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Glass In his blood

image L-R: David Hays, Kade Hays, Mike Hays, Sr., (owner) and Mike Hays, Jr., of Quality Glass and Door Repair.

DALLAS/FT WORTH - While that sounds quite painful, for Mike Hays, it really describes his life in the glass industry.







    “I’ve been doing this since I was about 17/18, right out of school,” he said.
    And with marrying his high school sweetheart, Valerie, Hays needed to find work quickly. The economy wasn’t doing too well in those days, and when his uncle told him about the glass industry, Hays enrolled in an apprenticeship program with a glass company. Hays took to glass better than he did during his brief stint doing iron.
    “I liked the work and just stayed in ever since,” Hays said.
    Originally from Kansas City, Hays had spent enough time in the Metroplex to really like it. He and Valerie thought it was a good area in which to settle down and raise their family.
    Hays worked for another glass company for years, but when it was bought out, he was let go. Since he knew the industry, Hays opened his own company, Quality Glass and Door Repair, four years ago.
    “I was a little bit concerned at first, getting my customers and getting it going,” Hays recalls.
    But getting new tires on his truck his second day as his own business proved fortuitous. While the tires were being installed, Hays decided to go down the block and pass out business cards and visit with shop owners. One place in which he stopped was an IHOP. As it turned out, the regional manager was there that day and told Hays that he needed new doors on several IHOP locations.
    “That was actually my first customer and that’s grown into quite a lot of work for them,” Hays said.
    Hays will soon be going to Tennessee and Kentucky to do some IHOP work there.
    Hays does both commercial and residential jobs, with his split about 70 percent commercial to 30 percent residential. He prefers the commercial side. “I would rather do commercial because that is what I like to do,” he said. For one reason, “Commercial glass is easier and quicker to replace than residential glass,” he said. Hays uses the residential jobs to fill in between the commercial ones.
    Hays has done a lot of work in the old section of Fort Worth as that area is sprucing itself up, but also maintaining its old-time feel.
    Hays does a lot of work for a California-based company that flips houses in the Metroplex. He’ll replace all the windows for them.
    The kind of work he does comes in waves. “Whatever happened last year,” Hays said, “may be just the opposite this year as far as commercial or residential.”
    Along with IHOP, Hays does Sally’s Hair Salon and many convenience stores. His work is so steady, that IHOP is getting antsy for him to be freed up enough so he can trek out to do the Tennessee and Kentucky jobs.
    Quality Glass and Door Repair is a real family affair for the Hays clan. Hays’ two sons, David and Mike, Jr., work out in the field with him, while Valerie and daughter Jennifer honcho the office and paperwork. Also, Hays’ brother works there too. He will sub out more folks if they are needed for bigger jobs.
    One thing Hays likes is the wide variety of jobs he can get. He’s big on being an up-front guy who won’t gouge a customer. “It’s important to keep a good name,” he said.
    Hays is careful to balance his work load. “I do try to not take on more than what I can do and keep my regular customers taken care of,” he said.
    It’s a good thing the iron trade didn’t work out well for Hays. If it did, he wouldn’t have ever gotten into glass. “Basically, I just like the trade,” he said.
    Even though it really sounds painful and is not advised, having glass in one’s blood can be a good thing if that person does quality glass work.
    Quality Glass and Door Repair is a glass contractor in Arlington. -dsz

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Dan Zulli dan@constructionnews.net