Tim Wood, head of marketing at XL Joinery, shares his advice on how builders can choose the best door for their project.
In a market that is saturated with doors, it can be difficult for builders to identify ones that will stand the test of time and truly benefit the customer in the long term. By opting for doors that have been thoroughly tested, builders will be able to guarantee total satisfaction in their performance. If you are fitting a number of doors it is wise to carry out the following:
- 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.
- Finish testing
If an unfinished door is chosen, it is important for 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.
- Bath testing
By fully over lipping and siliconing the edge of an external door before submerging one under 20ml of water, builders are able to learn a lot about the quality of an external door. 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.
- Cross section testing
Cutting various sections through the door can allow builders to ascertain the quality of its internal construction. This test is particularly telling when conducted after the bath test.
The customer’s choice
For smaller scale 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 the builder at the heart of its success. By presenting a wide variety of choices to their clients, builders are able to ensure that they meet the personal preferences of their customers. 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 tiers of product within them so, even if a specific look is desired, there may be multiple options to achieve this.
Another key aspect for builders to consider is quality. Selecting the very best, premium quality doors not only helps with the fitting but also helps grow a trusted relationship between the builder and the client. Therefore, it is crucial for builders to check the products they are using before recommending them to their customers. Builders can do this by evaluating design and construction.
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 builders to evaluate their chosen door design before fitting. Solid or laminated wood, solid core and hollow core are the three main types of door constructions. However, this doesn’t mean that all of these types offer long term benefits.
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.
Ease of fit
It’s no surprise that purchasing a high quality door can result in a high quality fit. In an effort to continually develop our product offering, we have responded to the many requests for a larger lippings so we have increased the size to 20mm on our Suffolk Original and launched a solid oak version called the Suffolk Statement.
By taking all of these points into consideration, builders 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.