Blog

TAX CREDITS, GOOD OR BAD?
By: Skip MacLean, Director of Business Development at Tru Tech Doors & President at Fenestration Canada
Date: October 15, 2013

The Quebec government has just announced a significant tax credit for homeowners who want to make energy efficient renovations to their homes.  Windows and doors are part of those eligible renovations to apply for this credit. Windows and doors must be ENERGY STAR qualified for the zone they are installed in. The credit will be applicable for all work done between October 8th, 2013 and October 31st, 2014.

On the surface government tax credits boost sales! But does a temporary boost help or hurt the window and door professional in the long run? Spurring sales forward generates enthusiasm on the retail sales front, and front line sales people happy to fully add whatever extra selling tool they can to help them in their efforts. Consumers that were considering renovations are enticed to do it now and enjoy the benefit of a tax return . Who doesn’t enjoy actually getting something back from the government? Ontario manufacturers enjoyed buoyant sales during the last round of provincial and Federal tax credit for renovations, but what happened after they ended? Almost immediately the lack of stimulus was felt and retail sales seemed to just vanish! Factories that were just yesterday busting at the seems with orders and activity, were sadly quiet and almost dormant. Had we condensed what would normally have been two, three or four years of business into one or one and a half years?  Was there a net gain? Ontario window and door manufacturers also suffered with the introduction of the HST which drove potential business to the “underground” economy and away from legitimate manufacturers and retailers.

 

What do YOU think?

1)  Is Ontario next?

2)  Are we ready?

3)  Will a tax credit be welcomed by the industry? (Fenestration Canada) 

Impressing the Neighbors
By: Steve Sparer, US Sales Representative
Date: September 17, 2013

Last week a neighbor told me he was thinking about replacing his front door. It is made of wood and falling apart. He knew that I have worked in the door industry for over 20 years and would be able to help him. Of course I suggested a Tru Tech door since they are made to the highest quality standards and offer a full range of steel and fiberglass doors along with hundreds of decorative glass options.

So I asked him what was most important to him: security, design options, aesthetics, or price? Since he travels a lot and lives in a remote area, security is his foremost concern.

I suggested to him that the Tru Tech SteelMark 22 gauge steel door was a good option. It has an all steel edge so it provides the best resistance against forced entry.  It is dent resistant. The 22 gauge steel is made with over 30% steel, much more than the typical steel door found at the Big Box stores. The door is fully insulated with polyurethane foam and is Energy Star rated. I also suggested he get the adjustable hinge option so the door can be adjusted once it is installed to ensure a tight weather seal.

I showed him all the different embossed styles Tru Tech offers as well as the glass options. He told me he would confer with the “boss” and get back to me. I expect to hear from him sometime next spring…   :) 

Tru Tech Doors to Offer 20 Minute Fire Rated Fiberglass Doors!
By: James Wilson, Chief Operating Officer
Date: September 4, 2013

Good news this week! Tru Tech Doors will be offering a fire rated fiberglass door in the Belmont fiberglass door program,  following a successful burn test last week at Intertek's facility in Wisconsin.

The fire door offering will include smooth and wood grained doors in 2'8" and 3'0" widths with wrapped edges. For more information on the program please contact your Tru Tech sales representative.

Please tell us what you think. Beyond flush and 6 panel doors, what emboss styles would be most important for your fire door program?

Real or a Fake?
By: Julie Saville, Marketing Coordinator
Date: August 27, 2013

I started working at Tru Tech Doors at the end of January, 2013.  I took a tour of the plant facility, and was absolutely amazed by the level of detail Tru Tech puts into each and every door. 

  • Doors are produced in steel or fibreglass.  

  • Doors available:  Front Doors, Garden Doors, TruView Doors with Miniblinds and Venting Doors.  

  • All doors have wood-edge construction with wider stiles providing enhanced security, durability and strength.  Doors are filled with Polyurethane foam, that reduces noise transmission and provides an excellent thermal barrier as well as additional door strength. 

  • Doors are energy efficient (Energy Star Rated) and come with a variety of fire ratings (depending on the door).

  • Fiberglass doors come in smooth or several simulated wood grains that actually look like real wood, but without all the maintenance that is required with any natural wood product that is exposed to the elements.  See it for yourself, it’s quite amazing.

  • Paints and stains come in a variety of colours, and can be applied to doors for appearance and to defend against weather conditions (intense summer heats, extreme winter colds, along with rain, snow and pelting hail).  

  • The glass inserts are designed in house.  The glass is hand cut, piece by piece, then assembled and soldered together with a variety of caming colours.   The decorative wrought iron door lites are individually crafted as well, and are then are sealed between two panes of tempered glass.

 

In the process of doing my job, I have come across Dealers & Distributors that put Tru Tech on their websites and claim to use Tru Tech Doors or Door products.  When reviewing our purchasing orders, I am seeing that some of these same companies don’t actually buy Tru Tech Doors or door products at all...  This means of course that they are passing off a lower quality door for a Tru Tech Door.  What bothers me about this is twofold;

  1. Consumers are being charged a premium for the quality of a Tru Tech Door, and they are not actually getting a Tru Tech Door.
     
  2. If a homeowner runs into problems with their door, they then assume that Tru Tech provides a poor quality product, when in-fact they do not even have a Tru Tech Door to begin with.

 

Tru Tech Doors takes GREAT efforts in providing the highest quality door that can be purchased on the market.  If you are a consumer, and you want energy efficiency, security as well as beauty, you need to ask your Dealer specifically for a Tru Tech Door.

The Tru Tech Difference
By: Jerry Ferri, Human Resources Manager
Date: July 26, 2013

Tru Tech Doors is a leader in the door industry.  I guess you can say that the ultimate form of flattery, is when you’re competitors attempt to copy or replicate your product offering.

In some instances competitors may purchase raw materials from the same supplier, reverse engineer our products to understand the assembly process and try to lower prices to gain market share.  The reality is all these steps may result in short term success, however, the one thing that you do not gain from raw materials, reverse engineering or lower pricing is the experience and quality workmanship that is the staple of Tru Tech Doors.  

It is the people of Tru Tech Doors that make us stand out and be different than any other door manufacturer in the industry.  The leadership, innovation and work ethic of our staff sets us apart from our competition.     

When you are looking to replace your entranceway and add curb appeal to your home, remember to visit an authorized Tru Tech Dealer, because although you may think you are getting something similar from the other guys, it is our people and the quality of their workmanship, that makes a Tru Tech Door worth buying. 

How your Front Door impacts the sale of your home ...
By: Sandra Robson, Art Director
Date: July 24, 2013

Your home is one of your bigger investments. If you are considering putting your house on the market, it is in your best interest to shift focus towards attracting buyers and achieving the best price for your home in a timely fashion.

Some buyers will drive to a home for a personal look, prior to committing to the next stage – contacting an agent.

Twing Staging & Redesign talk about how a front door can sell your house. Most buyers begin their journey by reviewing listings on line. Split second decisions are made based on the first image they are exposed to. Potential buyers are likely to notice details; as they spend a good amount of time at the front door waiting for their realtor to open the lock box. 

According to Susan Brown, Royal LePage RCE Realty: the condition of your house is an important factor. First impressions begin with the yard, the driveway and front door. The first five minutes are critical in selling your home! It has been said that buyers make up their minds in 5 minutes, then spend the rest of the time rationalizing their decision.

Mireille Elsley, Re/Max Ultimate Realty, Inc. writes that there is a proven relationship between a home’s perceived value and the appearance of its front door. One national study has shown that by changing a home’s front entry door, it was found to yield up to a 10 percent increase in the home’s value. The use of decorative door glass enhanced the curb appeal. In a national study of over 2000 homeowners, 67% selected a front entry door with decorative glass as their first choice over doors with either no glass or clear glass.

Anita Cooper of Realty Biz News listed replacing the front entry door as one of the top three home improvement projects which: “mostly pay for themselves”.

Important decisions are made based on what the front of your home looks like. The front entry door clearly reflects your home without uttering a word. Make it a good selling feature.

www.trutechdoors.com

 

Buying North American
By: Skip MacLean, Director of Business Development at Tru Tech Doors & President at Fenestration Canada
Date: July 18, 2013

In today’s market we are all looking to protect our margins, buy smart and keep the competition at bay! The lure of low cost imported alternatives to mainstay North American products and services are sometimes too great to ignore. However when we buy offshore “knock off” products, are we really doing ourselves and our customers any favours? Protectionism isn’t really an answer either, but we must make sure to hold all products to the same standard. North American made products provide income to North Americans who in turn buy the products we make. In a perfect world we would only utilize components and products made in Canada, for products sold and used in Canada.

Unfortunately this is far from a perfect world! The capacity to produce window and door products in Canada specifically is far greater than current demand. Our nearest trading partner in the south is slowly recovering from the worst downturn in modern history and our ability to supply window and door products in our traditional markets is all but closed or will be a long time coming. So what do we do? I propose that before we look eastward or beyond our borders to source products, we fully appreciate the benefits of buying from a North American supplier. When we buy offshore, we are never really sure where the products are made, under what conditions and to what quality standards. By buying North American we ensure that North Americans share in the margins created in that sale and encourage further spending in local products and services.

Saying all that, it is imperative that we as manufacturers do not get complacent.  We need to continually strive to improve our products and services, and ensure that they are correctly designed and marketed to our customer base. International trade will continue to grow and present many challenges for tomorrow’s manufacturer. Competition is good for all, and I think we are up to the challenge.

Your product has a story.
By: James Wilson, Chief Operating Officer
Date: July 17, 2013

Here's how to sell it...

I had a customer ask me what kind of glue we use on our Belmont Fiberglass Doors. On the surface this seems like a very odd question to ask. Access to technology and the Internet though has given consumers the opportunity to become very educated on the products that they buy.

If you are selling a product based on a quality differentiation, making the sale requires a complete knowledge as to why you chose the raw materials and production methods you did. Consumers expect to be able to compare your product in an increasing amount of detail to you competitors.

In the case of Tru Tech Doors, we have made a very conscious effort to choose quality materials for our Belmont Fiberglass product. It is important for our customers to know the we use laminated strand ("LSL") lumber that is made in the Pacific Northwest, as well as why we believe LSL lumber is better than other products.

From the glue to the chemistry of the Fiberglass we use, the Tru Tech Management Team made choices that yield a high quality durable product. We invite consumers to learn more by going on-line or visiting a Tru Tech Dealer today.

Meeting the Demand
By: Jerry Ferri, Human Resources Manager
Date: July 10, 2013

In some instances when a company notices that the demand for their product has increased they will take a number of different steps to ensure that they get their products to their customers on time.  

What are some things that companies will do to meet that demand?  Well, first off a short term solution could be to offer additional hours and/or overtime to current staff.  While this is a great incentive, you need to ensure that you conform to the requirements in the Employment Standards Act (ESA) specifically surrounding "Hours of Work".

The legislation in Ontario limits the number of hours an employee may work per week. It also states that an employee must be off work for a specific number of hours each day and week. Exceptions do exist, although you need to confirm with the ESA if those exceptions apply to your workplace.  Ensuring compliance on all aspects of the Hours of Work section of the ESA can be a tricky task, but easily done when you are familiar with the legislation and have the proper tools in place to track hours worked.

Another choice for Employers is to hire a bunch of employees to ensure that the demand can be met.  However, you need to determine if you can sustain this increased workforce, and in most cases the answer is no. What ends up happening is most Employers will layoff and/or terminate these newly hired workers.  

When companies are constantly hiring and terminating staff this can lead to decreased morale, and cause employees to constantly wonder if they will lose their job when the peak production season has passed.  In my opinion, hiring should take place when you are replacing an individual that has left the company or when sales have increased permanently (not seasonal) and can support an increase in staff.

A third option and my favourite would be to flex up and down your workforce when customer demand dictates.  

  1. Establish a core group of employees with the skills, knowledge and experience required to service your customer with a quality product.  

  2. Develop and implement a proper Productivity/Production Scorecard.

  3. Identify your value added and non-value added tasks throughout your operation.  

  4. During lower demand months all core employees perform value and non-valued tasks.  During peak demand month’s core employees only perform value added tasks while temporary agency workers perform the non-value added tasks.


This option ensures that your core is employed throughout the entire year without a need to reduce the size of your workforce and thus maintain morale and ensures that your customer continues to receive the quality service and product that they expect at all times.

 

See the full Employment Standards Act (ESA) Guide for more details.

Buying Best Value Entry Door Systems
By: Skip MacLean, Director of Business Development at Tru Tech Doors & President at Fenestration Canada
Date: July 8, 2013

When buying exterior door products for your home you are always best served to buy from a dealer who represents the best door product available. How do we determine “Best”?

Ask yourself these questions:

  1. How long has your dealer been in business? Can they provide references?

    Bad companies rarely stay in business for long periods, Shoddy workmanship, less than honest business practices usually catch up to them. Dealers who have been in business for long periods rarely waste their time or risk their reputation with inferior products.


  2. Did the dealer take time to answer all your questions?

    Quality dealer representation begins with product knowledge and the ability to guide you to making the best purchase possible to fit your unique needs and style.


  3. Was the dealer transparent as to where and by whom the door product is built?

    Quality entry door dealers are proud of the companies they represent as is the manufacturer in them. Many dealers today, tend to believe they must be all things to all people or represent themselves as the manufacturer. When it comes to entry door systems this philosophy just doesn’t work. You are far better served to deal with someone who supports one or two entry door manufacturers with unique offerings.


  4. Was your dealer able to explain and detail the process of purchasing, installing and caring for your entry door?

    Your time is important and your satisfaction imperative. Makes sure your dealer can provide details as to the scope of the work being entertained, carefully details the installation process and provides you with instructions on how to use and care for your entry door system.


  5. Lastly, ask about warranty and if a situation arises, how this process will work.

    Many companies offer warranties on their products. Some unfortunately are more impressive on paper than in reality. You should expect your entry door to operate without issue for a number of years. Quality dealers representing quality entry door manufacturers understand this and will respond quickly and professionally to all service requests. Remember you are their best salesperson. One referral from a satisfied customer is worth its weight in advertising dollars.

 

Craftsman – The Perfect Cottage Door
By: Sandra Robson, Art Director
Date: July 5, 2013

The shortest season of the year has arrived…summer. Outdoor adventures, and cottage season is in full swing. Life is time stressed, overscheduled and complex. Escaping the city is a wonderful release from a hectic week. Arriving at a beautiful entrance is the ultimate welcome. 

I personally love how the craftsman door completes a country home. It is a perfect statement for the back to nature lifestyle that a cottage offers. The “less is more” clean lines are striking. I appreciate the value of durability and convenience of a low maintenance premium fiberglass door. The decorative glass playfully invites light into your cottage and adds a finishing touch with character, charm and distinction.

Tru Tech offers a diverse range of Craftsman glass and door styles. New glass and door designs are in the works, and they are stunning. 

It may interest you to know, that the origins of the craftsman style home and philosophy date back to the early 1860s.  A strong British movement emerged in response to the Industrial Revolution, a period of mass production. With a strong focus on square, bold and simple shapes; the Craftsman designs were a drastic contrast to existing ornamental Victorian homes. The shift celebrated the individual worker, craftsmanship, and encouraged the use of natural materials.

Influenced by the arts and crafts movement and oriental wooden architecture; Craftsman homes were designed in America by the 1900s. Prairie and mission furniture completed the esthetic appeal. Popularity soared in the 1930s. Homes featured natural stone, woodwork and rich earthy colours.

Today, the Craftsman influence is reflected in our kitchens, furniture, windows and doors. This door style easily enhances the relaxed atmosphere that surrounds the cottage lifestyle.

Before you journey back home; recharged for the week ahead; take a moment and share a final glance at your Craftsman entrance. A silent comforting message filters in – see you next weekend.  

A Door is a Door
By: Carlo Ianni, Director of Sales and Marketing
Date: July 3, 2013

A door is just a door ... If you believe this, then chances are you will make the wrong choice in buying a new door.

Let me say I have heard this many times over the years, especially when giving a customer a quote. The truth is there are many differences in the quality and performance of a door. At first look, yes they will look similar, but let me spell out some differences when you take a closer look. I will not dwell on the real technical stuff but just the aesthetic parts that will make a huge difference and affect the price of the door.
 
  1. The glass insert could have a similar overall look to a Tru Tech glass insert, but if the price is a lot different,     look closely. A trick used to reduce the price is to eliminate the beveled glass pieces. It is the bevels in the glass that gives the glass it’s glamour and crystallized look.

  2. Paint can also affect the pricing and quality.  The paint on the door could be a less expensive paint, and if so, it will not last the test of time.  Here at Tru Tech we have been told by experts and customers that our paints are the best paint in North America. We have imbedded into are paint UV protectors, fade blockers, hardeners and heat resistant blockers. 

  3. Lastly, the frame work can also affect the pricing. If it is a one piece frame that looks like it came out of a box than it will be less expensive.  If there is little or no detail, then it will be less expensive.
These are just 3 items that make a huge difference in the overall look, performance and price of a door.  I will get into more technical aspects of these differences in my next blog. When it comes to doors, the statement “buyers beware” rings true.  If you have not done your homework, and you believe that a door is just a door... you should beware!

Does your front door colour match your personality?
By: Sandra Robson, Art Director
Date: June 25, 2013

The colour of your front exterior door is more than just a decorative statement. The impact of colour is instant, powerful and conveys an expressive message. Provided that you have chosen based purely on preference; that choice may reveal personal style and values and possibly the atmosphere inside your home.

 

Yellow: Clarity – Imaginative – Logical
Yellow is welcoming, optimistic, inviting, energetic, and fun loving. It is the colour of the mind and intellect with a zest for life.

 

Orange: Cheerful – Confidence – Warmth
Being a social colour; you just know that a whole lot of stimulating, friendly conversations and celebrations grace this home. You can expect warm-hearted activities and an atmosphere full of vitality behind an orange door.

 

Red: Excitement – Youthful – Bold
The vibrant colour of fire, strength and passion is hard to ignore. Energetic, courageous, fearlessness and outgoing enthusiasm for life are associated with red.

Purple: Creative – Spiritual – Imaginative
People that chose purple experience unique, fresh perspectives with a slightly eccentric flare. Helping people, and treating friends like family creates a welcoming ambiance.

 

Blue: Trust – Dependable – Strength
You would find a relaxing atmosphere behind a blue front door with a focus on peace, stability and harmony. There is a desire for a clean and tidy home.

 

Green: Peaceful – Growth – Health
The nature inspired green door represents strong traditional values, safety, tranquility, balance and prosperity. 

 

Brown: Natural – Comfort – Safe
Walking through the threshold of a brown door reveals a home with an easygoing, down to earth, comfortable atmosphere. Enjoying the simple and small things in life is sure to bring family and friends close together.

 

Grey: Balance – Neutral – Calm
A grey exterior door reflects a conservative, composed and reliable approach to life. A desire for security and practically are common traits for those who prefer grey.

 

Black: Power – Precision – Directness
A black colour preference signifies dignity, strong design tastes, modern values and balance. This door displays a timeless, elegant statement. People choosing a black  door, possess an air of authority, mystery and careful approach with details in their life. 

 

White: Purity – Perfection – Wholeness 
Peaceful, simplicity, independence, self-reliant, organized, neat and clean are traits common to the homeowner of a white door. It is a favourite colour for design-focused modernists with a desire for less clutter. 

 

Of course, there are variations to the colours listed and character trait results are based on statistically significant studies. It is uncanny how similar individuals gravitate toward similar colour palettes. Perhaps, colour theorists are onto something.

Tru Tech Doors has carefully selected a wide selection of colours and styles to ensure that your front door compliments your home. Our painting process and results are exceptional and will exceed expectations. 

US Health Care Reform
By: Jerry Ferri, Human Resources Manager
Date: June 21, 2013

The debate rages on between the supporters of Health Care Reform and those that oppose it.  Many people tend to believe that they will not have the same quality health care that they are receiving today, while others look forward to knowing that they will have medical coverage.

There are many intricate pieces that come together to form "The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act".  Tru Tech Doors currently provides medical insurance to our employees.  I have listed below some points in my opinion that outweigh any negatives that may arise from this legislation.

 

1. Insurance companies can no longer deny an individual coverage due to a pre-existing conditions.

2. All Americans will be provided with the opportunity to have affordable health insurance.  Reports estimate that over 40 million Americans are without any form of health insurance.

3. Federal and State Health Insurance Exchanges will be set up in 2014 providing additional affordable options for coverage.

4. Insurance companies cannot increase your premiums greater than 10% without providing justification.

5. Insurance companies cannot terminate your coverage; this can only be done due to customer fraud.

 

The best way to look at Health Care Reform is that millions of Americans will now have access to preventive care.  If people are doing their annual physicals and routine doctor visits, theoretically illnesses should be caught sooner than later and we should be able to save more lives. 

Maintain Your Windows & Doors ... And Conserve Energy!
By: Julie Saville, Marketing Coordinator
Date: June 19, 2013

As a home owner, it seems that every year there is some big project that needs to be done ... with a BIG price tag.  One year we had to replace our driveway (big pot-holes), another year we had to replace our roof (soft spots), yet another year several appliances conked out all at once.  There is always something...

Like many homeowner, I have experienced the feeling of doom when passing a window in the winter time that is really drafty, knowing full well how expensive it will be if we need to replace all of our windows.  Sometimes it’s not about replacing windows though, but about maintaining those windows.

Much of this applies to Doors as well.  It is important as a home owner to maintain your doors and windows.  These are some easy maintenance tips:

If you feel drafts, then it's time to check all the areas where air may be seeping in.  

  1. Check all windows for cracks or broken glass.  This applies to doors as well, if you have glass inserts.
  2. If you notice condensation between the window panes - condensation is an indication that your seal is likely broken.
  3. Check that your windows & doors close properly.  Is there proper tightness & seal?
  4. Check the caulking around each door and window.  Caulking needs to be replaced if cracks appear in the caulking itself.
  5. Check the weather stripping for any damage.

If you notice a rise in your energy bill, windows & doors can be a major contributing factor.

You can re-caulk windows & doors on your own, by going to your local hardware store for supplies.  Ask the hardware representative how to re-caulk correctly.  If you have any of these other issues stated above, you need to get a certified contractor in to asses and maintain the doors and windows.   Or replace them, if necessary.

If you replace your front door, or a few inefficient windows, you will start saving energy, and energy costs.   Tru Tech Doors are Energy Star Rated, so in the summer, you will be sure to keep the cool air in and the warm air out.  Conversely, when the winter rolls back around, you will keep the cold air out, and the warm air in.  Contact a certified Tru Tech Dealer if it’s time to replace that old inefficient door. 

TRU ELEGANCE CUSTOMIZED
By: Daniel Facecchia, Customer Service Manager - Door Systems
Date: June 18, 2013

Like many exterior door manufacturers, Tru Tech offers a variety of decorative glass designs to suit all your tastes and needs.  Today, Tru Tech carries 11 distinctive glass designs, with 4 new and original designs launching in the very near future.  One of the things that separate us from most other door manufactures is that we make the glass here, in house, at our Vaughan Ontario facility.  This gives us the ability to quickly and easily make a custom size transom or direct glaze sidelite glass to match the decorative glass in the door.  What this means to the consumer is a much quicker turnaround time.  There is no need to wait for the glass to arrive from China, or any other overseas manufacturing facility.  A custom unit made within weeks not months.  But that’s not all; you, the homeowner, may be replacing your windows as well.  You may want the kitchen awning window to match the decorative glass in your front door.  We can easily make a piece of glass to fit your window, and really give your kitchen that custom feel.  If you love the Premier design, but you’re not completely happy with the caming colour (lead that holds the different textures of glass and ‘outlines’ the design) that our standard units are available in we can change it...plated brass to plated chrome no problem!  Maybe your tastes lead you to the Imperial design, but you have a tendency to sing and dance along to Taylor Swift (while indecently clad) and would like something a little more private.  We can easily seal the glass with one of our tempered textures, traditionally used in our Arterferro wrought iron collection.  Now you can be free to belt out that break-up song without fear of being seen...though you may still be heard.  In the end, we here at Tru Tech Doors make quality exterior doors to suit both your needs and your wants.  We endeavour to continuously lead the industry.

When It comes to doors ... How do you know you’re getting value for your $?
By: Carlo Ianni, Director of Sales and Marketing
Date: June 14, 2013

Today doors can be a big expense, and making sure you have made the right choices when it comes to style, quality and Contractor can be confusing.

Choosing the right style is not necessarily what we like, but what is the right fit for the home. Over the years I have seen doors that were very expensive but looked out of place, because they did not suite the architectural flavour of that particular home. In some cases a more inexpensive door would have made the house look more appealing, and the door appear to be much more expensive.

Deciding on style, you have to look at your home from a distance and let it tell you what will work. Tru Tech Doors does have an APP which takes all the guess work out, and is available to all Tru Tech Dealers. 

Now how do you choose the Contractor or Door and Window Dealer to do business with?  This is a question that Consumers ask themselves frequently, and being in the business 30 years I have seen a lot of good and bad installs. No matter how much you have paid for your door, if the install is wrong it will not do it justice.  

So here are some questions and tips to look at:

1. How long have they been in business?

2. Do they have an office or showroom?

3. Who does their installs; subs or actual employees of the company?

4. Do they have a service department and what is the procedure if service is required?

5. What is the warranty and is it in writing on a document?

6. Ask for referrals or jobs they have done so you can see for yourself.

Most Dealers purchase their doors from manufactures and either carry the manufactures name or use a private label. Ask where the doors are being manufactured and contact the manufacturer. This will give you the confidence that the doors are backed by a reputable company that honours their warranties. 

At Tru Tech we allow our Dealers and Customers to come and see us and visit our showroom.

If your homework is done, chances are you will get the right value for your money! 

Signs of Progress
By: Tracey Sullivan, IT Manager
Date: June 12, 2013

While driving a few miles from my house several months ago I noticed something that surprised me ... You see quite a few years ago a local housing developer had cleared hundreds of acres of wooded land in preparation for a new housing development.  Then, all of a sudden, all operations ceased.  The bulldozers, front end loaders and grading equipment disappeared.  All that was left was acres of deserted land.  Apparently the developer had experienced financial difficulty due to the recession in the U.S. and could no longer proceed with developing the land.  So, the land remained abandoned for several years.

Then, a little over a year ago I noticed some of the heavy equipment was back at the site.  Every time I drove past that piece of land I made a point of noticing any new progress.  Slowly, progress was being made.  Soon, dirt roads turned into paved streets.  Water lines were being installed.  Basements were being dug and then the foundation of the first house appeared.  Now I will admit I was a little skeptical and thought the land developer might be able to sell one or two homes at the most because the housing market in the U.S. was still down from the recession.  However, I have been quite surprised by the progress over the last few months.  What was once deserted land is now the location of at least thirty new single family homes and a majority of those homes have been sold and are now occupied by families seeking the American dream of owning a home.  

As a farmer’s wife, I am not a proponent of developing parcels of land.  I like wide, open spaces.  However, I work for an exterior door manufacturer (Tru Tech Doors) and I know how the U.S. building industry has struggled over the last several years.  That being said, it is good to see the houses being built again and it is even better seeing those homes being sold rather that remaining vacant for months.   

If you happen to be one of those families in the process of building a new home, take a look at the many different types of doors offered by Tru Tech Doors.  Tru Tech’s vast selection of exterior doors will help put the finishing touches on that brand new home.  

Fenestration Canada
By: Skip MacLean, Director of Business Development at Tru Tech Doors & President at Fenestration Canada
Date: June 11, 2013

At the recent Annual meeting of Fenestration Canada held in St. John’s, NFLD, members and attendees were treated to a wonderful taste of true Canadiana! Although Newfoundland and Labrador were the last provinces to join Canada they are certainly not last in generosity, creativity or in our hearts.

Although five short days were not nearly enough to take in the wonderful scenery, we did get a full brace of down home Newfoundland hospitality. The history of St. John’s, the honest and the sincere friendliness of its people, made certain the associations event was its most successful ever!

Along with the social aspect of the program there were some hard hitting seminars dealing with several topics from the economy to building codes? Turnout for these seminars indicated not only the relevance of the subjects but the overall concern by membership for their industry and the challenges going forward.

The upcoming building codes, specifically for entry doors were a hot topic. Many members challenged the speakers and voiced their concern over the onerous cost, impracticality and inability to produce door products at a cost level their customers would pay. Confusion abounds over the application of the new codes and Fenestration Canada is working hard to provide information that is timely, correct and understandable. All Fenestration Canada members are encouraged to add their voice, expertise and experience to assist in the proper interpretation and application of these new challenges to our industry.

Other industries, insulation, HVAC, lumber etc. are working hard on ensuring their industry is properly represented when dealing with government restrictions and policy or unfair building practices. Can the window and door manufacturers of Canada say the same? It is easy to criticize from the seat of the uninvolved, it is much harder to get involved and help direct the course of action.  The benefits are plentiful. We encourage you to get involved and change the face of our industry.

Fenestration Canada      Your Industry-Your Association

It’s the Small Things:
By: Daniel Facecchia, Customer Service Manager - Door Systems
Date: June 5, 2013

Often in life we find ourselves yearning for what seem to be unobtainable ‘things’.  Yet, when we take a moment to step back and reflect we realize that it is the small things in life that have the biggest impact on us. 

At Tru Tech Doors we put a lot of effort into the small things.  The little components that you hardly ever notice but make a Tru Tech door what it is...the best Exterior Steel and Fiberglass door you can purchase!  Little things; like Moulded Corner Caps which hide the joint and caulking on the outside where the top Brickmould meets the side Brickmould.  Our PVC door lite frames have co-extruded fins so there is no need for caulking, and the screw cover cap on the inside is seamless, none of those little plugs - just a clean finished product.  Our Ball Bearing Hinges offer greater revolution and insure no metal to metal contact.  Our adjustable Weather-Tite Sweep interconnects with the Sill Crown to ensure a tight seal, and the moulded Screw Cap Cover hides unsightly screws.  Q-LON Weather Strip along the perimeter of the door is warranted against shrinkage and protects against the elements.  A Steel Security Plate on the lock side of the door frame offers extra strength to the door frame as well as extra security when the deadbolt is engaged.  Low Profile Sill allows for ease on entering, and is manufactured from aluminum, vinyl, and wood.  It’s thermally broken to eliminate frost transfer from outside to in the home.  Our paint has hardeners to make it more durable, and heat reflective resigns that eliminate heat build up.  It is also UV stabilized so your factory painted Tru Tech door stays looking as good as the day it was installed for years to come.  The wood grain texture of our Mahogany, Cherry, Oak, and Fir Fiberglass doors is not an ‘artists’ rendering of what the grain looks like but a computer scanned exact replica of actual cuts of Mahogany, Cherry, Oak, and Fir.  This means that a Tru Tech Fiberglass door actual looks like a wood door, not like those plastic looking fiberglass doors you may have seen on the market.  The LSL stiles that we use along the perimeter construction of the Fiberglass slab is nothing short of remarkable.  The same material that is used to keep your house from falling down on you is used in our Fiberglass Doors to offer rigidity and insure that it will never twist or warp. 

These ‘little things’ are the integral pegs in Tru Tech’s wheel, and help immensely in propelling Tru Tech as a leader in the Exterior Steel and Fiberglass Door Industry. 

Craftsman classic style, or new contemporary option?
By: James Wilson, Chief Operating Officer
Date: June 4, 2013

Most designers and architects view the craftsman style door as an essential part of a classic door collection, however Fiberglass materials and glass options are now giving designers options to leverage the clean geometric lines of this classic style to create modern and contemporary craftsman door options.

At Tru Tech Doors we have definitely seen increased interest in craftsman doors with a modern twist. Using a smooth Belmont Fiberglass door with a bright color in contrast to the color of the rest of the house is a great example of this. Also designer's are considering non traditional stain colors on Craftsman Fiberglass doors to both be in harmony with, and in contrast to interior flooring in the house.

Finally modern glass designs featuring more geometric patterns with simple caming and bevelling, are now being used in Belmont Fiberglass Craftsman doors to create more contemporary European looks from the classic North American craftsman door.

If the thought of taking a new spin on an old classic interests you, look at the options available to you at Tru Tech Doors. With smooth, oak, mahogany, and fir Fiberglass doors available and a wide variety of decorative glass to match, you are bound to find the perfect contemporary design for you project.

Will you be prepared to save a life?
By: Jerry Ferri, Human Resources Manager
Date: May 29, 2013

Current legislation does not mandate that employers in Ontario be required to have an Automated External Defibrillator (AED / AED+) on their premises.  For those that do not know an AED is a small portable device that can play an integral part in saving a life when a person suffers a sudden cardiac arrest.  The AED measures cardiac rhythms and will deliver a shock to correct abnormal electrical activity in the heart when required.

According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation there are usually 40,000 cardiac arrests that occur in Canada each year.  That is one cardiac arrest every 12 minutes.  If all public places and workplaces were mandated to have AED’s on-site numerous lives could be saved.

As a Company, why should you have an AED on-site?

1.  The use of an AED combined with CPR increases the likelihood of survival by 75% or more.

2.  For every 1 minute delay in defibrillation, the survival rate of a cardiac arrest victim decreases by 7 – 10%.  After more than 12 minutes of ventricular fibrillation, the survival rate is less than 5%.

3.  The average response time for a sudden cardiac arrest in York Region is 8 minutes and this is achieved 74% of the time.

So what do these statistics tell us? They tell us that although we all appreciate and applaud the hard work that emergency services personnel must perform every day, the first aid responders in workplaces are the first links in the chain of survival, and that if we do not provide the appropriate tools and training the likelihood of survival decreases with every passing minute.

Everyone talks about wanting to ensure the health and safety of their employees, but have we really taken the necessary steps to actually do that?  I am proud to say that at Tru Tech Doors we have done so, by ensuring that we have an AED at both our Vaughan and Virginia locations.  Not only do we have the equipment on-site, we have fully trained personnel that can respond to emergencies and provide the appropriate assistance until emergency services personnel arrive.

It is through our network of trainers (The Life Saving Company and the American Red Cross) that we are confident that our first aid responders are prepared to deal with any and all situations that may arise.

Now that you have the statistics ask yourself again, Will you be prepared to save a life?

To assist you in having an adequate response to this question we, recommend contacting The Life Saving Company in Ontario, Canada and the American Red Cross in the United States.

 

Resources:

Heart & Stroke Foundation

York Region

Often Imitated, Never Duplicated
By: Daniel Facecchia, Customer Service Manager - Door Systems
Date: May 28, 2013

They say that imitation is the greatest form of flattery, and that may be true, but when it comes to your home’s exterior doors almost is not good enough.  Tru Tech Doors are not only the best looking Steel and Fiberglass doors on the market; they are the best built doors you can find.  From raw materials to finished product Tru Tech does not cut corners.  Our raw materials are routinely checked to insure that the specs are within tolerances and to assure the materials used meet our stringent guidelines.  Our in house engineer is constantly working on improving every component used to make a Tru Tech Door.  It doesn’t end there; the level of experience and knowledge from our Customer Service Department through to the gifted and skilled men and women who hand make the Decorative Glass, and Door Panels, who paint and assemble the various parts and pieces of a quality built Tru Tech door, are second to none.  There is a level of responsibility that comes with being the benchmark for Exterior Steel and Fiberglass Doors.  The pressure of always producing, not only the best looking door, but also the best performing door is what motivates us here every day at Tru Tech.  It is hard being on top, trailblazing the Exterior Door industry, but it is where we belong.  While other companies are playing catch-up, and trying to mimic what we’ve been doing for years, we’re looking forward to the future of the Exterior Steel and Fiberglass Door industry, developing cleaner, more efficient products that will not only stand up to the discerning eye but to everyday life.  When you are looking to replace your exterior doors, make sure you visit a reputable company and make sure they are a registered Tru Tech Dealer.  

Front Exterior Door – Venus vs Mars
By: Sandra Robson, Art Director
Date: May 24, 2013

Purchasing as a couple can be challenging. Is there a difference between the way women and men choose a front exterior door? Or, is the decision making process, purely an expression of individualistic style? 

Both planets are capable of vision, exceptional taste and evaluating all the factors. As individuals we have our unique set of strengths, decision-making skills, problem solving approaches and priorities. These abilities are not gender specific traits. 

As consumers, both have opportunities to take advantage of the wealth of information available before we even step out the door. 

Consider the esthetics, style of home, personal style, where you live, weather conditions, level of desired maintenance (be realistic), product features, personal budget and especially the quality.

Decide on personal must haves, share and compare ideas on that perfect front entry door. Be prepared to rethink and adjust the wish list. This home reflects both and is likely a one-time purchase.

Rather than focusing on gender differences; move towards combining each person’s natural strengths, consider multiple factors, compare values and communicate. 

Visit a dealer showroom as a team, see the products, and discuss options. A solution will evolve.

If a decision can be reached without involving a divorce lawyer or breaking the bank, well… let’s say that’s a good day.  

Hopefully we’ve reached an age where both can share the universe, celebrate our differences, and contribute to the selection of the perfect front exterior door that embraces a balance of two minds. 

 

Creating the Neighbourhood You’ve Always Wanted!
By: Julie Saville, Marketing Coordinator
Date: May 22, 2013

While the summer is upon us, more and more young homeowner are creating front gardens as well as porches for sitting out, as a way to get to know their neighbours.

You’ve started getting your gardens cleaned up, the flowers are starting to bloom, and the grass is green and growing.  Is your walkway cracking?  Is your front door an eyesore?   Every year it seems that there is a major household project to do;  the roof one year, the driveway another, indoor appliances seem to conk out all at once, kitchen reno’s, bathroom reno’s ... it never seems to end!  Ask your neighbours, they probably have done (or will be doing) research and similar upgrades, if their homes were built around the same time as yours.  Your neighbours can provide you with lots of ideas and share their renovation experiences.

If it is time to spruce up your front entrance, take a look at Tru Tech Doors.  You have countless options, from Fiberglass Doors to Steel Doors.  You have the option of any number of door inserts, with handmade decorative glass or wrought iron designs.  You can do sidelites, and custom transoms.  Tru Tech's high quality Fiberglass door truly looks like a wood door, without all of the maintenance that goes along with having a real wood door.  And the look is really beautiful!  Come into Tru Tech Doors and see for yourself.

With the upgrade of a Tru Tech Door, your neighbours will come by while you are outside working, intrigued to get more information.  Maybe they will even come inside, or come over for a backyard BBQ / potluck.  The more you get to know them, the more you will realize how important good neighbours can be.  They can provide friendship, support, an ear when troubles hit, a set of eyes when you are out of town.  Bring good neighbours in, and you will create the kind of community and neighbourhood you’ve always dreamed of.

HD STEEL OR HARBOUR CRAFT FIBERGLASS DOOR?
By: Daniel Facecchia, Customer Service Manager - Door Systems
Date: May 21, 2013

A common question gets asked when people first start thinking about replacing their doors, “do I choose a steel door or a fiberglass door and what is the difference?” Both options are clearly beautiful, both are Energy Star rated, and both options come with an array of colours, glass designs, and sizes. Both HD Steel and Harbour Craft Fiberglass doors come with their own specific list of pros. Tru Tech`s HD Steel Line is very customizable. Tru Tech can make a HD Steel door slab anywhere from 22 ìnches wide to 42 inches wide and from 36 inches tall up to 95 inches tall. The 24G Steel is prefinished with a premium primer and ready to be painted any one of our 20 standard colours. It can also be painted to match any custom colour you can think of. To really make a statement, you can opt for Tru Tech`s Executive Series door. The pronounced definition and contour of Tru Tech`s Executive Series stands out and adds to the WOW factor a homeowner is looking for when creating that grand entrance. However, if you prefer the warmth, richness, and elegance of a wood door, without the warping and twisting that comes with a wood door, than Tru Tech`s Harbour Craft Fiberglass door is the option for you. The look and charm of a wood door; with the durability and strength of fiberglass. The texture of the grain is true to life, and accepts the stain as would a real wood door. The 4 inch LSL stiles that run along the perimeter of the door on the inside insure that the Harbour Craft Fiberglass door is the most rigid fiberglass door on the market and it will not warp or twist. Tru Tech`s Harbour Craft Fiberglass door can also be painted the same way we paint our HD Steel doors, but if you want to fool everyone that comes to your door, along with Mother Nature, into believing you have a wood door then a stained Harbour Craft door is the way to go.

The Beauty of Decorative Glass
By: Tracey Sullivan, IT Manager
Date: May 17, 2013

 

Whenever I ride my bike through the various neighborhoods near my house, I find myself paying particular attention to the front door installed in these homes.  I guess I find these doors intriguing because I work for an exterior door manufacturer.  I have noticed in the newer neighborhoods, the trend seems to be toward front exterior doors containing decorative glass which definitely makes for a beautiful entryway.

I am a fan of decorative glass for numerous reasons.  First, decorative glass adds to the beauty of a home.  It has great curb appeal.  Second, decorative glass allows natural light into your entryway which can save you some money on that monthly electric bill.  Third, decorative glass can allow you privacy while still allowing the light to filter into your home.

Tru Tech Doors offers some beautiful decorative glass collections.  The Tru Elegance collection is offered with various types of caming such as black plated chrome, plated brass, and nickel.  The Arteferro collection is offered with exquisite wrought iron caming.  My personal favorite is the Tru Elegance Prestige collection.

Decorative glass is not just offered for the entry door itself.  Your entryway can really look stunning with sidelites and / or a transom containing decorative glass.  Whether you are building a new home or looking to remodel your existing home, consider a Tru Tech front door entry system containing one of the beautiful decorative glass collections offered by Tru Tech Doors.

“WOW” The Tru Tech App is Amazing
By: Carlo Ianni, Director of Sales and Marketing
Date: May 15, 2013

The Tru Tech App takes the guess work out of choosing the right door for your home. No more guess work on the colour, design and architectural style that suites your home. It will change the way you shop for doors in a big way.

I have been using the Tru Tech App for a while now and these are some of the things I have noticed:

  1. No more flipping through pages and pages of brochures
  2. Your decision on choosing is much quicker
  3. The guess work of how it will look is gone
  4. The decision is made with confidence
  5. Door shopping becomes fun, as you insert the different styles on the picture your home

If you are undecided on a door, whether it be Fibreglass or Steel this App is the perfect tool to guide you through your decision. I have had customers pick their door with confidence after showing just two styles. Customers love the fact that they can change glass designs and door configurations, and see them side by side.

Another fun thing with the App is you can print the picture and show it off to your neighbors and friends even before your door is installed weeks down the road. Customers have bought doors from seeing one of these pictures and the difference it makes in changing the overall appearance of the home is amazing.  It adds value and curb appeal.

The App is exclusive to all Tru Tech Dealer sales representatives. Call up one of our dealers today and see it for yourself.  See the difference it will make on your home.

Selling and choosing Steel or Fibreglass doors has never been so easy, even if you had not thought about changing your door, once you see it you will want to.

 

 

VINYLCLAD: NO FUSS NO MUSS
By: Daniel Facecchia, Customer Service Manager - Door Systems
Date: May 14, 2013

Between the kids hockey practice, dance recital, and that proposal your boss handed you last minute to complete, there is very little time to tackle the ever growing list of items on your ‘honey do’ list. Why add more to that list? When purchasing a Tru Tech Door, why not add vinylclad to the frame and brickmould? With a typical wood frame around your door comes added maintenance, labour, and time. The wood frame has to be painted, and sanded, and painted, and sanded, and painted. It’s exposed to the elements, and the elements don’t care about little Emma’s out-of-town hockey tournament. Why book a weekend with your front door when you can add vinylclad to your door and book a weekend at the cottage? Adding vinylclad to the frame and brickmould is an inexpensive way, when purchasing a Tru Tech Door, to not only extend the life of the door system, but free up some time! Vinylclad is maintenance free. It’s a ‘wrap’ that covers all the exposed wood on the frame and brickmould...you can even add it to the interior frame if you wanted. The vinylclad is extruded in 5 colours, but we can also paint to match any of our other standard colours. Just imagine what you can do with the extra time a vinylclad Tru Tech Door will provide you. Not only will you have the most beautiful door on your street and be the envy of your neighbours, but with that extra time you’ll definitely get to clearing out the garage so the kids can get their bikes out. 

Canadian Doors & Windows
By: Skip MacLean, Director of Business Development at Tru Tech Doors & Vice President at Fenestration Canada
Date: May 10, 2013

4 Questions you should ask your company about joining Fenestration Canada!

You’re a window and door professional. A Canadian manufacturer of the best fenestration products made in the world! A provider of quality components and services to the Canadian window and door trade!

1.) Would you like better access to your customers, suppliers and service providers?

2.) Is it important to have higher visibility to decision makers in our industry?

3.) Would accurate, timely market information help you make better business decisions?

4.) Will keeping informed of code changes, product improvement and services and emerging markets help your company perform better?

All good questions, do you have the answers?

In all likelihood, one of the many Fenestration Canada members can help, through sharing of past experiences, group or committee discussions or just plain old camaraderie.

Membership in Fenestration Canada can give you answers to all of the above and much more. Fenestration Canada (formerly CWDMA) represents the interests of the Canadian window and door industry.

Give your window and door company the boost it needs to survive and flourish in today’s competitive market.

Add your voice to the hundreds of existing members. Take advantage of the informative technical window and door webinars.

Fenestration Canada wants you!  Get involved! Stay informed! Have your say! 

 

Membership is the beginning! Involvement the journey! Success the reward!

Looking for a New Fiberglass Door for your Home?
By: James Wilson, Chief Operating Officer
Date: May 7, 2013

There are many things to consider when purchasing a new front door for your home. Most people find a design or “look” that they like for their home then consider factors such as security, utility, reliability and efficiency to decide what product is best suited to them. I remind myself to discuss those aspects with customers by remembering to be “S.U.R.E.” I have covered everything.

 

Security

A front door needs to be inviting while still providing security to the homeowner. How the door, the door frame and the locking mechanism work in conjunction with each other to provide security is often a question that people ask. Door frames can be constructed from many different materials, from wood and composite materials right up to heavy gauge steel. Wood is the traditional material used as it is strong, durable and easy to work with. When choosing a front door entry system with a wood frame construction, ask whether steel security plates are used where the lock and deadbolt slide into the frame. Steel frame systems are available for added security, but your options regarding finish and appearance become limited when they are used. There are also many handle and lock set options available for front doors. One that many people have not heard of before is multipoint locking systems. A traditional lock engages the door frame at or near the handle. A multi point lock engages the door frame at several different points, all at the same time. The more engagement points there are between the lock and frame the more difficult it would be to break down the door.

 

Utility

A door is more than an entrance to your home. In many cases it also serves as a way to increase natural light and air in the home. There are many decorative doorlite options to bring light into a home while still providing privacy. There are even venting doorlites with screened windows built in to let in fresh air. Sliding screen door or storm door options also provide utility to you entrance. You may need to consider some more practical matters. For example do you need a double door to move furniture and appliances in and out of the house, or do you have the option to install a wider single door with sidelites to change the look of you entrance?

 

Reliability

Reliability and quality in a door system usually go hand in hand. Doors typically get a lot of use, have many moving parts and are subjected to the elements. Quality handle sets, locks and hinges are essential, so is the finish of your door. A professionally painted steel door or professionally stained fiberglass door will stand the test of time with little maintenance or touch up under normal daily conditions.

 

Efficiency

Properly constructed and installed front door systems provide a thermal barrier for the home. In short, it can keep cold air out of the house in the winter and warm air out of the house when the air conditioning is on in the summer. The thermal efficiency of a front entry door is significantly affected by the door panel used, the weather-strip applied, and how the sweep on the bottom of the door engages the threshold of the door. Door panels are constructed in several fashions. Internally they can be filled with polyurethane foam or with Styrofoam. These materials have different thermal properties that are measured by their “R” factor. The higher the R factor the better the material insulates.  The Energy star program is applicable to front entry door systems. Be sure to ask if the door is Energy star rated.

It looks like wood, but it’s really Fiberglass...
By: Tracey Sullivan
Date: May 3, 2013

If you have ever seen a grained fiberglass entry door before it has been stained, you probably wondered if it was really possible to make the fiberglass door have the same beautiful wood grain look of a real wood door. The answer to that question is definitely YES.

I have had the opportunity to stain many of the various Harbour Craft and Belmont fiberglass doors offered by Tru Tech Doors, and I am always in awe as I watch an unstained fiberglass door being transformed into a beautiful, elegant entry door. Whether your graining preference is cherry, fir, mahogany, or oak, the staining process can transform an unfinished door into a work of art.

When choosing a fiberglass door, pay careful attention to the graining pattern. For example, if a door is advertised with an oak grain, be sure to inspect the graining pattern to see if it indeed looks like an oak grain. Also, check the depth of the grain. The deeper the graining pattern, the better the door will look after the staining process. Finally, check to see if the graining is consistent on the entire door. You do not want a door where areas of the graining are either missing or very shallow as this will not allow you to achieve the rich wood grain look you desire after you stain the door.

There are many door stains on the market, but be careful to choose a stain specified for fiberglass doors. I prefer to use an oil-based gel stain when staining fiberglass. Most gel stains have a thicker consistency which allows for better coverage on the fiberglass. Gel stains are offered in numerous colors to allow you to achieve the look you desire.

When staining the door, do not rush the process. Allow yourself at least one hour to stain each side of the door. You need to take the time to work the stain down into the grain of the door. You must also be careful to apply the stain uniformly to the entire door. You do not want one part of the door to look lighter or darker than another part of the door. Also, do not apply too much stain as this will result in the fiberglass door looking like it has been painted rather than stained.

The last step to achieving a beautiful fiberglass entry door is the application of a clear topcoat finish. The topcoat is applied with a brush after the stain is thoroughly dry. I usually wait at least 24 hours before applying the topcoat. You should apply two coats of topcoat which allows for better and longer protection of the stained door. If you reapply the clear topcoat every 2-3 years, your door will continue to look like a work of art.

If you are short on time or would rather not stain the door yourself, consider having the door pre-stained before installation. Tru Tech Doors offers a unique staining process that delivers a beautifully stained fiberglass entry door in a variety of stain colors. Whether you choose the do-it-yourself approach or prefer the ease of a pre-stained door, you will end up with an impressive fiberglass entry door.

IT'S ABOUT TIME!
By: Daniel Facecchia, Customer Service Manager - Door Systems
Date: May 1, 2013

So you’ve decided that it is time to replace your exterior doors. You’ve driven around your neighbourhood countless times and you got some great ideas...but will they work for your home? This weekend you are visiting a registered Tru Tech dealer to get the ball rolling on replacing that old, tired, and leaky front door. It’s a great idea to bring 1 simple measurement with you to help along with the whole process. By measuring the ‘Brick to Brick’ opening you provide an excellent piece of information that will help greatly in determining what exactly will fit into your home. Say, for instance, you have a double door but would prefer a single door with 2 sidelites. The brick to brick measurement will help the dealer to determine what size door would be best, the overall size of the sidelites, or if a beautiful 8ft door will fit instead of that transom. The brick to brick measurement is simple to get, and does not need to be exact at this point. Simply measure the width from the bricks beside the door to the bricks on the other side of the door. For the height, measure from the floor/concrete the door is sitting on all the way up to the brick or lintel above the door. That’s it! That 1 measurement will answer a lot of questions and will help in making your vision a reality.

To request further information:  http://www.trutechdoors.com/support/default.aspx

Building Your Own Referrals
By: Carlo Ianni, Director of Sales and Marketing
Date: April 30, 2013

Home Door and Window sales today have become much tougher than in the past, for a few reasons;

  1. A well educated consumer, with easy access to information (Internet and shows like HGTV).
  2. A lot more competition entering the market, and other companies that have diversified their product offerings.  I.e. roofing companies offering doors and windows.
  3. Differences in product quality and pricing have confused the consumer.
    i.e. Fibreglass vs. Steel

 

So how does a sales person get the edge over other sales people?  You have to offer more to the customer. It’s not enough to sign a deal and move to the next lead, and never make contact with that customer again. You have to build a customer base of your own, who trust and value the services offered, over and above the company represented.

How can this be done ... simple?

  1. Customers want to be able to call the person that they dealt with if they have a question or if a problem arises, not someone they have never met. (Give them your cell number)
  2. Once the product is installed and complete, make it a point to go see them, to see if everything worked out ok. They just earned you a big commission why not bring a $7.00 bottle of wine and say thank you.
  3. Create a data base sending out holiday wishes. This can easily be done today with email blasts.

 

These are just a few of the simple things that can be done to build a strong referral business.  As you progress in your sales career you won’t have to chase leads, they will be calling you and sending you referrals.

 

Next I will talk about how to be known as the Door and Window “go to” person in your network. Stay tuned.

“It’s Not How Many Doors You Knock on, But How many You Open”

www.trutechdoors.com

 

Earning a seat at the table...
By: Jerry Ferri, Human Resources Manager
Date: April 26, 2013

Since the economy began to falter in 2008, I have read a number of articles, blogs and interviews that say, how do Human Resources professionals earn a seat at the decision making table? 


In many instances the same theme shows up all the time; Human Resources professionals need to change and become strategic thinkers to earn that seat and contribute to a company’s success; really?


As a Human Resources professional for 10+ years working for window and door manufacturers, I am here to tell you that there are very few tasks that we perform in our role where we are not thinking strategically. Let’s review a common task that is commonly perceived as an administrative function, however as we dig deeper we see the strategy involved in the decision making process.


Benefits Administration – Is there an administrative aspect to it? Of course there is, someone needs to ensure that the enrolment forms are filled out properly and that the benefit booklets are distributed and that questions regarding the plan are answered.


The strategy behind benefit administration is plan design and why and how certain benefits will be offered. We need to look at our organization’s demographics and determine how we meet the needs of our employees and maintain a cost effective plan that meets budget. We need to strategically analyze the various plan designs that are available (i.e. an insured plan, flexible plan, or administrative services only) and recommend a plan design that meets the objectives / targets. A poorly designed benefit plan can result in target loss ratio’s being exceeded, increased premiums, employee dissatisfaction and inability to attract and retain qualified staff versus other window and door manufacturers.


As you can see the simple task of benefit administration is not that simple and should we not analyze and take into account numerous factors a poorly designed benefit strategy can negatively impact an organization.


If you haven’t noticed yet, I do not agree with these articles that indicate that my profession is not strategic and that if we do not change we will be left behind. This isn’t your parent’s Human Resources profession; we are not here to push paper, hand out paystubs and plan company parties.


The Human Resources professional today, is knowledgeable of their company’s operations and processes. They understand their customers and are able to apply Human Resources practices/policies to facilitate growth and improvement in their organizations. Almost everything we do takes the organization’s objectives into consideration, from our compensation strategy/plans to our Health and Safety programs to our Employment practices.


Do you still think that Human Resources is not strategic? I think it’s time people begin to learn what our profession is all about.

One Stop Shopping (ALL FROM ONE)
By: Thakur Sumessar, Director of Operations
Date: April 24, 2013

Finally a manufacturer has made it easy, convenient and efficient to shop.  Tru Tech Doors truly provides an “all from one” experience, offering products and services geared towards entry doors and systems.   A customer can truly stop at one of either facilities located in Fredericksburg, Virginia or Vaughan, Ontario and pickup all entry door products manufactured by Tru Tech Doors.  A customer can also call or go online to order door products or entry systems.

 

Tru Tech Doors offers a wide range of designs, colours and custom sizes.  You can get fibreglass or steel, with handmade decorative glass or wrought iron doorlites, sidelites or custom transoms.  Hardware is available, along with framing components and executive panels.  Steel entry doors can be built with a wood edge or a steel edge, and with various fire ratings.  All products are designed and manufactured in our Canadian and U. S. Facilities, and are qualified under the Energy Star rating system.

Tru Tech Doors provides many options, to suit your needs!

Get Ready for Spring!
By: Julie Saville, Marketing Coordinator
Date: April 23, 2013

Spring is finally here, and with the warmer weather comes a spring in your step!  Even spring cleaning and all the outdoor chores cannot bring you down.  You know all that needs to be done when spring hits; raking, aerating and reseeding the lawn, turning over dirt in the gardens, planting spring flowers, window cleaning and generally just cleaning up the appearance of walkways and entrances.  Most homeowners take great pride in the appearance of their home, and spend a lot of time making their home (inside & out) look beautiful.

That only becomes intensified when homeowners are looking to sell.  It is well known that first impressions can make or break a sale, not to mention increase the selling price of the home.  Sellers only have one chance to impress potential buyers.   A well-maintained garden with a variety of colours, hard-scaping such as brick or flagstone, and features such as urns or planters, add an elegant look to even a smaller home.  Upgrade the front porch, and the front door.  A Tru Tech Doors can beautify your curbside appeal, with fibreglass or steel doors, and a huge selection of hand-made decorative glass or wrought iron inserts.  These are the kinds of updates that attract many buyers, and encourage bidding wars.  Sellers are bound to make their money back ... and more.

Fiberglass Home Entry Doors
By: Skip MacLean, Director of Business Development at Tru Tech Doors & Vice President at Fenestration Canada
Date: April 19, 2013

Are fiberglass doors in your product offering? IF NOT, IT’S NOT TOO LATE TO GET IN THE GAME!

Like you, I’ve heard it all before in my short time in the door business; Fiberglass doors warp, they’re expensive! Yada yada yada. They’re just too much trouble!

Most fiberglass door products (but not all) are far more advanced than their predecessors and allow you the opportunity to offer your customers a viable alternative for their home.

More and more homeowners are choosing fiberglass doors for their home entry doors. If you’re not in the game you’re not capitalizing on a growing segment of the door business. Adding fiberglass doors to your product offering will give you an opportunity to provide a lower cost alternative to expensive wood doors.  A Tru Tech Harbour Craft fiberglass door so closely imitates wood, that you will be hard pressed to tell the difference. Our Belmont smooth skin fiberglass doors, once painted, mirror the old world look of a professionally painted solid wood door. The care, craftsmanship and attention to detail expended in the manufacturing of each Tru Tech door panel is a testament to their status as a leader in the home entry door market. Do yourself a favour and investigate how a Tru Tech fiberglass door panel is made, and how we ensure every door we make is a door you can confidently offer to your customer!

Choosing a Front Exterior Door
By: Sandra Robson, Art Director
Date: April 17, 2013

When it comes to esthetics – some of us fall in the “hard to please category”. You know who you are... Tell me you don’t spend hours cruising through Houzz and Pinterest. My husband is painfully aware; how high my expectations are on any and all purchases that pass the threshold of our home.

So when it comes to our front exterior door, wood is my first choice. Wood is natural, warm and inviting. Unfortunately, our ever-changing climate makes wood impractical. Compensating for the warping and maintenance we would endure is not how I want to spend my Saturdays.

Fiberglass doors would be the proper choice. The photos look great, the headlines are enticing and yet the actual door left me disappointed. It screams artificial. Dam the powers of Photoshop.

A little over two years ago, I toured Tru Tech Doors and I was immediately drawn to the fiberglass doors. The attention to detail, the realistic grain, the rich embossed panels and beautiful stain were the best I’ve seen in all my ten years in the door industry. You just don’t see quality like that every day. Even the simplest clear beveled glass looked amazing in this Harbour Craft door.  I had to touch, and I did. First impressions are the lasting ones.

Today, I can honestly say that a fiberglass door is the best choice for our home. Save the real wood for floors and furniture.

Don’t take my word for it – you need to see for yourself. Contact a dealer or come in to see, touch and enjoy. Whether it’s Oak, Cherry or Mahogany – notice how the light plays on the grain and how the glass frame is textured to match the door. Then ask about the durability, thermal performance and all the technical detail – equally impressive.

Now step away and tell me that it doesn’t look like wood.

Making It Safe!
By: Jerry Ferri, Human Resources Manager
Date: April 16, 2013

In 2011, the number one cause of lost-time injuries in Ontario was sprains and strains. The Ministry of Labour has implemented a blitz on Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSD), to help reduce these workplace sprains and strains. As a manufacturer of doors, we realize that there is a high probability for employees to sustain an MSD injury.  Tru Tech Doors has and will continue to take steps to reduce the probability of MSD, through the implementation of engineering and administrative controls in the workplace.

From January 2010 to date, Tru Tech Doors has successfully completed 41 months and over 500,000 hours without any lost-time injuries. Although the controls implemented have reduced the severity of accidents in our workplace compared to other door manufacturers, our work is not done and will continue every day, as during this same time period we had eight injuries that did require medical attention.

Tru Tech Doors strives to be a leader in Health and Safety in our industry.  We are committed to the continued improvement of our programs, and continued development of our work processes and practices, by installing more effective safety devices and guards on an ongoing basis.  Our main objective is to make Tru Tech Doors an accident free workplace and contribute to each of our employee’s healthy and active lives.

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