On The Job – Chris Cote

A younger gentleman wearing a grey shirt, with short hair, smiling

Exterior and garage door specialist

Chris Cote is the owner and operator of C & W Doors, an exterior and garage door repair, maintenance and installation service based in Warner.

Explain your job and what it entails.
I do installs in the morning and service later in the day, while also juggling sales. … For a typical install, first, I usually remove the old door and existing tracks and springs. It only takes 10 to 15 minutes to remove the old door. Then I prep the new panels with the hinges and rollers, and then I set my tracks to about a half inch of spacing from the side of the end hinge to the side of the roller, so that when the door starts rolling with the electric operator, it stays in a nice straight line and there’s no bouncing or clunking. Once the tracks are set and the door is stacked off, I move to the torsion spring assembly, which is the assembly that lifts the door. The torsion spring is calibrated for the height and weight of the door. … Then I go back to hang the horizontal track with the half-inch spacing again so that no rollers can ever fall out onto you or your car.

How long have you had this job?
I’ve been installing garage doors for 13 years now, and I started my own business doing so in June 2022.

What led you to this career field and your current job?
I was working second shift at a building supplier, and my wife told me she was pregnant, so I had to find a regular day job.

What kind of education or training did you need?
I got onsite training for 30 days, then was thrown to the wolves.

What is your typical at-work uniform or attire?
Casual attire, with safety boots.

How has your job changed over the course of the pandemic?
The garage door business took a 300-percent increase in the first six months of the pandemic. Once the dust settled, companies saw how people were still able to afford new garage doors, so now a lot of companies [charge] a 100- to 200-percent increase just [because they can].

What do you wish other people knew about your job?
It’s physically demanding and [requires] long days. We door guys are always saying, ‘It should have been done last week.’

What was the first job you ever had?
I worked at a dairy farm as a farmhand. That’s where I learned my mechanical skills and how to use heavy equipment.

What is the best piece of work-related advice you have ever received?
Owning a small business is like a wheelbarrow — you get out of it what you put into it.

Five favorites

Favorite book:
White Fang by Jack London
Favorite movie: The Other Guys
Favorite music: ’90s rock
Favorite food: Lasagna
Favorite thing about NH: Fishing and hunting seasons

Featured photo: Chris Cote. Courtesy photo.

Author: Angie Sykeny

Angie Sykeny is a Hippo staff writer covering local arts, theater, music and pop culture. She can be reached at asykeny@hippopress.com.

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