A lot of doors have opened up for lifetime Oakdale resident Mark Ichord since he started a business in his own garage in 1989.
Of course it helps that he built those doors, and he has never strayed too far from the garage.
The local businessman and his wife Sandy are the proud owners and operators of Ichord Overhead Doors, an Oakdale business that constructs and repairs garage and residential doors in Stanislaus, Calaveras and Tuolumne counties.
The successful enterprise has made Ichord a veteran of his field and delivered a satisfying career for a local man who broke into the field at the age of 18. Ten years later, Ichord embarked on his own journey by securing a contractor’s license and a bounty of clients. As his knowledge of the trade grew, so did his merchandise and his abilities.
“It’s not something you dream about in high school, to be the garage door guy,” Ichord said, chuckling. “I didn't know the position existed. But the longer I stayed in the (business), the more real gratification I got from going to somebody’s home and fixing some broken-down door fixings or doing a new installation.
“It’s really neat to see the look on someone’s face when they see the new appearance of their home or garage. A garage door is real curb appeal and it’s really gratifying to see the way it changes the appearance of a home.”
Ichord now offers a dazzling array of doors, from efficient rolling commercial sheet/steel doors to intricate dynasty residential doors. He receives truckloads of materials each week, and is constantly updating the style and quality of his available services. It’s all linked to a state-of-the-art website (ichordoverheaddoors.com), where Ichord’s expert work is available for view and the first steps to designing a door can begin.
The site includes an introduction to Ichord’s business and a breakdown of the available residential doors, commercial doors, lift master openers and linear openers.
And it doesn’t end there. The site also explains the advantages of different openings, how doors can be energy efficient and a breakdown of garage door safety, installation and repair. It’s a modern and adept online service and it’s all a part of Ichord’s ever-changing business scheme.
“I am a member of the International Door Association and I go to a lot of home shows to stay on top of new stuff,” Ichord said. “Right now people are getting tired of the same raised-panel steel look, and the market is leaning towards carriage-style houses with swing-out doors and exterior handles and hinges.”
The look is a brilliant scheme for local homes, considering the barn-style theme’s ability to mesh with modern and secure overhead doors.
“I have done a lot of those in the area, and it’s really for people looking to get a lot more value out of their purchase. We have a lot of horse-people in the area and the carriage doors really fit in.”
Ichord Overhead Doors currently runs a promotion through Angie’s List and offers discounts for contractors, senior citizens and repeat customers. You can design your own door on the company website or talk with Ichord to arrange for a different material or style. Ichord has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.