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The Five Foot Finale

by Laura Weil

I know this door in and out.  

It's a bold statement and I hope you challenge me on it.

That said - after a decade or so in the window and door industry, I have never installed a window.  I can barely lift a door, especially our hefty steel reinforced sliding door.  My husband most likely used these practical facts when he generated the response 'you can't install our door'.  In my world though, that was all the fuel needed to figure it out.

Four years ago I got on a plane to Leesburg, Virginia to visit the North American head office for REHAU Industries.  They are the engineering think-tank for global polymer solutions, and our vinyl supplier for close to 30 years.  REHAU agreed to work with us on designing a new North American sliding door system, as most of their sliding doors are European in both form and function.  Before sitting in a room full of super smart engineer types, I went through the process of obtaining as much data as possible as to how we are going to evolve a sliding door.  Armed with a collection of over 150 product specifications from our dealer network, I put on my new shoes and arrived at the head office feeling both prepared and confident.  The door was designed that day.  Within the next few months, the steel extrusion dies were cut and production began.

My marketing mind was activated and I was all to happy to promote this exciting new product via website content, social media, video, literature and showroom displays.  It was well received by the market in every application - from a balcony entrance in a tall condo to vast lakefront views in cottage country. 

At the end of the day, I would come home and let my dog out via a builder grade patio door, which had every detail that I loathed; face mounted bumpers, off coloured parts, mechanical corners and just a cheap flimsy feel.  It was easy to detest. 

Beyond that; the screen was gone, the track wouldn't stay clean and the single lock latch rarely engaged without an argument.

I wanted my door.

After glaring at this door for a few months, I decided to finally get my own order in.  It wasn't a tricky order, as my sliding door is a mere five feet wide and standard sized.  I would love to blow out the entire side of the house for a full sized 16' quad door (perhaps some other time - after careful marital negotiations).  For now, my two-panel 5' door was enough to satisfy.

Serving Crow
My loving husband Bob was sleeping after a night shift when our new door was delivered.  I made a stop on the way home and purchased some cool looking work gloves, wood shims, foam insulation and caulking.  Oh yes, I am ready.  Bob awoke to my arrival with this bag of goodies and a new sliding door in our yard.  I put on my painting hat, walked up to that crappy patio door, pulled down its curtains and ripped off the trim.  Bob was visibly worried about what was about to happen to our house.



I gave him a job to do;

take some pictures and







With the door in place (working perfectly, thank you very much) and some images at hand, I promptly sent the pictures out to industry publications, co-workers, my boss and my Mom.  

Next project; replace the windows.



written by Laura Weil
sales // marketing for EVW
series 2200 specialist / window geek




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