Published On: Fri, Oct 14th, 2022

Opening up to new and innovative door solutions

Consumers are becoming more demanding in their desires for innovative entrance doors – installers must stay ahead of the game, writes John Cowie

As one doors shuts another opens. Unearthing the decisions behind consumers deciding to change their front doors is a revealing exercise. In many instances it’s a case of stating the obvious, however, without innovation the whole process would be far tougher for installers and retailers. Experienced fitter Darren Whitehurst believes purchasers in the retail market fall into three distinct categories: “Over the last 20 years the reasons behind the purchase of a front door haven’t really changed. Homeowners fall in three groups; those I call the distress purchasers, where a door no longer functions or is rotten or has been subjected to a forced entry; the taste changers, where they have moved into a new home and don’t like then existing door or they just fancy a change in style to match current or new trends; finally are a group that are becoming more prevalent – those that have a close eye on new developments and want the latest designs that feature the latest technologies. Innovation allows us to continue to feed products into these consumer groups. New colours, designs and new technology means as one door shuts another opens.”

Once in a lifetime

Looking back in history, an entrance door was often viewed as a once in a lifetime purchase. A solid, timber entrance door was an opening statement to the home and often reflected the stature of the house.  Innovation has changed the rule book as homeowners want to keep up with the Jones’ and have the latest colours, product styles and bits of tech on the opening to their homes. The development of the composite door was really the catalyst and represented a true game changer in the entrance door market. They offered wonderful colours, enhanced security and prestige at an affordable price. Their desirability has remained as manufacturers have tampered with designs to offer an array of traditional and contemporary designs. Who would of thought a modern , contemporary composite door would be considered acceptable on traditional styled house?

The entrance door market is going to get even more exciting over the next few years and give installers more reasons to entice potential customers to replace their entrance doors. Designs are continuing to evolve and excellent bits of innovation such as offering an aluminium outer frame for composite doors will drive further demand. The aluminium outer frame previewed by UK Doors at the FIT Show is particularly interesting. It perfectly illustrates how innovation is used to overcome a blockage where homeowners wanted aluminium windows and a composite door – but wanted a door frame that matched their window frames. 

The big developments centres around the growing influence of technology in the door sector. Electronic locking has been floating around in the background for a number of years but has never really gained much market traction. We are reaching a tipping point where retailers and installers can’t ignore smart locking – consumers will start to insist on it and if you don’t have it in your product portfolio you will come across as out of touch which could lead to the loss of the sale. 

The holly grail of security has always centred around central locking for homes. This is probably a step too far at the moment. However there has been a significant acceleration in smart locking for entrance doors over the last 12 months. The door market isn’t standing still, and installers and retailers should constantly being evaluating their product ranges to ensure they are offering the latest innovations and doors that tick the boxes for increasingly well-informed and demanding consumers.