Women Won’t Pay More For Doors

image © Tax Credits and shared under CC license

image © Tax Credits and shared under CC license

A recent study has found that women in the UK are regularly paying more for products that are a direct equivalent to men’s products. This is particularly true for cosmetics and personal care products, such as deodorants, razors and perfumes, but it also applies to services, including insurance, car repairs and hair cuts. Given that women are reportedly paid 10-20% less than men in the workplace, this is disappointing and irritating for us female folks. Some psychologists have actually suggested that many women like to pay more for their products and gain some kind of satisfaction for paying more.

At Kershaws Doors we do not have different prices for men and women for our doors. I think that we have a fairly even split of male and female customers and we have noticed over the years that women are increasingly involved in the decision to buy doors. We certainly see more women in our door showroom than in previous years and we receive more phone calls and email enquiries from women.

We tend to find that our top quality doors are equally appealing to men and women and we do not see any need to promote them differently. We certainly wouldn’t charge more to a woman for the same door, we try to be competitive while supplying good quality products. The Kershaws Doors team includes men and women which helps us to see things from both sides and can be useful when selecting new timber door designs for our collection. We often work together to design and choose doors that will appeal universally to men and women. Whether you are a man or woman, we are sure that you will be impressed with our wide selection of internal and external doors and you can be assured that there will be no discrimination on prices.

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Vivaldi Internal Door

At Kershaws Doors we have a collection of Pre-finished, internal doors called Vivaldi. This includes two complementary styles including a prefinished Oak door with Walnut inlay vivand an inverted design featuring prefinished Walnut with Oak inlay.

Vivaldi Walnut

Vivaldi walnut with oak inlay

There are also two glazed versions available which include three large square panels of clear glass. The doors can all be fitted either way round allowing you to choose the side for the off-centre vertical inlay of Oak or Walnut. These are modern doors which are available in a wide range of sizes with thicknesses of 35mm and 40mm and also supplied as 44mm thick FD30 Certified fire doors.

There is only one other Vivaldi that I am aware of and I assume that these doors take their name from the famous Italian Baroque composer. Antonio Vivaldi is one of the most famous classical composers who was born in Venice on 4th March 1678. Taught by his father, he played the violin and while he composed for various instruments and operas, he is most famous for his violin concertos called The Four Seasons. An interesting fact about Vivaldi is that he was ordained as a priest when he was 25 and he worked in an orphanage teaching music to children.

So, from a classic composer to a classic door design, the Vivaldi internal door offers a contemporary edge that requires little preparation prior to fitting. This would be a door to attract attention and set the tone for a professional setting or a stylish home. If you have a large opening to fill then we have a standard sizes up to 915 x 1220mm and bespoke sizes going up to a huge 1220 x 2440mm. It is possible to fit 2 doors as a french pair with the appropriate french door frames fitted. Please contact our sales team on 0845 467 1910 or local number 01274 604 488 if you would like to find out more about our Oak and Walnut doors or any other doors within the Kershaws Doors collection.

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The Power of Hotel Review Sites as they help improve businesses

20140804_141610We had an interesting call from a customer recently who explained that he owned a bed and breakfast and required new doors for all the bedrooms. He closely monitors the reviews that he gets for his bed and breakfast and is proud to say that the reviews tend to be very positive. However after seeing two people make reference to the shabby old bedroom doors, he felt it was time to update them. He admitted, like many people tell us, it can be difficult to recognise when it is time to buy new doors. The old doors were functional and performed the job required, however they were no longer attractive and brought down the overall tone of the rooms.

He recognises that when offering a luxury room to guests and charging a price to match, it is critical to ensure that all the furniture and fittings are in line with the expectations of customers and this certainly includes the doors. In fact, when guests first go to their room they will judge the overall package when opening the door based on the look and feel of it.

The bed and breakfast owner was delighted to say that he could update the review site informing people that he was in fact updating the hotel and buying new doors as a direct result of comments that he had read on the website. He also planned to include photos of the new doors as he felt they were stylish and worth shouting about. If you have a bed and breakfast or a hotel then you will need to ensure your doors support the overall standard of your accommodation. If you require new doors then please take a look at our website for a wide range of door sizes and styles.

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Bank Holiday Bliss

Spring

This is the time of year when Bank Holidays are in abundance and the late May Spring Bank holiday is a particularly nice one as it heralds the onset of summer which we are all looking forward to.

Many of our customers have recently ordered new timber doors for delivery in time to fit during the Spring renovation season. When the quality of sunlight improves and the trees and spring flowers are blooming our thoughts turn to cleaning and decorating our properties, its amazing what this time of year inspires us to do.

In addition Spring is a lovely time of year for a wedding once the wedding invitations have been sent out then the big push to get the bridal home decorated is in full swing.

Looking at our order list we are, understandably supplying many exterior timber doors and frame as the dryer weather is a good time to fit these. However, I have noticed a trend towards clear pine and pre-primed white doors as customers are choosing a lot of doors which they intend to paint either white or their own chosen colour. Maybe these customers are given their homes a fresh white appearance after the grey days of winter. I often buy home accessories from The White Company as I find their products so fresh and clean in appearance and white painted woodwork in the home gives a particular boost after the winter season.

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Internal and External Custom sized Doors, a perfect solution.

Front DoorProperty in the UK is generally very individual in styling and my opinion is thats the way it should be, some would disagree but in my experience most people like an area to have some character. A street with a variety of house styles is usually much more pleasing on the eye than one with the same design, same size garden and same doors and windows.

Over the years builders have change the sizing of doors and windows and some buildings have been converted from commercial to residential uses. Consequently we find, at Kershaws Doors Ltd, that we have many requests for Non-Standard door sizes. Custom door sizes do not pose a problem to us, we supply replacement and first fix timber doors to homeowners, property developers, architects and builders. We have a massive range of timber doors for both Internal and External applications.

Over the years we have filled a niche market for Bespoke timber doors and due to the increase in demand. Customers are aware that we will source unique door designs for them and this side of our business is developing fast. Our discerning customers increasingly ask us to give quotations for unusual styles of timber doors with coordinating frames for both standard and Fire Certified qualities. We supply both contemporary designs and replacement doors in reproduction styles, suitable for refurbishment projects and if the quantities are sufficient the customers prefered detailing such as panels and beading can be accommodated.

If you are looking for Bespoke and non-standard timber doors for your particular preference or property style and are unsure of availability please contact our sales team by phone or email with any necessary photos to assist with your search.

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Vote! Help to make things better or risk making a change?

Downing Street Door

10 Downing Street Door image © The Prime Ministers Office and used under CC license

Along with many thousand of people at the moment I have underlying thoughts of the UK general election. I admit that I am interested in politics, and more so as I get older, but it does not consume my waking hours.

I recently read an article about voting preferences by Jonathan Haidt who is a professor of psychology at New York University’s Stern School of Business and the author of The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion. To take the survey described in this essay, visit yourmorals.org.

In the article he discusses some of the reasons people vote for a particular political party and uses a U.S survey as the basis of his findings. he says “One of the most robust findings in social psychology is that people find ways to believe whatever they want to believe. And the left really want to believe the duping hypothesis. It absolves them from blame and protects them from the need to look in the mirror or figure out what they stand for in the 21st century.” and “Despite being in the wake of a financial crisis that – if the duping theorists were correct – should have buried the cultural issues and pulled most voters to the left, we are finding in America and many European nations a stronger shift to the right. When people fear the collapse of their society, they want order and national greatness, not a more nurturing government.

I found the above statements interesting in relationship to our door business as we find that purchasing power and sales fluctuations often relate to what is going on in the world. For instance, at times during the financial crisis there was a feeling that it was risky to over spend and house buying slowed down which was a sensible move for many people. We found that many of our customers purchased high quality doors and added value to the properties they owned through this further refurbishment. The fitting of beautiful internal and external doors will have paid off as the economy improved, by increasing the value of their properties.

Therefore, I agree with the statement by Jonathan Haidt that when people feel threatened they look for more order and have a greater sense of pride.

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Je t’adore – it doesn’t mean Shut the Door!

Internal Richelieu Clear Glazed Unfinished Oak DoorThis is a common French phrase which is often misinterpreted. While many people think that it means ‘I love you’, it is not really quite as strong as this. The literal translation is ‘I adore you’, which does sound pretty strong to me, however it is used in a situation where you are saying ‘I like you a lot’ perhaps to a friend or relative or a partner before you are fully committed.

Of course, the reason for writing about this phrase on the Kershaws Doors blog is the close connection to the phrase ‘Shut the door’. There appears to be a number of songs with this title or something similar, including “Shut the Door” by American band Fugazi. Also there is a song called ‘Shut De Do’ meaning shut the door by Randy Stonehill and covered by various other artists. The next line is ‘Keep out de debil’ or ‘Keep out the devil”. Shut De Do is often thought to be a Caribbean calypso or a spiritual religious song, however Stonehill was a white man from California and the song has since been adopted by many schools and spiritual choirs due to the easy tune and lyrics.

Interestingly a song called ‘Je t’adore’ was released and sung at the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest during the semi-finals. Featuring mainly English lyrics, other than the title, Je t’adore was sung by Kate Ryan representing Belgium. Unfortunately the song did not make it to the final as it reached twelfth out of twenty three acts. During the filming of the semi-final, our witty presenter Terry Wogan made the controversial comment that it sounded like Ryan was singing ‘shut that door’.

Kershaws Doors Ltd have a French’ inspired’ door designs such as the Richelieu Clear Glazed door.. So, there’s a few facts to think about the next time you say or shout “Shut that door”.

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Saltbox, a custom made door with traditional styling

Internal Custom Saltbox Unfinished Oak DoorAt Kershaws Doors we have a door model called the Saltbox. This is an unfinished oak interior door. It is a traditional style door with six panels and it is part of our custom door collection, allowing you maximum flexibility on dimensions. The Saltbox is available as a standard door or a fire door and the solid style veneer is a popular choice for anyone that wants to maintain a traditional look while contending with non standard dimensions. Given that this is an unfinished oak door, you will need to consider the look you wish to achieve and apply the appropriate finish, such as stain or varnish. This door works well with Oak flooring and country kitchens.

So, where does this unusual name Saltbox come from? A saltbox is a style of colonial house typically found in New England. It is a timber-framed construction featuring one storey at the front and two storeys at the back. A saltbox features a large chimney in the centre of the roof. This distinctive appearance is claimed to reflect the traditional wooden containers used for salt giving the house its name. While there are some variations on the theme, all the examples I have seen feature an asymmetrical appearance.

While this style of house is mainly associated with the United States, it is interesting to note that there is a painting by John Constable called Hampstead Heath, with the House Called ‘The Salt Box’. I assume this was a local reference at the time as the Salt Box house is not a key part of the painting and it is difficult to identify any discernible features.

If you are looking for a traditional six panel door with non standard dimensions then please take a look at the Kershaws Doors website. Simply enter “Saltbox” into the search and you will find the door along with the various size options.

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Avoid Refused Home Insurance Claims

mortgageResearch suggests that many of us are paying out for home insurance policies that are not sufficient and we may not be able to claim if we were affected by a loss. This is typically where we fill out the application for insurance incorrectly (often unknowingly) and leave ourselves open to problems when it comes to claiming.

One example relates to the locks that you have fitted on your doors. Sometimes home insurance forms will include a question about the type of locks that you have and whether you have a five lever mortice lock on all your doors. Many people do not know without checking. If you were unsure and simply answered “yes” then you could have a problem claiming in the event of a burglary, particularly if the door was the place of entry. The insurer may offer a reduced sum or refuse to pay out at all if you had answered incorrectly.

NightlatchLeaving your door unlocked can also be a reason for a refusal of your claim. Sometimes police will actively inform the insurance company if a homeowner has failed to secure their home sufficiently, including failure to lock the door. So fitting a Night latch, which is easy to use, can be a good addition to your external door.

Another common issue relates to burglar alarms and whether your burglar alarm is regularly serviced. This is an area where you could get caught out as the insurer can usually check whether the alarm was activated at the time of the burglary and they may request service history. If you state on your form that you always set the burglar alarm and have annual services then you had better make sure you follow through with this to ensure you are sufficiently covered.

When applying for home insurance or renewing your policy it is definitely worth taking the time to read the small print and make sure you fill in the details correctly.

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Open Plan Offices Can Be Damaging to Your Health and Well-being!

Open Plan Office Space image © Foundation7 and shared under CC license

Open Plan Office Space image © Foundation7 and shared under CC license

A recent study has shown that open plan offices are not delivering on the promise of a more productive workforce. At Kershaws Doors we are not surprised by the findings. We never thought that pulling down walls and doors in offices was a good idea! Personally I think there is a time and place for open plan offices, particularly for small teams dealing with customers who can share information and knowledge, however I think most roles require a certain level of quiet to allow concentration and focus. I have a habit of mumbling to myself while working through something and this would not go down well in an open plan space.

Over the past few years there has been a growing trend towards more open plan working environments with companies like Google and Facebook reporting improved working practices and motivation amongst staff. The rationale behind open plan offices is usually cost savings and improved communication amongst workers. While it is true that you can squeeze a lot more people into one room with cubicle-like workstations, the truth is that the noise levels and distractions are negatively affecting workers.

A study by Canada Life Group Insurance has found that open plan working is affecting motivation and health with just 6.1% of those surveyed believing that an open plan environment was healthy. Alongside issues of concentration, there are health concerns related to the proximity of others and the likelihood of passing on bugs and illnesses. The same study found that only 6.5% of people felt that open plan was productive for workers.

At Kershaws Doors we have a wide variety of doors for home and commercial environments. If you are looking to move away from open plan and renovate your office space then take a look at our collection of doors on our website.

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2015 Interior Home Accessory Trends

London Sapphire Glazed DoorInterior design has obvious connections with home accessory choices and the recent internet sites such as Pinterest with their ‘Hot Decor Trends’ and Houzz provide some great inspirational ideas giving a great boost to the home accessory culture. There is certainly no excuse these days for uncertainty about interior colour choices or which additional embellishments we need to choose for our homes to make them the environment we are proud of and feel most comfortable in.

As a child, I remember my mother collecting plastic daffodils which came as a promotional incentive with washing powder, she was so pleased when she had eventually collected enough to put in a vase. This sounds so banal nowadays but 50 years or so ago sophistication in everyday home interiors was generally the preserve of the minority, whereas nowadays interior design style can be indulged by everyone with passion and confidence.

I receive numerous emails per day from companies I have purchased goods from with updates of their special offers and new products. Although e-mails can be a little invasive I do enjoy giving them a scan through when I have the time as its useful to check out new trends in Home Interiors. I recently received an update from ‘Not On The High Street’ displaying beautiful cabinet and cupboard knobs which I could certainly see on some of Kershaws doors traditional style doors.

The Fashion clothes industry also has a great bearing on interior choices and the trend this year seems to be for saturated colours with a hint of retro styling transformed into interior fabrics as seen in some new Marimekko furnishings.
I recently saw a lovely Teapot from Cath Kidston called the London Teapot which reminded me that we supply 5 timber door styles called ‘London’ in various ranges, obviously a popular theme! just shows we get inspiration from many places.

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Green Door – A Famous Shakin’ Song

Green front doorI have just heard a song on the radio that I have never heard before and I knew immediately that I had to write a blog post about it. The song is called “Green Door” and was released by Shakin’ Stevens in 1981.

Green Door is a cover of a 1956 hit by Jim Lowe who released it in the United States. Green Door reached number one for Shakin’ Stevens where it stayed for four weeks and it was included on the “Shaky” album. A popular cover song, it was also released by Frankie Vaughan reaching number two in the charts and by Glen Mason achieving number 24.

In the song, Shakin’ Stevens asks “Green door, what’s that secret you’re keeping?” There is lots of music and laughter behind the closed door and the singer is not allowed to enter.

There are a couple of theories about the origins and inspiration for this song, but there was a club in West London called The Gateways that featured a green door. This was the first lesbian bar in London so it would be difficult for a man to gain entry and find out what went on behind the door.

If you are looking for a green door to grace the entrance of your home then please take a look at the Kershaws Doors website. We have a wide selection of hardwood external doors and you can purchase specialist paint in the colour of your choice. It is important that you buy the right kind of paint to ensure you get the right level of protection and finish.

There are various shades of green offering you a number of style options. For example you might like an emerald shade for a rustic country look for your door or a contemporary olive shade which appears to be on trend for 2015.

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A Garden Room, Probably One Of The Most Popular Recent Home Additions.

La Porte Vista

External La Porte Vista Door Set Oak Double Glazed Door

Garden room extensions have recently become very popular, over the last 40 years or so conservatories were the ‘must have’ room addition and they are still extremely popular. However, as a property owner who has experienced both conservatories and other types of extensions I have found that an additional interior space with an insulated solid type of roof provides better flexibility for all year use.

The ability to open up your Kitchen, Dining area or lounge into a usable garden room extension throughout the year is a massive bonus. I’m not totally against conservatories, I do like them especially on those super bright Spring days when it’s too chilly to sit outside and when Autumn provides the final warmth before winter sets in. In a previous property I have used a large conservatory for wonderful Christmas Day celebrations and parties which then spill out into the garden. Conservatories are also a great way of getting more light into a dark area of a property.

Extra rooms are always welcome though conservatories often need more additional heating to make them comfortable during the winter due to heat loss through the roof.
Many people must agree with me about a more solid construction for additional rooms as there are now more Garden room extension companies around than ever before. Of course a garden room is classed as a more permanent structure than a conservatory and stricter building laws and regulations apply, consequently choosing both recommended and reliable trades people, who will give you the correct advice, is very important.

Increasingly, at Kershaws Doors Ltd we have requests for double doors, folding doors and doorsets for rooms opening onto garden rooms and extensions. French doors are always popular to achieve better access to the garden and now they can be doubled up to provide access into a garden room from your kitchen or lounge areas. Kershaws Doors have a variety of external and internal door sets and also single doors which can be made into folding sets with the appropriate sliding gear. Please give us a call for advice and discuss your options.

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Glazed Timber Doors Featuring Flowers

Camden Floral Glazing

Floral Glazing on the Camden Door

Glass panels featuring flowers is always a popular trend that many people like for their homes. Some people invest in floral stained glass windows, while others may choose an external door to showcase their favourite flowers. This means that every visitor and passers by will get to see your attractive designs on display.

Generally the top flower of choice is the traditional red rose, however this may not be the case in our local area – the White Rose County of Yorkshire.

Kershaws Doors offer a wide selection of timber doors including many glazed traditional designs with floral features. One of our more popular models is the Acacia hardwood external door, which is an attractive traditional style of glazed door. The large glass panel in the centre of the door includes an intricately designed rose bush with green leaves and large flowers. Unlike some basic rose patterns, this is a realistic image of flowers on a stained glass effect pane. This is a good value door, which offers an attractive design.

One of our most ornate doors is the Kensington hardwood double glazed door, which features a very intricate leaded floral design. The key colours are green stems and leaves with pretty blue flowers. The door glazing also includes a blue and yellow chequerboard pattern with additional pink glass around the edges. Three central vertical panels include flowers within yellow pots and a large panel at the top includes two intricate blue flowers surrounding a large central green stem. This is a high quality design which would not go unnoticed by anyone that calls at your door.

The Richmond is another pretty floral door within our collection with two vertical panels featuring rounded red flowers and a green leaf pattern. The Richmond is a hardwood door that can be painted or varnished as you prefer.

If you are looking for a floral design in a glazed front door then please take a look at the glazed external doors on the Kershaws Doors website.

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Silly question? Why Do Front Doors Open Inwards?

If you have a compact entrance hall like I do at my home then you may have experienced the same issues with opening your front door inwards, making a compact space a very tight space. I have often wondered why front doors open inwards. Whenever we have more than a couple of people round to our house we have an awkward stand-off as we try to welcome people in and they shuffle about trying to take their shoes off and make their way into the house. If you add babies and car seats into the mix, it can become a real issue.

So, now I am wondering why doesn’t the door open outwards? This would at least allow that little bit of extra space that would be a great bonus for us.

One explanation that I have uncovered relates to protecting your door and the interior of your home from weather conditions outside. An inward opening door will be less affected by rain and water ingress so your door will stay stronger for longer and you will avoid dripping mucky rain water all over your carpets in your home. If there is snow or an obstruction on the outside of the door, it will still be possible to open the door with an inward facing door while this would not be possible otherwise. Maybe there is an argument that there is less heat loss with an inward opening door, also you are less likely to get a gust of wind that will slam the door open or shut.

You will however find that doors with disability access usually have an outward opening facility to aid wheelchair access. Bifolding doors which open outwards towards a wheelchair user can also be very useful due to the narrow leaves of the door making it easier to use.
Whilst writing this I have discovered that not all main doors do open inwards and some public buildings often feature outward opening doors, though often they are under a canopy or within a more closed area. However, more often than not our homes in the UK, at least, have doors that open inwards, despite the space restrictions this can cause.

If interested in a Bespoke, extra wide folding internal door contact Kershaws Doors sales team and ask for a quotation on a specialist folding internal door.

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