old cabinet door for this project.  Sand, stain and paint as you choose to match your décor.  A trip to the hardware store can provide you with legs that can be simply attached with mounting hardware and a few tools.  If the door has a key hole or interesting knob, leave it on for some pizzazz.  

Coffee Table

3.     A paneled door works best for this design.  The panels are cut out and attached to the back of the door to make the shelves.  Hinges and hardware can be left on for added appeal.  When sanded and painted this idea would work well in a child's room or library.  

Shelf Unit

4.     An older window frame can be used in lots of clever ways throughout the house.  If you can find an old 6 paned window simply paint with chalkboard paint and utilize it as a weekly memo board or menu.  A large four pane window can show off family pictures or beautiful prints from an antique book.  In this example, sheet music and birds combine for a lovely look.  Even finding a window frame with no glass can be used as a unique frame for artwork. 

             

Many of these projects and other DIY inspiration can be found on Pinterest and the internet.  We hope you can always look at something in a new light and transform it into something functional. 

 

 

 

16 December 2016
How to Hang that Beautiful Wreath on your Front Door

We all have the urge to hang that big holiday wreath on the front door at this time of the year. However, how do we properly hang it in order to prevent damage to our door?

There is no reason to hammer a nail into your wooden door. You do not want to end up with split wood. Purchase an Over-the-Door Hanger. They have come along way over the years; you can find them in all types of finishes. Be sure to choose a strong metal hook that has a curve, so that it hangs clear of decorative door panels. To prevent the hanger from scratching the door, here are some simple suggestions:

·        Use felt behind the hanger. Cut the felt to the size of the hanger and be sure to use a color similar to the hanger.

·        Attach little bumpers, those like the ones that are on the inside of your kitchen cabinet doors. Line these up and down the hanger.

If you have a metal or steel front door, you can purchase a Magnetic Wreath Hanger. Hang it where you want to display your wreath and then hang the wreath from a small hook. Most magnetic hangers hold up to 10 lbs.  That is quit a big wreath!

The easiest solution is if you have a storm door. You don’t want to hide your wreath between the two doors, all this does is flatten the beauty of the wreath. Instead, hang it on the outside of the storm door. If you do not want to use an Over-the-Door Hanger, there are other simple solutions:

·        Use a suction cup hook on the door that can be removed when the wreath is ready to come down.

·        3M command adhesive strips also serve the purpose in this case. They attach nicely to glass and can be removed easily. Just make sure to purchase the proper strips for the weight of your wreath.

These handy tips can be used all year round for your seasonal wreaths.

25 August 2016
What to Consider when Purchasing a New Entry Door

Are you thinking about purchasing a new entry door for your home?  Your entry door is one of the first things most of your guests see and probably the most used door in your home. For this reason, you want to be sure you get exactly what you want and need for your investment. There a few variables to consider when purchasing a new entry door; design, material, safety, energy efficiency, budget & warranty, just to name a few.

Each home has its own unique look. With that being said, you want to make sure your door design compliments the rest of your home. When shopping, consider color, style, whether you want window inserts or not, while at the same time making sure you combine beauty and durability for the perfect fit.

The most popular material options for doors are steel, fiberglass & wood. Did you know fiberglass and steel doors are three to five times more efficient than most wood doors? Another great quality for purchasing a fiberglass or steel door is that they offer less maintenance than most other door options.

Any door you choose should always have the safety of your family in mind. You can choose additions to add to your door like steel frame construction, reinforced handle and deadbolt, all which provide added security.

Consider purchasing a certified energy efficient product. This will save you money while lowering your energy bills at the same time. It will add comfort and efficiency that will shield you from the cold winter months and the hot summer heat. Lastly, it can protect your belongings and valuables from fading or discoloring should you decide to go with glass inserts in your front door.

It is very important to make sure you find a reputable company that makes your home improvement project as easy as possible. A reputable company will help you select and install the best products and assist you with financing options to stay within your budget

A warranty is only good as it’s company. Each manufacturer has warranties specific to their products. In addition, some retailers may provide extended coverage on the installation of the product.

There's no greater peace of mind than knowing you have one less worry by having your doors installed by professionals.

Picking the right entry door is a huge decision. But once installed, you will have an elegant entry that make a great first impression for years to come!

 

29 March 2016
Visit Us at LVBA Spring Home Show at Stabler!
April 1-3, 2016

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
21 November 2014
ProVia's Embarq Entrance System – Setting Standards in Door Technology
ProVia's Embarq entrance door is a thick fiberglass door with advanced insulation technology, including dual perimeter seals, bottom sweep, and special insulating channels in the side rails and headers.

When we think about technological improvements, entrance doors aren't necessarily the first thing that come to mind. Truth is, there are doors out there that are so new and advanced that they set entirely new standards in categories like green performance, product longevity, and smart use of materials. Here's a case in point: the Embarq entrance door from ProVia. Embarq is a fiberglass door. At first glance, it looks like an attractive, premium representative of its class. Only when you check it out detail by detail do you understand why it's such a departure - and such an improvement - over its predecessors. It's thicker than standard doors - 43 percent thicker to accommodate more insulation. It's made with dual perimeter seals to reinforce that insulating performance. It comes with a bottom sweep to keep unwanted elements and uncomfortable temperatures on the outside. And special insulating channels in the side rails and headers top off its outstanding insulating effectiveness. The advantages of Embarq doors aren't only about insulation. The doors come with specially designed, ultra-durable thresholds. The lock area is reinforced to keep the door latching and locking smoothly for years to come. Four heavy-duty ball-bearing hinges are standard. And the surfaces of the door, inside and out, are as beautiful as they are lasting. ProVia is the only door company to win the Energy Star partner of the year award for door manufacturing. We think they've outdone themselves with Embarq - the most energy-efficient entry door system on the U.S. market. To learn more, call ABE Doors & Windows at 610-398-2430 or stop by our offices on Hamilton Boulevard, Allentown.

15 September 2014
The 2014 Remodeling 550

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.

 

15 August 2014
2014 National Top Specialists

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.

 

 

28 May 2014
Cellar doors – a product from ABE’s foundation

Forty years have passed since the start of ABE Doors & Windows, and our first product offering is still important to our customers. That's our basement door line - though not glamorous, the cellar door is basic to the physical integrity of any home. It was the first product ABE offered when the company was formed in 1974.


A good cellar door system keeps unwanted moisture out of the basement, helping to prevent or limit a host of problems including mold, mildew, decay of structural members, and even termite infestation. It stays functional for years, contributing to safe, convenient access to the basement level. It plays an important role in home security, creating an entrance that permits passage only to those allowed in.


The first manufaturer whose line ABE carried, Gordon Corporation, remains one of our valued vendor/manufacturers today. Gordon steel cellar doors are provided with a one-piece header that runs the full width of the frame. They're designed to shed rain and snow without caulking and without leaks. An automatic hold-open safety latch keeps them securely open until released. Gordon doors include twin handles made of high-strength, U/V-rated polypropelene - they're attractive, ergonomic and make opening both sides easier. The doors include an internal locking device. You can also secure a Gordon door with a single padlock. Gordon doors are coated with uniformly applied alkyd resin primer, which is baked for a smooth, attractive, long-lasting finish.


Our other cellar-door line is the well-known Bilco brand, an industry leader since 1926. Bilco products feature the exclusive Torsion Cam System for doors that open smoothly and stay securely locked open until you're ready to close them. Bilco doors shed water effortlessly. They're designed not to bind up even during periods of ice and snow. These doors include slide bolt locks and internal mounting flanges for excellent security; they're available with optional keyed exterior lock sets. Overall they're sturdy and rugged, with heavy-gauge steel construction and strong concealed hinges, providing weather protection and lasting all-season operation.

 

 

08 May 2014
Celebrating 40 Years of Pride and Service

 

Of all the businesses that will be founded in 2014, we can confidently predict that only a fraction will still be around in 2054. And if we look 40 years in the other direction, back to the spring of 1974, we'll find that only a relative handful of businesses begun then are still with us now. One of those companies is ABE Doors and Windows. This June, we celebrate our 40th anniversary serving the consumers of the Lehigh Valley. It seems timely to pause and consider what's helped get us here.

The company was started by a student just finishing his Business Administration degree at Bloomsburg University. Jim Lett, president of ABE Doors and Windows, says he wanted to open a business of his own - and the business found him. "I called home one day," he said. "My dad was selling building materials. He said one of the customers he represented, the Gordon Cellar Door company, needed someone to install their doors in the Lehigh Valley."

"It was just a casual conversation, but that's how it began. I wrote Gordon a letter and they wrote back to get me started. I worked out of my bedroom and my parents' garage - I had a lot of help from them."

With brothers helping with installations and his mom answering the phone while he was out on jobs, Jim replaced old wooden basement doors with modern steel versions. To free time for sales and estimating, he brought on his first full-time employee, Richard Miller, who's still a top salesman at ABE today.

Jim branched out into other products. The Frantz garage door company needed coverage in the Valley. Jim flew to their headquarters in Sterling, IL for a crash course in the product, working with their field installation crews. He met the district manager of Perma-Door through his brother Bob's involvment in Boy Scouts, and signed on with them just as steel entry doors were replacing wooden doors for residential applications. "People always say you need a good business plan," Jim says. "My business plan was hard work, good luck and taking care of the customer after the sale."

Year by year, with his wife Janet playing a vital role in the business, ABE kept expanding. The product line added patio doors, storm doors, commercial/industrial garage doors and garage door repairs. The emphasis for four decades remained basic: handle quality products, delivering quality installation and service.

In particular, ABE has emphasized customer care. "If there's a problem, we want to take care of it immediately," Jim said. Today ABE continues to put service in the forefront, maintaining up-to-date factory training certifications among its skilled staff. "We hear from consumers who say the people who installed their doors and windows won't answer their calls or are just our of business. The difference is, they know we'll be here," said Shannon Seng, office manager. Mark Rapchak, general manager, said, "A big thing in service is employee longevity. Average tenure here is almost 17 years, which helps us realize Jim's vision of pleasing customers no matter what."

A new generation of ABE personnel is moving the company into the future, among them Business/HR Manager Jim Lett II, son of the founder. "How we do going forward comes down to putting the customer first. If we're going to meet or exceed their expectations, we'll need to offer quality products - but we can't do it without really excellent workers."

05 May 2014
ProVia Honors A.B.E. Doors & Windows with Platinum Club Award

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.

 

24 March 2014
Don't Miss the 2014 Lehigh Valley Home Show

The Lehigh Valley Home Show, sponsored annually by the Lehigh Valley Builders Association, is always a welcome sign that spring is here. This year, when homeowners gather on March 28, 29 and 30 to see what's on display at Stabler Arena, the harshness of the winter should make attendees even more eager and excited than usual. ABE Doors and Windows is just one of hundreds of exhibitors who'll be on hand. We all know what a slog it's been getting through one of the nastiest seasons in years. Many homes around the valley can benefit from some improvements going forward. Keep in mind that a new door can have a truly transforming effect on any home. A beautiful garage door, patio door or entrance door can make a tremendous difference, not only visually but also in the way you feel about your home as the nicer weather comes in. Please note that 2014 show hours have changed. The new hours are Friday, 5-9 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m.-4 p.m. That gives plenty of time for visitors to take in this year's big event. It's our privilege to invite you to Booths S068-070 and S083-085, where we'll be presenting a range of door and window products that may be just what you need to truly improve your home and banish those lingering cold-weather blues.

31 January 2014
Lead Safety - What You Need To Know

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.

 

25 November 2013
A+: ABE and the BBB

For more than a hundred years, the Better Business Bureau has provided guidance and assistance to the American consumer. Today's BBB rates businesses on a scale from A+ to F, while offering accreditation to those who qualify. The Bureau also sets standards for business practices, and supports the efforts of businesses to respond to any complaints that may arise in the course of regular work. ABE Doors & Windows earned BBB accreditation on July 14, 2008, and has maintained it ever since. On the BBB's ratings scale, ABE holds the highest rating: A+. The Bureau identifies no government actions against ABE, and reports no issues related to ABE's advertising program. For a look at the relevant web page, visit http://www.bbb.org/washington-dc-eastern-pa/business-reviews/windows-installation-and-service/a-b-e-doors-windows-inc-in-allentown-pa-50001077. To be accredited and top-rated by this respected American institution is, of course, a substantial honor to ABE and all its employees. But we believe that what matters far more than our pride in these recognitions is what they mean to our customers. While the ratings and accreditations issued by the Better Business Bureau do not constitute specific evaluations or endorsements, countless consumers have been guided by them through the years. The good name of the BBB is such that businesses who achieve their ratings and accreditations have often been patronized by consumers. And if any difficulties arise, the good offices of the Bureau contribute strongly to fair resolutions for all. We believe that ratings from the Bureau are a legitimate consideration when choosing any business - and ABE Doors & Windows is no exception.

22 November 2013
Winter Installation

 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!

03 October 2013
Enjoy Fall More with New Patio Doors

The calendar has caught up with the weather. It's fall, and so far October's featured clear and warm afternoons followed by brisk and pleasant evenings. With more to be hoped for as we head deeper into the season, it's a great time to think about installing or replacing the doors to your patio or deck - a chance to upgrade your home and make the most of these glorious days. ABE Doors & Windows carries a number of outstanding patio doors. Our friends at Andersen build the superb 400 Series, which couples a beautiful, maintenance-free outdoor finish with natural pine or white interiors that can be tailored to any décor. Or you can choose the 200 Series, which concentrates on Andersen's most popular options in a patio door line of exceptional value. Either series delivers the outstanding craftsmanship, durability, performance and energy efficiency that have always been identified with this leading brand. Or you may want to consider the unique feature available with selected patio doors from ProVia - internal blinds. The graceful blinds provided with these doors are between the inner and outer panes. You can tilt, raise or lower these blinds with easy-to-use fingertip adjustment slides. And because the blinds are fully enclosed, they never need cleaning. They combine maximum privacy, convenience and light control, and they're warranted for 10 years. Completing the picture for whatever brand and style you chose is expert installation from our skilled and experienced crews. Call ABE today at (610) 398-2430 to discover more about the perfect patio doors for your home.

20 September 2013
Fall into Energy Savings

September is here and Fall is quickly approaching!  Autumn welcomes the start of the new school year; and much of our focus is set on making sure that students (as well as ourselves) are supplied with all the required tools to be best equipped for achieving success.  In the often hectic and frantic hustling of change, it is easy to forget to take into consideration exactly how the changing of seasons will affect the home that we live in – one of our most beneficial means for basic survival.  According to the U.S. Department of Energy, “Heating and cooling your home uses more energy and costs more money than any other system in your home -- typically making up about 54% of your utility bill.”  On average, it has been determined that a home can lose up to 30% of its heating and cooling energy through air leaks around doors and windows.  Such an essential and costly necessity makes it only beneficial to take every precaution to make certain that your home is not costing you empty and purposeless dollars.

Have you found that any garage doors, exterior doors, and/or windows have developed significant drafts over time? With each year that passes, prestigious product manufacturers within the United States (such as Raynor, Provia, Soft-Lite, and Andersen) are constantly putting to use the latest and most innovative technological testing and designs to create much more efficient and homeowner friendly replacement products.  The garage doors, exterior doors, and windows that are available today provide more quality than anything that was ever available years ago.  So many homeowners have fallen prey to relying on the use of home improvement “Band-Aids” – home-store bought weatherstripping and seals, caulk, door draft stoppers, applying plastic around drafty windows, etc. – which oftentimes only offers a temporary solution to an ever worsening problem and prolongs the inevitable.  Specializing in all things doors and windows, we can attest that updating any problem product on your home is a beneficial and educated investment – saving you from much distress and lost money, in the big scheme of things.  By considering replacing these specific products, any homeowner will gain a greater peace of mind – knowing that they are installing products that meet Energy Star qualifications and will provide for them with protection from the outside elements for many years to come.

If you find that you are interested in the replacement of any garage door, exterior door, and/or window in your home, please feel free to visit our showroom for more information or reach out to us to schedule a free estimate.

 

30 August 2013
Face the cold months with a superb storm door from ProVia

It's hard to believe, but the fall season is just a few weeks away. That means it's a great time to think about replacing old, worn, poorly fitting storm doors with the excellent models offered by ProVia. The range of selections from ProVia is outstanding, with highly functional models available to fit every budget. Each storm door from this top manufacturer is constructed with tempered safety glass and a durable finish. Your new door will be your first line of defense against the worst that winter weather has to offer. (Some models can even be ordered with well-designed pet doors.) Whatever style or model you choose, a ProVia storm door is safeguarded by a Lifetime Limited Transferable Warranty. Function is vital in a storm door - but so is beauty. Entrance doors are front and center in any house's public presentation, so it's important to get this basic decorating element right. ProVia offers five storm-door lines - Spectrum, Decorator, Duraguard, Deluxe and Superview - to help you find the perfect door for your home's unique design and décor. These doors are every bit as beautiful as they are hardworking. The Spectrum line, for instance, incorporates the InVent built-in retractable screening system for maximum convenience, while still offering a wide selection of handsome colors and hardware. Your Spectrum door can also be supplied with a color-matched closer. Decorator line doors include beautiful, original glass designs in every door, for an elegant look that's at home anywhere. As a long-time provider of the ProVia line, ABE Doors & Windows is ready and able to help you choose the ideal storm door for your individual needs. Call us today at (610) 398-2430 - we're always ready to share our experience and find your very best choice.

28 June 2013
The End of Design Guesswork

When you're thinking about a new entrance door for your home, the ProVia line is a great place to start. Choose a steel or fiberglass model - either way, you'll get a door that's as durable as it is beautiful, with the look of real wood to complement any existing décor.

Still, we find that our customers really like to visualize what a particular door will look like once it's installed. Most of us don't have the fine-tuned design imagination to do that - and no one wants to make a choice they won't be comfortable with in the long run.

The good news: technology has erased that concern forever. ProVia now offers an exciting software service that lets you see exactly how things will look, before you ever install the door.

Taking advantage of this capability is very simple. Snap a digital picture of your house. Bring in or e-mail us a .jpg file of that photo, and we'll load it into the program. Then you tell us which ProVia doors you're thinking you might like. The software will plug each of those doors into the image of your house, so there's no guesswork about it - no ifs, ands or buts. You'll see in advance exactly what your door will look like, even if it's one of ProVia's specialized custom models.

Pay us a visit or call us at (610) 398-2430. Using this software is fun, and it's the perfect way to make sure you get exactly the entrance door you want.

28 May 2013
The ENERGY STAR Advantage with Andersen and ProVia

To be selected as a vendor for ABE Doors and Windows, a manufacturer must demonstrate top quality in every aspect of its products, procedures and services. The need for this speaks for itself: Unless we pass along the best goods and services from the manufacturer, we can't meet the standards we set for ourselves.

You'll see an important element of this in the ENERGY STAR ratings carried by two of ABE's premier manufacturers, Andersen and ProVia. In our industy and beyond, both are recognized as pacesetting providers - and both are dedicated to the environmental benefits provided by meeting ENERGY STAR's stringent requirements.

The ProVia website puts it this way: "Since 2002, our engineers have worked closely with leading agencies in the industry like ENERGY STAR that dedicate themselves to environmental responsibility. We work hard to produce professional-class doors and custom replacement windows that meet or exceed ENERGY STAR criteria and proudly display the distinctive blue label on our products."

Andersen's involvement in environmental issues is no less intense. In 1999, it was the first window manufacturer to be named an ENERGY STAR National Window Partner of the Year. This year, Andersen received the ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence distinction, awarded to firms that have been Partner of the Year three or more times in a row. (ProVia has won Partner of the Year and Sustained Excellence awards on multiple occasions.)

From a customer standpoint, ENERGY STAR has real importance. More than a mark of quality, it registers the kind of manufacturing that delivers legitimate energy savings in real-world installations. ENERGY STAR products can help us all conserve fuel and release less greenhouse gas into the atmosphere. Offering such products is good for our customers and our world. ABE IS proud to be part of the effort.

13 May 2013
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.

 

29 March 2013
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.

08 February 2013
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.

06 February 2013
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.

 

14 December 2012
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.

 

11 December 2012
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.

 

26 November 2012
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.

19 November 2012
Fast fixes for remotes and keypads

Remote garage door controls are such familiar contributors to home convenience, safety and security that we scarcely give them a thought. The same is true of access keypads. Still, these highly reliable products do fail once in a while - and when that happens, it's important to know where you can find help.

Problems with these devices generally come from one of three causes. One is the item simply wearing out. Another is battery failure. The third is an issue with the device's coding.

Fortunately, ABE Doors and Windows is geared up to meet any such difficulties. We stock or can quickly order any needed hardware items - batteries and actual remotes, keypads or other system components. If the problem is related to control coding, our staff people have the know-how to help.

Often our skilled associates can troubleshoot problems over the phone - just call us at 610-398-2430. We also have reprogramming instructions for most of these products. Check in with us first, and we may be able to give you the answers you need directly, or send you directions via e-mail or regular mail. If you prefer, bring your remote to our showroom at 6776 Hamilton Boulevard in Allentown, and we'll work with you on the spot. We understand that you rely on these products - and we make it our business to get them working again as quickly as possible.

 

11 October 2012
Tightening Up for Cold Weather

For the last few installments of our blog, we've been looking at some of the things homeowners can do to get ready for what's predicted to be a much tougher winter than the one we sailed through last year. Here's one more aspect of that subject to consider: weatherstripping.

For entrance doors and garage doors, making sure that the weatherstripping is undamaged and properly installed can make a difference every day you're heating your home. (It helps when you're air conditioning the house in hot weather, too.)

We recommend that you start with a simple visual inspection. Just check out the door frame and take note of any weatherstripping that has come loose or isn't in good condition. We especially recommend paying close attention to the material at the bottom of your garage door.

If you need to replace some or all of the weatherstripping on your doors, stop by our office in Wescosville. Weatherstrippping isn't universal, so you can't really get a good result by just picking up the first thing you find at a big box store. The good news is that we stock the correct material for many types of doors, and often can provide just what you need. The best idea is to bring along a sample from the door you're servicing.

When you have door problems that look like more than simple home-handyman repairs, we'll be glad to help. Just call our office at 610-398-2430 and ask for Terry in our service department. If you really do need a new door, you're already on your way with the region's installation leader. The colder days are right aroung the corner, so phone today.

01 October 2012
Time to Consider Storm Door Replacement

It's a little strange to think about it, but in less than three months we'll be in the middle of the holiday season. Like it or not, winter isn't far off - so now's the time to get started on storm door replacement that can give you better performance when foul weather hits.

Many storm doors still in use were built and installed 10 years ago or longer. Older wood-core doors often rot from the inside out; they may also delaminate and crack. Hard-used aluminum storm doors show dents, dings and wear. Any older door may no longer close and fit the way it was designed to. And in the wintertime that can make your home more expensive to heat and harder to keep comfortable.

Many ABE customers like the convenience, performance and sheer good looks of our top-of-the-line storm doors, the Spectrum Series from ProVia. These premium doors feature superior style and outstanding functionality, including a feature that's really popular with homeowners who are tired of swapping out screens and glass each spring and fall. It's called the InVent retractable screening system. When the change of seasons means its time to switch from screen to glass, the screen simply retracts to a built-in roller tube inside the door. Slide the glass in place and you're set. You don't have to remove, replace or store framed screens and windows, and the changeover is a snap.

Many of our customers also favor ProVia's workhorse Deluxe line. Made with standard-type screens and windows, Deluxe storm doors are available in a wide range of beautiful styles that complement the look of any home. They're built with tempered safety glass and durable finishes, and protected by a Lifetime Limited Transferable Warranty.

Whether you select from these or other lines of ProVia storm doors, you can choose doors in an array of colors and customize them with your preferred hardware styles and finishes, including satin nickel, bright brass or aged bronze. You also have the convenient, secure option of setting up the lock so that one key opens both the storm door and the entrance door inside. Contact ABE Doors & Windows today for more on the perfect selection to keep this winter's storms at bay.

 

 

16 August 2012
Garage door maintenance dos and don’ts

If you're reasonably handy, there's plenty that you can to to keep your garage door working great through one season after another. We'd like to share some of those simple actions - but first, a couple of things you should never do.

If there's any problem with the safety stop mechanism on your automatic door, call a professional right away. This is a situation that can damage your car and even cause personal injury. Even more important: hands off the powerful high-tension springs that control the door. A sudden release of these springs can be extremely dangerous. Leave everything related to these components to the pros.

What you can handle yourself starts with visual inspections - look over the whole system. If a track or other part is bent or otherwise damaged, have it replaced at once. You should be able to spot tracks that are out of alignment, another common problem that needs prompt attention. Failures in these components can lead to more serious and expensive repairs. The same is true of cables - anything frayed or worn should be checked and replaced by your service technician.

Remove any leaves or other obstructions from the tracks or moving parts, and wipe out the tracks with a household cleaner. Use a penetrating oil such as WD-40 (citrus-based solvents also work) on the tracks, rollers, hinges and latches. Wipe it all off, then apply light lubricating oil to the same parts. On garage door openers, apply the same oil to the chain. Lubricate the system at least annually.

Check the door's weatherstripping - if it's damaged, jammed or missing, adjust or replace it. Older wooden doors without such protection at the bottom should first be sealed or painted - then you can add weatherstripping if you wish.

Finally, check all nuts, bolts and fastenters. Tighten any that have loosened. Remember, something that looks wrong may well be. If you have any concerns, call ABE Doors and Windows at 610-398-2430. Our friendly, expert technicians will be there soon to check things over.

06 August 2012
Listening to what customers say

People ask "How are you doing?" so often and so casually that it seldom means much. For a service-oriented business, though, it's a serious question. And the answer matters greatly to the company's success.

A while back ABE Doors and Windows sought a way to measure our performance with customers. The best help we could find came from a company called Guild Quality. It's their business to survey the customers of participating firms after projects or services are completed. Guild Quailty then compiles and posts the results, along with customers' candid opinions.

The survey company is objective about this. You accept when you sign up that they're going to put the results online for all to see. Unless you think your report card's going to be pretty good, it's probably not something you want to try.

We've been in the process for many months. See results by clicking the Guild Quality logo on our homepage, or use this link: www.guildquality.com/cr/A-B-E-Doors-Windows/N6Y506012224XT9/ . Customer quotes via Guild Quality also appear often on our Facebook page.

We're happy with the results. We come in at 98 percent or better for most measurements, including "Professional & Organized," "Value," "Communication," "Sales Knowledge," and "Schedule." Ratings for "Clean and Safe" and "Construction Quality" are perfect 100s. And the overwhelming majority of our verbal evalutions are also very positive. Take a look.

So that's the answer to "How are you doing?" Pretty darn well - but always with room for improvement.

25 July 2012
Happy Anniversary, Bob

To those of a certain age, 1988 isn't so long ago. There was a lot going on - the Calgary Winter Olympics, Anthony Kennedy's Supreme Court appointment, the release of the hot new Windows 2.1 by Microsoft.

It was also when we hired one of our best people, technician Bob Blickley. Bob celebrated his 24th employment anniversary lately, and we gave a little thought to what it means when a company has a good record of employee retention.

In the first place, it probably means they're hiring wisely, choosing people who are smart and steady. It also suggests that the company is treating those people well: compensating them fairly, looking after their health and family needs, honoring their intelligence and ability, and making sure that a decent and safe workplace is maintained.

ABE Doors and Windows is proud of a strong history of finding and keeping excellent employees. We did some calculating, and found that the average tenure here is 15 years. Eleven employees have been here longer than that. In today's workplace, longevity like that is rare. We think it shows that we look out for our workers and treat them with the respect they deserve.

Our thanks and congratulations to Bob - we value his skill and dedication and are grateful for his loyalty. As someone who started with us fairly young, he could remain part of the ABE family for many years to come. We certainly hope so.

29 June 2012
Insulated Glass Basics

With summer heating up big time, many homeowners are thinking about the benefits of insulated glass windows. And no wonder. In an old house - and even some newer ones - the windows may be single-pane types that were installed decades ago. Or they may be multiple-pane installations using out-of-date technologies. Windows like that don't do enough to prevent the transmission of heat. As a result, they wind up increasing air-conditioning energy costs (not to mention heating in the cold months).

Insulated glass windows are another story entirely. They are double-pane or triple-pane types, with special insulating spacers separating the panes. Some windows will contain insulating gases such as argon or krypton between panes; many will also feature low-emissivity coatings.

The upshot of all this: choose your windows carefully, taking advantage of current technologies, and you'll receive a bunch of important benefits. Insulated glass windows help you keep a steady temperature in your house. The interior of your house gains less heat in the summer with these models, and retains heat better in wintertime. And that means year-round savings of energy and money.

Nor are these the only benefits of today's high-tech windows. Insulated windows reduce the formation of condensation on the inner surface. And they do a much better job than old-fashioned windows at keeping street noise to a minimum.

At ABE Doors and Windows, we'll be glad to consult with you - there's no charge, of course - to find exactly the right windows for your home. We handle many sizes, styles and varieties. Call us today at 610-398-2430 to take the first step.

14 June 2012
High tech at the garage door

Remote control garage door opening is so valued - and so widely used - that most people who own garages consider it a practical necessity. Today, there's a fresh technological take on garage door openers. A new generation of controls builds on their safety and convenience in a big way, offering breakthrough capabilities directly from your computer or smart phone.

Our top-of-the-line offering is the Liftmaster® 8550 garage-door operator. This is an opener of the highest quality and reliability, with belt drive and DC battery backup. Even in a power outage, its safety and security capabilities are unaffected.

But its most innovative feature is built-in MyQ™ technology, an advancement that enables you to open, close and monitor your garage door from any intelligent electronic device, anywhere in the world. MyQ's versatile control also enables you to turn lights on or off remotely. Yet another useful capability: it tracks and reports on every action taken, so you'll always know when the door has been opened or closed.

With carefully engineered soft start and slow stop, the Liftmaster 8550 is exceptionally quiet. It's ideal for homes with a room above the garage - or anywhere homeowners appreciate a little less noise. Call us today for more information at 610-398-2430.

03 June 2012
A month to focus on garage door safety

Today's well-engineered, carefully constructed garage doors are very safe products. Still, the doors are the largest, heaviest moving objects in most homes. As such, safety demands proper maintenance and correct use. It's especially important to make sure that kids are aware that garage doors are not toys.

June is National Home Safety Month, and the industry organizations DASMA (Door and Access Systems Manufacturers Association) and IDA (International Door Association) have also declared it Garage Door Safety Month. It's a great time to think about keeping your garage doors operating properly and safely. Here are some dos and don'ts that can help.

DO a periodic visual inspection. Check the springs, cables, rollers and all other visible parts for signs of wear or damage. If you suspect a problem, have a trained technician take a look.

DO operate the door only when you can see it, keeping it in sight until it opens or closes completely.

DO test the reversing mechanism monthly. A properly functioning garage door reverses direction as soon as it encounters an obstacle. If that's not happening, call a technician and have it fixed.

DO test the force setting monthly. Stand outside the path of the door and try to hold it up as it descends. It should reverse easily; otherwise call a technician.

DO test the door balance monthly. Close the door and disconnect the operator, then lift the door. It should open smoothly with little resistance. If not, have a technician check it.

DON'T let kids play with the door's transmitters or remote controls. This is an especially important rule. Keep all controls away from children. Mount wall controls high, out of reach of small hands. And make sure your kids know that they should never play with the garage door.

DON'T try to repair spring assemblies yourself. They're under extreme tension. Working with them can be very dangerous for anyone but expert technicians.

DON'T stand, walk, duck or run under a garage door when it's moving.

DON'T put your fingers - or any body part - in or near the door's section joints, hinges, tracks, springs, or other parts.

ABE Doors and Windows is fully committed to keeping garage doors operating safely at all times. If you have a safety question or concern, call us now at (610) 398-2430. We'll be glad to discuss the situation, and can provide prompt help if you need it.

 

22 May 2012
A look at ABE's commercial/industrial division

As a leader in residential sales, installation and service, ABE Doors and Windows is very familiar to consumers around the valley. A part of our business that may not be quite as well known is our commercial/industrial sales and service division. But this group is just as important to those who rely on it. The commercial/industrial division delivers every day on the individual needs of our business and government customers.

The market here is broad - retail and wholesale corporations, service companies, local municipalities, warehouse operations, industrial plants and more. They need quality products, foolproof installation and round-the-clock access to expert service. With ABE Doors and Windows they get it all.

According to Gary Conrad, commercial/industrial sales and service manager, his customers need a range of doors and accessories as varied as the products and services they provide. "We do garage doors, roll-ups, rolling service doors, rolling steel fire doors, counter doors for kitchens, dock shields and shelters, and much more," he said. "We also install as retrofits a lot of steel-framed hollow metal entry doors."

"ABE Doors and Windows is a long-established distributor for Raynor Garage Doors and Cornell Iron Works, which build commercial sectional doors and rolling door products, respectively," Gary said. "We also represent other leading manufacturers of doors and accessory products."

In new or retrofit installations, he said, several critical advantages guide customers' selection of ABE Doors and Windows. "They're concerned about the quality of the products. They want a very service-oriented provider. They need good lead times, and with us they get same-day service and 24-hour emergency service."

"We try to put ourselves in the customer's place," he said. If there's a problem with a door not closing, it can't wait a few days." Getting there promptly and handling things correctly the first time makes all the difference.

09 May 2012
A.B.E. is Going Green

Earth Day - born April 22, 1970, when 20 million American citizens took a united stand and became consciously dedicated to creating permanent change that would protect and preserve the world that we live in and thrive from - has become one of the largest civic observances in the world.  Since 1990 Earth Day has gone global, and this year more than 1 billion people in 192 countries took part in the 42nd Anniversary of Earth Day.  Earth Day 2012 focused on uniting communities in their efforts to spread awareness and make positive eco-friendly changes in order to mobilize the Earth.

We, here at A.B.E. Doors & Windows, are always striving to better ourselves - whether it is professionally as a business serving others within the community, or by personally challenging ourselves to learn from our experiences and willingly accepting positive change in order to grow.  We have taken an active interest in educating ourselves and fully support the fight to create a clean and healthy environment.  Since 2008, we have been diligently recycling all of our paper, aluminum, plastic, and glass products on a weekly basis.  Within the last month, we have also decided that we will be going paperless, wanting to conserve paper-use and diminish waste.  In order to do this, we have purchased high speed scanners and are transferring every paper document that passes through our office onto the computer.  Not only does this eliminate clutter, but it makes all documents easily accessible.  Now, when we ask our customers to provide their mailing address, we are also giving them the option to share with us their email address as well.  Online communication is not only a faster method of communication than mail delivery, but it is convenient for both parties and will greatly decrease the amount of paper that we use over time.

These changes, though they may seem insignificant in comparison to all that is taking place every day, are just another positive step forward in making our business and community a better place.  Being conscientious about caring for our environment is much bigger than A.B.E. Doors & Windows:  it reaches out and encompasses the world around us.  We are just a small piece of the puzzle; but when we are combined with the many other individuals, organizations, businesses, and governments, who are working to protect and preserve our earth, it truly radiates hope for future generations to come.

30 April 2012
Seeing is believing
beautiful new patio doors in our showroom

For sheer visual impact, a photo in a catalog or online can't match what happens when you see one of our great-looking doors installed. You can't get the same sense of how smoothly it works, either, without seeing for yourself.

 That's why we recently expanded the display area at ABE Doors and Windows' Wescosville Headquarters. The new section opens up space to feature three of our very nicest patio doors, and we think you should check them out.

The star of the show is the ProVia gliding patio door. This big, beautiful model includes internal mini-blinds. It's a feature that gives you ideal control over room daylighting, and the blinds never need cleaning because they're sealed inside double-pane glass.

You can also see graceful, opulent Frenchwood doors in real wood from Andersen. The hinged type is a true French door. The gliding model provides the same look, but its sliding structure saves space.

Whether you're already planning a patio door installation or just thinking about a change that would transform your home decor, you really should take a look at these doors - in person - before you do anything else.

25 April 2012
Welcome to our team, Ellen Rauch!

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.

09 April 2012
Opening the Door on Curb Appeal

A better look for your house might be part of preparations to sell it - or it might just reflect your desire to improve the home you see every day. Either way, replacement entry doors offer an effective, immediate way to ratchet up the curb appeal of your place. A new door draws the eye in a striking visual focus - and you can select exactly the level of cost that works for your budget.

You can accomplish something similar, though probably to a lesser extent, with a new garage door installation. New doors of either variety purchased from and installed by ABE Doors and Windows can accomplish the feat in short order.

That impressive new entry door might feature new glass details, great-looking hardware, a fresh configuration of double doors, or a transom. The garage door could be one of our carriage-door styles, single or double. The color and design options for either type are practically unlimited - and the change in the look of the door makes a huge difference.

If you want to upgrade the look of your door without replacing it, several options are available. Consider repainting/refinishing, changing an associated light fixture, selecting new locks and hardware (inciuding a knocker, doorbell button, house numbers and letter slot) or adding a brass kick plate. For a really transforming change, though, nothing beats the fresh look, first-class factory construction and professional installation of a door from ABE Doors and Windows.

02 April 2012
Tech, carpenter ... and soldier
Our duty to our Guardsmen and Reservists

Nigel Andre of Whitehall is a carpenter and technician for ABE Doors and Windows. If he's ever working on an installation at your house, you'll notice him primarily as a hardworking member of our skilled and dedicated team.

But there's another side to Nigel. Wherever he goes, day in or day out, he's also a staff sergeant in the Army National Guard. Our company salutes his service, which now stands at twelve-and-a-half years between active duty and time with the Guard at home. And we're also proud that ABE Doors and Windows does everthing possible to help him meet his military responsibilities.

There was a time when soldiers might remain in the Guard or Reserves for years without being called to active service. In recent years, though, these components have been tasked with a more active role in national defense. "There's times when I have to go at the last minute," Nigel said. "And the company's always been great about it."

Under federal law, employers must keep jobs open for soldiers called to service. It's possible, unfortunately, to obey the letter of the law and violate its spirit. Some employers look for unfair ways to dismiss an absent soldier. Nigel has had to take action for soldiers under his command when other employers tried to cut them loose while on duty.

That hasn't happened with ABE Doors and Windows and it never will. "I'm just very appreciative," Nigel said. "The company has been very supportive, very understanding."

Our company has been recognized by the Army National Guard for this support. We appreciate that, but from our standpoint what really counts is the willingness of our people to stand up for our country. Helping them out when deployments come up is the least we can do.

 

13 March 2012
Warming Up: ABE Doors and Windows at Stabler’s 2012 Spring Home Show

With the economy showing signs of rebounding at last, and dozens of exhibitors sharing their very best, the 2012 Spring Home Show at Stabler Arena figures to be a memorable one. The curtain rises March 30 on the three-day event, and ABE Doors and Windows will showcase outstanding products at two separate displays.

Booths R188/189 in Rauch Field Hall are devoted to garage doors. They feature a full-size carriage-house door in natural wood. Booths S069/070/084/085 in Stabler Arena show off a variety of our best products. Look for the Andersen patio door, ProVia entrance and storm doors, Andersen and Gorell windows, plus a cross-section of a Raynor garage door.

At the show, we'll be telling visitors about our spring sweepstakes - a chance to win a $50 Visa Gift Card. The ABE folks manning the booths will explain the three ways to enter: write a review on Google, like us on Facebook, or check in on Facebook during your visit to the show or to our home location showroom. Official rules are available at http://www.abedoors.com/sweepstakes/rules.cfm. The contest ends May 31. No purchase is necessary to win.

The recession means that several years' worth of pent-up demand is simmering among homeowners who've delayed improvements they've had in mind. We're excited to be at the show with the information people need now that they're ready to move ahead - and we'll be glad to arrange a free estimate for anyone who's interested.

 

27 February 2012
Ask the Insurance Question

When you arrange home repairs or improvements, you'll probably ask about the contractor's experience, capabilites, price range and delivery schedule. A question that homeowners often neglect may be even more important: "Do you have liability and accident insurance?"

Many small operators work on a wing and a prayer. They hope nobody will get hurt on the job at your house, and they don't bother with insurance. But hope is no substitute for real protection.

If something does go wrong, it can become your problem. (Click this link for a painful example: http//www.professionaldoordealer.com/news/2012/01/handyman-sues-homeowner-because-of-garage-door-accident.aspx.) An uninsured contractor or his or her employees can sue you if injured on your property. Costs may be covered by your homeowner's coverage - and when your insurance pays, your future premiums may go up. Even worse, if your coverage isn't high enough, you might be on the hook personally to make up the difference.

At ABE Doors & Windows, we accept the need to protect our workers and our customers. That's why all our crews are covered by a million dollars in insurance. This is nothing more or less than behaving responsibly toward the people who keep us in business.

In Pennsylvania, a contractor can't be certified without meeting the state's insurance requirements. If you hire someone without certification, they may lack insurance, too. Why take the chance? There are many reasons to go with ABE Doors & Windows - and the fact that we carry substantial insurance coverage is a big one. Whoever you use, ask about the contractor's insurance coverage and have him or her prove it to you by showing a certificate of insurance before the start of the job.

 

30 January 2012
Ten for Eleven Isn't Bad

For the tenth time in the last 11 years, ABE Doors & Windows has been named to Who's Who in Business in the Lehigh Valley.

We've once again been chosen as the Who's Who Leader in the Door and Window Replacement category.

Sponsored by Lehigh Valley Style Magazine, the Who's Who in Business Survey bills itself as the region's only statistically accurate survey of consumer preference. Conducted by Polk-Lepson Research Group, an independent market research firm from York, Pa., the survey identifies the region's leaders in a variety of business categories as determined by Lehigh Valley residents. And that's why we're especially proud of the selection.

"What makes these Leader selections significant," said ABE Doors & Windows President Jim Lett, "is that consumers make the choices. That tells us we're doing well with the audience that matters most - the people we serve in the residential door and window markets."

23 January 2012
Jim Lett Named WDDA Member of the Month

WDDA Names Jim Lett Member of the Month
Jim Lett, president of ABE Doors & Windows, is honored in January as the Member of the Month by the Window and Door Dealers Alliance. It’s appropriate that he should be selected as the WDDA’s first honoree. His sense that window and door dealers nationwide needed a coherent voice made him an early participant in the project that developed into the alliance. And it’s his belief today that the alliance has provided that unified voice and much more.

“WDDA fills a need that went unmet for years before it was organized,” Jim said. “It’s a great source for relevant information and a terrific forum where dealers can exchange views and experiences. We believe no other organization is really looking out for the interests of dealers in our industry in this way, and we at ABE Doors & Windows support it strongly.”

Doing it on your own – up to a point
Like many WDDA members, Jim is accustomed to making things happen on his own. ABE Doors & Windows started off immediately after Lett finished college as a company that installed steel cellar doors. Before long, his growing firm was handling garage doors, entrance doors and a wide variety of windows – in short, a full line of attractive, high-quality products. In the process, ABE Doors & Windows had grown to be a top regional dealer and installer.

But there’s only so much any one company can do by itself. Lett saw the importance of an industry organization providing new strength, reach and capabilities that would benefit every member. As such, he was an enthusiastic early participant in WDDA.

Strength in numbers
As a prime example of the alliance’s value to its members, Lett cites its work concerning safe work practices for lead paint. He’s a firm believer in the importance of EPA’s continuing dedication to lead safety. ”We all want everyone to be safe,” he said. “I think it’s also important that EPA should be able to enforce these regulations in a fair way, so that everyone is able to compete on a level playing field.” He believes that the WDDA’s efforts in this field contribute to helping promote true competitive balance.

Beyond representing member interests in legislative and rule-making situations, Lett says, WDDA helps make dealers’ work easier and more successful in many other ways. He values the alliance’s development of training and educational resources, and enthusiastically supports its work around meetings, trade shows, seminars and publications. In all these ways, he believes, WDDA is helping shape the professional character of the door and window industry, making it better not only for dealers and installers, but also for vendors and end users.

“It’s a special honor to be chosen,” said Lett. ”This organization does important work on many fronts. I couldn’t be prouder to be recognized as someone who’s contributed to its efforts.”

 

03 January 2012
Tips to Stay Warm This Winter

The wind is howling and it's a blustery day today in the Lehigh Valley.  It's time to start thinking about tips for staying warm this winter. 

Here you'll find strategies to help you save energy during the cold winter months and keep warm!

1.  Call A.B.E. Doors & Windows!

Most importantly, if you haven't already done so, contact A.B.E. Doors to look into energy saving Windows and Doors.  This can be the most effective means for staying warm and reducing your energy costs.  Contact us for your Free Estimate Today!

2.  Take Advantage of Heat from the Sun

Open curtains on your south-facing windows during the day to allow sunlight to naturally heat your home, and close them at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows.

3.  Cover Drafty Windows

Use a heavy-duty, clear plastic sheet on a frame or tape clear plastic film to the inside of your window frames during the cold winter months. Make sure the plastic is sealed tightly to the frame to help reduce infiltration.  Install tight-fitting, insulating drapes or shades on windows that feel drafty after weatherizing.

4.  Adjust the Temperature

When you are home and awake, set your thermostat as low as is comfortable.  When you are asleep or out of the house, turn your thermostat back 10°–15° for eight hours and save around 10% a year on your heating and cooling bills. A programmable thermostat can make it easy to set back your temperature.

5.  Find and Seal Leaks

Seal the air leaks around utility cut-throughs for pipes ("plumbing penetrations"), gaps around chimneys and recessed lights in insulated ceilings, and unfinished spaces behind cupboards and closets. 

6.  Maintain Your Heating Systems

Schedule service for your heating system.  Find out what maintenance is required to keep your heating system operating efficiently.

7. Reduce Heat Loss from the Fireplace


Keep your fireplace damper closed unless a fire is going. Keeping the damper open is like keeping a window wide open during the winter; it allows warm air to go right up the chimney.  When you use the fireplace, reduce heat loss by opening dampers in the bottom of the firebox (if provided) or open the nearest window slightly—approximately 1 inch—and close doors leading into the room. Lower the thermostat setting to between 50° and 55°F.

8.  Lower Your Water Heating Costs

Water heating can account for 14%-25% of the energy consumed in your home.  Turn down the temperature of your water heater to the warm setting (120°F).