Josh Lewis can tell you all about the ins and outs of doors – garage doors that is. Lewis, owner of Discount Door Company located at 4780 West River Dr. NW in Comstock Park, has been in the business of selling, installing, and repairing garage doors since he was in high school in the 1990’s.
Lewis attended Grand Valley State University for a couple years in accounting and business management, and realized that wasn’t the path for him. “I decided this was what I was going to do,” said Lewis, of the door business founded by his father. “Dad was teaching me enough about how to run a business. He was self-taught.”
Lewis’s father Bob and mother Deb founded Discount Door in 1990 operating out of the basement at the family’s home in Rockford. His father began his career working for a door company in Grand Rapids in 1979, and in the mid-1980’s he left to start his own sub-contracting business doing commercial garage door installs. The business grew, and his father leased a space on Rogue River Dr. in Belmont. The business continued to expand, and in 2001 Lewis’s father built and opened the business in the current 6500 square foot building. Lewis bought the business in January of 2016 when his father officially retired. He said the location has worked well. “We built the current building to expand,” he said. “Plus the traffic flow is better to advertise…there’s great instant access north, south, east, west, (with) 96 expressway, 131 (expressway).”
There are seven employees besides Lewis – four installers and service people, two full-time office workers, and one part-time office worker. They sell, install, and repair garage doors and openers for homes, retail businesses, and commercial businesses such as factories and farms throughout most of West Michigan. Advertising is mainly Google, Bing, Yahoo, YP.com yellow pages, and referrals. If you’re looking to buy a garage door, you won’t get any pressure from Lewis about which kind to buy. For instance, if you don’t heat your garage, he won’t try to sell you a super energy efficient door. “I pride myself on…just sell people what they need…I don’t upsell,” said Lewis, adding it’s something he learned from his father.
The company buys their doors from Amarr Garage Doors in Lawrence, Kansas and received that company’s Platinum award, the highest award based on sales. Lewis says garage doors have changed. Most garage doors are now steel, he said, while wood was the premier material in the 70’s and 80’s. There are many more color options now, and more window options such as insulated window panes and even stained glass panes. People use their garages for more than parking cars, said Lewis. The company is currently installing garage doors on a residential garage with an indoor basketball court. Remote openers have changed too, with apps that let you know from a remote location if your garage door is being opened.
The company is “known for doing hard installs,” said Lewis, adding older homes with small garage doors are their “bread and butter.” Lewis says there’s always something different in the garage door business. They get emergency calls from people in a panic because their garage door won’t open for whatever reason – a spring is broken, or the remote doesn’t work. Someone from Discount Doors comes to the rescue.
Lewis grew up in Grand Rapids until he was 11 when the family moved to Rockford. He graduated from Rockford High School. He and his wife Abby still live in Rockford with their three children - a son 7, and two daughters ages 5 and 3. His passion is “anything to do with fishing” and the whole family fishes in the Musgegon, Rogue, and other rivers, and they do lake fishing.