$16 million a year replacing America’s interiors doors.

Mike McElroy, left, is the founder of Interior Door Replacement Company and Dave Winter is the president and CEO. The franchise opportunity does not require a background in construction or home improvement. See sidebar for contact information.

With approximately 26 million homeowners investing in home improvements and replacing Am’s 1.16 billion doors, the Interior Door Replacement Company (IDRC) is primed to grab a significant share of the $200 billion home improvement market. With 17 locations operating successfully in four states, IDRC recently announced it will offer exclusive franchise territories in California, Arizona, Texas, Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and Nevada, and projects to easily open 200 locations in the next 10 years throughout the country.

IDRC is the largest company of its kind in the United States, providing customers with a complete “one-stop” service specializing in the replacement of uninspiring flat doors with designer raised-panel molded doors. Founded in 1997 in Mountain View, California, IDRC started franchising in 2002 following increasing market demand and high marks from its core customer base of homeowners, general contractors, home stagers, realtors and interior decorators, who all realized that new doors made significant impacts in both the appearance and value of today’s homes.

“Over the past nine years we have perfected our niche concept and built a solid reputation within the home improvement industry as the door replacement pros. Now it’s time for us to move into the next phase of our evolution and offer our business opportunity to qualified entrepreneurs around the country,” said Mike McElroy, founder and chairman of IDRC. “Our company mantra is that it’s better to do one thing better than everyone else, than to do 10 things as good as anyone else. When it comes to interior door replacement, we’re it.”

IDRC differentiates itself with a five-day start-to-finish installation system and performing most work off-site, eliminating messes and keeping the process simple and non-disruptive for homeowners. In markets with an IDRC presence, general contractors and larger home improvement stores have difficulty competing.

“Contractors or home-improvement stores usually sub-contract the interior door jobs out and pass the increased prices along to the customer. Since we get our doors direct from manufacturers and do the work ourselves in less time, we provide homeowners with a superior product, often at one third of the price,” McElroy said.

In fact, when the popular reality television program Extreme Makeover: Home Edition sought fast, quality interior door replacement, they enlisted the help of the door pros at Interior Door Replacement Company. IDRC matched the criteria for the show’s tight weekly production schedule and selective tastes in contemporary design.

Entrepreneurial Roots
Based on its history, it makes sense why IDRC is extending entrepreneurial opportunities. Thirty years ago, at age 18, company founder and chair Mike McElroy became the youngest Shell franchisee in the system, later developing a franchise network of four Shell gas stations. In 1994, McElroy sold the Shell business and found his way into residential construction.

Soon after, McElroy purchased his own childhood home and put his construction skills and knowledge to work to remodel and update it. It was during this project that McElroy realized the challenges homeowners face with door replacement projects. His solution: to combine his entrepreneurial instincts with his background in construction to create IDRC, a franchise that takes the hassle out of door replacement and provides a much-needed service for home-owners.

“Many of our jobs are the result of “do-it-yourself” husbands who tried to hang their own doors, but became frustrated and couldn’t finish the job. Or we get a lot of folks who became frustrated with the lack of knowledge and limited product selection offered by contractors or home improvement stores. We think door replacement should be left to the experts, and IDRC has it all figured out. We’ve got superior products, specialized skills and expertise, and the best prices.”

Filling a Unique Niche
Statistics continue to back up the solid market and consistent demand for IDRC57’s niche. For example, one out of every five of the 100 million U.S. households move annually, and of the 1.16 billion interior doors, 88 percent were installed before 1990.
System-wide sales for 2005 were $7.8 million. This figure encompasses all 17 IDRC franchise locations. Projected 2006 system-wide sales are $16 million.

“We have an economy resistant franchise opportunity,” noted Dave Winter, President and CEO of IDRC. 60. As long as people continue to either move, or update their existing homes, there’s plentiful opportunity for jobs in every market around the nation. Realtors continue to be a prime source of return business for our franchise owners. “The market supports our service and will for a long time to come,” said Winter, noting that the IDRC franchise opportunity is an owner/operator model.

In a nutshell, the IDRC process is simple. IDRC offers customers showrooms that display the wide selection of doors, handles, paint colors, and finishes. Once an order is made, technicians come to the customer’s home to begin the five-day process. On Monday, the old doors are marked, measured, and removed. On Tuesday and Wednesday, the doors are cut and painted off-site, and by Friday, the new doors are installed in the customer’s home. The entire door replacement experience takes less than three hours in the customer’s home.

With IDRC Franchising, business owners receive a protected, exclusive territory. Only one IDRC franchise business will be granted in each predefined territory. The territories are defined using the number of housing units and the median household income along with other factors per U.S. Zip code.
IDRC also provides franchisees with ongoing training and support, starting with the initial development stage. New franchisees participate in an intensive two-week training program by IDRC Corporate in Mountain View, Calif., and attend regular seminars and regional meetings to ensure consistency throughout the franchise system.

According to Winter, a background in construction or home improvement is not necessary to become an IDRC franchisee. In fact, most of the system’s existing franchise owners come from diverse professional backgrounds including law, sales, marketing or other unrelated fields. IDRC is seeking entrepreneurs with impressive communication skills, customer service and a business background.

“To be successful in our system, you have to be passionate about our concept and know how to work well with customers and the public,” Winter said. “Plus, we train our franchisees in every aspect of the door-replacement process from start to finish and provide them with the tools and knowledge they will need to succeed in their market.”

Investment costs to start an IDRC franchise ranges from $147,000 to $250,000, which includes training, equipment and tools, working capital, marketing materials and trucks. Since IDRC buys its products directly from the manufacturer, franchisees get a greater return on a smaller initial investment.

“Based on the strong demand for home door replacement, many franchisees experience immediate sales that equate to being booked out weeks and months in advance,” Winter said. “We’ve got everything going for us—a superb management team, unparalleled training and support and a solid niche in a growing business segment. For the right candidate, an IDRC franchise is the opportunity of a lifetime.”

Taken from WEB