There is a distinct pace to the evolution that is currently taking place within the entrance door market. Where there were clear boundaries between the different types of entrance doors, composite doors versus aluminium doors, for example, those lines are very quickly being blurred and new niches within the market are now being formed.
Entrance door markets blend together
To be clear from the outset, I think that this is a good thing and where we were always headed as an industry.
The entrance door market has undergone some serious changes and evolution ever since the introduction of the composite door. I have recently written about how composite doors had changed the entire fenestration market, and they will very much continue to do so.
Prior to the period we are in now, you had either PVCu panels or early-generation PVCu engineered doors arranged with midrails and mullions. Now, the entrance door landscape is the most varied part of UK fenestration, and the lines between the different door ranges are beginning to blur.
For example, the composite door and aluminium entrance door markets are merging thanks to companies like Endurance who have brought out their brand new Avantal range of composite doors, which base their look around aluminium entrance doors, whilst remaining a composite door at their heart. Solidor also came out with their own aluminium-style composite door range but has since been retired.
Prior to this, the composite and aluminium entrance door markets were pretty separated. Now, the composite market is taking the aesthetic advantages of aluminium and working it into various ranges. Smooth skins, hardware, triple glazed units, and brushed glazing cassettes, they’re all becoming design features within the composite door market, and that trend will only continue.
In the years to come, I fully expect most, if not all major composite door suppliers to have an aluminium-alternative range of doors within their wider product portfolios.
Pivots and double rebates
Aluminium aesthetics blending into the general composite market is going to be a boost for both markets as far as I can tell. It will expand the offering from the composite market to the general public, at a slightly lower price point, but also bring additional attention to the aluminium entrance door market too.
But it’s not just designed features that I see merging across sectors. USPs such as pivot doors, until now restricted only to the very highest end of the aluminium entrance door market, are making their way into the more affordable price points. For example, Spitfire has something in the works which will see pivots become more accessible to the wider residential market. And I predict that before too long we will see at least one composite door company attempt their own pivot door offering.
Then there are double-rebated doors. Right at the very beginning, when composite doors emerged into the market, double-rebated slabs were common. Then the single-rebated slab came in and kind of took over for the most part. Now, with the door market taking more and more cues from the aluminium entrance door market, I expect to see more and more companies offering a double-rebated option too.
The weather and structural advantages a double-rebate could offer the wider composite market would be a helpful additional option for installers who worry about the general quality of composite doors. But it would also add an extra USP against the aluminium market.
In the years to come the entrance door market is going to continue to bleed into each other. Different parts of the market will continue to add features of other markets into their own. Hardware, colour, materials, glass and even operations will all continue to blend into one, where we will end up with some very technically advanced composite doors, and an aluminium entrance door market that in itself is also very strong.
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