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Meet Chris Tyrrell of Chris’ Garage Doors in Littleton and Centennial

Today we’d like to introduce you to Chris Tyrrell.

Chris, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Just like for most people, the job we end up in is not the job we expected to be in. Essentially, I got into the garage door business by going to a birthday party. While I was in grad school, I was working a job that I really didn’t like. I went to a friend’s party and overheard someone talking about how he lost his only employee because he couldn’t guarantee him full-time work. I walked up to him and told him that I’d work for him part-time if he trained me. That’s how it all started. Over the next few years, I would oversee operations and scheduling and got a lot of practical experience in running a business.

The owner decided to sell his company and move to California, so I thought I was done with garage doors. A few months after he left, however, I was invited to bid on a large project in Steamboat Springs installing 40 new doors at an apartment complex. That’s when I decided to start my own Garage Door Company and I haven’t looked back. I’ve been in business now for a little over two and a half years and have embraced the idea of being an entrepreneur.

Has it been a smooth road?
I’m not sure anything in life is ever smooth, but all things considered, it could have been a lot rougher. I’m grateful for the path so far and am looking forward to the miles to come. One struggle is learning to become an entrepreneur. Growing up, I never even dreamed about starting my own company and also never thought I would be working in a trade. Over the last few years, I’ve learned a lot about what it means to own a business and what it means to be an entrepreneur. I’ve really started to embrace the role.

Another struggle is learning to manage our schedule. With the service industry, some days the phone won’t ring and other days the phone won’t stop ringing and it can become very overwhelming. There’s an art to being able to coordinate your availability with your client’s needs and it can get very difficult. It’s also been a struggle to make sure I’m taking care of myself. Getting immersed in a business has caused me to neglect some other areas of my life that need attention. I’ve started to create boundaries that prevent this business from taking over my life entirely.

Chris’ Garage Doors story – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Our company is probably one of the easiest to understand when it comes to what kind of work we do – everything garage doors. We specialize primarily in residential but do commercial as well. We do everything from preventative maintenance/service and repair to entirely new doors and operators.

As a company, we have two promises. One for service and one for install:
For Service: We promise that we will never pressure you to buy anything you do not want or need.
For Install: We promise that we will do everything we can to find the right door for you.

We don’t believe in high-pressure sales and we value the quality of work we do and the quality products we provide.

One thing that sets us apart is that we do our best to educate our customers. We give tips and advice on how to maintain your doors as well as provide free phone consultation to help troubleshoot issues that are happening. Our YouTube channel provides videos that contribute to this. Currently, we have a DIY Tune-up series and a DIY troubleshooting series (also available on our website).

One of the things that we are most proud of as a company is our mission: Our mission is to make Colorado a better place to live. There are many ways that we can see this mission come to life. One way is on the surface, we can make our neighborhood look nicer by installing great quality garage doors that will last a long time. But at the heart of our mission statement is treating people well and giving to our community.

In 2019 we launched our giving initiative where we give 3% of our total revenue (regardless of profit) to a non-profit or non-profit event every quarter. Our website has a page dedicated to this with videos describing each non-profit. Once we established our mission, we decided to only partner with non-profits that are focused primarily or are headquartered in Colorado. There’s a lot of non-profits and good causes out there to choose from, but we wanted to focus on the community that we are in.

Another way that we are going to accomplish our mission is in the way that we treat our employees. Our goal is to be the best company to work for in Denver. Currently, we are very small, but as we grow, we would like to implement programs and processes that make our employees feel like family. Things like in-house child care for all employees, paying for a massage therapist to come to the office for a day for anyone who needs some stress relief, helping people coming out of prison establish a career path to get them back into society, among many other things. We have big dreams and are excited to see them come to life!

Ultimately, what sets us apart from other companies is that we genuinely care about people and we are taking action to help everyone around us while learning to be better ourselves.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
Over the last few years, we have seen a pretty big shift in the industry as far as what people expect out of a garage door. For many years, people have treated their garage as a place to park their car and didn’t care what the garage door looked like as long as it was going up and down. With the transition from primarily wooden doors to primarily steel doors and the creative designs that have come alongside this shift, people are now seeing garages as a way to increase their curb appeal and add a nice touch to the front of their house. The garage door takes up 1/3 of the front of most houses so can be a key piece in making the house stand out.

We’ve seen a huge increase in ROI for garage doors as well. In 2018, high-end garage doors topped the mid-range project list at above a 98% return.

Another shift is WiFi capabilities in new garage door operators. Technology keeps changing and our industry is making strides to adapt. With the built-in WiFi of Liftmaster units, you can open and close your garage door from your smartphone as well as invite guests to have access, set up Amazon deliveries directly into the garage, set schedules to make sure the door is closed at certain times throughout the day. One recently developed operator has a built-in camera as well with motion activation so you can see who’s coming into your garage. The app is also compatible with a lot of home automation systems.

As far as the future is concerned. The biggest thing that I can foresee is the increase in more creative designs. Most garage door manufacturers are constantly trying to design newer, better doors to beat out their competition and the consumers are the winners in these situations because it helps us find doors that fit everyone’s style.

Another thing to consider regarding the future is the state of the economy. Right now, we are in the strongest economy we’ve seen in a long time, especially in the Denver area. When the economy is strong, more people are interested in the newest technology and getting the nicer looking new doors. When the economy slows down more and more people are looking to preserve what they have and will be focused more on service and repair.

Garage doors and operators have made bigger strides over the last ten years than the last 50. It’s hard to predict where it’ll go from here, but I thing we’ll see better quality doors with better design options and I’m sure that they will continue to improve their wireless technology.

Pricing:

  • Tune-up $89
  • New Operators Range from $375-$700
  • New Door prices range significantly depending on many factors ($750-$15,000)

Contact Info:

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