Tony Pell, Senior Product Manager at Jeld-Wen, offers his advice on how to overcome common pitfalls and add value for customers when specifying, ordering and fitting patio doorsets
The decisions you make at the start of any project will impact the overall result, and often it’s forgetting about the smaller details which can then lead to problems down the line.
When it comes to patio doorsets, for instance, a common mistake is neglecting which side the handle sits, and whether the door should open inwards or outward. With your customers often preoccupied with the size, style and other features of their dream patio doorset, try not to let the opening and handle placement become an afterthought.
You may even want to suggest the best opening yourself by looking at the existing room layout and factor any obstructions which might affect how well the patio opens up. Personal preference is also important.
For example, if your customer is left-handed they may appreciate the handle placement to accommodate for this. At the point of ordering, some manufacturers hand everything from outside looking in and others vice versa – so you must clearly specify as these are two different product types.
From the Floor Up
The floor levelling outside will also influence what sill you need, and must also be accounted for when ordering the height of your client’s patio doorset to ensure it is a correct fit. There are a variety of different sills available, such as low level aluminium types, timber seals which sit on the floor, and drop seals to fit flush with the internal floor level. Always factor in the end-user requirements. For example, if your customer is a wheelchair user then a big upstand is to be avoided.
What’s Width Got to Do with It?
Asking practical questions about what the customer wishes to use the doors for and if they expect to be able to carry bulky items through, such as garden furniture, will influence what is best for them. In these instances, you would be best recommending a slightly larger single door with narrower side lights rather than a pair of French doors.
Where space isn’t at a premium try suggesting a folding sliding configuration, as they’re ideal for creating a spacious look, with the concertina opening allowing the doors to slide right back. This gives extra room when entertaining and allows even more light in during the summer months.
Once you have the patio doorset and are ready to start fitting, doing the basics and making sure that everything is present and correct – before taking out brickwork or any existing patio doorset or window – is advisable.
Although simple, it is an effective way to avoid wasting time on-site or leaving a property vulnerable if, for whatever reason, you can’t fit the product.
When it comes to installing it is important to feel confident, this is why Jeld-Wen has invested in creating step-by-step guides and installation videos which covers key elements.
From checking the frame, fixing and sealing to stop excessive heat loss and draughts. To fitting the hardware and testing your handy work once the patio doorset has been installed too.
Maintenance is another area that needs to be discussed and installers can leave customers happy and informed if they take a moment to explain that minor adjustments, after the doorset has settled, will be required.
By simply leaving the manufacturers fitting instructions and showing how to do minor remedial work, such as tightening with an Allen key, will be appreciated by the homeowner no end.
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