Imagine you’re in a hurry. You start the car and put it in reverse. But you don’t notice your garage door isn’t quite open yet. The sound the rear end of your car makes as it connects with the door is memorable. What do you do? If you live in Nolensville, you might do well to contact Allied Overhead Door.
Recently, I had to make that call. My garage door was fixed and running with in hour, as if nothing had happened. Ken Earnest, one of three brothers who own Allied, told me, “We are proud of our service. Obviously, I can’t promise it will always be that fast, but we do strive to accommodate our customers as quickly as possible.”
Earnest invested his life savings in 2008, to join his older brother Bill in the garage door business. Eventually, Larry, the youngest brother, joined the firm. Today, Allied Overhead Door has six locations, including one in North Carolina. Allied doesn’t make doors. They buy them from well-established manufacturers, like Ohio-based Wayne Dalton.
The majority of their business in Middle Tennessee these days, about 80 percent, is in installing doors for new housing developments. On average, they install between 500 and 600 doors a month, mostly in Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson and Maury Counties. If you’re wondering whether people with two-car garages prefer single or double doors, it turns out that it’s about a 50/50 split.
Allied does repairs too. The most common problem occurs when sensors become dirty or get knocked out of alignment. “We try to help people with that over the phone,” Earnest said. “We hate to have to charge them for a service call if it’s something they can usually fix themselves.”
The second biggest issue is broken springs. “Spring are usually good for about 10,000 cycles. Eventually they will break and have to be replaced,” Earnest said. Backing into your garage door comes in third.
Garage doors can last for many years. According to Earnest, steel backed, polyurethane insulated doors last the longest. But he recommends yearly maintenance to keep your garage door running smoothly. “Lubricate every place where metal rubs on metal with a silicone based lubricant,” he said.
What about accessories? “The one I recommend most is a key pad installed on the outside of the garage door.” If you lock yourself out of the house or lose your remote, a keypad comes in handy. Earnest also pointed out, many doors today can also be opened and closed using a phone app and WiFi.”
The Earnest brothers grew up in a small town, Wakeman, Ohio. When Bill decided to open his own business, he acquired a Knoxville-based garage door company. The brothers expanded, eventually opening a Nashville location, which they outgrew. Allied moved its Middle Tennessee operation to Nolensville in 2018, purchasing land and constructing a building on Johnson Haley Industrial Road.
Currently, they have 14 installers who go through a training program that can last as long as twelve weeks. “We look for people with a good attitude and a mechanical aptitude,” Earnest said.
The company is active in the Nolensville community, regularly supporting Nolensville High School and middle schools in their sports and theatre activities. Allied also supports the St. Jude Dream Homes program.
“We treat people the way we want to be treated," Ken Earnest said. "I always tell my installers, install every door like it was your mother’s. Be polite and clean up after yourself.”