What lies through the keyhole

Malcolm Taylor, product manager at Rehau, discusses possible trends to watch out for in the door market.

Composite doors have become the go-to choice today because composite doors are manufactured from different materials offering resilience and enduring aesthetics.

In addition, a composite door looks far more like a traditional timber door, which is a growing requirement in the current refurbishment market. With a broad range of colour choices and the option to customise the product to complement a property’s unique architecture, it is safe to say the desire for the composite door is strong and not going anywhere for a while.

Security has also long been a significant market driver, and the security solutions now available have advanced beyond the basic door that keeps the heat in and unwanted guests out. This has led to the development of greater integrated locking mechanisms and greater security available with composite and other doors. The introduction of smart video door bells and smart locks has also increased awareness and the profile of security in this sector and is a growing trend to look out for.

Entrance doors also offer homeowners an opportunity to go wilder with colour. While the shades of grey and black seem to still dominate the market, we are seeing more daring statements made with front door colours that consumers wouldn’t usually select for windows say, or even their internal walls.

There has also been an increasing desire to blur the lines between the inside and out. People once liked to have a neat boundary between the home and garden, but now the desire is for large open spaces that let the light flood in and boost feelings of openness and general wellbeing in a home. A prevailing lifestyle choice has often been large sliding and folding doors. However, today, we are seeing an increase in the newly introduced Slide and Swing Invisifold door, made with Rehau’s Total70 profiles.

Finally, and still one of the most prevalent trends driving the door industry today, is thermal efficiency. Thermally efficient upgrades are often the first thing homeowners consider when purchasing a new front door. The one thing we can guarantee with the UK climate is that at some stage between October and March there will be an exceptionally cold period of weather, which in recent years has extended to snow. Therefore, homeowners are consistently demanding a draught-proof, well-fitted and thermally efficient front door.

The U-value of a door like windows should be as low as possible. And with Rehau’s Passivhaus Door a U-value of 0.7W/m2K is possible.

Thanks to Brexit, it can be hard to assume what lies ahead for the windows and doors industry. However, certain factors will impact what the market evolves into, in the years to come.

The advent of technology and phenomenon of ‘Smart’ means the future will arrive little by little and we will do well to start opening these doors to understand what is hidden behind them. The concept of a smart home was completely unthinkable only a few years ago, but today we are being given tools that help control every aspect of our homes. From devices that can remotely control the heating, cameras enabling us to answer the front door remotely, and voice recognition, the opportunities are endless.

New smart keyless technology locking systems are being incorporated into the latest high-end doors. These include fingerprint recognition, keypad entry and Bluetooth entry (from your mobile phone). Manufacturers, installers and fabricators will do well to embrace this sooner rather than later and avoid the harsh reality of being left behind.

As always, customisation and differentiation will drive the industry in the future as consumers will look to more high-end products that suit their lifestyle.

There is no doubt that each year, homeowners will find new and unique ways to customise their homes. As new trends emerge, it’s important to remember that quality products with a balance of style, function, and energy efficiency should be at the top of your list.