NO LONGER CONDEMNED — Springville Door & Window, owned by David Batterson, is located at 56 Waverly St. in Springville. Photos by Jessie Owen.
SPRINGVILLE — Once a condemned building slated for demolition, 56 Waverly St. now houses a business that has flourished through all types of economic weather, thanks to one man’s vision.
Springville Door & Window was the brain child of brothers-in-law David Batterson of Springville and Jim Webster of West Valley. The two opened their general contracting business on April 1, 1986 in Springville, because “West Valley Door and Window was too long of a name,” Batterson joked. He added that the original business name proposal, “Webster Construction,” was nixed because the two wanted potential customers to be able to tell where the business was located and what it offered, right off the bat.
Webster and Batterson partnered for five years, offering all types of contracting services, but focusing primarily on doors and windows. “The problem we were running into was that we were not getting a wide variety of selection from lumberyards,” Batterson said. “We couldn’t get better products because we were contractors. We did not have a store.”
After being “bugged” by Batterson to consider opening that store, Webster decided to go in a different direction, finally opening his own business, Webster Construction. Batterson bought Webster’s share of Springville Door & Window and geared up for a business overhaul. “I had been working out of my house in Springville,” he said. “I didn’t even have a sign.”
Deciding he needed a warehouse, in which to display the inventory he planned to acquire, Batterson rented the facility across from the current Tim Hortons location on South Cascade Drive.
One hurdle Batterson immediately faced was the common practice of the time: Businesses which installed products could not purchase those items directly from the manufacturer.
During a meeting with a manufacturer representative, Batterson stressed that requiring a middle man often left customers with poorly-installed items, due to a lack of communication and information. He told the representative that his goal was to supply customers with the “right product for the right situation. I focused on that and I must have said the right thing, at the right time.”
That discussion opened the door for communication with other large manufacturers. The newly-housed Springville Door & Window hung out its shingle, “and it started snowballing from there,” Batterson said.
Batterson said that what drove his desire to open his own business was an experience he had many years before, in which he observed another company’s employee interacting with potential customers. “A couple came in the door and the guy behind the counter said, ‘Oh no. Homeowners. They always ask so many questions.’” Batterson established a policy of educating his customers, to allow them to “get more information about what they were getting for their dollars.”
The current town of Concord historian said that many lumberyards and other types of related businesses were not taking their current customer demographic into consideration. “If you looked back in history, parents were taught that you were no different from your neighbors,” he said. “You conformed. That’s why you see all of these planned communities. But, as the next generation came, they did not want to look the same as everyone else. But those lumberyards were still selling to the parents. They did not understand.”
Batterson said he began stocking the “fancier stuff you couldn’t find any other place,” and that his goal was to offer his customers the best products available. “Times change. You have to know your customers or your customer base will diminish. I always try to stay on the cutting edge.”
The flourishing business soon outgrew its home and opened another shop at the current Microtel Inn & Suites location, for a brief time, before taking up residence where S&S Taxidermy stands, today. A two-story showroom allowed customers to view products up close and personal and the building’s remodeled facade itself showcased products that the business sold and stocked.
BACK IN TIME — The current Springville Door & Window building on the corner of Waverly Street and Albro Avenue was formerly the home of Springville’s electric and highway departments. Photo submitted by David Batterson.
In 1997, the village of Springville Board listed the former home of its electric and highway departments. “I found out they were going to tear the building down and sell the bare lot,” Batterson said. He approached the board and proposed saving the building, thereby “saving the taxpayers the cost of tear-down.” He gave the board his personal guarantee that, within one year, he would bring the building up to code and improve its appearance.
In renovating the building, Batterson kept the focus on creating a “boutique of home improvement,” shying away from the typical lumberyard appearance, since Springville Door & Window does not sell lumber. “I wanted the building to be attractive. We show the products that we then educate people about.”
MAKE YOURSELF AT HOME — The upstairs of the building is divided into eight conference rooms, which are rented out to several different businesses.
In June of 1998, after many renovations, and with many more to go, Springville Door & Window moved into 56 East Main St. amidst one of the worst floods Springville has seen, to date. “We dug a ditch, set up a dike, mopped up and started moving in,” Batterson said.
In 2007, new home construction “virtually vaporized,” according to Batterson. With the change in economy came the diminishing of luxury item sales. Although approximately 30 percent of his business had been supplying builders with items for new homes, Batterson re-geared to adapt to the times, going after the remodeling side of the business.
SAVING YOUR HEATING BILL — Batterson is pictured demonstrating the difference between the common fiberglass installation and the more energy efficient cellulose installation, available at Springville Door & Window.
“Why did we survive? I decided long ago to not sell problem products, just because they’re cheap,” he said. “I don’t sell cheap, low-quality products. I wouldn’t use them. Why would I even go that route?” He credited returning customers who trusted his business for his company’s consistent growth.
Today, two part-time and nine full-time employees, including Batterson, are available to assist customers at the business or with in-home estimates and installations. The workers have a combined 150-plus years of experience among them.
Fenestration, from the Latin word “fenestra,” for window, describes “filling openings” in a structure with doors, windows and the other accessories that go into a house.
TAKE YOUR PICK — Showroom products at Springville Door & Window allow customers to browse many of the items available for their new home and remodeling projects.
Springville Door & Window fills those structural openings, offering overhead doors, entry doors, fences, railings, awnings, cabinets, patio doors, deck materials, hardware, countertops, insulation and much more, all bought directly from manufacturers and distributors.
When purchasing products, customers can do the installing themselves or have the service done by Springville Door & Window employees.
“We try to educate builders and contractors and help them educate the customer,” Batterson said. “Our showroom has been set up as an education showroom. We like to show a lot of before and afters. People are visual. We don’t want to show them just a picture.”
Saying he strives to assist his customers in making the best decisions for their futures, Batterson said, “If someone does not educate you and explain the differences in products, all you see is the dollar amount. It takes a truly wealthy person to buy cheap products, over and over again.”
Batterson now has more than $250,000 in products inventoried for customers’ convenience. Thousands of products are also available to order. The items sold at Springville Door & Window are fully customizable and are measured to fit customers’ homes perfectly.
Springville Door & Window offers its services to most of Western New York, covering as far north as the suburbs of Buffalo and occasionally as far south as northern Pennsylvania.
For more information, visit www.springvilledoorandwindow.com
, call 592-9803 or check out www.facebook.com/sdandw.
Springville Door & Window is located at 56 Waverly St.
The business is open Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 7:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Thursdays from 7:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., or by appointment.