Composite doors and PVC-U panel doors are often seen as competitors for the same space, but Mark Atkinson, Sales Director at Hurst, argues they can work together. We talk to him to find out more.

GRP composite doors – in all their forms – have revolutionised the entrance door market over the last 15 years, with window companies viewing them as a vital product in their portfolios to win new business.

A mixture of thermal performance, security and head-turning aesthetics put composite doors front and centre of the home improvement decision making process.

“It wasn’t that long ago when the entrance door was an add-on to the main purchase, which was the house-full of windows,” Mark Atkinson, Sales Director at Hurst, says. “Salesmen would often see it as a way of adding on a few extra quid to the purchase price.

“But in some cases, this has been flipped on its head, with homeowners taking a greater interest in their entrance doors than in their windows, thanks to the development of composite doors.”

Hurst is a major supplier of composite doors in the UK, and styles include Classic, Cottage, Contemporary and Designer collections, plus an extensive choice of furniture, colour and glass options.

Customers are supported with a comprehensive marketing support package, including a new brochure, and professionally created product walkthroughs accessed via QR codes.

“We’ve invested in machinery, manufacturing space and high-end components to make our composite doors among the best on the market,” Mark said. “But we’ve not done it at the expense of our PVC-U panel market, for the simple reason that, in many cases, the two product ranges don’t conflict with each other.

“In fact, they are more likely to complement each other.”

Mark argues that the familiar composite door designs feed through to the PVC-U panel door market, where a similar aesthetic is demanded, albeit at a lower price point.

As a result, Hurst has launched the new Monaco One PVC-U door panel style, which offers a contemporary composite style aesthetic.

“Our panel range is still highly popular,” Sales Director Mark Atkinson says. “Whilst purportedly a mature product, it accounts for a large part of our business, and customers are asking us for even more styles and colours.

“We are seeing some real statement composite doors leave our facility here in Hull, so it’s no surprise that other homeowners see those installations and want similar designs for their own homes,” he says.

“By extending our panel range, we are helping our customers meet the demand in all market sectors.”

At the start of 2024, Hurst carried out a customer survey, which found that 62% of respondents believe that the most important factor when selling a door to an end-user is its appearance and design.

The new Monaco One door style is featured in Hurst’s ‘You’re Home With Hurst’ PVC-U panel door brochure, which also showcase’s the company’s Harmony Glass Collection. This provides contemporary, etched effect geometric designs that feature on both sides of the double-glazed unit to create an elegant 3D effect. 

“We are also expanding our Harmony glass range to be available in more door styles. Again, this broadens the available product range for installation companies, and gives them a competitive edge,” Mark says.

Many retail companies will sell both composite and PVC-U panel doors, Mark argues, so supplying modern designs in both formats is key to offering homeowners a comprehensive choice a driving demand at the point of sale.

“We continue to see our composite door sales grow, and that sector is a modern success story,” Mark says. “But retail companies need to offer an attractive choice across all door types, include PVC-U panel doors.

“That sale may still end up being a composite door, but without the PVC-U panel choice, the sale may never even be on the table. And in other cases, we are still bringing style and elegance to all sectors of the market,” Mark concludes.

For more information please visit www.hurstdoors.co.uk, email info@hurstdoors.co.uk or call 01482 790790.

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