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“You know,” he said, “If you pay me cash, I’ll knock a few bucks off the bill.”

There are less-than-savoury characters in every type of business, and the garage door business is no exception. A garage door is a significant investment and like most work performed on your home, requires the talents of a trained professional. Your neighbour’s cousin, Bob may know a guy, but a few dollars saved initially can result in buyer’s remorse later.

It’s important to do your homework before hiring a garage door installation company. Your goal should be to hire a competent, reliable company with a solid reputation for delivering on expectations – the type of company that will stand behind their products and workmanship.

How the Underhanded Operate

You’ll often find shady garage door companies operating in large urban areas. Many of these operators don’t plan to stay in the area for long – the plan is to show up, make some quick cash installing a substandard product and disappear. This is a little tougher to do in smaller communities, but such areas are by no means immune to fly-by-night operators. A solid, reputable company will provide a warranty and be there for you should any issues arise in the future.

Everyone advertises but such companies may drop flyers in your mailbox or place a hanger on your doorknob. Often these advertisements make grandiose claims like “Save hundreds on your garage door installation!” or “Offering prompt 24- hour emergency service!”

Before you call anyone for garage door installation and repair, go online and do some research. Is the business listed online, do they have reviews or testimonials, do they have a website with pictures and information on previous work performed? Do they have a physical address or a toll-free number where you can reach them and ask for more information?

Watch for Warning Signs

Let’s say you’ve made an appointment. Does the door technician arrive on time in a company vehicle, dressed professionally with appropriate documentation or does he instead show up in a dirty white van or pickup truck, late, wearing jeans and a T-Shirt? Some companies do use subcontractors, but those individuals should still be prompt and professional. Does the technician have ready access to the parts required, or does he need to leave and come back later? Admittedly, it’s impossible to carry all the parts required for every repair, but qualified technicians will stock most of the parts required for common repairs.

Be wary of companies that immediately suggest that you replace your garage door. With few exceptions, a simple repair is all that’s needed to put most doors back in good working order.

Questions and Considerations

Before you sign on the dotted line, ask for references. Verify that previous customers are happy with the work. After all, it’s your hard-earned money on the table. Drop by the company offices and get a feel for the business, meet with a representative and discuss your needs. A reputable company is always happy to speak with a potential customer and discuss everything from door brands to install costs. Ask if the company has a mission or value statement. By end of the discussion, you should have several options for repair or replacement.

In the end, be cautious and exercise common sense when choosing a garage door company.  Doors on Demand is family-owned and operated, with a head office in Ponoka, Alberta and locations across the province. We look forward to answering all your garage door questions.