More than 15 years ago, Rick Medlen had a home built in Eugene and wanted a real wood garage door. But there was a problem – the builder didn’t want to install a larger garage door header to accommodate the weight and the $8,500 price tag was expensive.
“I thought, ‘There has to be some sort of faux product you can put on the outside of garage doors’ and realized there is nothing at all (on the market),” Medlen said.
Medlen, who has a background in engineering, developed a concept of thin, wood veneers adhered to lightweight foam that attaches to metal garage doors via strong earth magnets, transforming the appearance to high-end wood carriage doors without any alterations.
“Through years of trial and error, I created something that worked and that looks beautiful,” Medlen said.
Medlen founded GarageSkins Inc. in 2014. The startup company has raised more than $1.2 million in early-stage funding and is leasing 60,000 square foot of space for a new production facility at 5405 W. Riverbend Ave. in Post Falls with plans to take its garage door overlay system to market next year.
Medlen obtained two patents, conducted lab tests to show stability of the product and installed prototype systems at homes in Oregon, Texas and Arizona. The startup has received deposits on 220 orders totaling $260,000 and amassed a waiting list of nearly 11,000 customers.
“We’ve been prototyping, lab testing and getting real-world systems up on garage doors…