Rental Property Development – Estate Agents update!

mortgageLatest reports from estate agents suggest that the rental property market is very strong with lots of people looking to rent properties. Many potential buyers are struggling to get a mortgage, which means they are forced to rent and it seems we are less focused on owning our own property than in previous generations. Interestingly renting properties is much more common in other countries such as Germany where around half of the population rent their property.

If you have the capital to invest in property, then the current climate may mean it is a good time to become a landlord. Mortgage costs are at an all time low with low interest rates, however house prices are on the rise so you need to consider this carefully. The return can be lucrative but the risk of bad tenants is a scary prospect. Damage to your property and non-payment of rent are serious concerns.

At Kershaws Doors we have a lot of regular customers that are landlords buying doors when renovating properties. From experience, we find that some customers, who are landlords, say they have previously purchased low budget options and now realise that a new, good quality timber door which has been well sealed or painted is an important element for selling a rental property and will provide good safety and stand the test of time. Along with the magnolia paint on all the walls, they tell us that a new door helps to create a positive first impression. Standards have risen in the rental market, partly due to increased competition with more rental properties available and this means that landlords have to make sure they renovate their properties to a good standard with quality finishes and fittings. If you are a landlord and you wish to buy good quality doors to improve the look of your properties then please call our customer services team to discuss your requirements.

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Interesting Fifth Wedding Anniversary Gift! A new wood Front Door

Anniversary DoorAt Kershaws Doors we talk to lots of customers each week. We handle general enquiries about doors, we give tips about finishing and fitting and we can help customers select complementary door accessories and hardware.

Sometimes we come across new and interesting stories about why people wish to buy a new door and this week we had such a customer. A gentleman called our customer services team to ask about our Danielle Regal external door. Over the course of the conversation he explained that he was actually buying the door as an anniversary gift for his wife. In the traditional list of wedding anniversary symbols, the fifth anniversary is represented by wood. Therefore he had decided to buy his wife a wooden door. He had been planning the gift for some time. After buying their new home over six years before, his wife had been desperate for a smart glazed wooden door to replace the PVC one that was already in place when they bought the house. He had carefully asked his wife over a period of months about what styles she would like and then spent time looking through our wide range of exterior doors to find a design to match her requirements. She had pointed out a couple of doors that she liked whilst they were out and about so he had a good idea what she did and did not like.

We thought this was a great idea and we are really keen to hear how she reacted to this unusual gift. The customer has promised to let us know and he said he will send us a photo of the door once he has organised fitting.

If you are looking for an innovative gift idea then take a look at our wide selection of doors and door hardware.

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Internal Bi-Folding Doors

Do you have a requirement for a new internal door but have limited opening space? To clarify! when a standard width door is opened into a room it needs sufficient space to swing into the next room, if not then the door may become an obstacle. In addition you may wish to open up a large section of wall between rooms for entertaining yet have the option to close this area off at other times. Our internal bi-fold doors may be a great solution to your space or lifestyle predicament. At Kershaws Doors we offer a good selection of interior bi-fold doors including glazed, solid, traditional and modern styles.

Astbury

Astbury folding sliding set

A customer contacted us recently to ask whether we had any ideas for how he could close off his large open plan conservatory in the colder months and yet open it up to create an open space in the warmer months. He was considering building up a wall however he did not want to lose the light. We explained that our bi-fold doors offer this flexibility so you can easily create a divider between the two rooms as and when required. After looking at our website at our bi-fold doors, he decided to go for our Astbury range which features large glass panels so you can maximise the levels of light into the property while retaining the heat in cooler months. These doors feature a track system at the top and bottom to allow smooth opening and closing.

Another typical use for a bi-fold door is where space is tight, for example if you have a small opening for a toilet, cupboard or utility room in an awkward space. Often a bi-fold door allows you to gain access in a more effective way than a standard solid door opening.

If you have any queries about how to make the best use of your space or you have a specific issue in your home where a door could help, please call our friendly customer services team. We have been involved in all sorts of innovative projects so please make use of our knowledge and experience to solve your individual issues.

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Trends in Door Hardware and Accessories

At Kershaws Doors we like to keep on top of the latest interior design trends to ensure that we source and design doors and associated door hardware that customers will desire.

Aurora B50 curved handle

So what are the top trends in interior design that we can extend to our door hardware? The popularity of silver accessories throughout the home continues to grow and this equally applies to door hardware with satin stainless steel and zinc being popular finishes.

Door handles can change the overall look of your doors allowing you to modernise your existing doors or if you are investing in new doors you will want to carefully consider how you finish them to set the tone for your interior scheme.

If you like a curved look, the Aurora B50 handle features a slim elegant curve, which looks modern and attractive.

 

Discovery E62 angular handle

If you are looking for an angular, square shaped handle then you may like the Discovery E62 Handle. The satin zinc finish is smart and gives a solid, quality feel.

Black is always popular as a secondary colour in interiors and the new polished black designs offer a stylish and contemporary finish as an alternative to the Stainless Steel handle designs. For traditional timber doors look at Antique Black ranges with many accessories such as hinges, escutcheons and thumbturns. The Antique range is especially compatible with Traditional Oak external doors.

 

 

Shadow polished black nickel handle

We have seen that the traditional door knocker has grown in popularity recently, adding a touch of elegance to a classic wooden door. Many styles are available in finishes such as brass, polished chrome and satin chrome.

If you are buying new doors or you wish to refresh the look of your doors, why not take a look at our door hardware collection? We have added a number of new items reflecting latest trends and customer requests. We have a wide range of door handles, escutcheons, letterboxes and other hardware items to finish your beautiful new door.

Our website 1doors.co.uk features a useful recommendations gallery beneath your product selection showing complementary hardware that would match your products so this can help choose matching items.

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Kitchen Decorating ideas – Start with a new kitchen door!

Denver kitchen image © Moores Furniture Group, All rights reserved

Denver kitchen image © Moores Furniture Group, All rights reserved

Studies suggest that most people decorate their kitchen at least once every ten years. There are so many options for decorating schemes ranging from traditional and cosy to minimalist and stylish. There are some general themes that are fairly stable and safe for a number of years and other fashions that come and go.

One of the stable themes that is likely to last the test of time is the use of natural materials such as solid wooden floors and granite worktops. Once you start to look for ideas about your new kitchen you will soon be overwhelmed with all the options of materials and finishes available. Even when you have made a choice for wood or stone, the options within each category are immense. Reclaimed wood has become a popular option for kitchen worktops and furniture. This offers a high level of quality and an elegant traditional look. Many people choose reclaimed wood as a sustainable environmentally friendly option.

So, what would be the perfect choice of door to accompany a natural themed kitchen? Surely a wooden door would be top of the list for most people and Kershaws Doors offers a wide selection of options ranging from modern sleek Oak doors to traditional Rustic Pine Wood finish doors.

It’s always a good idea to create a mood board if possible including all the different elements you would like to include in your kitchen. Sometimes people come to us after choosing their units and flooring looking for a complementary door, but I would suggest that you consider your door as part of the overall design from the beginning. This helps to get a truly consistent theme throughout the room and sometimes people find that the choice of door can become a focal point for the room so it can influence other furniture and furnishings choices. If you would like to talk to us about doors for your new kitchen or any room, then please call us on 0845 467 1910 or 01274 604488.

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Mediterranean Style properties – Door Puzzle

Mediterranean Doors Jigsaw © WHSmith

Mediterranean Doors Jigsaw, image © WHSmith, All Rights Reserved

I always have an eye out for anything door related whenever I am out and about. Working with doors all week makes you very aware of door designs and things related to doors. I look for inspiration in all sorts of places and it is surprising how often I am rewarded with an idea when I least expect it. This Blog post is about a puzzle that I spotted over the weekend with a door theme.

I was in a well known stationery shop, one that can be found in most town centres. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw a jigsaw called “Mediterranean Doors 1000 piece jigsaw”! This would be a great present for everyone in the office at Kershaws Doors as we are all keen door enthusiasts. The jigsaw design is lovely and colourful featuring thirteen sections with different scenes. There are fourteen different wooden doors in total with different coloured walls surrounding them.

The picture includes various styles of doors. Some are solid wood while others are glazed wooden doors and all of them are typical Mediterranean style properties.

If you are looking for a Mediterranean style door for your property then take a look at the Kershaws Doors website. You will find a wide selection and you can select a drop down list of “Door Styles” to define what type of door you are looking for. In the External Doors section, you will find “Period Doors” and “Cottage Doors” which include the more traditional Mediterranean styles. Painting your door in an appropriate colour can help to create the Mediterranean look and if you select the hardwood doors you will find a range that are perfect for painting. We would always suggest using our recommended paints and finishes which you can also find on our website.

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Fading Exterior Timber Doors

UV filter woodstainWe have been experiencing some seriously hot and sunny weather over the past few weeks. For some of us, this is a great opportunity to catch some rays and spend some time outdoors. However, the strong sunlight and hot weather does take its toll on some of our exposed furniture and furnishings. I have noticed that some of our items on the window-sill and near the windows at home have been affected by fading from the sun. Outdoor items such as fences and sheds may become dry and require re-treatment or repainting.

Years of exposure to the sun can cause damage to an external door. You are most likely to spot this as you look at your door in the bright sun. If your wooden door is looking a bit worse for wear then it may be time to look for a new one and Kershaws Doors have a wide range to suit a variety of tastes and budgets. If your door is generally sound, but it is in need of an update then you may wish to give it a face lift (or re-finish it). This can take a bit of work and you will need to remove the door to do it property, however it is relatively straightforward if you are competent at DIY.

You will find details about finishing your timber door in the “Door Finishing” section of the website. Prior to following these instructions you will need to sand and prepare the door. You can always call our friendly customers services team for tips and advice about finishing your door whether it is an external or internal door. We sell a selection of paints and varnishes including base coats and top coats, which are specially designed for external timber doors and comply with the latest environmental legislation regarding timber finishes. Look at the Sadolin and Sikkens products on our website, these contain UV filters specially designed to protect timber in areas of high sun exposure. These products also give guidance on finishing and maintaining the quality of your timber door so you can be sure you will get the right level of coverage and protection.

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Glasgow Opens Its Doors to Athletes from around the World

Glasgow 2014 Emirates Arena

Glasgow 2014 – Emirates Arena © daniel0685 used under CC license

The Commonwealth Games is the topic of the moment in the office at Kershaws Doors. We are all enjoying the event and pleased to see that it is getting strong coverage on television. Having the event in the UK seems to make it more relevant for us and Glasgow has fantastic facilities as well as strong support for the athletes. The Kershaws Doors office is based in West Yorkshire so unfortunately none of us will be making the journey to Glasgow to watch any of the events live.

So, here are some facts about the 2014 Commonwealth Games. This is the 20th Commonwealth Games event with 71 teams (nations) from Anguilla to Zambia including a couple of countries that I have never heard of. Following the Opening Ceremony we had a little quiz in the office during our lunch break to see who could locate some of the obscure nations, which proved quite a challenge.

With almost 5,000 competing athletes, this is the largest multiple sports event ever held in Scotland. There are 261 medal events and 22 para-sports events meaning there is something for everyone. Amongst the team at Kershaws Doors we have a keen rugby fan who enjoyed the rugby sevens. We also have a couple of guys who are interested in the weightlifting and we’ve all enjoyed the swimming and athletics. I really enjoyed watching a new event which has been added to the 2014 Commonwealth Games. This is the triathlon mixed relay event, which involved teams of two men and two women. In turn, each athlete had to complete a 400m swim, a 6km cycle followed by a 1.6km run. We had an extra interest in this event as the Brownlee brothers are local to the Kershaws Doors office, living in the Leeds area. The brothers have been spotted out training on their bikes in the hills around and about.

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What are the Standard Timber Door sizes in the UK?

Tape MeasureCustomers choose doors for many reasons, maybe they are creating a new build or have purchased a property with doors which have seen better days or are not of a suitable style for the property or the customer. Maybe the property requires fire doors or need a new Front Door to improve curb appeal. What ever the reason there are some considerations to take into account when choosing the correct doors whether for External or Internal applications.
An important starting point is to asses the size of the doors as this has some bearing on the designs available in a particular size range, this filter is useful when faced with a lot of options and will save you time when using the drop down list relating to each door style.

However, do not be discouraged if an existing door opening is a non-standard size, if you wish to retain these sizes then bespoke sized doors are an available and common place manufacturing option these days. Please refer to our website under Bespoke or Custom doors for further information.

Measuring height of the doorSo, where to start with door sizing:-

  • Does the existing door fit well into the frame, if not, the door size is not an accurate guide.
  • Does the door frame need replacing? if so then consider the overall door opening size and purchase both new frame and door from the same supplier.
  • The thickness of internal and external frames is variable and needs to be taken into account.
  • If the existing door size does not relate to standard sizes (see our door sizing chart) it may have been custom made or trimmed to fit, if you suspect this then check with your supplier about how much a particular style can be trimmed as over trimming can compromise the structure of a modern door.
  • Take measurements in both Imperial (feet and inches) and Metric (centimetre and millimeter) as this will help you when you look at our drop down door sizes if you are unsure then refer to the size conversion chart also.

Traditionally doors were made in Imperial sizes and this is still generally the rule today, however, many homes built over the last 40 years used Metric door sizing. See the guidance below.

Standard Imperial (inches) combinations are:-
24×78, 27×78, 28×78, 30×78, 33×78, 32×80, the door thickness is usually 13/8th inches (35mm)
Some Clear pine doors with 2 or 3 panels are available in:- 15, 18, 21 x 78 inches

Standard Metric (millimeters) combinations are:-
626×2040 726×2040 826×2040 & may be 35mm or 40mm thick.

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Having a problem with Slamming Doors? Can a new door be the answer?

Mechanical door closer image © Bernd in Japan & used under CC lisence

Mechanical door closer image © Bernd in Japan & used under CC license

I have a daughter who is two and a half years old and she has recently developed the art of slamming the door in the living room. I have to say, I thought this was more of a teenager thing to do and I did not expect this to be part of the terrible twos. When she gets frustrated and cannot get her own way, this tends to be the time for her to have a tantrum and slam the door as she leaves the room. I guess it is a common thing and friends tell me they are going through the same, but it is very irritating and I would like to find a solution. I hate the sound of a slamming door and it feels like the whole house shakes when she does it. A friend of mine said that a painting fell from the wall when her child slammed the door recently so it’s not just the noise, but the risk of damage is also a concern. Maybe we just need to accept it as a current phase. My husband and I are not door slammers so I assume she will grow out of it eventually.

One of my friends has suggested buying a new mechanism that forces a door to close slowly. These are often used on Fire Doors. This should prevent the door from slamming and I think I will look out for one. There are various baby safety devices to stop doors from shutting fully such as foam stoppers, but I would like to be able to close the door fully in the living room so I think the slowing mechanism would be best for me.

We can supply door control products please contact our sales team for advice. We also have a good collection of hardware products and accessories to compliment our massive range of internal and external doors.

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Oak external Berlin Door – Kershaws Doors – Berlin’s secret doors!

At Kershaws Doors we have an external door called the Berlin, which is an Oak door featuring four Double Glazed vision panels. This is a popular modern design and there is a complementary sidelight available as well as a Part “L” compliant door in the same style.

Berlin Wall image © Daniel Barrientos & shared under CC license

Berlin Wall image © Daniel Barrientos & shared under CC license

This has inspired me to write about the city of Berlin, which I visited with my partner a few years ago for a weekend city break. Berlin is the capital city of Germany and it is a popular city for tourists with an interesting mix of architectural sites and museums worth a visit. The Brandenburg Gate is a well known landmark, which sits outside the city centre. Despite being heavily populated, the city has large forest areas as well as rivers and if you like a walk (or a cycle) there are various opportunities to get out of the bustle of the busy centre. Bikes are available to hire and replace all over the city.

If you like to take in a good view, I would recommend the Reichstag, which is the main parliament building. It is free to enter and gain access to the roof, but you have to book in advance. If you are interested in the historical highlights there is an audio tour available but simply taking in the view was fine for us.

We enjoyed the food during our visit including the German sausages which is pretty much an obligatory meal when in Berlin.

Of course no Blog about Berlin would be complete without mention of the famous Berlin Wall. It was erected in 1961 by the East German Government to stop people from fleeing to the West. The wall finally came down in 1990 although the official date recognised as the “fall” was in November 1989.

The most interesting and door related fact is that there was a secret door in the wall which allowed people to pass from the East to the West and vice versa!

At Kershaws Doors we make no secret of our Berlin door or any other that we supply, we are ready and able to answer any questions you have regarding timber doors!

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Pulk/Pull Revolving Doors! Maybe no analogy to Kershaws Doors but an interesting reference

Amnesiac

Limited edition album Amnesiac by Radiohead image © Lance James Daniels. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

I have made reference to a few songs and music groups related to doors in previous Blog posts and this weekend I discovered another one. Pulk/Pull Revolving Doors is the intriguing title of a Radiohead song, which features on their album Amnesiac. The album was launched in 2001 and this song featured as track number three.

In the song there are various references to different types of doors including barn doors, revolving doors and sliding doors. On the face of it this is a simple song but I think that the reference to doors relates to the choices we make in life. For example, there is reference to doors that lock and doors that don’t and this could be related to times when you have a choice and other times when you don’t. There are many interpretations of the song so this is just one possibility. Other people have suggested a link to the different people we meet in life. Who knows? Maybe it is just a simple song about doors following a search on the Kershaws Doors website.

I am not sure what Pulk/Pull means and I cannot find a simple definition for the word “pulk”, which is strange. One definition for the word “pulk” relates to a sort of toboggan that is pulled by a dog, but I don’t think this is relevant to the song title.

As with many Radiohead songs Pulk/Pull Revolving Doors is quite a long song at over four minutes and this one seems quite a strange track to me. I had never heard it before this weekend and I have to say, it won’t go down as one of my favourites. The lyrics are quite difficult to decipher with what seems like some kind of computer generated voice and a background of fuzzy interference sounds. It is not what you would call a sing-along song, although I am sure the hard-core fans will love it.

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Feng Shui Principles! Some tips relating to doors

Feng Shui is a Chinese philosophy most commonly associated with creating a harmonious interior scheme. The literal translation in English is “Wind-Water”.

There are a number of principles relating to the positioning of elements to create harmony and balance. This can be applied to buildings from an architectural perspective or the interior, including the positioning of furniture and furnishings within the home.

As this is a Blog about doors, I thought I would investigate the Feng Shui principles related to doors. One of the key rules relates to the alignment of doors. The front and back doors should not be directly aligned. This is to avoid the loss of energy from one door to another. Energy enters the home through one door and should be allowed to circulate and flow throughout the home. If the two doors are positioned directly opposite each other, the energy will enter and quickly leave the house. Energy can be visualised like water, flowing in channels and it is best to allow it to flow freely and fill the home.

feng-shuiSo what should you do if you have directly aligned doors? Obviously one option is to invest in renovation works and move one of your doors. However if you have a more modest budget you can place furniture in the area between the two doors. This will force the energy to disperse around the furniture. You will need to be practical and make sure you can easily move around your home. Placing a large table in the middle of your main room may not be appropriate.

Another alternative is to work with colour to alter the balance of your doors. Painting one door in a strong colour can help to create alternative levels of energy at each side of the room. Plants are always a key part of Feng Shui and they can be used to redirect energy within the home

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Morocco has fantastic carved timber doors.

Museum doorI’ve been taking trips around the world again, this time to Morocco, which was a totally new experience for me and my husband. It’s an ideal location to catch some sun and experience a totally different culture with just over a 3 hour flight, depending on where you are in the UK.

We stayed in Marrakech for 7 days in a traditional Riad in the heart of the city which was lovely and run by the most professional and friendly people, it was called Riad Al Badia, which we would highly recommend. The Souks were amazing and not as frightening as I had anticipated and as the temperature was in the 40’s it was good to be under the tented shade. I really felt for the metal workers making beautiful wrought iron artefacts and decorative light fittings using welding torches in searing temperatures. By contrast a visit to Jardin Majorelle, the garden developed by the fashion icon Yves St Laurent, was a refreshingly wonderful space and a ‘must see’ especially if you are interested in Cacti and similar excotic plants. The Berber museum set within the garden is well worth a visit as it contains some beautiful traditional objects and Berber ceremonial jewellery.

Hotel DoorOf course we had to visit places which had timber doors (see photos) and Morocco offers these in abundance, especially in the old religious buildings of Marrakech. Traditional doors here display the importance of entrances and also define the areas within a building’s interiors, I suppose due to the Islamic tradition requiring the separation of men and women. It was great to see the humble timber door raised to the decorative heights we at Kershaws Doors believe they should be. We saw beautiful carved doors in the Bahia Palace along with the very grand carved and coloured ceilings. The Medersa Ben Youssef was a school and now another interesting building open to the public.

After 7 hectic days in Marrakech we travelled approx 25 miles South East to the foothills of the Atlas Mountains where we stayed in a beautiful small hotel, classed as a Chambre D’hote with a Spa. Again, as in the Riad, the owners and staff at Kasbah Agounsane were excellent. The hotel was contemporary chic with many traditional objects. The panelled doors in the rooms were painted black making a stunning contrast to the polished concrete walls. The main front door (see photo) was based on a traditional timber door, reinforced with studs and similar in style to the heavy duty cottage doors found in some traditional properties in the UK.

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My Kitchen Door – Fond memories

coathook

Hooks on the front door, image © Chelsea Nesvig & used under CC license

I have a clear memory of the door that we had in our kitchen when I was growing up. It was a wooden door that was painted white. One of the main things I remember about the door was that it had two white hooks, which held a number of coats. Often it was difficult to find the coat that I was looking for with four other people’s coats to fight through. Also this made a very good hiding place so I would often stand behind our kitchen door beneath the coats when we played hide and seek.

The other thing I remember about that door was that my dad had fixed a height chart to the door. Each Sunday evening we would eat our meal in the kitchen and we would have a pudding, which was a real treat because it was Sunday. After our meal my dad would tell us to stand against the door and he would measure each of our heights and make a note on the chart with our initials and a date.

My brother was always fairly short for his age and despite being three years older than me, he was a fairly similar height for a number of years so he used to hate the weekly height check. When he was about seventeen he suddenly started to grow and each week my dad would record growth until he left to go to university. I had done most of my growth by this time so he just grew taller and taller than me. When he came home he would eagerly go to the kitchen door to be measured and he eventually made it to 6′ 2″, which surprised us all.

There are many reasons to remember doors in our homes. Whether they are a stylish design or had a particular use, they often have a special place in our memories. If you would like to buy a door that will be remembered for all the right reasons, then take a look at the Kershaws Doors website.

Please let us know if you have any special door memories.

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