Open Your Doors to More Customers – Avoid vacant shops

© Copyright Albert Bridge and used under this CC Licence

© Copyright Albert Bridge and used under this CC Licence

I read an interesting article recently about the number of shops that are empty and unoccupied. The article suggested that the North East and North West showed the highest levels of empty shops with around one in five stores being vacant, while London and surrounding areas had the highest levels of occupancy. The figures reveal a clear divide between North and South with the North suffering on average double the number of vacant shops.

I am aware that our local town centres around West Yorkshire have a large number of empty shops. I always think it is sad to see empty stores with closed signs on the door, but I also recognise that the cost of renting a commercial property in the hope customers will come must be a scary proposition. Competing with online businesses and offering something unique can be a major challenge, but lots of people prefer to buy in a physical store and benefit from the human element of customer service that you only get in a shop.

Pattern 10 Oak

Pattern 10 White

For anyone that is brave enough to start up a shop or already has a retail business, you may be interested in our collection of doors. At Kershaws Doors we sell a wide range of quality internal and external doors for domestic and commercial use. If you want to smarten up your shop front then a new door can help to improve the all-important first impression and get more people through the door. Potential customers are likely to make a quick decision on whether to enter your store based on your shop window and overall front, including the entrance door. We offer a wide selection of door designs, in various sizes and finishes including Oak, Hardwood and White Primed. If you have an unusual door size or specification this is not a problem as you can always call our friendly customer services team and they will help you find what you are looking for from our bespoke door range.

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Renovating properties to Sell

InteriorThis blog is a follow up to one I wrote recently about a friend who had been disappointed with many of the internal doors she had seen when looking to buy a new house. I explained that it is often best to prepare a house for sale and avoid the disappointment of a big renovation job for prospective viewers.

If you are going to buy new doors to improve your property prior to sale then you will need to consider the following issues. I always think it is a good idea to start with the style of property and look at furnishings that will complement the general style. There is no point buying a modern door for a country cottage and similarly a swanky new apartment will not accommodate traditional country style doors. Ideally you should try and find styles that will last. Following the latest interior design trend can be a bit of a risk and it may not appeal to the widest audience. It can be difficult, but you will need to forget your personal preferences in terms of interior design and styles. Even if it goes against your instincts, the safest bet is to select neutral items. A good interior design trendsetter to follow is Kelly Hoppen, as her style is neutral yet very stylish and appropriate for contemporary and traditional properties. I suggest considering the overall property to help guide you at the beginning of your renovations. If your home is a small, modest property without the attraction of a fantastic location then consider purchasing doors which compliment to area and type of architecture in order to improve saleability. If your property is a luxury home then people will expect doors and other furnishings to be high quality and you may need to invest more, but I advise that which ever style or quality you choose then the finish of the doors is extremely important.

At Kershaws Doors you will find a wide selection of external and internal doors to suit different styles and budgets. If you require any advice on choosing doors for your property you can always call our helpful sales team on 0845 467 1910 or 01274 604488.

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Let Down By The Doors

flusholdI have a friend who is looking for a new house at the moment and she is viewing several properties each week in the hope of finding her dream home. She was telling me that she is frequently disappointed with the style of internal doors that she finds within properties. The house she currently lives in is a new home with good quality doors which look modern and elegant.

Her latest disappointment was a 1970’s style property which contained the worst example of ugly doors yet! She said the internal doors were very thin and made from a dark brown veneer. This made the whole house appear dated and the doors featured extensive wear and tear with lots of chips and scratches. I explained that she could consider sanding and staining the doors to restore them however this would be quite a lot of work for an entire house of doors and if they are thin and ugly there is only so much you can do to improve them. Realistically she would have to buy new doors and she felt that this was disappointing as it was another expense and hassle to add to the house buying process. I directed her to the Kershaws Doors website and I am sure she will be pleased with the selection of new doors on offer.

I think a lot of homeowners get used to the fixtures and furnishings in their property and sometimes it can be difficult to look at things with a fresh pair of eyes. However I think that anyone trying to sell their home should consider the fact that viewers do not like to see large scale renovation work required. While it can be difficult to invest in a property that you are trying to sell, it could make the difference between a sale or no sale so it is worth doing some of the big jobs to save the hassle for a prospective buyer.

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Looking for Art Deco doors for your Interior Design?

Powhatan Apartments door © colros

Powhatan Apartments door image © colros

Art Deco is a design style that was first recognised in France after the First World War and grew throughout Europe from the 1920s through to the 1940s. Art Deco furniture typically features geometric shapes, glass and metal, bold colours and elaborate motifs. Architecture and houses from the 1930s often reflect the art deco style with examples including geometric doorways and flat roofs on homes. Also much of the architecture in and around the London Underground network features art deco styling.

If you are trying to recreate the Art Deco look in your own home then you might like to invest in some angular shaped furniture, shiny chrome furnishings and mirror tiles along with anything featuring mother of pearl. Zig zags and stepped designs will fit in with this style and furniture made from shiny veneered wood would also be complementary.

Kershaws Doors sell a wide range of internal and external doors for your home. If you are looking for an art deco style of door then you may be interested in our Atlanta internal door in primed white finish, which is ready to paint. This door features strong raised effects in rectangular shapes and this appears on both the front and back of the door. A complementary glazed version features and vertical pane of glass in the centre. Either style can be painted in the colour of your choice to accommodate your own interior scheme. If you are looking for an art deco door with an oak finish then you may like the Euston internal door which features raised mouldings in a ribbed effect creating a border around a central oak panel in the centre. If you wish to highlight a diamond feature then our Sassari door features a modest central design of grooves forming diamond shapes. This is also available in a glazed version with a diamond panel of safety glass in the centre of the door.

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Kitchen design trends 2015 inspire other door choices in properties

Door painting spray shop

Door painting spray shop

As suppliers of timber doors it is important that we are aware of new interior design and property trends in order to provide inspirational products for our customers. At Kershaws Doors we provide timber doors to owners of very varied property styles, however, our customers are also influenced in their choices by the latest trends when they are renovating and building their homes.

Many interior design trends stem from current kitchen design styles as this is a major purchase for property owners and an extremely important room. In 2015 it appears that there is a continuing use of large glazing either in the form of windows, fully glazed doors and other transparent features allowing for access to the outside and between rooms. Open floor plans allow for gatherings and easier connection to other areas in the home.

Clean-cut streamlined units are still popular with the addition of more open shelving allowing easier viewing of utensils etc. Current cabinet style trends still feature wood in the form of flush doors with natural grain finishes rather than high gloss and panelled detailing often with an upgraded paint treatment in colour which blend well to the still popular natural granite, engineered stones and marble work tops and features.

Kershaws Doors Ltd can now supply some Interior primed/undercoated Custom Doors which can be painted in a choice of 132 Eggshell colours. There is a minimum order of 6 doors due to the volume of the paint required. This facility is ideal for whole house orders and commercial properties requiring a corporate look. Please contact our sales team who will direct you to the specific doors suitable for this bespoke door supply and paint service.

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Mirrored Doors can be useful if fitted with safety mirrors.

Image © Anastasia2011 and used under CC License

I have a memory of a family friend’s house which we used to visit when I was younger. In the house they had a number of mirrored doors in several of the rooms. I cannot say that I was a big fan and I always found it distracting when opening a door to see my reflection looking back at me. There was a completely mirrored door in the bathroom, which I found a little strange. I did not like that fact that I could see myself whilst using the bathroom. I can only imagine that the maintenance must have been a challenge with the constant removal of fingerprints as mirrors do tend to show up every mark.

It is often said that mirrors create the illusion of more space and this is why you will find great big mirrors hung throughout show houses if you are looking around new homes. Maybe this is part of the appeal for mirrored doors.

An alternative to mirrored doors would be hanging a mirror on your door (but make sure it is safety glass, Acrylic or Polycarbonate types ) and this would be most suited to a simple plain door style like the Pattern 10, which is an unfinished oak door within the Kershaws Doors collection. Mirrors can be very heavy so it is advisable to consider a hanging device when fitting, although these can be visible (and ugly in some cases). When I think of a mirrored bedroom door, I think of hotel rooms. It may be handy to have an accessible mirror to check your look before you leave the room, but I am personally more inclined towards a mirror on the wardrobe or hanging one on the wall.

At Kershaws Doors we do not sell mirrored doors but we have a wide selection of timber and glazed doors as well as unglazed doors so you can choose and fit your own glass within the panels of the door.

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Helpful and Knowledgeable Customer Services is necessary for our business

I have recently had a problem with our shower door at home. The handle for the shower has a coating which has completely worn away. The shower was installed before we bought the house so I am not sure where it originally came from. After searching online for “shower door handles” and more elaborate alternatives, I have not been able to find a suitable match. The dimensions appear to be non standard and there is nothing that I can find that is compatible.

I headed out to a couple of DIY stores and bathroom suppliers, however I still could not find anything suitable. I asked the advice of a couple of members of staff, but I was simply told that they did not stock such items. They also suggested I should buy an entirely new shower door.

I was disappointed with the face to face experience so thought I could try the customer services department for the manufacturer. After a lengthy search for a telephone number I was told that the company did not sell to or deal with the public directly as they were a trade-only supplier.

I am still without a shower door handle and feeling very disappointed with the lack of support. This is particularly irritating as I know that the Customer Services team at Kershaws Doors would have handled this type of enquiry so much better. Customers call our team with a wide range of queries. Sometimes these are not directly related to products that we sell, but may be related to fitting or specialist door hardware. At Kershaws Doors the philosophy is to do your best to help customers. Even when the person handling your query does not know the answer, they will certainly try and find out.

I only wish that Kershaws Doors sold shower door accessories as I know they would help me find what I need. If you would like any advice regarding internal or external timber doors, door hardware or accessories then do not hesitate to call our Customer Services team on 01274 604488 or 0845 4671910.

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‘Fairy Control item’ – the importance of choosing the right door

Fairy Door from Madtown Macs

Fairy Door © Madtown Macs

Of course we are rather obsessive about all things concerning timber doors at Kershaws Doors Ltd, so this recent news about ‘Fairy Control’ caught our eye. It’s not the first time we’ve blogged about fairy doors, we’ve discussed these miniature gems before. But if you haven’t seen the new article, then in brief it relates to the concern of the trustees of charitable woodland trust in Somerset who feel that the fitting of small (elfin) doors to the base of trees in the wood is getting out of hand.

It is thought that these miniature doors have been installed by the local residents for their children to put messages behind the doors for the fairies. Apparently the first little door appeared at the beginning of the millenium, the trustees were happy about this one door so they left it, however, since then the practice has escalated and is now causing some concern. The most reason doors are now rather fancy with tinsel and painted in bright colours so the feeling is that they are intrusive in the woodland setting, so they intend to “bring in quality control” relating to the doors. The trustees say they are “not anti-fairy and are not intending on evicting the fairies”,they want people to stay to the paths as they have put a lot of effort into protecting the woodland.

This situation, although on the surface seems a light hearted event, is obviously causing some concern. But isn’t it a nice thing to report rather than all the usual aggressive war like news we generally hear about.

I hope a satisfactory conclusion to the problem is found and the children and fairies are not too upset by the eventual outcome. The fairy door seem a lovely idea and the child in all of us is probably the reason the news article went viral.

If you are looking for a smaller than standard timber door? please give us a call, we are a leading supplier of bespoke sized timber doors for both internal and external applications.

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Art Nouveau – A Twentieth Century Property Style Influence

Liberty - Great Marlborough Street, London

The Art Nouveau influence can still be seen in the Liberty, London shop – image © Elliott Brown

I have a great interest in architecture of all Era and this helps me a good deal in the timber door business at Kershaws Doors Ltd as we supply a large range of door designs to suit all property types. I particularly like the detailing used in the Arts and Crafts movement along with the Victorian Gothic Revival and the later twentieth century architectural inspirations such as the French inspired Art Nouveau period.

The late 1800’s to the present day has seen a massive change in architectural styles and building techniques and the timber door, an essential building component, exhibits many design influences over this time.

The Edwardian properties built during the early Twentieth Century were generally smaller and less ornate than the preceding Victorian types, yet would have been considered more sophisticated as the styles introduced were innovative and often avant-garde.

Art Nouveau is one of the most artistic and distinctive decorative styles, originally from France and adopted throughout Europe in the 1880’s it later made an impact in Britain during the turn of the century. The style is characterised with graphic sinuous lines, later, often set into geometric shapes as the period led into the Art Deco Era. The characteristic curves tend to be depicted in property interiors more than the large architectural components as they were challenging to create on a grand scale. However, the style details can be seen in wallpapers such as those designed by William Morris and heavy paper such as Lincrusta still available for below Dado rails

The Arts and Crafts Movement and the Art Nouveau influence can still be seen in the retail shop Liberty’s which was originally a great influence to the buying public by offering exquisite objects focussing on Asymmetrical images and flowing lines . Liberty have, nevertheless, moved with the times and offer 21st century products yet fortunately still retains the ethos of the company and design elements from it’s past.

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Colour trends for 2015 encourage home relaxation

paintAccording to a leading UK Paint supplier who is well known in interior design circles “the colours we will want to use in our homes over the next year reflect a desire to create spaces offering escapism”
I certainly agree with these sentiments as due to our increasingly frenetic working lives our homes are becoming much more important as places for escape and to help us achieve some inner peace.
Colour plays a very important role in our relaxation, emotions and the way we feel about our environment. Recently the weather has shown us a hint of Spring, when the sun shines, days become longer and the gardens show signs of colour it gives me a great emotional boost and the mental energy to cast off my winter shell.
We have seen our usual upsurge of sales at Kershaws Doors recently which indicates that others feel the same inspiration to rejuvenate their properties or move house and many of our commercial customers are reinvigorating their business properties.
Going back to the paint company, they are suggesting pale colours this year to promote reflection and relaxation. Light blues, greens and other pastel colours can go so well with our natural timber doors in Oak and Walnut and our pre primed and panelled doors look so good when painted in pastel shades to emphasise the contours of the panels and beading. Many paint companies now have apps. to download which help you choose the best colours in each interior.
If you are ordering pre-primed internal doors from Kershaws Doors Ltd and in quantities of 6 and above then please ask our sales team about the special Factory Painting service Range which uses the Estate® Eggshell. This service will save a you a great deal of time and provides you with a consistent finish throughout.

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Looking for Pet friendly door access to the Garden for your Dog?

Breckenridge V2 Stable

Breckenridge V2 Stable

Studies suggest that dogs like to have access to the garden and they are likely to be calmer and happier if they can roam in and out of your home as they like. This can be a challenge for the homeowner in terms of providing access to the garden and creating a safe protective space outside and inside when you have small children or puppies.

Something you may like to consider is a stable door. A stable door offers you the chance to open the bottom half of the door while keeping the top half closed. This helps to retain heat and allows your dog to wander in and out of the property at will. Alternatively opening the top half allows safety for puppies and small children so a stable door is very versatile. Kershaws Doors offer a selection of stable doors including hardwood and oak finishes. If you are looking for a modern design or something more traditional you will find the perfect stable door on our website. Simply select “Stable Doors” from the drop down menu under “External Doors” and “Door Type”. These doors all feature glazed panels at the top of the door giving visibility into the garden from the inside.

The issue of whether your dog will escape from the garden will depend on the breed, age and personality of your dog. Most people will require or desire sufficient security to ensure your dog is safely kept within the boundary of your property. You may require fencing, gates or a wall to protect your pets. Frequent walks are advisable to maintain the health of your dog with the added bonus that he/she is less likely to attempt escaping if they get plenty of exercise. You may also need to consider the contents of your garden to avoid plants that can be poisonous to dogs and to avoid damage and devastation typically associated with mischievous puppies.

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Rise of the Self Employed Worker

construction-workerOver the past few months I have seen many references to the growth of business start-ups in the UK. According to the Office for National Statistics in 2014 self employment rose to its highest level for 40 years. This is an interesting rise and could reflect the impact of the dreaded recession with the high levels of cuts, redundancies and business closures that we are witnessing. I also think there is a stronger desire for many people to work for themselves and benefit from the flexibility this can offer. It seems that the days of long service to a single employer are long gone for most of us so people do not feel the same sense of loyalty to their employer and they are eager to have a go at being their own boss.

At Kershaws Doors we supply a range of timber doors, both internal and external and we are regularly talking to people who run their own business or are in the process of setting up as a sole trader. Many of these people require a new internal door for their home office as they seek to create a suitable working environment in their own home. Others are looking for doors for their commercial property. Anywhere that a customer or client is going to see you needs to create the right first impression and your choice of door will contribute to this. We offer a wide selection of doors suitable for domestic and commercial situations in a variety of styles and finishes.

In addition we supply doors to many builders, property developers, architects and interior designers who run their own companies and are recently finding that the building trade is on the up.

We can provide friendly advice and we are always happy to chat about different requirements and options. If you are setting up on your own, we wish you good luck and please check out our website or call our customer services team if you have any door requirements.

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Problems with timber door discolouration

This external door image shows timber that has been lacquered with a clear coat, the oak has discoloured as the lacquer has no UV protection.

This external door image shows timber that has been lacquered with a clear coat, the oak has discoloured as the lacquer has no UV protection.

I have covered the subject of finishing timber doors in previous Blog but we are still finding that occasionally our customers have problems with timber doors. Customer will often consider that they have finished them correctly however, we generally find, upon investigation, that something within the finishing process has been done incorrectly, a stage has been missed or the wrong varnish has been applied.

As with all DIY processes there is a right or wrong way to do things. Through many years of supplying doors we have developed guidelines for finishing all types of internal and external timber doors. The last 10 years has seen many changes within our industry which includes a change in manufacturing techniques and more importantly a major shift in the rules regarding paint and varnish products based on new EU environmental guidelines.

Modern construction techniques used to manufacture doors allows them to be stronger however timber is a beautiful and natural commodity which needs to be treated with care in order to last and give many years of good service with appropriate maintenance. Many previous techniques and finishing products used are now totally unsuitable for finishing timber doors. Our door website contains a search button on Door Finishing which is a must read for all our customers purchasing unfinished doors, also its a good idea to read this section if you are buying finished doors as you are likely to be trimming a little off the door during fitting so the raw edges will need additional protection.

Some problems occur when a customer purchases doors for their joiner or builder to finish and fit, time is a very expensive commodity and if the fitter is unaware that recent finishing techniques need to be used for these modern doors then they may use inappropriate finishes and techniques which may have worked for them in the past without a problem but are not suitable nowadays. To save money it may be a good idea to do the finishing yourself using our guidance, the joiner or builder is then able to concentrate on the fitting process. You will then be able to touch up the trimmed areas to your satisfaction. Alternatively employing a painter/decorator to do this for you with the guidelines we suggest and the products most suitable.

If you need assistance in choosing the correct finishing products for your timber doors please contact our sales team who will give you additional help and suggestions.

Please Note: order your doors in plenty of time to allow for finishing and fitting, some styles may be out of stock but more importantly you need to factor in the finishing process time. Often its the processes missed out or rushed which cause later problems

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Hospital Doors can be a source of transferring infections!

hospital doorAs I write this blog post I am sitting in a hospital waiting room and I can’t help but notice how many doors there are in this building. From this room alone, I can see nine separate doors.

On the way to this department I passed through multiple doors as I struggled to locate the right area for my appointment. If you think of all the people that are making their way around a hospital you may think they’d be better off avoiding too many doors. I can only imagine porters walking around with trolleys and wheelchairs, elderly people and people on crutches having a tough time getting through all the doors. I find that the signs can be confusing or non-existent, which adds to the challenge. In addition to practical difficulties with all the doors, there is an issue with safety in terms of hygiene. Opening and closing doors may carry the risk of passing infections and there are hand cleaning stations dotted throughout the hospital. Most of the doors feature a metal strip along the bottom of the door which adds to the strength and stability. They also have a slow-close mechanism attached to the top to prevent the door slamming.


I did wonder why all the doors were closed, forcing patients to constantly open them, however each door features a circular label that explains this. Where a door has a circular sign with “FD30″ or “FD60″ on it, this means it is a fire door and these should be kept closed. There are special magnetic stays which are often used on hotel fire doors which are activated from a central system in the event of fire I wonder why these cannot be used in hospital!!! The different labels indicate the specification of the fire door in terms of how long that door can withstand a fire (30 or 60 minutes). At Kershaws Doors we have a large selection of fire doors and you can view the drop-down menu alongside each product to check size options and prices.

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Working from Home? Need a New Door for your Home Office?

Home Office

Home Office image © Maegan Tintari and used under CC License

It seems that the number of people working from home continues to rise with almost 14% of working people in the UK doing their job in their own home. The Office for National Statistics shows a steady rise over the past six years with 4.2 million people being registered as home workers in 2014. A large proportion of these are self employed people who can often save money by being based at home and benefit from the ease and flexibility of home working. Many office-based people are also frequently working at home for a proportion of their working week and many organisations are increasingly flexible in this area.

If you are working from home then you will probably want to create a specific working space within your home. Having a designated working area will help to avoid distractions like television and other peoples activities and it can help to separate your working time from your own so that you can walk away from your desk at the end of the working day. You may be thinking about office furniture and furnishings and a new door may be a part of your plans.

At Kershaws Doors we have a wide selection of doors so you should be able to find the perfect match for your home office. Whether you are looking for a door that is sleek and stylish or professional and corporate, we have hundreds of doors within our collection. You can browse by style, type or timber depending on your preferences. If you are operating a business from your own home where your clients or customers will come and see you then this increases the importance of creating a good first impression and you will most likely want to separate your working environment. An attractive good quality door will help you to achieve this.

If you are creating an office space in your loft remember that your new door will need to be a Fire certified door these are now just as good looking as standard doors and have the advantage of having additional sound proof qualities doue to their construction.

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