SALT LAKE There's gold at the end of a new rainbow of colors in the garage door market, recent trends at Martin Door Manufacturing suggest.

With an expanded pallet of color options that now number 68, dealers are getting the cue that some customers want more than the five standard colors. Powder coat garage door sales continue to rise every month, since Martin Door opened its own powder coat paint line in 2003.

There is an art to learning how to sell color options.





Martin Doors with a copper vein powder coat finish have become an important option for some consumers, who love the look of copper, without the changing color of the metal.

Cory Hunter, owner of Best Garage Doors & Openers, said when he pulls up to a house he looks at potential color options that would blend well with the house. These optional colors he discusses with the homeowner.

"We talk about curb appeal and resale value," Hunter said. He said one of the major selling points of powder coat is not only the beautiful individual colors, but also the durability of the finish.

"They never have to be painted or maintained," Hunter said. "You can't scratch it easily and it doesn't discolor."

Hunter said he has found that customers appreciate the ability to talk about options. He said his salespeople have learned not to be pushy, in talking about those options.

"We don't train our sales people just to make money, but to help the customer add beauty and value to their dream home," Hunter said.

Brace Lake, of Mr. Martin Garage Doors in Buena Park, Ca., said he sells a lot of powder coat doors, based on the value of powder coating itself.




"There's a segment of customers we get that buy powder coating, just for powder coating and not for colors," Lake said. He said he has learned to sell powder coating, without talking down the high-quality paint job available on a regular Martin Door.

Lake said part of his approach to the customer is to tell them that Martin Doors come with a great paint job in five colors that are gorgeous, but if they want something different they can consider powder coating.

Lake described powder coating as a niche for the high-end customer. It is a niche he has learned to take advantage of.
A rusted iron powder coat finish, shown on the Martin Doors of this Bountiful, Utah home, are among the new color options being offered to customers.


"It's a high-end niche. It's tough to move someone from a steel door that is white to powder coating, but when they're talking about high-end alternatives, some people are not comfortable with wood and they look at this as being a sensible alternative," Lake said.

Lake is still learning how to market the texture of Martin's most recent powder coat options---specifically metallic finishes.

"Metallic finishes are a different thing all together," Lake said. He said a customer could paint a door, but not get a metallic finish.

A powder coat finish also increases the rust protection on a door. This is in addition to Martin's hot-dip galvanized steel with two existing coats of baked-on enamel paint.

One dealer who has mastered the sale of the new metallic finishes is Bryan Sellers of Wyoming Overhead Door. Sellers said he recently sold a copper vein powder coat finish to a customer who wanted a copper look, without the price and aging process of copper.

He said he has found powder coating has appeal to many customers. He said many of his customers, are people who want a darker color, or a different option.

He said he carries a Martin dealer book with powder coat paint chips for a customer to look over. He also has other samples. If they are serious about finding the right color for them, Sellers said he will often leave the book with the customer for a few days.

"I sell them on the quality of the door," Sellers said of the finish.

Taylor Sublett says his new Martin Door has changed his life.

Sublett, who owns a home in Oakland that was part of a makeover for the national TV show "Curb Appeal", says their small garage is now part of their daily lives, where it wasn't before the makeover---which included a new Martin Door.


  Dave Martin poses with Taylor Sublett, center, and Scott O'Neill of Madden Door in front of a new garage door installed on Sublett's home. The door was installed as part of a home makeover for Home & Garden Television's show "Curb Appeal."


"It is great. It changed our lives and it changed the way we use the garage," Sublett said. He said the garage door really adds class to the front of the home.

The small garage has now become a showcasing point of the home, according to Sublett, who still marvels in telling others "look how quiet it is." The homeowners painted the door blue to match trim around the rest of the home.

A Martin Door was installed on the Oakland home earlier this year as part of Home and Garden Television's popular makeover show. It is the third Martin Door that has been installed on a home, as part of the ongoing TV series. Madden Door & Sons, Inc. of Martinez, California installed the door.

Dave Martin, chairman of the board for Martin Door Manufacturing, was on hand during the installation to be interviewed for the show.

Scott O'Neill, sales manager for Madden Doors & Sons, Inc. says the TV shoot was his first opportunity to meet Dave Martin and to see how passionate Martin is about the little details of a garage door.

"My favorite moment came when he asked for a tool and got inside the door and began making some adjustments to the brackets. It was just classic," O'Neill said.

Annie Sloan, a producer for HGTV, said the TV show will include extensive footage about Martin Door, especially near the end of the show. The show ends by showing Sublett's brother's band playing in the garage, as the garage door comes down.

The segment is expected to air sometime late this year or in early 2006, according to Sloan.

Curb Appeal is a popular prime-time weekly television show hosted by Rick Spence. It can be seen in over 90 million homes across the country and is broadcast multiple times throughout the year.

The focus of the series is to show how to improve and enhance the front of a home's appearance as viewed from the street. On each episode, designers take a house and help the homeowners literally transform it from the curb.


  Dave Martin was very hands on for the filming of "Curb Appeal" recently in Oakland. Here he helps make an adjustment on the door while Taylor Sublett looks on.



SALT LAKE - Resolving that little squeak in your garage door can be easy. Diagnosing it is another matter.

"It's deceiving where the squeaks come from," Dave Martin said of being able to diagnose the root of unwanted noises from a garage door.

Martin suggests with some attention to detail and a few drops of oil and a bit of wax from a candle in the appropriate areas, most of the errant noises can be eliminated.

Dave Martin, CEO of Martin Door Manufacturing, applies a bit of candle wax to a portion of the reverse angle shield on a door in the Martin showroom, to illustrate a maintenance tip. He said some wax in the appropriate areas can reduce potential squeaks.

True to his years in the business, Martin has numerous experiences to illustrate his point. He tells the story of a wood garage door that sounded like it was squeaking between the joints. A bit of wax in the area from techs did not help. He found a few drops of oil on the hinges did the trick----even though the sound didn't appear to be from that source.

In another case, he tells of how it appeared that a spring was making an unwanted noise. This time a bit of wax on small rub spots, inside the joint behind the FingerShield did the trick.

Martin says there are several key things to do in trying to diagnose an unwanted noise on a garage door. Number one is to look for signs of rubbing at any point, behind the reverse angle shield and behind the finger shields are the main points. When there is any sign of rubbing, a bit of candle wax in the affected areas can provide an immediate remedy.



A bead of oil in the hole of the low profile hinge, and a bead of oil behind the same area can do a lot to resolve potential hard to find squeaks in a garage door.




A rub mark such as this black mark behind the FingerShieldâ"¢ can lead to a hard to find squeak. A bit of wax on the rubbed area can eliminate the potential squeak, according to Dave Martin.


Likewise he said a drop of oil in the low profile hinge and a bead of oil on the backside of the hinge, can provide the solution to potential noises.

Martin provided a demonstration of his points in the showroom, by using a remote to stop a Martin Door going up, to check behind the FingerShield and then taking a close look at parts of the reverse angle shield, once the door was up.

Martin Door makes door maintenance easy for the homeowner. Most Martin Doors come with a built-in small vial of oil, to help with maintenance. Dave Martin thinks his company is the only garage door company to provide that little extra help for the homeowner.

Martin Doors also feature the industry's first maintenance free sealed rollers.

The new roller includes a front and back seal on the bearing, which eliminates maintenance on the roller and is the first of its kind in the industry.





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