Doors with personality

Mark Atkinson, sales director at Hurst Plastics, talks about the rise of the entrance door as a key driver in domestic home improvements and how installers can make the most of the growing market.

The entrance door sector is an exciting and constantly changing marketplace. Steered by the demands of today’s homeowner for innovative and modern products, manufacturers continue to develop new door styles and glazing designs to satisfy this appetite.

Once seen as a ‘distress’ purchase or sold as an add-on when customers bought new windows, the entrance door has become an investment purchase in its own right – much less of an afterthought and more of a focal point of the home that not only reflects current fashions and trends but also the style and personality of the owner.

This has led to the incredible growth of composite doors, which are now officially the nation’s favourite entrance door, accounting for more than 50% of doors installed. Despite the growth of composites, however, PVCU panels remain the second most popular material, accounting for 25% of the total market volume.

Brexit and other market uncertainties may have slowed the property market, but it hasn’t dampened our desire to improve our homes, with the Office for National Statistics revealing that we spend an enormous £30 billion a year on home improvements.

The Home Improvers Report by Barbour ABI also highlighted that the biggest spenders on home improvements are aged between 50 and retirement. This low or mortgage-free bracket has the most disposable income and they appreciate attributes like comfort, security, energy efficiency and desirability in the home improvement products they choose.

Faced with a challenging housing market, updating and maintaining a property is more important now than ever for homeowners. Yet, while some larger home improvements can take months to complete and may require planning permission (coupled with hefty investment), upgrading a front door is a quick and relatively cost-effective project that can instantly boost kerb appeal and add value to a property.

Today, the decision to replace a front door isn’t only driven by security, durability or performance, it’s as much about aesthetics too. The advent of social media and platforms like Houz, Instagram and, particularly Pinterest, have made us into far more design-conscious consumers that want to make stylish changes to our homes that reflect our tastes and personality while impressing our neighbours.

The entrance door has evolved into an influential home improvement product in its own right and this is driven by the sheer choice of door styles, glass, colours and hardware now available. These options give homeowners more scope to personalise their door and stamp their identity on their home.

Hurst has always adapted to the marketplace and we’ve never been afraid to follow our instincts, which is why we were one of the first manufacturers to enter the composite door arena. There are pressures when suppling to a fast-growing market and in this ‘want it now’ culture, it’s vital for installers to seek out suppliers who simplify the process of buying, ordering and delivering doors. Fabricators need to build capacity to cope with future volume growth and installers must insist upon the best quality and service, which includes consistent otif levels.

At Hurst, we understand the need to continuously introduce new products to stimulate the market and add value to our customers’ businesses – that’s why we strive to deliver superb choice, quality manufacturing, first-class service and dedicated technical and marketing support.

With composite volumes predicted to see substantial growth through to 2021, it’s an exciting time and it’s sure to be a defining period for the best fabricators and installers out there.