Garage doors often cover a large expanse of a home, so high-end homeowners, in particular, often choose to make a statement with their garage doors.
But even those with thinner wallets want their garage doors to look nice and work correctly, so Buckeridge Doors of Arlington Heights keeps its in-house crew busy constructing, installing and servicing garage doors and openers throughout the Northwest and North suburbs and the north side of Chicago.
In business since 1948, the family firm is now run by Charlie Buckeridge, son of the founder. His son, Michael, is its vice president.
"We carry three brands of garage door -- Ideal, Clopay and Haas -- and we sell Provantage Lift Master openers," Michael Buckeridge said. "We also specialize in custom wood doors that we build in-house in our shop in Arlington Heights."
Custom doors, designed by Buckeridge's experienced craftsmen, allow the personality of a home and a homeowner to be reflected in the biggest doors on their house.
"Most of the doors we are installing these days are the high-end, custom doors, because only our wealthier clients are replacing their garage doors right now," he said. "Everyone else is servicing what they have."
The cost of a two-car metal garage door averages $1,045 today, while a wood door of the same size runs between $6,000 and $8,000 depending on the design complexity.
Whether they want a custom wood door or a factory-made metal door, buyers are gravitating toward garage doors featuring windows and a wood-toned look, even if the door is made of steel. Arched openings are also popular, as is frosted glass in the windows.
"There is a lot less maintenance when you buy a metal door because wood doors need to be sanded down and re-stained every few years, depending upon how much sun the door gets," Buckeridge said.
However, wood doors carry an advantage, besides aesthetics. Buckeridge said they insulate a garage much better than a metal door.
Doors and openers are not the only products Buckeridge is selling. Some technology-savvy homeowners are buying an application for their iPad or iPhone that allows them to remotely check their garage door and close it if it has been left open.
And those worried about power outages can purchase a battery backup for their garage door unit that allows the door to open and close up to 12 times during a power outage so the homeowner is not locked out, he said.
"Generally speaking, Buckeridge customers are concerned about higher-end aesthetics for their doors, correct installation and reliable service. They don't want someone who is just going to slap up a new door and maybe not be in business next year. We have been around for 65 years, so that is not a worry with us," Buckeridge said.
"We may not always offer the lowest bid, but our quality is second-to-none and we don't use subcontractors," he said. "All of our installers and service people work directly for us."
Buckeridge Doors has a showroom at 15 E. University Drive in Arlington Heights. For more information, call (847) 253-1383 or visit www.buckeridgedoor.com.