The Bakken Formation has been a boon to Overhead Door Company of Minot, as new construction has given the company plenty of new business. That has led to a new expansion still under construction that will add considerably more space to the business.
Overhead Door, 1905 Burdick Expy. W., of course handles the installation and maintenance of garage doors, but there are other facets to the business as well. The Outdoor Living and Spas brand sells spas, outdoor barbecue islands, firepits, fireplaces, saunas and the like.
A third brand, Organized Spaces, will also be sold by the business after the expansion. This brand sells items such as shelving and cabinets for the garage and home from HomeORG.com, a company that specializes in organizational merchandise.
Mandy Schelling, office manager, said the expansion, which adjoins the existing building, will be 12,000 square feet and give the company some much needed breathing room to house new offices, showrooms and add more warehouse space.
"I think that was the biggest thing, the room," Schelling said.
The existing building, which is 8,000 square feet, is already used for warehouse space and will continue to fill that role after the expansion is complete. Schelling said there's just not enough room now, let alone when the Organized Spaces brand starts up.
Expanding the business is something the company's owner, Chris Hanson, has been looking at for a while. Schelling said Hanson has been waiting for the right time to expand, and with the Bakken drawing in workers from all over the country, that time is now.
"Like I said, with the building that's going on as far as the oil fields and even the building going around Minot for a lot of apartment complexes going up, that always helps," she said. "A lot of apartment buildings and new housing in Minot and especially Williston in the western part of the state."
"When you're talking to some of those people out there that deal with oil fields, the dollar sign is not an issue to them," she added. "Just put up big stuff and money is not an issue. So it's like, 'Wow.'"
With a territory that goes to Williston in the west, Devils Lake to the east, Bismarck down south, and as far north as Lake Metigoshe, Overhead Door covers all of northwestern North Dakota and then some.
The big business in the oil fields has led to a flood of new contractors in the area. Schelling said companies have come from Minnesota and points farther south looking for work in the Bakken, which she has never seen before.
"Some of the companies that call us, we've never heard of them before," she said. "They're brand new and they're all over."
Ground broke on the expansion in late May, and Schelling said they are keeping their fingers crossed for a late September completion. Like many of the crops in the area, that hoped-for completion date is at the mercy of the weather, which has already reared its ugly head once before.
"Mother Nature, with her rain, kind of hindered construction there for a week, week-and-a-half," Schelling said. "It was kind of a swimming pool out there."
While the rain didn't exactly help, Schelling praised Northstar Steel for working quickly to stay on schedule, which gives her confidence they will be able to hit the late September deadline.
"These guys have been really, really good. It's been going up quite a bit, pretty rapidly," Schelling said.
"It's kind of fun to watch, too. I've never seen one go up," she added with a laugh.
With more space comes the need for more employees. Although there are no firm plans as of yet, Schelling said they are hoping to add several new positions once the expansion is complete. The final number of new hires will depend greatly on how much the Bakken and surrounding area grows in the future.
"If people keep building more and more, then we're gonna have to hire more and more," Schelling said.
There are currently seven installers in the field, with only Schelling and Hanson to run the office. Getting more office help will probably top their list of needs. She said some additional door installers could also be in the cards.
"We could take on a couple more sales people in the office, so that's always a positive thing," Schelling said, noting that Organized Spaces will also need some sales people of its own once it starts up. "Expand but also create some more jobs."
"It's just Chris and I in the office right now, and we're swamped," she added.