Door design drivers

In the first of a two-part feature from Endurance Doors, managing director Stephen Nadin looks at the current consumer and trade influences when it comes to the composite door market such as innovation and customer care.

Prior to the accelerated consumer demand over the last 12 months, composite doors were still in high demand, and it’s a significant market sector that can now boast one million installations per annum, with a strong growth curve across the UK.

While it’s the in-vogue home improvement investment for security-conscious and style-savvy consumers, there’s an underlying demand across the nation for a better front door.

But what has changed in recent years? Product innovation has continued in many ways through the introduction of new door designs, and so it is for good reason that some time ago we categorised our solid timber core composite doors under the Classic, Country and Urban collections. Our ongoing product development programme has realised new door designs in all three of these collections while we’ve added new colours and finishes over the years.

The fact that we have in-house foil lamination within Rocal Group is a major benefit for us, as is the fact that our doors perfectly match the PVCU frames in which they are assembled to. There is no use of painting, staining or embossing within our manufacturing processes, as each bespoke Endurance Door is manufactured from a proven, certified and construction grade LVL timber core.

Colour is a major talking point in the replacement window sector, and around 40% of replacements are now non-white, in marked contrast to the industry from just a decade ago. Grey is very much the in colour at present, and we can see these influences from the likes of Farrow & Ball, John Lewis and even from the national kitchen manufacturers, but blue is likely to be the new grey according to several influential sources.

While the industry is still enjoying the demand for anthracite grey, we’re now seeing the increased adoption of the likes of slate grey, elephant grey and the heritage-inspired pearl grey. Over the course of the coming weeks, we’ll also be adding two further finishes, taking our offering to 22 different door slab colours and finishes inside and out, as we look to satisfy the consumer thirst for more colour options on a front door.

The importance of a matching frame and door slab cannot be overstated and it’s even more relevant when side and top lights are part of the overall design. Now, more than ever before, consumers are demanding better products and there’s an expectation that frame and slab should match perfectly.

While colour is an obvious way in which to differentiate a door, much can also be done with the choice of hardware. Our Door Designer shows off many different options, and pull bar handles remain a firm favourite for our contemporary doors. While the finish options have changed little in recent years, we’ll be looking to add an exciting and tech-inspired new finish by the end of the summer.

Other hardware options provide opportunities to make any door truly special, thanks to the likes of our ‘bee knockers’ for example, and it’s the perfect way in which to add some individualisation to any entrance. From a security perspective our Endurance branded ABS 3-Star cylinder is a best in sector product that’s now backed by an impressive £2,000 security guarantee.

While product specification and innovation are a fundamental must for the sector, so too is lasting product performance. After all, the whole improvement market is about offering homeowners goods that require little if not no maintenance over the long term. With supply challenges still affecting parts of the industry, customer care and communication also remains critical.

But what’s next for the sector, and will we see a step change in terms of composite door construction? Part two will outline new thinking when it comes to next generation composite door design and composition.