Three Dealers at Expo Reveal…: The Hottest New Products of 2001

© 2001 Door & Access Systems
Publish Date: Summer 2001
Author: Tom Wadsworth
Page 34

Three Dealers at Expo Reveal…
The Hottest New Products of 2001

John Tracey
Tracey Door Company
Rochester, New York

Product Mix:
65% residential

Years in Business:

The Hottest New Products:
I was impressed with all the wood carriage house doors. More manufacturers were showing these, and locally, we’re starting to bid out more jobs for these doors. They are for upscale customers, but I think we’ll see more of these coach house doors throughout the country.

I love Genie’s new Excelerator model, and so do our customers. It has a DC motor and goes up twice as fast. This model just came out in the last year. Otherwise, nothing else seemed to be new. I attend this event every 2-3 years, and I didn’t see much this year that was different from the past two years.

In general, I noticed a trend toward safer, more consumer friendly products. One example is OMI’s torsion-spring guard, called Springard. It’s hard for the homeowner to get it off, and it provides nice protection. It has been out for a couple years, but it was being shown at this year’s Expo.

I’m also noticing more of the safer spring systems that are easy to install. Wayne-Dalton and Clopay have had models for a while, and now C.H.I. has a new one that has a safety catch. That looked like a good feature, and we will try it out.

Dan & Kathy Baliker
Danny’s Door Service
Morgantown, West Virginia

Product Mix:
80% residential

Years in Business:
6 (Door Experience: 15)

The Hottest New Products:
Overall, the show wasn’t as exciting as the Las Vegas show, and I thought more people would attend. Even though I couldn’t attend on Thursday, I thought the seminars covered an excellent range of topics.

I saw few new products that I didn’t already know about. C.H.I. is coming out with a new safety device for torsion springs that will prevent injuries. Napoleon Lynx had some new glass designs that impressed me. Premium Garage Door came out with a 1-3/8-thick vinyl door that is more price competitive. I also liked the Upwardor pinch resistant design with no hinges on the inside. It created a clean-looking garage door.

I spent some time reviewing the two carwash doors by Ultimate and Airlift. I noticed several good features such as air-actuated door openers, polycarbonate panels, stainless steel hinges, and a counterbalance system that does not use springs.

I also made contact with Artesian Door, a custom wood door manufacturer out of Pennsylvania. They’re close to me, and they make a beautiful product.

Linear is starting to manufacture their own door opener that you can sell to contractors. It looked like a well-built unit for the money. I was impressed with the design changes coming out in LiftMaster’s residential openers, and I thought their new DC motors looked good.

Dale Brooks
Contra Costa Door
Concord, Calif.

Product Mix:
80% residential

Years in Business:
31 years; Contra Costa Door was established in 1953.

The Hottest New Products:
The number-one product that caught my eye is the Bevelite window line that National has purchased. I was impressed with the good taste in the Bevelite designs and the quality construction. It’s clearly the nicest upscale window that I’ve seen.

The second hot product was LiftMaster’s new progressive lineup, especially their new DC model with belt drive. All their models seem to offer better range, better lighting, and better accessories.

Thirdly, I was surprised and a little concerned at the lack of attendance of some larger manufacturers. In addition to their absence, our rolling door supplier, a Canadian hardware supplier, and our spring wire vendor wasn’t there. I think you need to support your industry. To get the dealer base to attend this show, the manufacturers need to be there. Otherwise, it’s just a social event.

And lastly, I was quite surprised at the large number of carriage house doors on display. I couldn’t help but wonder, "Is this fad or fashion?" I wonder if some manufacturers are jumping on the bandwagon, seeing an opportunity for a good profit margin, but not paying attention to quality.