Glass Panels Above Internal Doors

Borrowed LightA friend of mine has recently moved into a new house, which has glass panels above the internal doors in some of the rooms upstairs. She is not keen on them while her husband quite likes them. She recently asked me if I knew what these “over the door windows” are and why they have been fitted, which I couldn’t answer without a bit of research.

After a quick look online I discovered that these are known as ‘borrowed lights’ and they allow light into rooms that do not otherwise gain much natural light. While many of us would choose glazed doors these days, these panels above the doorway were commonly installed in the 1970′s and earlier. They offer the addition of light while maintaining a level of privacy that you may require for bedrooms and bathrooms.

One of the problems with these panels is the interference when you are sleeping if someone turns the landing light on. If you are not keen on these borrowed lights then you can simply fill them in or install a mini curtain, however you may wish to make them a design feature installing a decorative glass panel or a stained glass window.
If you decide to change this door configuration then consider a completely new look and remember if your door frames need to be replaced then its a good time to install them with the new doors.

A modern alternative to these glass panels above the door is a glazed internal door and you can choose obscure glazing (frosted glass) if you wish to maintain privacy in the room.

At Kershaws Doors we offer a wide selection of glazed internal doors ranging from simple modern glass doors with one panel of glass such as the Tokyo Clear Glazed to traditional elegant designs like the Valencia. We also offer a range of internal door sets that include glazed side panels providing a contemporary look for your home. Look at our online collection for our Mega Set range, which includes pre-finished oak door sets offering different combinations of doors and complementary glazed side panels. Sometimes door opening are not a standard size, this is not a big problem as Bespoke door sizes are available.

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Train Toilet Doors – an embarrassing situation

Epping railway station toilets image © DanTD and used under CC license

Epping railway station toilets image © DanTD and used under CC license

Having recently written a blog post about toilet doors, I am returning to the subject, but this time I am focusing on toilet doors on trains. I recently read an article about a celebrity travelling on a train in West Yorkshire and he had an embarrassing experience which involved opening a toilet door whilst somebody was inside.

This reminded me of a similar incident that happened to me and my friend when travelling down to London. We went down for the weekend a few years ago and travelled on a nice modern train one Saturday morning. The train was quite busy with similar people to us heading South for the weekend.

After we had been travelling for about half an hour my friend decided she needed to use the bathroom. She headed to the nearest one which was at the opposite side of the carriage from where we were sitting. Unusually the toilet door was facing the carriage and as she closed the door behind her I spotted that she had not locked the door. There was a light showing that the door was unlocked. As I stood up to go and warn her, I noticed another passenger making his way to the toilet. Everything seemed to go in slow motion as I ran as fast as I could down the carriage and the other passenger leaned towards the button to open the door.

A loud shriek followed as my friend was revealed sitting on the toilet. She was absolutely horrified and her scream alerted all passengers nearby who looked up to see her in the cubicle. Following this incident I try to avoid using the toilet on a train and where I have to, I am so careful that I use the door lock correctly behind me.

At Kershaws Doors we do not sell these kind of electronic doors but we do sell a wide range of internal and external doors including doors for your toilet and the related hardware including locks to ensure you get the privacy you require.

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Choosing a White Door Internal Door – There are lots of options!

Salerno clear glazed

You may be fooled into thinking that you have a limited range of options when searching for a white internal door, however this is far from the truth. If you take a look at the Kershaws Doors website you will find over 150 white doors within our online collection. To some people this may seem overwhelming while others will be thrilled at the wide variety of door design options. In general the white doors on Kershaws Web site are White Pre-Primed and ready to take your chosen top coat paint finishes which could be white or another colour choice. If you wish to purchase a totally ready finished white door then look at the Pre-Finished section in the drop down menu under Internal doors.

Many people start their search thinking they want a standard four or six panel white door, however we know that often our customers are delighted to find a more elaborate door style. Amongst our, on trend, modern door designs, we have many design selections such as geometric patterns along with funky curved styles. If you are looking for a glazed white door then you can choose from a large glass panel maximising light and visibility or you can select decorative glass panels that are more of a design feature than a functional aspect of your door.

Many of our white door designs are also available as a fire door and if you are looking through the doors on our website you will see the red fire symbol next to the relevant designs. Alternatively you may be looking for a non standard size of door and again you can choose these from our custom bespoke ranges on the website by clicking on the drop down list of sizes that accompanies each product page. If you have an area that is tight for space then you may be interested in our bi-fold doors and with 14 designs to choose from in our collection of white doors you can find the perfect design complement to your other doors.

White doors are always a popular choice and I am sure you will be able to find a style for your home on the Kershaws Doors website.


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Architectural Styles – our Heritage is sometimes lost

Heritage 6 Tri-Glazed

Heritage 6 Tri-Glazed

As a nation we are generally aware of the architectural styles of our building stock and in particular the detailing associated to a particular period. You may disagree with this statement and presume that many people are totally unaware of the age and style of the buildings around us but ask anyone to point out a Georgian, Victorian or a 1930’s property and the chances are they will have a good idea of the era.

I was recently looking at various Estate Agents details on the internet and was delighted to see that many details mention the Era and style from which the properties date.
Today, period houses retaining all their original features are more marketable and owners of properties which have had ill-considered alterations usually make an effort to repair and replace the detailing which has been lost. Often these properties have elegant facades with well proportioned doors and windows, which originally, had beautiful stained glass detailing.

We are becoming more sensitive to the value of protecting our heritage. However, it is not long ago that many of our old properties were indiscriminately demolished to make way for modern building projects. I have a very eclectic view of building design and love well designed modern architecture along with a passion for historical properties, so I do not have a biased view, but I do mourn the demise of many period houses.

We supply many Heritage timber door designs, suitable for period properties in both our off-the shelf ranges and the External Heritage Range which can be viewed in the Custom Doors section of our website. These doors are made bespoke to each customers requirements and size options and are very popular as a suitable replacement for a period property. Customers sometimes prefer to adapt the shown styles and this can often be accommodated as each door is made to the customers special size.

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Why Would You Cut a Hole in Your Door?

Pet Door image © Andrew Dunn and shared under CC license

At Kershaws Doors we sell a wide range of high quality wooden doors. The idea of cutting a hole in a brand new door seems crazy to us, however customers that have cats occasionally ask us about this when buying a new door.

Despite not owning a cat myself, I am very aware of the responsibilities that come with them. I sometimes look after the cats next door when the owners go on holiday and I have to clean up the mess that they leave in our flower beds on a regular basis. I also have to sort out the ‘presents’ that they leave in the house when looking after them. I have friends who get woken at all hours of the night to attend to their cats letting them in and out or giving them some attention.

Apparently a cat flap is a much needed accessory for most cat owners to allow their cats to roam in and out as they wish. So, how do you go about fitting a cat flap to ensure your cat has the flexibility it needs and to minimise damage to your door? I have been reliably informed that cat flap packs include instructions on how to install them including a template to help with positioning and fitting.

If you don’t fancy tackling the job yourself, you can hire the services of a professional and you will find these if you search online or check out the Yellow Pages. You may be surprised to learn that cat flaps can be fitted to most doors including glazed doors.



We would never normally recommend cutting a hole in your door as this can significantly alter the stability of the doors construction and this is done at the customers own risk as the door guarantee will then be invalid. If you require access for a cat then you may feel this is a necessity, remember using good quality tools or preferably the services of a professional should help minimise damage to your door. It is very important when cutting into a timber door that the timber is well sealed with our recommended finishing products on all bare surfaces.

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Toilet Doors need suitable handles and locks!

This may seem like a strange topic for a Blog post, but I recently saw an amusing sign on a toilet door and thought this was a topic worth writing about. There were separate signs for the ladies and gents toilets and each featured a cartoon character that appeared eager to use the bathroom. If you search online you can find a wide range of signs for toilet doors ranging from sophisticated to bizarre, but there are many options available.

Building regulations on WC
When installing a new toilet in a home or business premises, there is often a belief that there needs to be two doors between a kitchen and a toilet. However this does not appear in current building regulations. I have also heard that pubic toilet doors should include a hook on the inside of the door, however I cannot find anything to back this up so I assume this is just good practice rather than a requirement.

Door Handles
An important consideration, when installing a door for toilets or bathrooms, is the type of handle and locking system. Everyone feels more confident with a lock on a WC, however, there are occasions such as is an emergency due to illness or when a child locks themselves in a room when access from outside the room is imperative. At Kershaws Doors we supply a variety of hardware for internal and external doors and in the Internal Hardware range you will find an option, on the left, to tick for Turn and Release Hardware. Turn and release products connect to an appropriate locking system suitable for timber doors, you will see many options also have indicators to show the WC is in use. A useful detail included in turn and release locks is the ability to access and open the door from the other side if necessary.
One issue that is often a problem when installing a new toilet or bathroom in your home is limited space. A great solution to this is a bi-fold door, which allows you to open the door in a tight space. Whether you are looking for a modern or traditional design, you can select a white door, timber or glazed and you will find a wide range of options available.
If you are looking for a new toilet or bathroom door then you should take a look at the Kershaws Doors website where you will find a wide range of internal timber doors along with all the most appropriate hardware including handles, knobs, hinges and the latch and locking systems. The collection of internal doors can be used for commercial property or for your home and we welcome calls to our customer services team if you have any queries.

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We were all Trimmed Up at Kershaws Doors

Kershaws Christmas TreeUpon returning to work at Kershaws Doors after the New Year the showroom looks so different now that the Christmas decorations have been taken down. The same applies to our homes, I always enjoy putting up the decorations though by the time the festivities are over I’m ready to get ‘straightened up’, pack the trimmings away and clean the pine needles up.

Like most homeowners, we like to make our office and showroom feel cosy and homely and putting up the Christmas decorations gets us in the Christmas spirit. Here at Kershaws Doors, we went for our usual traditional look. The latest trends in Christmas decoration themes were Ink blue as the colour of the season for 2014 and this perfectly complemented white or silver. Alternatively the pearly pastel collections were found in many of the stores this year. These pinks, peaches and baby blue shades will allow you to create a feminine look, perfect for creating a palace fit for a princess. The final seasonal trend for Christmas 2014 was the prevalence of woodland furry friends with robins, owls and deer featuring heavily on decorations and home furnishings this Winter.

Now the New Year has arrived maybe you are re-decorating your doors. Did you find that when you fixed the wreath to your timber Front Door that it looked jaded and ready for replacing or thought a better style would suit your property’s architectural style. There is a wide range of options for internal and external doors to suit all property styles. If you have a glazed front door that you fixed a festive window sticker or ‘clinger’ to and wish to retain this option for next year then there are lots of external glazed doors such as the Pattern 10 or Pattern 20 External range. Please remember that pinning decorations to your doors can interfere with the integrity of the timber door’s finish and alternative, harmless fixings should be used. If you are ready for a new start with parts of your property why not come down to our door showroom in Wyke in West Yorkshire to check out our showroom? if this is not possible then our website displays everything we can supply and a quick call to our sales staff will answer any questions you may have.

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Christmas Cards on the Doorstep – nice to hear from Friends and Family

Christmas DoorChristmas is now over and we have time for some reflection regarding our activities in December when most of us were sending and receiving Christmas cards. At Kershaws Doors we were still very busy selling and dispatching internal and external wooden doors as well as the related door hardware and accessories. However, we have an interest in anything remotely related to doors. So this blog post is all about Christmas cards landing on the doorstep.

Some people are shying away from the traditional Christmas card, sending email versions or not bothering at all, however I love to see post on our doormat that is not promotional or bill related and I usually send mine in good time to alleviate the worry of missing the posting deadline. I think that sending a card is a good opportunity to remind friends and family that you are thinking of them, especially when you don’t see them very often.

When sending Christmas cards to friends and family outside of the UK, you had to be aware of the deadlines with some final dates in November or earlier. The most common destination for cards outside of the UK is the USA and for standard postage to the USA, the deadline was Friday 12th December. For any cards that you were sending within the UK, second class postage was by Thursday 18th December and first class was needed to be in the post box by Saturday 20th December.

Delivery dates are very important in all industries and we at Kershaws Doors emphasise to our customers that some of our doors (particularly the most popular) are occasionally out of stock. In addition our Bespoke ranges have to be made specifically for customers so they are only made upon request. Therefore, pre-planning is vitally important when ordering timber doors as not all are ‘off the shelf’ products so you need to factor in the dispatch and delivery times throughout the UK, its not as simple as delivering a Christmas card

I am always amused by the cards for specific recipients and have already seen “Son, Girlfriend and Your Daughter” as well as “Step Daughter and Son in Law”. Not forgetting the cards designed specially for pets, of course.

I hope you received plenty of Christmas cards through your door prior to Christmas and had an enjoyable time with friends and family. We wish you all Happy New Year.

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Traditional Door Handles

Fleur De Lys Ornate Door Handle

Fleur De Lys Ornate Door Handle

I recently visited a lovely little village in North Yorkshire for a brief stay. There were a number of beautiful traditional cottages and houses with features and furnishings full of character. With a keen interest in doors, I noticed that some of the cottage doors had hardware that in my opinion was a little modern for the property style and the door on which it was fitted. I can only imagine that the owners had struggled to find good quality traditional door handles and they had been forced to buy hardware that was a little more modern than they would have liked.

I had to resist the temptation to knock on the door and tell them to take a look at the Kershaws Doors website. With almost thirty door handles to choose from on the hardware section in our website there is something for everyone. There are three handles in particular within our collection that stand out to me as complementary items for traditional cottage style doors. These black antique handles include two designs with an antique gothic look and a further model with a simpler design. The Barley Twist and Fleur de Lys door handles both feature a pretty leaf pattern while the Slimline V Lever handle has a simple backplate with subtle wave detailing to the top and bottom.

We have a range of complementary hardware items including locks, latches and door numbers as well as a sword hinge front which adds a great deal of character to the right model of door. Our traditional door hardware will help you ensure your entire door package looks the part. If you are looking for a traditional door, we have over fifty cottage doors within our external doors collection including oak, pine and hardwood finishes. Please note that door hardware orders are delivered for free when ordered with your new door.

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Foreign Language translation for Doors in English – Puerta, Porto, Porta, Porte

language wordle

It seems that the number of students choosing to learn a foreign language is reducing every year. In fact, many universities are dropping language courses due to the low numbers of interested students. For the past ten years in the UK students at secondary schools have been able to choose whether they want to learn a foreign language while it was compulsory before that so this has clearly had a great impact on the number of people learning new languages. French and German have been particularly affected, while Spanish has grown in popularity despite the general decline. As a nation we are renowned for our lack of interest in foreign languages and I think it seems a shame that we are increasingly uninterested in learning them.

I thought it might be interesting to take a look at some foreign translations for the word door. The Spanish word for door is puerta (pronounced pwerta). This is similar to the Portuguese translation which is porto. Another word which is commonly used in both languages is entrada, but the direct translation is entrance. There are a number of words for door in Italian including porta, uscio, vano della porta and portone. In French the key translations are porte and ouverture. There are a few alternatives in German, including some phrases made up of several words, but the straightforward translation is tür. We have a number of phrases incorporating the word door and the translations for these don’t tend to include a direct translation for the word door. For example, “a foot in the door” would be translated to “una manera de empezar”. The direct translation for the Spanish phrase is “a way to start”.

At Kershaws Doors we do not currently sell outside of the UK and the Channel Islands, though our buying team deal with many countries throughout the world. Maybe one day our sales team may develop their language skills allowing them to speak to customers abroad when the cost of delivery becomes competitive.

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Bluetooth Door Technology using Apple Phones

We are all security conscious about our family, homes, cars and possessions, it’s an unfortunate but necessary part of our lives these days to protect ourselves and our property.

From early times doors have been an essential commodity to provide security and privacy to our homes. Now, it seems that another new technology has latched onto the door industry.

As yet it appears to be only available in the USA but I’m sure it won’t be long before we in the UK will be able to purchase this new locking system.

This is not an advertisement – its a product which one of my colleagues recently came upon which we thought you would be interested in.

August Smart Door Lock

August Smart Door Lock

The new, Bluetooth lock is called The August Smart Lock and is available at Apple Stores in the USA from October 2014 and there are plans for future distribution to other countries. The August Smart Lock is partnered with Apple as it requires Bluetooth Technology and through the outlets can be demonstrated conveniently to customers.

Basically the idea is that through your Apple phone the Front Door to your property can be opened as you get close to your home or office. The August Smart lock works independently of your internet service and syncs with your phone using reliable Bluetooth technology. Apparently you can share the technology with your family and friends who are allowed to access your home so they can enter without ringing the bell or waiting outside in the rain. Included in the package are adapters for deadbolt attachment to accommodate other standard deadbolts. If you require deadbolts, latches and other door hardware please refer to our website.

This new innovation seems useful on the face of it and I’m sure our customers will be interested in using this type of locking system when purchasing their new timber entrance doors. One thing I did consider maybe was what if you leave your phone at work ? well August have thought about that as the deadlock can still work with you regular keys. I look forward to this new locking system coming to the UK.

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Delivery to your Door – UK are biggest online shoppers

Kershaws Mobile WebsiteLike many other online retail businesses, Kershaws Doors is reliant on the services of a delivery company to bring online orders to your own door. Interestingly people in the UK are the biggest users of online shopping, even greater than the US. According to the Centre for Retail Research the share of online shopping is estimated at 13.5% for 2014 and all sources suggest that this figure is most likely to grow further. The IMRG (Interactive Media in Retail Group) reported online sales of £91 billion in 2013 and they predict growth to take sales over £100 billion in 2014.

The growth in online retailing is significantly greater than traditional bricks and mortar retail stores, however at Kershaws Doors we like to cater to all customers and we offer both online ordering as well as a showroom where customers can come and see us and our range of doors in person, it is also possible, if you prefer, to order and then arrange to pick the doors up from the showroom when they arrive in stock. If there is a particular door you would like to see then we suggest you give us a call to check whether we have it available in the showroom prior to your visit.

As Christmas approaches, we are increasingly dependent on online sellers to buy presents, decorations and food as well as our regular groceries and home interior products. Mobile shopping is also on the increase and around a quarter of Internet usage is being done on mobile devices. If you are using one to view this website, you will know that we have our own mobile version of the Kershaws Doors website.

If you are interested in buying doors online, when refurbishing your property, then please take a look at our wide range of internal and external doors online. You can simply buy direct on our website or give us a call to place your order and get your doors delivered to your own front door.

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A Winter Wonderland looks lovely, but can be disruptive, be prepared!

Winter Wonderland

With threats of cold winter weather on the way, I am wondering whether we will get to see a white Christmas this year. People seem to love it or hate it, but few people can deny that a snow covered landscape is a pretty sight. Personally I would love to see a snowy white Christmas this year, although I would prefer to wait until I have completed all my Christmas shopping before the snow starts falling. Once I can close the door to the world to sit back and relax then I will be ready for a deep white covering of snow.

If we see anything like the cold spell that some American people have recently experienced then we will need to get ourselves prepared. Some areas had over 30 inches of snow, causing major disruption and even deaths in Buffalo.

So, what should we do to prepare for a seriously cold snowstorm in the coming weeks?

For starters, we should ensure our home is sufficiently insulated and this begins with our front door. An old draughty door will have a serious impact on the temperature in your home and you may end up paying over the odds in heating costs. If you are due a new door, you should take a look at the Kershaws Doors website where you will find a fantastic selection of timber doors for your home. Including some doors that have a Part L thermal insulation rating.

If there is a chance you may be stuck at home, then it makes sense to stock up on some food and drink with a long shelf life. You should also consider the risk of being stranded in your car. Getting a bag together for your boot with some spare warm clothes, as well as snacks and water and a shovel could provide some much needed comfort or even save your life.

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Northern Christmas Markets – opening the door for the festive season

German Christmas Market in Leeds

German Christmas Market in Leeds – Image © Mtaylor848 and shared under CC license

Christmas markets originated in Germany, but over the past few years we have seen a revival throughout the UK so we no longer have to travel abroad to browse these traditional stalls. Lincoln was the first UK city to re-establish a Christmas market 30 years ago and many other towns and cities have followed their lead with traders and products coming from overseas to sell their wares.

Kershaws Doors is based in West Yorkshire and we are lucky to be located between Leeds and Manchester. Both of these cities have large Christmas markets, which appear to be growing every year and Manchester has over 300 stalls spread throughout the city centre, while Leeds has over 40 chalet style stalls located in Millennium Square. We are also lucky to have a few specialist Christmas markets close to our door showroom in Bradford, including Saltaire, Shipley, Brighouse and Haworth where there are weekend events.

In the Kershaws Doors office, we are split when choosing our favourite Christmas markets. For anyone that likes shopping, the large markets in Leeds and Manchester offer a wide range of products. Both have stalls selling all sorts of items from Christmas decoration and gift wrapping to clothing, gifts and food and drinks. In Manchester there are areas for representatives from different nationalities including German, French, Dutch and Hungarian traders. The atmosphere at these markets is really special and they are great for getting you in the Christmas spirit. I have been to the Manchester Christmas market as well as the Leeds one and I was really impressed with the number and variety of stalls. There are lots of unique things that you will not find in the high street stores. For the non-shoppers in the Kershaws Doors office, they have agreed they may be tempted to try out the mulled wine and German beers as well as authentic German food.

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The Oak Mega is Probably one of our most popular Contemporary Doors

Close up of the Mega Oak Door showing the grain of the timber

Close up of the Mega oak internal door showing the grain of the timber and deep grooved face

Why do we think this about the Mega timber Door? well, because its a unique design which is not supplied by all door retailers. Sometimes it’s good to be different.

Our customers generally love the great selection of timber doors which are available these days and often compare our service and prices with other companies. However, we also find that some of our customers are looking for something special which is not such a familiar design.

The sophisticated Mega Oak internal and pre-finished door design is from one of our specialist suppliers who produce particularly high quality timber doors with superb design detailing. A recent website review written by a customer of Kershaws Doors, commented that they chose the Mega design because it was different from many they had seen and upon receiving the doors were particularly impressed with this superior product.

We are pleased with the Mega range for many reasons, this pre-finished internal Oak door is a high quality door offering many options including a solid door in standard and FD30 fire rated and a glazed version also available in 305 mm width which doubles as a side panel. By combining these options it is possible to create stunning Interior French door and room divider sets. In addition, it is possible to choose the sets with the correct oak frames. The Mega internal design has been so popular that a Mega External Oak door is now available, this differs slightly as it has side rails to maintain the high quality construction required for an external door. The Mega external Oak is also available as solid or two glazed versions both with 457mm narrow options suitable as side panels, our customers can now create their own Grand Entrance Design door opening.

Life is full of options and decision making, its great to find a product which makes the choosing easier especially when the finished product is so great.

I don’t apologise for blowing our own trumpet, when a product fills you with confidence then playing the tune is the best option.

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