News

Composite door trends: March/ April 2021

Ben Aspinall, IT and Marketing Manager for DOORCO, tells us about what’s currently trending in the composite door sector.

Door Trends

My role as IT and Marketing Manager means I am really close to the door trends we see at DOORCO. With an IT hat on, we operate a fully integrated IT-based manufacturing system that communicates orders, stock levels, capacity and allows us to create detailed reporting.

From a marketing perspective, as well as having access to sales analysis, we know what people ‘like’ on our social media. The power of marketing is also to drive trends. For example, it’s a well-known fact at DOORCO, that whichever door is on the front of our brochure is always a best seller in that period!

Over the last 12 months we have seen a massive shift in the norm, so in this first column, I am going to share with you five key trends which may surprise you:

Modern choices

There has been a definite shift in our best sellers since we came out of the first lockdown. Historically, traditional door styles have taken top billing and although our more modern door styles like Monza II, Farmhouse and Links have been growing in popularity, the volumes of sales over the last year has been unprecedented.  So far in 2021, our best-selling door is the Farmhouse. In fact, nearly half the doors we’ve sold this year have been a Farmhouse design. Carnoustie is second place, closely followed by Monza II.

Colour

There is a definite shift towards colour throughout the fenestration industry and our painted door sales are up 55% on this time last year. In fact, we’re just in the process of extending our paint lines to keep up with demand. Tastes are getting bolder and the pink doors – a movement started on social media by Instagram-influencer Mrs Hinch and her Hinchers (as her followers are known) – is a growing trend.  DOORCO launched its own Pink Door Range in aid of We Mind & Kelly Matters last year with success. But even considering all this, grey is still king. Anthracite is our top selling standard colour, DOORCO has 13 shades of grey in our current colour range, and in February, grey doors made up 38% of our sales.

Glass

Glass has a major impact on a door’s overall style and allows the consumer to add their own personal statement. Adding a modern glass like Bold Pink to a traditional door design like Lytham can really transform it into something contemporary.  Glass supply has always been a challenge. We took the decision to massively invest in glass so we can supply direct and have better control, as well as increasing our range with bespoke designs. Our customers have really taken advantage of this: In the first 2 months of 2020, 34% of our doors were sold with glass (glazed and unglazed); this year that figure has increased to 79%. More interesting, our bespoke glazing service has increased by 148% in the same period.

Customers need more help

Glazing is just part of our flexible prepping service which our fabricator customers are increasingly making use of. There are several factors to this: Firstly, there’s no denying we’re in a home improvement boom (long may it last) and we’re all buzzing. Supply issues are widely reported, and some say the pandemic has taught us patience, but the ‘amazon-inspired next day delivery’ want is still very apparent. There is still a demand for fast turnaround and we often get enquiries as to whether we can deliver a door quicker than they’ve been quoted by a competitor. Even with a JIT (Just In Time) delivery service for fabricators and short lead times across the board, more and more are turning to us for painting and prepping support to simply keep up with demand.

Secondly, we are all still operating under a lot of strain with health and safety constraints, social distancing and illness. As with everybody else, we’ve suffered with delays due to the global shipping crisis combined with sheer demand in some of the emerging trends we’ve mentioned above, but we’ve worked hard to overcome these issues and support our customers as best we can. Keeping our workforce healthy with stringent procedures and regular testing means we’ve been able to step in and support them during downtimes. Levels of prepping and painting have nearly doubled this year.

Marketing on Instagram

Over the last year, DOORCO’s marketing strategy has changed to become more consumer facing. The biggest catalyst was the desperate need to keep our lines of communication open when we headed blindly into the first lockdown, to make sure we had leads to come back to.  With many of the usual channels closed, we turned to social media, and in particular Instagram.

Instagram is pictorial-led, a place of inspiration, and property renovation is a big trend.  There’s a whole network of renovators and self-builders, designers and influencers (like Mrs Hinch and her followers) sharing their stories and there are some fun hashtag’s (like #ihaveathingwithdoors) that you can plug into.  For DOORCO, it’s about brand awareness and lead-generation on behalf of our customers, although it has also become an influential platform for trades people, so we get trade enquiries too. We started sharing inspirational images of the things that make DOORCO unique – Farmhouse, Monza II, a wide range of colour choices, a bespoke glass collection and our added value services. This has certainly paid dividend – from an almost standing start, we have nearly 2,500 followers, get regular enquiries from homeowners that we can pass on to our customers, and influenced our sales and trends.

Follow us on social media: Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook or @DOORCOUK on Instagram.

See the engineering behind GRiPCORE technology

Following DOORCO’s recent announcement that they are soon to be launching a ground-breaking new solid core composite door product, the leading manufacturer reveals a new video demonstrating the engineering behind GRiPCORE technology, which boasts safety and security in its DNA and impressive results in tolerance and security.

DOORCO MD Dan Sullivan, explains more: “GRiPCORE Technology is a hybrid of modern and traditional materials and has been engineered to deliver a stronger, heavier and more robust door that will not crack, move or de-laminate. The structure consists of a unique matrix of cross laminated engineered timber and hardwood stiles and rails, pressed with DOORCO’s signature 4mm GRP skins. All of this results in a door that will not move/bow/twist more than 3mm. These are strong claims, but it is truly the most engineered door I have ever seen. As well as offering a 10 Year Warranty on all GRiPCORE doors, we felt it was important to demonstrate the engineering behind the door – and what better way than with a video showing exactly how it’s made.

“The new video is just one part of DOORCO’s new marketing suite which is designed to really help customers sell GRiPCORE technology as the premium upgrade to our foam-filled standard doors. From April, it will be available in the six most popular doors which are used to create a wide range of designs: 4 panel blank top and 6/4 combi for traditional door styles, Farmhouse for popular cottage doors and Flush, Monza II and Links for more contemporary options. We’re also adding some new door styles created specifically for GRiPCORE as well as bespoke colours and an expanded glass range, which now includes some bespoke designs from our creative consultant, Jeyda.

“We are very excited about GRiPCORE’s potential. In an increasingly competitive marketplace, DOORCO is driven by innovating products and solutions that stand out from the crowd. GRiPCORE is testament to this and we anticipate it being a real game-changer, not just for DOORCO and our customers but the wider composite door market too.

DOORCO doors engineered with GRiPCORE Technology will be available from April and will be just one of the new products being exhibited on stand F5 at this year’s FIT Show. To view the full video, get more information about the product and service offering, and to register your interest, visit: www.gripcore.com.

A Day in the Life of a Door – Part 2

7 am

The day always kicks off with a visit from the postman with the fumbling fingers. As he approaches, I let out a small groaning creak as I spy the small parcel in his hand. He’s either hopelessly optimistic about his ability to coax a package through a small hole, embarrassingly inept at understanding basic physics, or desperately avoidant of knocking and having to converse with my owner (understandable, really). True to form, his frostbitten fingers, which are now a shade of duck-egg blue more commonly seen on an interior wall, begin jamming in the package, which tickles and even takes off a few of the bristles of my letterbox in the process.

10 am


My owner, Sandra, swings me open and heads out on to the steps beneath me. During lockdown, she’s taken up running with an enthusiasm previously reserved only for cappuccinos with her friends at the local coffee shop. Sandra never does things by halves, so she’s dressed in all the gear, with an oddly shaped water bottle in hand, and she proceeds to do a short warm-up of the hamstrings, pressing her hands against my firm, wooden surface. Her friends think she’s become some kind of miracle athlete, but I keep her secret as safe as a lost key: she runs for about 15 minutes and then walks the rest, listening to a podcast. She comes back only mildly sweaty, which I’m grateful for as she bookends the light jog with a cool down against my surface again.


1 pm


Lunchtime on a weekend is a bit of tiresome time of day for me. At this point, I start getting swamped with endless hopeful Instagram influencers and budding freelance photographers. I used to find it quite complementary to have people stopping in the street to get a snap of my beautiful front, but over the years, it’s worn me down a little. No one ever asks my permission, and sometimes I catch sight of the photos on the tiny phone slabs and I tut at the poor angles and lighting. When viewed front-on, early morning, I know my Moroccan sky blue door is a beauty to behold. It’s worth attention. But that attention hasn’t won me any favours with my neighbouring doors, who all resent the limelight I get. I would happily share the load, but their owners really are at fault here for choosing unremarkable colours for them.



4 pm


Three people approach with clipboards. This makes me apprehensive, because it’s usually the Lib Dems and Sandra tends to be quite rude to them which results in me getting quite a painful, curt shut. They stand on the step eyeing me up and talking amongst themselves in excitable tones. This isn’t normal behaviour. One of the men even heads back across the street and squints at me from afar, framing me through his fingers. The woman closest knocks and I hear Sandra heading down the hallway.

“Hi, I’m Laura. I work for Film4. We’re shooting a film next week and we’re looking for a door just like this one. I know it’s a bit of a random request, but wondered if you’d be okay with us filming your front? We have some budget so it would be paid, of course!”

Sandra jumps at the opportunity. She always loves the attention I get and takes the flattery as a personal victory. Of course, I get no say in the matter. I’m pimped out for £150 and Channel 4 fame.

7 pm


By the evening, Sandra will be famished since she only had a light lunch and the gruelling morning run. On a weekend, I know she doesn’t like to cook so I’m preparing myself for a visitor bearing delicious smelling food. As expected, at virtually 7pm on the dot, a Deliveroo rider pedals up to the front, leaves their bike resting against the wall and comes up and bangs on me. I resent the force which all Deliveroo riders seem to think is required for gaining the attention of residents. Even my door neighbours’ wince as he thumps my panels. Thankfully Sandra is ravenous, so she jumps to open me immediately, sparing me from a second rap.



10 pm


Sandra takes the bins out in the evening, but for some reason she leaves them right next to me rather than out on the street. Not only does this leave me battling an awful stench with nowhere to run, but it attracts the local foxes. Tonight, a fox’s tail brushes against me as he scoops up some of the leftovers that spill out of the bin. Aside from the smell, it’s my favourite time of day. There’s peace and quiet, with no cameras being thrust upon me and I can just watch the hypnotic, flickering streetlamp, completely uninterrupted for hours. What a delight.

 

Until next time,

Jeyda

DOORCO’s creative consultant

GRiPCORE Technology, brought to you by DOORCO

When engineering a new door product, it’s important to make it stand out from the crowd and with GRiPCORE Technology we are pushing the boundaries. With safety and security in its DNA, GRiPCORE has been designed to overcome the issues consumers face with the current market offering and has been engineered to deliver a door that is stronger, more rigid & thermally stable than anything on the market.  The new door is considered a premium upgrade to our standard foam-filled option, retaining DOORCO’s signature benefits when it comes to quality and service.

The engineering

GRiPCORE Technology is a hybrid of modern and traditional materials and has been engineered to deliver a stronger, heavier and more robust door that will not crack, move or de-laminate. The structure consists of a unique matrix of cross laminated engineered timber and hardwood stiles and rails, pressed with DOORCO’s signature 4mm GRP skins. All of this results in a door that will not move/bow/twist more than 3mm – it is truly the most engineered door I have ever seen. We are so confident in the product and the engineering and investment behind it, we are covering the tolerance and product with a 10 Year Warranty which gives you and your customers confidence for years to come.

A unique matrix of cross laminated engineered timber and hardwood stiles and rail, pressed with DOORCO’s signature 4mm skins.

The DOORCO difference

In addition to the material benefits of GRiPCORE, it is backed up by DOORCO’s commitment to exceptional quality and service. The collective experience of our team applied at every stage of the development process, from the design to delivery, has made this new offering really outstanding. We’ve thought about every stage, right through to how our customers can incorporate GRiPCORE into their product portfolios with as much ease and as little investment as possible.

Keeping it simple

One of the key attributes of this development process is that GRiPCORE is available in a single size 914mm (44mm) blank. As the market demand and the ‘amazon-inspired next day delivery’ expectations (we as consumers are all guilty of) grows, stock can be a real headache, and one of the biggest challenges fabricators face. The simplicity of this single slab means you can make all required sizes and avoid complex ordering and costly storage. In addition, very little investment in tooling and machinery is required. DOORCO’s Just In Time (JIT) delivery and prepping services could simplify this even further.

The Premium offering

From April, GRiPCORE Technology will be available in our most popular doors: 4 panel blank top and 6/4 combi used to make the majority of our traditional door styles, Farmhouse for cottage style doors and Flush, Monza II and Links for more contemporary styling. From these six basic products you can create a wide range different door designs, including some new door styles created specifically for GRiPCORE.  We have new bespoke colours and glass designs, as well as a full marketing suite on its way too.

We are very excited about GRiPCORE’s potential. In an increasingly competitive marketplace, DOORCO is driven by innovating products and solutions that stand out from the crowd. GRiPCORE is testament to this and we anticipate it being a real game-changer, not just for DOORCO and our customers but the wider composite door market too.

DOORCO doors engineered with GRiPCORE Technology will be available from April. For more information about the engineering behind GRiPCORE, the product and service offering available and to register your interest, visit: www.gripcore.com.

Bold Choices

As someone who loves a splash of colour, nothing brings me greater joy than seeing bold shades on a door. A door can be a blank canvas, an opportunity to paint a story about what’s within, and a chance to show off its owner’s individuality.

In a world dominated by advertising, we’re already quite accustomed to being surrounded by loud designs demanding our precious attention. It’s no longer  rare to see bursts of colour down the high street, and that has gradually crept into the residential. So much so that in some places, even a bright red door would no longer be considered bold. Trends have turned towards more unusual colours that captivate casual onlookers.

There’s been a particularly noticeable rise in the number of orange doors knocking around. As a ginger, I have a natural affinity with these marvellous coral creations.

Two years ago, I saw a door that has remained permanently etched into my memory. The owners had managed to paint it a garish highlighter yellow. It was almost high vis. As well as being the most unique shade I’d seen in a long time, it was adorned with a beautiful knocker in the shape of the Hand of Fatima. Hands down winner of that year’s Acadoormy Awards.

In fact, dazzlingly coloured doors decorated with distinctive – albeit sometimes bizarre – knockers is another thing to look out for. This googly-eyed pineapple fixed to a bright yellow door is as surreal and silly as Ringo Starr’s Yellow Submarine.

We’ve all seen the countless lions on smart black doors that have become synonymous with the “classy residence”, but where does that leave our impressions when we’re confronted with an apricot-coloured door with a large elephant knocker?

Now, for those fully onboard with the bold door look, why stop there? Get the whole façade involved!  In my book, pairing a loudly coloured door with an equally noisy wall is perfection – the bolder the better.

I would even encourage people to take the layering of colours to its logical extreme: the rainbow. Last year might not have been the most joyful of years, but one thing certainly shone through: our appreciation and admiration for NHS heroes. In their honour, the country was covered in rainbows for the whole year, but there’s no need for that range of colours to be a fleeting thing. Covering entire building fronts – doors, walls, windowsills and all – is a recipe for success. There’s something beautifully symbolic in the vibrancy of life behind the rainbow, and what better to come home to, every day?

Until next time,

Jeyda, Chief Doork

Engineered with GRiPCORE Technology

DOORCO is driven by innovating products which help our customers stand out from the crowd in the increasingly competitive composite door market. We already have unique doors in our portfolio, such as the 6/4 Combi for easy manufacturing of traditional styles, the versatile and fashionable Farmhouse, the leading contemporary composite door Monza II, and the unrivalled aluminium alternative LINKS. Missing from our offering, however, was a solid core option.

Developing a DOORCO solid core door was a logical step for us, and in the usual DOORCO style, we needed to push the boundaries and find a solution that limits thermal movement and makes a more robust door that will not fail. Thanks to the collective experience of the DOORCO team, and the new specialist partners we appointed, we have done just that. With GRiPCORE Technology, we have engineered out all the issues consumers face with the current market, and delivered unrivalled results when it comes to tolerance and security.

Hybrid iNNOVATION

GRiPCORE Technology is a hybrid of modern and traditional materials. Our signature 4mm GRP skins are pressed on to a unique matrix of cross laminated engineered timber and hardwood stiles and rails. Safety and security have been built into GRiPCORE’s DNA, delivering a stronger, heavier and more robust door that that will not crack, move or de-laminate. It is truly the most engineered door I have ever seen. In fact, we are so confident in the product and the engineering and investment behind it, we are offering a 10 Year Warranty on all GRiPCORE doors, with a further guarantee that the door blank will not move/bow/twist more than 3mm in that time. Both will give you & your customers confidence for years to come.

iNCORPORATING GRiPCORE

When a new product is launched, there is often an expected level of investment required to integrate that product line. For existing DOORCO customers there is none; the manufacturing requirements do not vary from our standard door product, and therefore no additional tooling or equipment is needed to start producing GRiPCORE. As stock is also a big challenge, we’ve thought about how to make this simpler too: GRiPCORE is available in a one size fits all 914mm blank. This means that from one slab, you can make all required door sizes which minimizes complex ordering and storage, saving you time and money. When it comes to style options, the majority of our existing door styles are available, making GRiPCORE a premium DOORCO alternative. We will, of course, be launching some bespoke glass and colour options to match and a new suite of marketing materials to support your sales. This includes a new state-of-the-art video showing how GRiPCORE is made, which can be viewed on the homepage of our website.

We are really excited about the GRiPCORE’s potential. So far, our customers are delighted with the new product and we anticipate it being a real game-changer for DOORCO and the composite door market as a whole. GRiPCORE doors will be available in the coming months and will be featured on Stand F5 at the FIT Show.

To register your interest, email us on info@door-co.com or call 01625 428955

New Year Message – Dan Sullivan, MD, DOORCO

A line in the sand

2021 is a year for growth for DOORCO. We’ve collectively come out of last year stronger and more robust and for DOORCO and our customers, it’s an exciting time. Although it felt risky at times, we are glad we progressed our pre-COVID investment plans into products, infrastructure and people because we’ve created opportunity: There’s new product lines, a more robust business and an even greater team. I am incredibly proud of the DOORCO team – it’s the people behind any business that the difference and their resilience has got us through the toughest of situations. We even managed to achieve the 2020 budget, which was set before we’d even heard of COVID-19. 2020 will go down as an amazing achievement in the company’s history thanks to their hard work, with several team members making names for themselves along the way.

DOORCO’s customers have been brilliant too. Our ethos is centred on having a strong partnership with our customers – this has proven to be correct on many levels in 2020. The global pandemic certainly put strain on the whole supply chain, added to that a home improvement boom that no one foresaw. But, through open lines of communication both ways, we’ve tackled the issues together with empathy and transparency. DOORCO is fortunate to partner with some of the industry’s best and thanks to them being safe and solid, we are confident of further growth in 2021.

DOORCO is more determined than ever and we’re setting out with clear objectives and purpose that demonstrate our long-term commitment to the business, our customers and the industry as a whole. We will be exhibiting on stand F5 at the FIT Show, and as we all know, the point of investing in an exhibition is to showcase what is new. Featuring heavily will be our new solid core composite door, engineered with GRiPCORE Technology, as well as at least two other new products combined with enhancements in our service offering.

We’ve also committed to further investment across the business as a whole making 2021 set to be another milestone year for DOORCO. However, at the heart of it all, staying safe and keeping our workforce fit and well remains our priority.

Dressing your door

A door is an opportunity to tell a story about the person behind it. It’s the chance for a person to show off their creative character or their stylish nature. But a door is nothing on it’s own. A door must be part of a front to have any meaning. And the facade is the place where anyone wanting a distinctive look – can really go to town.

Retail & hospitality cottoned onto this idea a long time ago and even in today’s climate, where vast numbers of shoppers have migrated online amid fears of the virus, the streets are full of shops where the doors are adorned with visual feasts.

Naturally, there are the usual suspects sporting somewhat understated and classy looking festive decor.

Some go all out, with bolder Christmas designs that are extremely arresting.

And of course, others choose to decorate their entrances all year round – like the famous Peggy Porshen cutesy cake shop in London. 

But why should it just be shops that decorate their doors? In a year where people are spending far more time at home, a trend has begun for dressing your door.

Photographer Tracey Myers (@my3rs101 on Instagram) in particular, has done a phenomenal job transforming her door over various seasons. Earlier in Spring, she produced such a beautiful flowery front that an artist @drawing__jenny ended up recreating the scene.

Later when Halloween came around, Tracey dressed her iconic pink door with pumpkins picked herself from a local pick your own vegetables farm.

As Christmas came around, we could only wonder what Tracey would have up her sleeve. True to form, she’s created a wonderful winter scene.

Who knew there would be so much creative fun to be had with a door? I expect MTV to be making Pimp My Door any day now…

Until next time. 

Jeyda, Chief Doork

Marketing Trends

In this month’s GGP Magazine column, DOORCO Operations Director Jayne Sullivan, discusses the changes the leading composite door supplier has seen this year when it comes to marketing doors.

 Marketing Trends

 

Marketing & PR has been an integral part of building the DOORCO brand for many years. We’ve mainly focused on the trade media to gain customers and increase door sales, building the DOORCO name through advertising and sending out news releases and editorial about the company and our products in the form of PR – news, articles, letters, and the like. We’ve had a social media presence and along the way we have created collateral like door brochures, websites, and a bespoke door designer and ordering system, that support our customers with their own marketing.  Over the years, we’ve become bolder, taking the same innovative approach we apply to our product development, but the focus has very much been on DOORCO and our own growth. This made sense; we don’t install doors into homes and therefore were only interested in talking to trade where we could get volume sales (not necessarily massive volumes, but volume all the same).

The Game Changer: Lockdown 1.0

When we went into Lockdown, the usual lines of communication were limited and marketing seemed to go two ways: radio silence, or increased presence. We opted for the later. From the very start, we wanted sales opportunities for us all to come back to and saw the way to create opportunity was through marketing. Working closely with our partners, we concentrated on the one avenue that was still open to everyone – social media. We embarked on a campaign to build better awareness by increasing engagement with our customers and the wider industry, sharing content about what makes DOORCO unique, and encouraging conversation through sharing ideas on new designs, colours and glass options. We also realised now would be a logical time to take our message downstream to the consumer and establish DOORCO as a household name in order to start lead generation on behalf of our customers, rather than from behind the scenes; something that was new to us up to that point.

Instagram

Pictorial-led, Instagram is a place of inspiration. There is a whole network of renovators and self-builders, designers and influencers that share their stories on Instagram for the world to see. We decided to explore how DOORCO could become part of this growing trend. By increasing our presence, and shifting from ‘trade’ to ‘lifestyle’ that included the door styles that makes DOORCO unique, such as Monza II, Farmhouse and Links, we were able to increase both our leads and brand recognition/awareness. Instagram has also become an influential platform for trades people as well, and we found we were able to make an impression on them too.

Post-lockdown boom

In the early days of returning to work, we (DOORCO and our customers) were grateful for the leads we had generated, but very quickly it became apparent that we were heading into a home improvement boom! We realised that the efforts we had invested during the initial lockdown were bearing fruit, and we saw a massive shift in sales towards the styles we had been sharing. In fact, the DOORCO top five best sellers has completely changed. Previously, the traditional 6/4 Combi was king, today Monza II is top of the charts, closely followed by Farmhouse. This type of marketing is now the new normal for DOORCO and continues to add significant value to our customer relationships, especially in time where resources limited. This sort of partnership enables us to act as an extended sales pipeline on our customer’s behalf.

A time for investment

In an ideal world you can see these changes coming and you can prepare for them, and if those changes are take you by surprise – like a global pandemic – you need to have the skills and confidence to pivot. DOORCO is a forward-thinking supplier, that has the customer in mind on all key decisions and willingly explores new avenues to better support customers.  Marketing is just one of the areas of the business we are committed to making significant investment  in as part of our journey to take the business to the next level, which includes increasing our support for our existing customers as well as welcoming new ones. We’ve got some exciting things to come in 2021, which we are sincerely hoping can be showcased to all at the FIT Show in May.