Ask Danny Williams, who insists that Gerda Doors are not composite doors, even if they would appear to be…
During the run up to this year’s FIT Show, we enjoyed a conversation with Danny Williams, MD of trade fabricator, commercial installer Pioneer Trading; and now, official distributor of Gerda residential doors, from Poland. Never a dull occasion, when discussing Gerda Doors Danny made the statement that ‘Gerda Doors are not composite doors.” What are they then, we wondered….?
The definition of ‘composite’ is: ‘made up of distinct parts or elements’. And every dictionary checked, agreed. “OK,” responded Danny, “I agree that Gerda doors do fit that broader definition. But Gerda Doors do not fit the popular definition of a ‘composite’ door, because that generally suggests GRP or PVC skins, with a timber or PU core. And little variation from that. And I have sold and installed enough of them to know,” rounded Danny. We await mail from ‘conventional’ composite door manufacturers…
But Danny’s rationale is based upon the fact that Gerda’s ‘composite’ is quite different than anything else out there, and therefore should not be confused with other composite doors. And on that basis, perhaps we can agree with Danny. 60mm to 88mm front-to-back dimensions are offered, with thermal efficiency across the range between 0.79 W/m2K to 1.3 W/m2K. Three chamber reinforced aluminium internal construction insulated with PU cores, located into reinforced aluminium outer frames, is utilised across all doors. The emphasis on security that is standard across all Gerda products, is rarely seen in any specification on composite residential doors currently available in the UK. Multi point locks, Teflon coated strike plates and anti-prise pins are standard throughout, with the highest specification hardware provided by Gerda’s own hardware, though with Fuhr figuring widely.
But who and what are Gerda? A major residential door manufacturer, according to its website Gerda produces ‘199 designs in 8887 configurations’, with Pioneer curating a UK/Ireland-focused selection of four ranges, offering quite distinct price and specifications. Styles have been chosen to include contemporary to some traditional styles produced specifically for British and Irish tastes.
The hardware specification is interesting, with Gerda’s background in locks – including padlocks and bicycle locks – coming to the fore. And although Gerda is a new brand in the home improvement sector in these isles, throughout mainland Europe Gerda is a household name.
Pioneer is also distributing Gerda’s range of hardware and locks as an OEM product. And that includes Gerda’s Tedee smart lock: “Tedee is the first smart lock to impress me,” explains Danny. “So many so-called smart locks are clunky, ugly or both. Tedee is beautifully styled and the smallest smartphone controlled doorlock in the world. It will lock and unlock multipoint locks and does not rely upon a handle being thrown to do so. There is resistance from homeowners to smart security, because people don’t see any advantage in replacing ultra-reliable keys with smartphones with potential glitches that we all experience with our phones now and then.
“For there to be significant take up of smart security, there must be clear benefits. Tedee can be set to touch-free opening and closing, of the door, which I have not seen with any other smart lock. That is a real, game changing, tangible benefit. Approaching the door for it to swing open and then close behind you, has to be seen. Brilliant.”
Gerda Doors are already available through a growing network of mostly retail installers, for which they are usually added as a premium range that sits above a conventional range of composite doors, thus qualifying Danny’s ‘not a composite door’ contention: “Gerda Doors are surprisingly affordable, to the point where most homeowners will find the extra money when they compare the specification of standard doors against Gerda. And this works especially well in showrooms where the sheer feel and heft of a Gerda door – and the quality – are so tangible,” says Danny. “We have a lot of good areas for which we are looking for Approved Installers / partners, there are some great opportunities.”