Rick Medlen of Creswell, Oregon has a unique idea. Instead of paying upwards of $10,000 for a real wood garage door, how about facing your existing door with wood panels that stick by means of rare earth magnets? It’s an idea in the works and he calls it Garageskins.
On so many levels, it’s an idea that sits well with me. I love the idea of USA-made products, especially those made in Oregon (he plans to manufacture them in Redmond, OR). I love the idea of paying far less for something that looks roughly the same as the expensive thing. More than anything, I like easy home remodels. And this one–according to the video showing the person sticking the panels to the door–is super easy.
Whenever I see more pleas for funding than about the product itself, I get suspicious. On the other hand, how else is Medlen supposed to pull together money if he doesn’t go the venture capital route?
I do not believe that GarageSkins is a scam.
While I cannot predict the future, I have looked at Medlen’s online documents, stock offering ideas, and patents and I believe that this is completely on the up-and-up.
However, I do think it is a quite ambitious project that is short on lots of details. Only one video exists now, and it’s that slick teaser with a woman putting the panels on the door. If I were going to invest in a company, I’d want hard-and-fast facts about the nature of the product. Concerns are:
Garage door opener motors are not exactly the strongest things in the world. So, adding any kind of weight to it is a dicey proposition.
Laminate flooring is a corollary and it was the first thing that I thought of. Yet laminate flooring is very (just try hauling home a kitchen’s worth of laminate), so I knew that GarageSkins has to be significantly lighter.
Consider that a double bay garage door is about 16 feet wide by 8 feet high. That’s 128 square feet. Medlen says that the total weight of Garageskins will be 28 pounds. That comes out to about a quarter pound per square foot. (0.22 pounds per square foot, exactly).
If laminate flooring isn’t GarageSkins’ closest cousin, what is? Weight is what first led me to the answer. Fomecore board weights about 0.19 pounds per square foot, just under GarageSkins’ weight.
Indeed, foam board plus a wood veneer would be–I estimate–about 0.22 pounds per square foot. The patent filing backs this up, saying that these are “extruded polystyrene members.”
Attached to an object that goes up and down an average of four times a day, will GarageSkins shift?
Documents state that one way to prevent GarageSkins from moving is to add a spot of caulk to each corner of each panel. Documents also say that they tested them in 80 mph wind and found that they did not come off.
Exterior Veneer Stability
Veneers are notoriously unstable. They tend to like to stay indoors, away from UV rays, rain, snow, and physical damage. So the idea of putting a wood veneer outdoors on an object that moves at least four times a day gives me pause.
All we know is that on November 2016 “veneer stabilization solved,” according to the StartEngine site.
I would want to know more about this. It would seem to me that the only way to prevent members from delaminating would be to wrap the edges. Even sealing the edges with a liquid sealer wouldn’t last for every long