Why Choose Aluminium Doors?

For the most part, modern doors are made from one of three materials: timber, uPVC plastic, or aluminium. Each of these materials offers its own unique strengths. For example, a high-quality oak door might offer a distinctive look and feel that’ll complement a dining area, while the affordability and ease of maintenance offered by a uPVC door makes it a great choice for patios.

If you’re in the market for a new set of doors, you’ll need to consider factors including your budget, décor, and personal preferences. Aluminium doors are an attractive option that’s well worth considering.

aluminium bifold doors

Revere Grey 3600MM Aluminium Bifold Doors

Benefits of Aluminium Doors

Aluminium Doors are Strong

Aluminium is an inherently strong material. This removes the need for extra-bulky supporting frames, and maximises how much glass can be incorporated into a single door, and how much light can enter the home.

Aluminium Doors are Easy to Maintain

While timber might need occasional re-finishing, aluminium comes powder-coated with an extra-tough finish that’ll resist nicks and scratches and look fantastic for the lifetime of the door.

Aluminium Doors Offer Good Thermal Performance

Metals are excellent at transmitting heat, which means you might write off aluminium doors as an option if you’re looking to cut your energy bills. However, aluminium door manufacturers have anticipated this and worked to resolve it by incorporating a layer of insulating material into the frame. What’s more, because the frames are so thin, the majority of the door is formed of double (or triple) glazed glass, which helps keep out the cold.

Aluminium Doors are 100% Recyclable

While environmental impact might not be at the top of most homeowner’s list of priorities, it is an area where aluminium excels. The material is 100% recyclable with no degradation, which means when your doors eventually do need replacing, they won’t end up in landfill.

Disadvantages of Aluminium Doors

We’ve looked in detail at the many benefits of aluminium doors, but they do have some disadvantages, too.

Aluminium Doors are Difficult to Customise

As mentioned, aluminium doors are powder-coated at factory level, and can’t be altered later on. That said, this is rarely an issue, as the choice of colours is considerable.

Aluminium Doors Don’t Suit All Styles of Property

While aluminium can look stunning in flats and modern homes, it often makes a poor match for period buildings. But as we’ve said, there are plenty of colours and styles to choose from – so if you do own an older house, it’s still worth considering the merits of aluminium doors.

Aluminium Doors are Expensive

There’s a reason why not everyone has made the switch to aluminium: on a door-by-door basis, the material tends to be on the pricier side, particularly when compared with uPVC. If you’re undecided between a timber door and an aluminium door then you should bear in mind that when it comes to maintenance, the cost of aluminium doors is close to nil.

Ready to shop for aluminium doors? Browse our range of Revere aluminium bi-fold doors in grey or white or our Exceed aluminium sliding doors in anthracite grey.

Why Choose Wooden Doors?

Doors today come in many shapes, sizes, colours, and of course – materials. Steel, aluminium, fibreglass and uPVC are all familiar players in the field. The type of material you choose for your door will depend on several things, not least budget, but today we urge you to consider the classic wooden door and explain why after all these years, it remains the undefeated all-round champion of doors.

Wooden Doors: Internal or External?

In short timber is ideal for both internal and external doors.

Unlike uPVC, composite, and aluminium doors, wooden doors are suitable as both interior and exterior doors. Wooden exterior doors offer strength and security whilst wooden interior doors offer a high-end feel, an easily repairable surface, and incredible durability.

We’ll discuss the benefits in more detail shortly, but it’s worth noting that teaming internal and external wooden doors can help create a more consistent, integrated appearance throughout the home.

unfinished oak veneer internal door with glass panelsWooden Doors: Solid or Engineered?

Before we get into the advantages and disadvantages of wooden doors, it’s helpful to explain that there are two main types of timber door available: solid wood and engineered wood.

Solid wood doors are made from a single piece of wood, or several pieces of the same variety of wood glued together to make a continuous, solid construction.

Engineered wood has an outer layer and an inner layer. The outer layer (or veneer) is made of a more expensive and attractive piece of wood while the inner layer is formed of cheaper woods.

As they use a smaller quantity of high quality woods, engineered doors tend to be cheaper than solid wood doors – but which door is better?

On the outside the aesthetic is very similar, but engineered doors will not warp and can be more thermally efficient. Solid wood doors on the other hand can be much simpler to repair. For more information read our article on choosing the right door for you.

fully finished oak back doorBenefits of Wooden Doors

One of the biggest benefits of a wooden front door is how great it looks. As a natural and extremely versatile building material, wooden doors come in a far wider range of designs than their uPVC, fibreglass or metal counterparts. The craftsmanship is clearly visible, which adds to the overall appeal. This appeal goes beyond just looks, however – we challenge you to find any other door material that feels (or smells!) as good as wood.

Their versatility means they can be tailored (in size, wood-type and design) specifically to your home and aesthetic, and because no two pieces of wood are exactly the same, you end up with a front door that is completely unique to you. The benefits of timber doors mean that whether you prefer light wood, dark wood, painted surfaces, tight grain, wide grain, simplicity or intricate design work, everything is possible!

One of the key advantages of wooden doors is security. Wooden doors are incredibly strong, and developments in their design and construction over their hundreds of years of manufacture mean they also last a very long time. They are one of the few door materials that can be repaired, as wood is easy to work with and a malleable material. This means a wooden door will offer you great security and reliability over its long life.

All of these things are important, but a wooden door benefits you in another way as well: wood is an excellent natural insulator. The properties of the material mean that warmth is kept in, and noise is kept out more so than with most other types of door. Plus, as long as the wood comes from a sustainable source, it’s environmentally friendly, too.

Disadvantages of Wooden Doors

You’ll have picked up by now that we’re big fans of timber, and there’s no doubt that the advantages greatly outweigh the disadvantages of wooden doors. However, we’d be doing you a disservice if we didn’t also tell you about potential problems with timber doors.

The primary disadvantage of timber doors is their cost. They sit at the luxury end of the market, and as such command a higher price than doors made from cheaper materials. However a hardwood door will need to be replaced less often, meaning you should end up spending less in the long term.

With a renewed focus on quality, efficiency, longevity and environmental care, wooden doors tick a lot of boxes when it comes to building a home that is safe, sensible, and on trend. Whilst we can’t claim that there are no problems with wooden doors, there certainly aren’t many, and the advantages are plentiful.

Start shopping for wooden external doors here, and wooden internal doors here.

How The Simpsons Predicted Everything From Pantone Colours to Donald Trump’s Presidency

Here at Aspire Doors, we stumbled across something amazing. We help people achieve their interior design dreams with our fantastic products, like our exterior bi-folding doors, which can completely revolutionise your home. Because of the products we sell, we like to keep on top of interior design trends and so on to see how our stock can stay relevant, modern and help our customers achieve cutting-edge, forward-thinking designs.

Part of keeping up to date with interior design is eagerly awaiting the esteemed Pantone Colour of the Year. Beginning in 2000, this annual tradition has cemented Pantone as the authority on all things colour.

Pantone itself was founded in 1962 as manufacturers of colour cards intended to be used by cosmetic companies. Colour swatching is now an important part of many different creative and commercial fields and Pantone certainly contributed to that when they changed direction and established their colour matching system in 1963.

Since 1963, Pantone’s colour matching system (PMS) has done wonders to further their brand voice and identity. The PMS has created a kind of standardised ‘dictionary’ of colours that can be used across projects around the world. The Colour of the Year was a hit from its first year in 2000 and continues to bolster its brand today.

Before we go into our ground-breaking discovery, let’s take a closer look at the Pantone Colour of the Year…

How is the Pantone Colour of the Year Decided?

Pantone take into account numerous factors when calculating the Colour of the Year. They take fashion, politics, product packaging, media, film, the arts, current popular travel destinations, product & industrial design, to name just a few. The colours they choose generally relate to the zeitgeist and socio-economic conditions of the moment.

Pantone will host secret meetings twice a year in various European capitals with colour representatives from around the world. Behind these secret closed doors, they will discuss and debate what the colour of the year should be. These are also decided in advance; Pantone are certainly ahead of the curve in that respect.

Our Discovery

Pantone announced their Colour of the Year for 2019. They chose ‘Living Coral’. Their official website says it is a “life-affirming coral hue with a golden undertone that energises and enlivens with a softer edge”. It really is a gorgeous colour and upon looking down the previous champions to 2010, we noticed something amazing…

The Colour of the Year from 2010 to 2019 are all to be found and easily observed in… the iconic living room of The Simpsons family!

simpsons pantone colours

That’s right – is this proof that Pantone have just been phoning it in since 2010 and these secret meetings are actually just Simpsons marathons?

The Evidence

Let’s begin with Pantone’s Colour of the Year for 2013: Emerald. This hue is also the colour of the Simpsons’ carpet. In 2016, Pantone made history by selecting two shades for Colour of the Year: Serenity and Rose Quartz. Mix these together and you get the colour of the walls in the Simpsons’ living room.

2019’s Living Coral matches the skirting boards, 2018’s Ultra Violet is the colour of their television, going all the way back to 2010 where Pantone’s Colour of the Year – Turquoise – matches the colour of their telephone. From the magazine rack to the side table, rug and curtain, they all match up.

Considering the Simpsons started way back in 1989, this surely can’t be a coincidence, which begs the question…

Is Matt Groening a Time Traveller?

This discovery will undoubtedly add further fuel to the fire that Matt Groening, the creator of The Simpsons, is in fact a time traveller. That might sound crazy, but hear us out…

This isn’t a new theory. ‘Nostragroening’ has been accused of time travel after The Simpsons successfully predicted multiple events that didn’t take place until years after the respective episodes aired.

The Tin Foil Hat Club say he knows all this because he’s a Freemason. Considering that all you have to do is ask and pay an annual fee to be a Freemason, we won’t be putting on our hats just yet.

But this doesn’t stop the fact that The Simpsons have been strangely accurate with their ‘predictions’.

What have The Simpsons Predicted Correctly?

The Simpsons now have quite an impressive list of future predictions. Here are some of the major examples:

  • In 2000, the episode ‘Bart to the Future’ depicted Donald Trump as president, creating a national crisis. This was shared widely in Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016. No one’s laughing anymore.
  • The Siegfried & Roy Tiger attack – The Simpsons parodied the Las Vegas act Siegfried & Roy with their own Gunter & Ernst. Gunter & Ernst get mauled by a tiger in the show, which happened to the real life Siegfried & Roy ten years later.
  • In the ‘Bart to the Future’ episode, Lisa and Marge talk using video call technology like Skype or FaceTime. In fairness, it didn’t take a genius to figure out that that would eventually become possible.
  • In a 1995 episode, the Simpsons time travel again to the year 2010. People are using smartwatches. Another prediction that has now come true. Again, this wasn’t exactly a huge stretch; smartwatches were depicted in many other programmes and films way before their release.
  • In 1997, The Simpsons made a reference to an outbreak of Ebola, which very sadly was an issue that dominated the year 2014.
  • In a 2010 episode, Milhouse wagered that MIT Professor Bengt Holmstrom would win a Nobel Prize. He won a Nobel prize in 2016. Coincidence?
  • Walt Disney acquiring Fox, which happened in late 2017. This was a ground-breaking deal that is set to change the face of US media.
  • Another 2010 episode depicts Homer & Marge as a mixed doubles curling team. They come from behind to beat Sweden at the Winter Olympics. At the 2018 Winter Olympics, the USA men’s team came from behind to beat Sweden for a medal.
  • In a 2012 episode, a character that looks a lot like Lady Gaga is seen being lifted down in a harness wearing a glittery silver outfit to entertain the residents of Springfield. Fast forward to 2017, when Lady Gaga, who looks a lot like Lady Gaga, descends from the roof of the NRG Stadium wearing a glittery silver outfit for the Superbowl Halftime Show.
  • The Simpsons Movie from 2007 depicted the NSA as a mass-surveillance agency that listened in to every phone call and watched civilians everywhere. This was confirmed by the whistle-blower Edward Snowden in 2013. However, it was quite well known the US government were conducting mass surveillance, it had just never been confirmed.
  • The FIFA corruption scandal. Again, anyone with eyes could see that FIFA was/is a deeply corrupt organisation. The Simpsons aired an episode in 2014 about corruption in football and in 2015, the FIFA corruption scandal was front-page news, with arrests being made. Again, any football fan in the world could’ve told you that FIFA was and still is corrupt.
  • ‘Europe Puts Greece on Ebay’. This was a ticker that ran across the screen when Homer appears on a news programme in a 2012 episode. In 2015, Greece did default on their debts to the EU and the ticker pretty much rings true now. You didn’t have to be a clairvoyant to see this coming though.
  • Autocorrect failures. In a 1994 episode, one of the school bullies is seen using an Apple device to make a note to ‘Beat up Martin’. This is autocorrected to ‘Eat up Martha’. Anyone with an Apple device knows the necessary evil that is AutoCorrect.
  • The most eerie future prediction, the one that will really make you say ‘hmmm’, is when Homer predicts the mass of the Higgs Boson or ‘God Particle’ in 1998. 14 years before scientists at CERN built and used their Large Hadron Collider to prove the existence of the Higgs Boson, arguably one of the biggest scientific discoveries of all time, Homer Simpson can be seen at a blackboard writing an equation that accurately predicts the mass of the God Particle.
  • The Pantone Colours of the year from 2010 to 2019 – the latest addition to the list.

Admittedly, some of the above predictions could be made by anyone that pays attention to the news, but some of them are so much of a coincidence that it makes you question everything.

Is the colour scheme of the Simpsons living room a blind coincidence, or the smoking gun that reveals Groening to be a time traveller after all? Did Pantone stop using the ‘zeitgeist’ to decide their Colour of the Year in 2010 and instead just pointed to a different part of the Simpsons living room? Who knows? All we know is that we may have gotten quite carried away by this discovery.

All the “Official” Trump Towers – and one unofficial one ;)

Ah, Mr Trump. We’re pretty sure you’ve heard of him. If not, Donald Trump is the 45th President of the United States of America, and well, he isn’t a very popular man…

Despite his current role as President of the United States of America, Trump’s career actually began in real estate, working for his father, Fred Trump. Fred owned a very successful real estate firm, building and selling houses for soldiers and their families in World War ll. Donald eventually took over the business, changed its name to The Trump Organization, and mostly dealt with estate investments for large apartment buildings and the Federal Housing Administration.

Almost 10 years later, Trump teamed up with the Holiday Inn, Corp., and developed a multimillion hotel and casino complex. From here, Trump soared, and now owns 12 towers under the Trump brand.

But as many of you might know, all is not as it seems in the world of Trump Towers.

While researching the real story of the Trump Real Estate Corporation, we discovered an additional 3 buildings that were either never started, cancelled or weren’t even going to be a ‘thing’.

 

trumps towers and facts illustrated

Trump Tower NYC

Trump Tower in New York City are Trump’s main headquarters. Construction of the skyscraper began in 1979 and today it contains apartments, offices, and shops. President Trump, and some of his family, are also known to reside in this building.

Facts About Trump Tower NYC:

  • The building stands at approx. 202m/663 feet
  • Has 58 floors
  • Opened in 1983
  • Cost $300 million
  • The architect/developer for the project was Der Scutt
  • Located in Manhattan, New York City, United States

Trump Towers, Istanbul

Trump Towers in Istanbul consists of 2 skyscrapers conjoined (hence the plural “towers”). One of the buildings is an office tower, and the other is residential.

Trump Towers Istanbul currently houses 200 residents, 80 shops, and a multiplex cinema.

Facts About Trump Towers Istanbul:

  • The height of the 2 buildings is approx 155m/509 feet
  • 1 of the towers has 39 floors, the other has 37 floors
  • Both towers were opened in 2010
  • Cost $300 million
  • The architect/developer for the project was Brigitte Weber Architectural Office
  • Located in Şişli, Istanbul, Turkey

Trump Towers Sunny Isles Beach, Florida

Smaller than the previous buildings, Trump Towers in Florida are still a sight to behold thanks to the 3 identical towers and contemporary architecture. All the buildings consist solely of living accommodation, housing 271 units each.

Facts About Trump Towers Sunny Isles Beach, Florida:

  • All 3 towers sit at approx. 140.5m/461 feet high
  • There are 45 floors in each tower
  • All of the skyscrapers were opened in 2008
  • Cost $900 million
  • The architect/developer for the project was Dezer Properties
  • Located in Sunny Isles Beach, Florida, United States

Trump Tower White Plains, New York

Another one of Trump’s smaller skyscrapers is the Trump Tower White Plains. Construction began in 2003 and ended in 2005. This building is another accomodation-only skyscraper that upon opening, housed 212 redsidents.

Facts About Trump Tower White Plains, New York

Trump Towers Pune, India

This particular complex may have made our list, however the buildings are not owned or developed by The Trump Organization, nor has The Trump Organization funded this project.

Trump Towers Pune has an unpublic licensing deal with Trump which has given them the rights to use the name ‘Trump’ (hardly an unusual phenomenon).

Because of the unpublic nature of this deal, we’re limited with the details we can share, such as the cost, architects, and developers, but here are a few details for those interested in these 2 buildings.

Facts About Trump Towers Pune, India:

  • 2 buildings sitting at 87.93m high
  • 24 floors, all residential
  • The buildings were opened in 2016
  • Located in Pune, India

Trump Tower Manila, Philippines

Trump Tower Manila, or Trump Tower at Century City, is a residential building, and currently stands as the second-tallest building in the Philippines. Reservations for the rooms began in 2011, 6 years before the tower’s construction was completed!

Facts About Trump Towers Manila, Philippines:

  • The skyscraper sits at 280m/918.64 feet high
  • 57 floors of residential accommodation occupy the building
  • Opened in November of 2017
  • Cost $150 million
  • The architect/developer for this building was Broadway Malyan
  • Located in Metro Manila, Philippines

Trump World Tower, NYC

President Trump, and his partners, purchased a building in 1997. In ‘98  they demolished it and started to build Trump World Tower in ‘99. The skyscraper was completed 2 years later, in 2001.

Upon completion, it’s known that Trump purchased unused air rights from over 7 neighbouring low-rise properties.

Facts About Trump World Tower, NYC:

  • 262m/861 feet in height
  • 72 floors, all residential condominium
  • Opened in 2001
  • Cost $300 million
  • The architect/developer behind this build was Costas Kondylis & Partners LLP Architects, who also helped with the Trump Tower White Plains build
  • Located in Manhattan, New York City, United States

Trump Tower Punta del Este, Uruguay (not yet built)

A new tower to add to President Trump’s collection, the Trump Tower Punta del Este is currently under construction. Plans for the building were announced in 2012, with construction beginning in 2014. Under the watchful eye of Trump’s son, Eric Trump, the building is set to be completed in early 2020.

Facts about Trump Tower Punta del Este, Uruguay:

  • The building is estimated to stand at 85m/279 feet when completed
  • 26 floors have been announced, all for residential housing
  • It’s estimated to open at some point in 2020
  • Cost $120 million
  • Architect/developer working on the project is Dujovne-Hirsch & Associates
  • Located in Punta del Este, Uruguay

Trump International Hotel and Tower, Chicago

The Trump International Hotel and Tower sits proudly by the Chicago River. The skyscraper was, at first, announced as the tallest building in the world but due to the 9/11 attacks a few months later, Trump redesigned the building and it’s now the world’s fourth tallest.

Facts About Trump International Hotel and Tower, Chicago:

  • Sits at a whopping 423.20m high
  • Has 98 floors used for retail, parking, condominiums and a hotel
  • Opened its doors in 2009
  • Cost $847 million
  • Architect/developer of the build was Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
  • Located in Chicago, Illinois

Trump International Hotel and Tower, NYC

Similar to the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago, the NYC version also houses a combination of hotel rooms and residential housing. This skyscraper is far shorter and doesn’t have the retail space of its Chicago sibling, but it still sits proudly between Broadway and Central Park – one of the most sort after areas in New York.

Facts About Trump International Hotel and Tower, NYC:

  • 177.62m tall
  • Consists of 44 floors, used for residential condominium and a hotel
  • Originally opened in 1971, renovated by Trump, and reopened in 1997
  • Cost $230 million (renovation costs)
  • The original architect was Thomas E. Stanley, it was then renovated by Philip Johnson and Costas Kondylis
  • Located in Manhattan, New York City, United States

Trump Ocean Club International Hotel and Tower, Panama

This a bit of a juicy one… we’re sure Donald Trump was thrilled with the outcome of this building!

The Trump Organization ran this hotel and residential condominium under the name “Trump Ocean Club International Hotel and Tower” for 7 years, until March 2018. At this time, a Cypriot businessman, Orestes Fintiklis, bought a majority stake in the tower and legally removed The Trump Organization from the tower. In 2015, Orestes had the name Trump removed from the building and, as recently as March 2018, had the Trump name removed from the hotel. The hotel was then renamed The Bahia Grand Panama.

Eek, bit of a blow for Donald Trump!

Facts About The Bahia Grand Panama:

  • Sits 293m high
  • 70 floors used for a hotel and residential housing
  • Opened in 2011
  • Cost $400 million
  • Architect/developer for the project was Arias Serna Saravia
  • Located in Panama City, Panama

Trump International Hotel and Tower, Vancouver

Another hotel and residential housing tower by The Trump Organization, construction on this beautiful tower in Canada started in 2012. Plans for the building began in 2009, however the project was temporarily cancelled in February 2009, with developers confirming the project would proceed in August of the same year.

Facts About The Trump International Hotel and Tower, Vancouver:

Trump Projects that Were Cancelled, Never Completed, or Never Started

Trump Towers, Rio

If this project was completed, Donald Trump would have been the proud owner of the “largest office complex in Brazil” award. Unfortunately the Trump Towers Rio was proposed and announced in 2012, with a five-tower office and mixed-use complex, but due to a lengthy wait in government approval, the project never started.

It’s been said that The Trump Organization is no longer involved with the project and a date for starting work on the site has not been confirmed.

Facts About So-Close-Yet-So-Far Trump Tower, Rio:

  • The 5 towers would have sat at approx. 150m high
  • 38 floors were proposed in all 5 towers
  • 2 of the buildings were expected to open in 2016, ahead of the city’s summer Olympics
  • Cost $2.5 billion
  • Architect/developer for this project was announced as Aflalo & Gasperini Arquitetos
  • (Would have been) located in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Trump Tower, Tampa

This is a pretty simple one. Sadly, Trump Tower Tampa, which would have been visible from miles around, never commenced construction due to an economic collapse of the real estate market.

Facts About So-Close-Yet-So-Far Trump Tower, Tampa:

  • The tower would have been around 183m in height
  • 52 floors, all for residential condominium
  • Would have opened sometime in, or after, 2007
  • Cost $225 million
  • Architect/developer for this project was announced as Smith Barnes Santiesteban Architecture
  • (Would have been) located in Tampa, Florida, United States

Trump Tower, Moscow

Lastly, we have Trump Tower, Moscow. Officially, this project was never even a “thing”. In fact, just a few months ago, in November 2018, Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about the Trump Tower Moscow.

Cohen lies:

  • The building would have been the tallest in Europe, at 1,516 feet
  • It would have consisted of 100 floors for residential housing and a hotel
  • Projected cost was more than $300 million
  • (Would have been) located in Moscow, Russia

Approved Document Q: What You Need to Know and How It Affects You

approved document QWhen ensuring homes and dwellings are safe and secure, many factors need to be considered. This is why building regulations exist: to maintain minimum standards within the industry.

Approved Document Q lays out a set of building regulations regarding the security of new residential dwellings. They are intended to minimise access potential for casual or opportunistic intruders.

The standards set out in this document came into force in October 2015, and apply to any new building that is going to be used as a residential dwelling. This includes buildings that have previously been used as something else and have been converted into residential properties, such as warehouses, pubs or barns.

Approved Document Q and Doors

The regulations do not only apply to doors. Approved Document Q covers anything that could provide an easy access point to a building, like low-level windows.

In this post, we’ll explain how this approved document may affect you and what features you can expect from a door that meets the standards it enforces.

What Does Part Q Compliant Mean?

Approved Document Q refers to the security of homes and dwellings.

It is intended to make sure that all entry points to a property, i.e. windows and doors, provide a certain level of security against casual intruders.

Any door that is marketed as compliant with Approved Document Part Q will have been tested to ensure it meets the requirements of PAS 24. This means it was able to withstand a cylinder and hardware attack test in line with European Standards.

If a door or window is compliant with Approved Document Q, you can be certain it will be secure enough to meet these legal requirements.

How Do Part Q Building Regulations Affect Me?

Anyone who installs a door or window in a new residential property needs to make sure that the product in question meets these regulations.

Note however that Part Q building regulations only apply to new residential dwellings. You are under no legal obligation to meet these standards when replacing doors in older, pre-existing buildings.

That said, if you are converting an existing premise into a residential dwelling for the first time, the regulations will apply. Whether you’re a large scale developer, a tradesperson, or simply converting a building independently, you are obliged to pick a door that is compliant with the standards set out in this document.

It is also important to note that these regulations cover any door or window that could provide an entrance point to a dwelling; not just the main access point or front door.

Any external door that can provide access to the building is covered. This includes garage doors. If the garage is connected to the property and has an internal access point to the house, the door installed within will need to be Part Q compliant.

For apartments or multi-occupancy buildings, this access point designation also covers any door intended to provide privacy or security to the occupant. If a door connects a communal area with a private one, then it must meet these standards.

You should also consider that this legislation applies to any easily accessible window, too. This includes all basement or ground floor windows.

This legislation may seem to apply directly to renovators and builders, but if you are purchasing a new residential property you should still enquire whether all applicable doors and windows meet this standard, since the answer may affect your insurance.

Though it is only a legal requirement for new residential properties, it is recommended that you seek to meet these standards when installing or replacing external doors. This way, you can be reassured that your door can withstand a casual attack.

What Are the Common Features of an Approved Document Q Door?

Approved Document Q sets rigid restrictions around the keeps, locks and wood that can be used in the construction of external doors for dwellings.

These features include:

  • A higher security multipoint lock that meets the standards PAS 24.
  • A viewing window in main entrance doors, or else access to a window that shows any potential entrants to the house.
  • A door chain or limiter.
  • A letter box that is no bigger than 260mmx40mm.
  • A flap across the letter box that prevents it being used to remove or retrieve keys.
  • Hinge bolts on any hinges accessible from outside the building.
  • Any glazing in or around the door must be a minimum class P1A.

Where Can I Buy Approved Document Q Doors?

Aspire Doors were proud to offer the first off-the-shelf Part Q compliant solid oak doors in the UK.

Both of our solid oak Icon Part Q doors, available in bi-fold or French styles, are Part Q compliant. View our Part Q compliant French doors here, and our Part Q compliant bi-fold doors here.

ICON PART Q COMPLIANT SOLID OAK FRENCH

Icon Part Q Compliant Solid Oak French Door

Oak is a naturally strong wood, providing a super secure frame for these doors, while the construction techniques we use maximise the stability of the base material.

All the panels in these doors are double-glazed, laminated, and fully compliant. This means that they will resist deliberate damage, and even if they shatter they should stand firm.

Finally, these doors feature PAS 24 compliant multi-point locks. These particular locks have hooked points for maximum security protection.

All Aspire doors are thermally efficient and EU compliant, as well.

We hope this post has given you a better understanding of Approved Document Q. Complying with this is a legal requirement in any new dwelling but you should consider it a moral one as well. Any house designed to meet these requirements will provide a level of security and safety that homeowners should receive as standard.

Here at Aspire Doors, we ensure that all our doors consider security as a standard feature, and you can trust our external doors will deliver peace of mind and protection, too.

Travel Posters for Must-See Fictional Destinations

Travel posters just aren’t what they used to be, so it makes sense that vintage versions are now staples of interior design. Pre-internet, people would commission artists to create alluring portraits of the world’s go-to destinations, but this was during the golden age of travel. Far-flung countries were suddenly just a short flight away and everyone was (understandably) desperate to see something new.

The popularity of vintage travel posters inspired us to create some of our own – but not for retro holiday destinations – for famous, fictional locations featured in TV and film. Fancy visiting a galaxy far, far away? And maybe doing a spot of time travelling too..?

The Shire

vintage travel poster for The Shire, Lord of the Rings

If you’re not familiar with Tolkien’s world, then you might not know that a lot of crazy things happen in Middle-Earth, and that the famous Shire is the safe haven of the peaceful humanoid race known as Hobbits. Unless, that is, your name is Baggins – but let’s leave that tale for another time…

Of all the fictional places depicted on film and TV, The Shire is arguably up there amongst the most inviting. The Hobbits live in cosy cottage-style homes dug into the ground, surrounded by lush, green countryside. Why not make a visit to the Shire your next great adventure?

Gilead

vintage travel poster for Gilead, The Handmaid's Tale

Gilead is the regime that seized the United States of America in the classic novel and now hit TV series, The Handmaid’s Tale.

Depicting a USA that has been taken over by an extremist Christian patriarchal regime, the story follows Offred, a handmaid, as she navigates the new Republic of Gilead. This travel poster may depict Gilead as a quaint and pleasant place, but there’s a lot more happening than meets the eye…

Metropolis

Vintage travel poster for Metropolis, Superman

Fancy flying over to Metropolis?

Metropolis is the urban playground in which Superman’s escapades unfold. Not the first, but widely seen as the “original” superhero, Superman popularised the entire genre. He’s still a key figure on the superhero scene today; fighting crime, and raking in billions at the box office while he’s at it.

Working as a journalist for The Daily Planet by day, Superman can be called on at any time to fight crime. His place of work is the main subject of this travel poster, and a must-see if you decide to add Metropolis to your bucket list.

Mos Eisley

Vintage travel poster for Mos Eisley, Star Wars

You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy, or so says Obi-Wan Kenobi to Luke Skywalker upon arrival at sketchy spaceport, Mos Eisley. It’s on the planet of Tatooine (and definitely not in Tunisia…)

Mos Eisley’s spaceport is a lawless place known to attract space villains. Want to travel there? You’ll have to have your wits about you (and learning some Jedi mind tricks couldn’t hurt, either).

Hogwarts

Vintage travel poster for Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

A visit to Hogwarts isn’t for everyone. Muggles (those of us without magical blood) won’t be treated to the spectacle that is the sprawling Scottish castle housing Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry. Thanks to a powerful disguising charm, we’ll simply see a pile of ruins.

However, underneath this charm Hogwarts is there for all the wizarding community to see. Located somewhere in Scotland, this school would 100% fail every OFSTED inspection by a country mile, but if you’re a young witch or wizard, your time at Hogwarts will be the best years of your life – after you’ve fought three-headed dogs, been attacked by a troll, chased by giant spiders, and joined a secret army to fight the world’s most evil wizard in the courtyard of your school, of course.

Still, the scenery is just beautiful…

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Storing Internal Doors

There may be times when you will need to store your internal doors for short periods. Old doors may need storing while you renovate or redecorate your house. New doors may be ordered in advance of installation, so you can ensure they are available as soon as you need them.

In either situation, you will need to store them carefully. This will prolong their life and keep them looking their best.

To help you get the best out of your doors, we have put together some advice on the correct way to store them.

Why Do I Need to Store My Doors Correctly?

When storing wooden doors, it’s important to keep them in the right conditions. If they are left in the wrong place, or left uncovered, they may become chipped or stained. If kept at the wrong temperature or humidity level, they could become warped. At best, these occurrences will diminish the visual quality of your doors and shorten their life span. At worst, they’ll become too warped or damaged to fit inside their frames, rendering them unfit for purpose.

How to Store Your Internal Doors

Store doors flat but off the ground

Doors are heavy and designed to distribute their weight evenly when hung. If you leave them leaning or upright on the floor for a prolonged period (more than a day) they will start to bend.

Keep your doors covered

Preferably in their original packaging, but otherwise with a light, soft cloth or sheet. This will help stop them getting dusty or marked.

Store doors away from direct sunlight

Any exposure to UV light could bleach the doors, and leave an uneven colour on their surface.

Keep doors somewhere dry

This means away from fresh plaster, rendering, or concrete. Unless completely dry, all these substances can add moisture to the air, which may affect the doors.

Do not place your doors near a heat source

Placing them near a radiator or other source of heat may cause the doors to ‘sweat’. This draws moisture out of the wood which can weaken it or make it bow.

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Decorating Your Rental House or Flat: What You Can and Can’t Do

It’s a fact of modern life that renting is on the increase. Property prices keep creeping up, as does the cost of living. For most people, saving a deposit for even a small starter home feels like a fantasy.

But living in a borrowed house is not always ideal; especially when rented house décor can be painfully bland. Cream walls, beige carpet – many rental properties can feel like a symphony of magnolia. This isn’t just disappointing for people who can’t even dream of owning their own home – it’s depressing.

Luckily, there are some steps you can take to stamp your individuality on a property you don’t quite own.

Can I decorate a rented house?

This question can only be answered by your landlord.

They are not legally obliged to let you decorate and some tenancy agreements will forbid it outright. You may feel like you are doing your landlord a favour by brightening their boring magnolia with a splash of colour, but that isn’t always the case.

Magnolia is neutral – it appeals to (or at least, doesn’t offend) most people. Any bold colour statements or decor could scare off future tenants.

Ask your landlord – they may see your redecorating as a positive thing since it saves them having to do it themselves. If they seem reluctant at first, you can always suggest a temporary change. Offer to return the house to a neutral colour before your departure and incentivise your landlord with a property that is refreshed and ready to rent as soon as you leave.

If your landlord does agree, make sure you get that permission in writing. If you don’t, your deposit could be in jeopardy if they change their mind at a later date – and they may even call it a breach of contract.

Decorating can also be more extensive than just changing the colour of the walls. You may want to install fitted furniture, shelving or even change the internal doors – but don’t rush into making drastic changes. Anything that will make a lasting impact on the property, including screws in the plasterwork, will still need to be approved by your landlord. It can also be costly, so think carefully about what you want to do – will you be living in the property long enough to enjoy the full benefits of your investments?

If you do decide a personalised property will be reward enough, then read on for some simple ideas to decorate rental homes without incurring too much cost.

How to decorate your rented house

Decorating a rented house doesn’t have to mean making grand or permanent changes. Colours, textures and even light can be introduced in subtle ways that can still transform a bland rented space into a warm, happy home.

Below are some rented house hacks to decorate your rental property and help you live in a place you are proud to call home.

Ways to decorate a rented kitchen

Moroccan 15cm x 15cm PVC Peel & Stick Mosaic Tile

PVC Peel & Stick Mosaic Tile from Wayfair

Removable ‘peel and stick’ tile paper will allow you to add colour and texture to your kitchen without the commitment of ceramic tiles.

  • Create your own display spaces

With a little careful arranging, open shelving allows you to turn your kitchenware into decoration. If this option doesn’t currently exist in your kitchen, you can always remove the doors of one or two cupboards to turn their interiors into a display.

windowsill herb garden

For decoration that is as functional as it is visually pleasing, pot a couple of herbs and place them on a sun-drenched windowsill. Thyme, rosemary, mint and parsley grow well indoors and are inexpensive in garden centres. The positive effects of having plants inside will be further enhanced when you are able to scatter fresh herbs into every meal.

Ways to decorate a rented bedroom

  • Invest in a new floor covering

A large rug can change the look of any room. It’s also cheaper than a carpet, with the added benefit that you can take it with you when you leave.

gallery wall

Turn your own friends and family into a feature wall using this tutorial. Just make sure to talk to your landlord before putting any picture hooks into the plasterwork, as this may count as damage.

  • Put a decal on the wall

These large, transferable stickers are easy to find online and can be used to add a simple silhouette or text-based design to your walls.

Ways to decorate a rented bathroom

The Harpster Home shows how doubling up your shower curtains can create an impact. Something this attention grabbing will detract from old tiles or stained grouting, as well as actively hide a substantial portion of it.

  • Bold beautiful towels

Another small change that makes a massive difference. Stack towels in bright, complementary colours and create a focal point for your bathroom that you completely control.

Transform plain wooden storage crates into unique bathroom furniture using this tutorial from Home Depot. The open fronts will allow you to turn each space in to an artful display as well.

Ways to decorate a rented lounge

  • Use throws and cushions

sofa with throw

It might seem an obvious suggestion, but it’s easy to underestimate the impact that a bright, bold throw can have on an old sofa or chair. As well as covering any worn patches, the block of colour will make a beautiful contrast to magnolia walls.

Customise a plain bookcase using paint, self-adhesive coverings, and even wooden trim. Artfully arrange vases and photos among the books and you’ll have feature furniture that will lift the whole room.

  • DIY Wall Art

You may not be able to commit to a whole wall, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use wallpaper at all. Buy two or three blank canvases from an art supply shop and cover them instead. A lot of wallpaper brands offer self-adhesive paper these days, or you can use a can of spray mount for a lasting fix.

Frequently Asked Questions about Decorating Rented Properties

How often should my landlord redecorate?

There is no legal requirement for landlords to redecorate their properties. Good practice suggests that it is done every 3-5 years but no one actually enforces that. If you are concerned that your rented home is looking worn, you should definitely approach your landlord with a polite request for redecoration. Just remember that it is up to them to make the final decision.

Can I paint my rented property?

This is entirely up to your landlord. Your tenancy agreement may have specific terms that state you can or can’t redecorate, so consult that first. Of course, even if the document forbids it, you can still choose to put the proposition to your landlord. If they are initially hesitant to hear you out, offer to retain a neutral colour scheme or to repaint in magnolia before you leave, and they may be persuaded.

Can I wallpaper a rented house?

If you wish to use wallpaper, ensure you make this clear to your landlord. This can be a contentious issue. Despite claims made by certain manufacturers, removing wallpaper is rarely an easy job. The walls may even need to be resurfaced before they can be repainted.

What’s the best way to hang pictures in my rented house?

Bluetack, tape and Velcro can all damage plasterwork and your tenancy agreement may have a clause forbidding their use. This is another thing to ask your landlord, who may agree that if you promise to rectify any damage you cause before moving out. If they say yes, try using ‘damage free hanging strips’, which use a removable adhesive to attach a hook to the wall. Just be sure to check the ‘load’ weight before use.

Hopefully this post will have demonstrated that life in a rented house does not have to mean living in shades of beige. Just remember to keep your touches superficial and easy to rectify, and you can confidently conduct your own rented house makeover!

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Guide to Trimming Hollow Core Doors

Do you know what type of doors you have in your house? Most likely, they’re hollow core doors, since these are the most popular internal doors in use today. Even so, the phrase ‘hollow core door’ may not mean anything to you.

Read on for more information on how hollow core doors are structured, the pros and cons of hollow core doors, as well as some tips on how to resize hollow core doors.

What is a Hollow Core Door?

Wooden doors come in three types: solid wood, solid core and hollow core.

As you would expect, solid wood doors are made from thick slabs of wood. They are strong, secure and are good insulators. They are also rather costly which makes them a natural choice for external doors.

Solid core doors have a thin veneer of high-quality natural wood fixed over a core of engineered wood, such as HDF.

Hollow core doors, contrary to their name, do not have an empty void at their centre. Instead they have a thick solid frame, and a core made of plastic or cardboard. This core is usually constructed in a hexagonal ‘honeycomb’ pattern; one of the strongest structures found in nature. This makes the doors more solid, robust, and soundproof.

Hollow core doors are lightweight, easy to fit and inexpensive, which makes them a popular choice for internal doors. They are also very versatile. This honeycomb core can be contained within a variety of veneers that can be matched to any decor. They can even be made to resemble far more expensive solid wood doors.

Why Might You Need to Trim Your Hollow Core Door?

There are a number of reasons you might want to trim a door. You might have an awkward door frame in a non-standard size that makes purchasing a new door incredibly difficult. You could estimate the size or even misread your tape measure. Mistakes do happen, and can mean that when your new door turns up it’s an inch too tall for its frame.

You may even need to resize old doors. After installing a plush new carpet with a deep shaggy pile, you’ll probably notice your doors start to catch. The thicker the carpet, the more clearance it will need, but a new door might seem a daunting expense after replacing flooring.

Could it be quicker, cheaper and easier just to trim the existing doors instead?

Can Hollow Core Doors Be Trimmed?

The short answer is yes, hollow core doors can be trimmed.

Hollow core doors have a strong block outer frame, which leaves a couple of inches of solid wood at the top, bottom and sides of the door. When it comes to allowing for alterations, this frame makes them a lot more forgiving than you might think. This counts for the sides as well as the bottom and top of the door.

This answer does come with a ‘but’ though.

While it is possible to trim hollow core doors, it isn’t always advisable. Removing an inch or two to allow for a thicker carpet or misread tape measure is fine, but cut off too much and you may notice that the bottom of the door is no longer solid.

When this happens, the structural integrity of the door can be compromised. This can be fixed by reinserting a block from the bottom of the door, inside the veneer using glue. Though this may sound simple, it can be fiddly. There is a lot of potential for it to go wrong, leaving you with a door that is even more unsuitable than it was before. In general, it’s advisable to avoid going to these extremes.

That said, if all you’re looking to lose is a thin layer from your door, then read on for a quick guide on how to trim hollow core doors.

How to Trim a Hollow Core Door

What you need to trim hollow core doors:

  • Sheets or paper to protect the surface of the door
  • Tape measure
  • Masking tape
  • Guide wood
  • Utility knife
  • Jigsaw or circular saw

Instructions:

  1. Measure up

Measure how much you want to shave off the door. Make sure you measure the door frame in three places: both sides as well as the middle. This will give you the truest possible reading and minimises the risk of mistakes.

Remember, you only have about an inch and a half available to lose from the average hollow core door. If you need to take off more than that, think about replacing the door instead.

  1. Mark the door

Start by drawing a pencil line to show where you’re cutting, then grab a knife and a guide and score the surface of the door. This helps stop the door splintering when you start sawing it.

  1. Mask the door

Wrapping masking tape around the bottom of the door will also help prevent chipping or splintering. Another tip is to wrap the foot of a circular saw with tape, as this can protect the surface of the door from damage as well.

  1. Cut the door

The big moment. Use a guide and keep the saw steady to ensure a clean straight edge and minimise the risk to the door.

  1. Sand the door

Use a fine grit paper to smooth off any rough patches on the cut edge. A hand sander will obviously make this job quicker and easier, but try to be gentle and restrained, or you may wind up losing more height on the door.

  1. Finish

Obviously, what you do here will depend on the door’s appearance. You may need to repaint the bottom of the door, or simply stain and varnish it. Whichever way you need to finish your doors, ensure they are completely dry before you re-hang them. This will benefit your door and your carpet.

Trimming hollow core doors is possible, but not always easy. It can take a seasoned DIYer, particularly if you’re trying to lose a lot of width or height, and it can be intimidating if you don’t have the right tools. Hopefully this post will have helped you decide if it’s a task you are ready to tackle.

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Different Door Styles, Finishes and Compositions Explained

There are many variables to doors. From the structure, to the style, to the finish, there are options at every stage of construction. Cost, appearance and customisation will all play a role in deciding which doors you need. This post will give you some guidance on the technical terms involved so that you can make an informed (and correct!) choice.

What Are the Different Cores and What Do They Mean?

The biggest difference between doors is the kind of core they have. This will affect how effective the door is at soundproofing and insulating, and has the biggest cost impact.

What is a Solid Core Door?

A solid core door has a thin veneer of higher quality wood, glued to a thicker piece of composite wood such as HDF or particle-board.

They are a good middle ground between solid doors and hollow core doors, so they share many of the benefits of the other two door types. They insulate quite well and provide good soundproofing qualities. The interior composite wood can also be treated to make it flame-retardant – most fire doors will be solid core.

What is a Solid Door?

A solid door is formed from solid slabs of wood, with no veneer or separate core. The type of wood used can differ, from hardwoods such as oak, to softwoods like pine.

Solid doors are the most robust type of door you can buy. Strong, secure and effective heat and sound insulators, solid doors are most often used as external doors. They should last a long time, even against the onslaught of the weather. Their main drawback, of course, is cost. They are very expensive in comparison to other door types, meaning they are impractical to use as internal doors.

What is a Hollow Core Door?

A hollow core door has a thin veneer of higher quality wood, just like a solid core door. They do have a core, but that core is made of paper or plastic (usually in a honeycomb pattern).

Hollow core doors are the most common choice for internal doors. They are lightweight, easy to fit, and affordable. This is usually the determining factor when you consider how many doors the average 3-bed house might need. However, this type of door can feel quite flimsy, and will not do a great job at insulating or soundproofing.

What Are the Different Styles of Internal Door?

Visually, the core of a door doesn’t make much difference. All doors can come in a range of styles. Here are a few of the most common styles you could choose between.

What is a Flush Door?

A flush door has a completely flat surface. Commonly, this style of door is used internally and has a hollow core. They are often painted, rather than stained, and have a contemporary, minimalist feel. For this reason, they are popular in modern properties and may look out of place amongst more traditional décors.

What is a Panel Door?

Panel doors are so-called because they have ‘panel’ shapes indented into their surface. These doors can be highly versatile, from the number of panels featured to the materials used in them. The panels do not have to be rigidly square shaped, and can feature glass panels or arch-shapes for more individuality.

This variety means you can find a panel door to match most interiors. From modern, minimalist to classic cottage, you will find a panel door that suits.

What is a Ledge Door?

A ledge door (also known as a cottage door) is made from full height vertical boards which are braced with horizontal rails across the length of the top, bottom and centre of the door. A good quality wood is often used to make these, and then simply stained or varnished to show it to its best advantage.

These doors are not particularly versatile but are beautifully rustic and make a perfect feature as part of a traditional country cottage décor.

What Are the Different Internal Door Finishes?

Once you’ve chosen the core of your door, and the style of your door, your final decision is what finish you want. There are three main finishes you can choose from, depending on how much work you personally want to put into perfecting your door.

Unfinished

An unfinished door will arrive sanded but otherwise untreated. It offers the most flexibility, as you can chose which products to use at every step of the painting process.

Primed

A primed door will have also been treated with an undercoat to minimise the work you have to do at home. They will be ready to paint from arrival and are a good middle ground if you want a door in a specific colour, with as little hassle as possible.

Find out how to paint a door here.

Pre-Finished, Finished, or Fully Finished

A finished door arrives ready to hang. It will have been treated with a primer undercoat, then painted, stained or varnished, depending on the look. It is the most expensive finish and is the least customisable, but it is easy and hassle-free.

Learn more about the differences between prefinished and unfinished doors here.

With so many variables involved, choosing a new door can be daunting. Now you should be better placed to make an informed decision to find doors that are as effective as they are attractive in your home.