What to look for in a composite door to know that it’s legitimate

Vista’s head social media co-ordinator Lauren Barnes takes a look at what you should be looking for when buying a composited door. 

Lauren Barnes head of social media.

When choosing a new door, it is not only the appearance you should consider. It’s important to ask yourself exactly what door the installers are offering, and is it fit for purpose?

There are a lot of choices out there, but how can you tell if you are making the right one?

Like with anything you buy, there are standards that have to be met. All door manufactures should be following industry guidelines in the manufacturing of their products.

Does the composite door have a CE Marking?

The first thing is very easy to look up and that is CE Marking or as it is now going to be called UKCA Marking the new UK version. Everything we buy, from calculators to children’s toys, have a CE Marking stamp/logo on it. Doors and windows are no exception.

CE Marking is a visible sign that the product complies with all relevant product supply law. Whilst it is a European standard we in the UK are in the process of moving over to UKCA Marking which will be our post Brexit standard.

Here at XtremeDoor we put a visible sticker on each door frame to show that we are compliant. If there is no visible sticker on your purchase, or if the installer cannot supply a link to prove their door supplier is compliant, ask yourself why and is this a wise purchase?

Does the composite door conform to PAS24:2016?

The second standard a door manufacturer has to conform to is called PAS24:2016.

All doors and windows, have to be tested to this standard at an independent testing company certified by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS).

The testing and certification process also ensures that the manufacturing process is consistently meeting standards.

PAS 24 is a minimum standard, so it doesn’t have a grading system. A window or door either passes and receives accreditation or it doesn’t.

It was developed with collaboration from organizations such as:

  • Association of Chief Police Officers
  • Association of Composite Door Manufacturers
  • Door and Hardware Federation
  • Glass and Glazing Federation
  • Master Locksmiths Association and others.

What is PAS24:2016?

The tests cover two key areas of the door’s performance.

Security: How long does the door or windows keep intruders out of the property?

Weather resistance: Does the door or window keep the cold and rain out and reduce draughts?

The security tests are done by both mechanical and manual means. They cover a wide range of simulations that replicate someone trying to force their way into the property. From trying to prise the door from its frame, hitting it repeatedly with force and an engineer trying to break in via the door lock and cutting through the door.

The second part of the tests cover the door’s ability to resist weather challenges. The door is placed in a pressure chamber where varying levels of air pressure are exerted on the opening sash to simulate wind pressure pressing against the door. The door is then tested for water tightness by spraying the exterior face with a jet of water and checking for leakages.

Every door manufacturer should be able to produce either a certificate or report to show they have had their doors tested to this minimum standard. If they can’t, then maybe it is time to consider a more credible alternative.

Composite doors should have the Secure By Design accreditation

Another standard a quality door manufacturer should also be able to achieve is the Secure By Design badge.

Secured by Design (SBD) is the official police security initiative that is owned by the UK Police Service with the specific aim to reduce crime and help people live more safely. They seek to improve the physical security of buildings using products, such as doors, windows, locks, and walling systems that meet SBD security requirements.

They do this by working closely with builders, developers, local authorities, and registered housing associations to incorporate the police crime prevention standards from initial concept and design through to construction and completion. Police forces throughout the UK have specially trained Designing Out Crime Officers (DOCOs) who offer police designing out crime and Secured by Design advice free of charge.

Not everyone will need this additional standard on their door as it requires the door to have laminate glass on the exterior face which does restrict some glass designs. However, it is comforting to know everything else on the door, such as the locks and hardware, comply to this Police approve standard.

A company fitting your new door or windows should be able to point you to the website that shows their supply chain does meet 2 of these 3 accreditations.

Fully accredited composite doors for trade customers

Our brand XtremeDoor is manufactured at our Vista Panels Ltd factory and the links to those certificates and websites are below. In particular all SBD accredited companies will be on the Secure by Design website under members, our link is below.

Accreditations | Accredited door supplier | Vista Panels Ltd

List of Member Companies (Alphabetical) (securedbydesign.com)

If you are going to buy a new composite door, make sure it is legitimately made. Don’t settle for anything less. Doors that do not meet this standard will not offer the same security or weather resistance to those that have.