Tuesday 16 June 2020

Choosing the Right Door is not Always Straight Forward

When it comes to choosing doors for a customer or a new project, there are various factors for tradespeople to consider. 

Whether it’s the variety of choices available or the quality, aesthetics or functions of the products, choosing the right door isn’t always as straight forward as it seems.

In this feature, Mike Morris, Commercial Manager at XL Joinery, shares his advice on how builders and joiners can successfully recommend the best door for their project.

Standing the test of time

In this saturated market, it can be difficult for builders and joiners to identify doors that will endure and truly benefit their customers in the long term.

Tradespeople will be able to guarantee total satisfaction in the performance if they opt for doors that have gone through the round of relevant tests. Such tests include:

1. Fit testing - This is a simple test that can be used to mitigate instances of hardware causing doors to fail on site. A fit test includes checking several different factors including the trimming tolerance and lock block positions, the required hardware cut-outs and the ease of working and screw retention.

2. Finish testing - If you choose an unfinished door, it is important for the finishes to be tested to ensure that the desired outcome is gained. This involves checking that the finishes are in line with the manufacturer’s fitting instructions. This test also has the ability to highlight occurring issues such as changes in veneer colour and the adhesion of finishing products.

3. Bath testing - You can learn a lot about the quality of an external door by lipping and siliconing the edge before submerging one under 20ml of water.

Whilst tests should be carried out over one week, faults usually become apparent within just 48 hours, revealing any weaknesses in glazing and panel seals, as well as poor joint and veneer adhesion.

4. Cross-section testing - Cutting various sections through the door can allow you to ascertain the quality of its internal construction. This test is particularly telling when conducted after the bath test.

An option for everyone

For smaller projects, offering customers the chance to choose from a wide range of high-quality products puts them in control of their project, which in turn, puts you at the heart of its success.

By presenting a wide variety of choices to your clients, you are able to ensure that a customer’s personal preference is met. Giving options that cover different price points is also key unless the customer has already provided a budget for their doors. Often, ranges have different price tiers within them so, even if a specific look is desired, there may be multiple ways to achieve this.

Quality over quantity

Another key aspect for builders and joiners to consider is quality. Selecting the very best, premium quality doors not only helps with the fitting but also helps grow a trusted relationship with a client. Therefore, it is crucial for you to check the products you’re using before recommending them to your customers.

Different door designs offer different performance characteristics at various price points. As the most traditional and beneficial of all door designs, boarded doors, offer a wealth of long-term benefits due to their solid construction, which their counterparts might not be able to match.

For this reason, it is important for you to evaluate their chosen door design and construction before fitting.

The three most popular constructions of a door are solid or laminated wood, solid core, and hollow core. Whilst they can all look similar on the outside, the performance of each can vary massively.

When we look at invisible, but essential, factors such as heat retention, hollow core doors really can’t compete. Alongside lasting between 1-60 years, solid core and solid oak doors boast superior heat retention as well as enhanced sound insulation.

However, hollow core doors offer significantly less, due to their less substantial construction. 

Therefore, when selecting a door that offers multiple benefits in the long term, we would recommend opting for either solid core or solid oak. While the price point may be slightly higher, your customer could save money later down the line in energy bills and the cost of replacing lower quality, hollow core doors.

By taking all of these points into consideration, tradespeople will be able to successfully identify the right door for their project. Which in turn, will offer the customer enhanced quality, a wide range of choices, multiple aesthetics, and peace of mind that their new door will stand the test of time.


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