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Modern Security & 11 More Home Security Tips

According to Africa Check, an average of 625 houses are burgled per day in South Africa. These stats are a little daunting, so it is paramount that you take steps to protect your home; whether they’re simple or sophisticated.

It is also a great idea to have home insurance, if you don’t already, so you can claim back anything broken or stolen in the event of your house being broken into. As these helpful tips will show too, utilising a lot of home security improvements can significantly lower any home insurance or contents insurance costs too. Even though you have insurance there are loads of other things you can do to prevent burglars from entering your home in the first place.

There are plenty of small tips to keep in mind, such as always remembering to lock side or back gates and keeping your key out of locks when not using them, but for the security savvy folk looking for some more proactive tips, we’ve got you covered.

These top tips from Doors Direct can help you secure your home whilst still being covered by home insurance.

 

 1. Always set your house alarm.

If you’re serious about stopping thieves, you might want to install an alarm system. This will provide a deterrent to criminals and could also reduce the cost of your home insurance. An important thing to note is that your alarm needs to be activated to avoid invalidating your insurance policy. 

The most effective way to use an alarm is to set it whenever you leave the house and before you go to bed and to remember that, like any kind of security system, it’s important to remember to regularly change the password. This is especially true of new security systems; remember to update and personalise your system by changing the default code/password.

 

2. Update your door locks.

Did you know that having certain types of approved locks can reduce the cost of your home insurance? That’s because they are safe and more likely to prevent criminals from entering your home. This is a two-birds-one-stone kind of deal, as you get to increase the security of your home whilst lowering any insurance costs.

A lot of burglars have developed methods to bypass the typical old lock systems. Therefore it is really important to make sure you have modern locks; and even better to get insurer approved locks. Be sure to research which locks are insurer approved, after all; when it comes to home security it’s best to be on the safe side.

 

3. Don’t forget the windows!

The same notion applies to your windows - if you can find super secure insurer approved windows, this will most likely bring your insurance premium price down. There’s also the obvious advantage of ensuring that one of the most appealing entrances for a burglar is secured.

Also, I know it’s fairly easy to remember to lock your windows when you leave the house, however, you must lock them at night. Even in the warmer summer nights. Any open window at night provides an easy opportunity for criminals.

 

4. Consider using smart lighting.

Most burglars prefer to take their opportunity when it’s dark. Something like motion sensor lighting will alert you and your neighbours that someone is approaching your property. Sometimes something even as little as this can be enough to put them off, and if nothing else it keeps the rest of the neighbourhood aware of people skulking around at night.

Another option is to buy automated lighting that comes on at intervals when you’re not around. This is particularly handy for when you’re on holiday as it will make it look like you are still at home; a huge point in itself that will be addressed later.  

 

5. Be smart with your keys.

It’s not uncommon for us to leave spare keys around the exterior of the house. After all, we’re all susceptible to forgetting our keys from time to time and leaving a spare key under a doormat or plant pot can help make things easier when others are looking after your house; but it’s vital to remember that these tricks are common knowledge.

Any burglars scoping out your home will most likely check around these common areas, as to break into your house with your own spare key, so if you need to keep a spare key outside be sure to think outside the box. Remember, in many cases where a burglar has entered this way, that is, not via forced entry, insurers won’t payout on a claim.

 

6. Trust the professionals.

No matter how keen you are at DIY, nor how proficient you believe you are in dealing with your own home security, it’s always important to remember a little humility and consult with professionals when it comes to any home security improvements.

It might save you money in the short-term to fix or install a lock yourself, but in the long-run, your craftsmanship may not cut the mustard compared to a hired professional. According to a study by Aviva, over a third of people surveyed admitted that their own attempts resulted in a ’DIY disaster’, with over half of these people having to call in professional help to right these wrongs.

 

7. Invest in additional locks.

It goes without saying that more secure locks on your doors will help keep your home safe, but there are often entrances that are overlooked. Much like windows, giving your conservatory or patio doors a little extra reinforcement can really go a long way.

By utilising the likes of a Patlock not only can you make it harder to burglars to break in via glass doors, but you can also send a clearer message with them. It’s hard to ignore a large, bulky, steering-lock style lock on the other side of a glass door, so showcasing these types of lock can often act as a great deterrent.

 

8. Remember not to neglect the letterbox.

Much like the preventative measures you can take with locks, letterboxes can also be reinforced. Letterbox guards prevent intruders from ‘key fishing’, which is when burglars stick a hook through conventional letterboxes to grab any keys that might be kept by the door.

Of course, by ensuring that your keys are out of reach and not positioned close to the door, you can prevent these attempts completely, yet letterbox guards provide additional benefits. An example of such is helping to lower insurance costs, as they show your insurer that you’re willing to take extra steps for your security.

 

9. Make your doorbell modern.

The digital age is approaching every element of home security, including the likes of doorbells. By installing a digital door viewer you can both see any people approaching your door as well as save recordings, often through the use of apps so that you can ensure your home’s safety even when you’re away.

Seeing these tech boosts to your door may serve as a deterrent in their own right as well, as it sends a clear message to any would-be burglars that you’re serious about keeping your home safe. If the worst happens and you are burgled, then these devices will be incredibly helpful in finding the suspects too.

 

10. Cover yourself when you’re away.

It’s natural to feel a little nervous when leaving your home unguarded for a long period of time; whether it’s a week away on holiday or family calls you away for a month. It’s best to recruit the help of a good friend or family member to hold down the fort while you’re gone, but for those who can’t enlist such a luxury, there are ways to make your home look more lived in and less of a target.

Burglars will see an empty home, especially one that’s been empty for a while, as a very alluring prospect, so be sure to keep everyone in the loop (such as milkmen, newspaper deliveries, etc) as to not inadvertently advertise the fact that no one’s been picking up the mail for a while. If nothing else, asking a neighbour or a friend to pop in from time to time helps to avoid these issues.

 

11. Lock it down with a safe.

Safes may conjure the image of crown jewels or bearer bonds being stored away, but in reality, keeping them around the home for any items of value can be incredibly helpful. Whether it’s storing certain electronics, important documents like passports or just having them around for peace of mind.

Letting your insurance providers know about safes can also help to lower those rates, which is always good, but most importantly if the worst happens and your home is broken into those safes will start paying for themselves. Unlike in the movies, burglars probably aren’t going to see safes as challenges; they’d probably bypass them for easier pickings. Of course, this isn’t great if they take the TV, but if you’re keeping the likes of jewellery away in a safe then hey, it could have been worse.

 

12. Invest in CCTV.

Finally, this step may seem a little extreme, but given how common CCTV is becoming in homes nowadays it’s not too drastic an action to consider. By having professionals install insurer approved monitoring systems you’ll be able to remotely view your home and keep it safe, and should anything begin to go awry these systems will guarantee a police response.

Some may make use of ‘fake CCTV cameras’, opting to use paper tigers as scare tactics, but these superficial solutions fall apart pretty quickly in the event of a brave burglar prowling around the neighbourhood. The best deterrent is a genuine CCTV system, after all.

Best South African Home Design Blogs 2019

 

Are you looking for design ideas to improve your home? We have you covered with this list of the best home design blogs in South Africa. We’ve hand-picked bloggers from a variety of fields including; lifestyle and DIY-focused creators. Get ready to be inspired and take a look at our favourite South African home design blogs.

Home-Dzine

Website: https://www.home-dzine.co.za/

Founded in 2005 by home DIY enthusiast Janice Anderssen, Home-Dzine is a DIY lover's paradise. Full of handy DIY and decor tips and tricks, this blog has pretty much everything you need to up your home improvement and interior game.

 

Little Interiors

Website: www.littleinteriors.co.za

If you’re looking for some inspiration for the little ones, Little Interiors is loaded with inspiration to make any child’s space look great. Started by interior designer Mariëtte Sakelliou in 2011, this blog has a massive range of ideas for anything from nurseries to bedrooms, and how to keep your home child-friendly, so it’s definitely worth a scroll.


Homeology

Website: https://homeology.co.za/

If you’re looking for inspiration to liven up your living space, whether it’s getting the low-down on the latest interior design trends or a clever DIY idea, then you’ll enjoy Homeology. Founded by Germarie Bruwer, her approach is all about making your home a place where you can care for yourself from inside and out. She regularly features contributors, making it full of everything you need to make your house feel more like a home. It also features regular “makers” pieces by local designers, so it’s a fantastic way to keep up with South African decor trends.

 

Iwantthat 

Website: http://www.iwantthat.co.za/

You'll definitely be saying "I want that" after spending time on this decor and lifestyle blog. This was set up by Cape Town-based freelance magazine journalist Vicki Sleet, where you can find her taking her own spin on trends, and even bringing old ones back to life. The Bargain Betty section is full of crafty DIY ideas that can spruce up your living space without breaking the bank, too.

 

Inspired Living 

Website: https://www.inspiredlivingsa.co.za

Another fabulous design, decor and lifestyle blog on our list, Fiona Rossiter’s Inspired Living blog is jam-packed with home renovation advice, DIY projects and interior inspiration. What stands out about this one is their handy mood boards, pairing colour palettes with furniture and accessory ideas, so you’ll always be ready for your next living space refresh, or a trip to Ikea.

 

Becoming You

Website: https://www.becomingyou.co.za/

Kathryn Rossiter created Becoming You as a space for her to offer tips and inspiration, and she’s also passionate about encouraging women with her Women at Work series. When it comes to decor, she has recently gone through a renovation of her own home and shares her journey with room reveals and renovation diaries, so you can take a peek into Kathryn's home design journey for yourself.

 

A Zesty You

Website: http://azestylife.co.za/category/

If you’re looking to add a bit of zest to your home, freelance writer Yolandi’s A Zesty Life blog will help you do just that. She’s keen on DIY projects, and you can get design inspiration from her Home Tours features, where she carefully curates tours of homes that inspire her in her own network, from friends to family.

 

Things Dee Loves

Website: http://www.thingsdeeloves.com/

Things Dee Loves is a place where blogger and scientist Danielle showcases her love for life, crafts and prettiness (in her own words!) Some of her ventures into home design and decor include her courtyard makeover and putting her crafting skills into practice with DIY projects.

 

Ask Ashe 

Website: http://www.askashe.com/

Having a background in interior design and advertising, Nicola Ashe has a strong attention to detail when it comes to all things decor. After starting the blog as a part-time gig back in 2008, Nicola is now a full-time brand consultant and lifestyle blogger, sharing her takes on the world of design and decor regularly. Plenty to get you inspired.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What are the Standard Door Sizes in your Country?

You might be wondering what is the width and height of an average door? In this post, we will show you the standard (most common) size for both internal (bedroom) doors and exterior front doors.

However, something to note is that standard door sizes vary depending on which country you are in. Therefore we will cover South African, American, British, Australian and Indian door sizes.

Another thing to understand about door dimensions is that although each country has a standard door size, they also have many size variations to suit your needs. The premium, bespoke option for a custom built door service is usually available as well.

If you are buying a wooden door then a professional woodworker will normally carry out the installation. As part of the installation, they may adjust the size of your door for the perfect fit using a plainer.

 


 

Want to find out the standard door dimensions in your country? Use the navigation below:

UK | South Africa | USA | India | Australia |

 


 

Standard Door Sizes - South Africa

The standard door size for internal and external doors in South Africa is 813 x 2032 mm.

Other door sizes include:

InchesMetricImperial
30" x 80" 762 x 2032 mm 2' 6" x 6' 8"
32" x 80" 813 x 2032 mm 2' 8" x 6' 8"
35" x 80" 900 x 2032 mm 2' 11" x 6' 8"
47" x 80" 1200 x 2032 mm 3' 11" x 6' 8"

 

 

Standard Door Sizes - UK

The standard door size for internal and external doors in the UK is 762 x 1981mm.

Other door sizes include:

InchesMetricImperial
24” x 78” 610 x 1981 mm 2’ 0" x 6’ 6”
27” x 78” 686 x 1981 mm 2’ 3” x 6’6”
30” x 78” 762 x 1981 mm 2’ 6” x 6’ 6”
33” x 78” 838 x 1981 mm 2’ 9” x 6’ 6”
34” x 78” 864 x 2083 mm 2’10” x 6’10”
36” x 84” 915 x 2143 mm 3’ 0" x 7’ 0"

 

 

Standard Door Sizes - USA

The standard Interior door size in America is 762 x 2032 mm. Whereas the standard exterior door size is 910 x 2030 mm.

Other Door Sizes Include:

InchesMetricImperial
24" x 80" 610 x 2032 mm 2' 0" x 6' 8"
28" x 80" 711 x 2032 mm 2' 4" x 6' 8"
30" x 80" 762 x 2032 mm 2' 6" x 6' 8"
32" x 80" 813 x 2032 mm 2' 8" x 6' 8"
36" x 80" 910 x 2030 mm 2' 11" x 6' 8"
36" x 80" 914 x 2032 mm 2' 11" x 6' 8"

 

 

Standard Door Sizes - India

The standard interior door size in India is 800 x 2045 mm and the standard exterior door size is 1000  x 2045 mm.

Other Door Sizes Include:

InchesMetricImperial
26" x 80" 650 x 2045 mm 2' 1" x 6' 8"
31" x 80" 800 x 2045 mm 2' 7" x 6' 8"
35" x 80" 900 x 2045 mm 2' 11" x 6' 8"
39" x 80" 1000 x 2045 mm 3' 3" x 6' 8"

 

 

Standard Door Sizes - Australia

The standard door size in Australia is 820 x 2040 mm for both internal and external doors.

Other Door Sizes Include:

InchesMetricImperial
20" x 80" 520 x 2040 mm 1' 7" x 6' 8"
24" x 80" 620 x 2040 mm 2' 0" x 6' 8"
28" x 80" 720 x 2040 mm 2' 4" x 6' 8"
30" x 80" 770 x 2040 mm 2' 6" x 6' 8"
32" x 80" 820 x 2040 mm 2' 8" x 6' 8"
34" x 80" 870 x 2040 mm 2' 10" x 6' 8"
36" x 80" 920 x 2040 mm 2' 10" x 6' 8"

 

Wooden windows vs Aluminium windows

 wooden windows

In South Africa the most common window types are either wood or aluminium, each has their own benefits that one needs to consider but we are firm believers that wooden windows are the superior product. Here are some of the reasons we believe meranti windows should be your first choice for renovated or newly built homes.

The beauty of nature

Wooden windows offer a natural aesthetically pleasing wood grain that cannot be matched by the cold touch of aluminium.   With our skilled craftsman shaping your windows into stunning designs that are unrivalled in quality and design.

Various Window Styles

Wooden windows offer a large variety of windows styles to match your architectural design and price point. We offer large full pane windows to the more traditional cottage pane windows and sliding sash windows as well as many more other window types.

Better Insulation

Wooden windows have far superior insulation properties that will keep your home much warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. This is because they allow less heat to pass through the window sash & frame then aluminium windows but also because the inside surface will be better insulated so will be much warmer if you’re sitting near the window. These greater insulation properties create high energy savings since you do not need to rely on your heaters or aircon as much. Nowhere better is this illustrated then in the Northern European countries such as Switzerland where all windows are made of wood to help insulate from the icy cold.

Easy Low Maintenance

One of the biggest complaints about wooden windows is maintenance, but since the introduction of water based sealers this is no longer an issue as they are far superior to varnish. If you treat the windows correctly with a good quality water based sealer such as Rystix you should only have to varnish or oil the windows every 4 years or so depending on the environment. As long as they are properly treated the windows should last a lifetime.

High Quality Wood

Not all timber types are equal when it comes to wooden windows. Doors Direct only uses high quality kiln dried meranti timber which will last far longer than pine windows as it is a solid hardwood.

Eco Friendly & Sustainable

Timber is a natural product that is one of the only renewable natural resources which is increasing its reserve sizes each year while aluminium on the other hand needs to be mined which strips the land of its natural resources and will not be renewed. Meranti windows have much smaller carbon foot print then steel or aluminium windows so it is much more environmentally friendly. 

Security that looks good to

With our patented Strongwood window technology you have an attractive security solution to traditional unsightly burglar bars that detract from the beauty of your home. Solid steel bars are encased in the solid meranti which extend the full length of the window. Click here to find out more.

So when it comes to deciding on your new windows choose wisely and choose wooden windows 

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Wooden Door Frame Installation Tips

The most important thing to bear in mind when installing door frames is to ensure that once your final floor levels are obtained, the inside height of the door frame remains as close as possible to your door height.  (A standard door is 2032 mm high.)

We often see doors which have had to be excessively trimmed to fit into a door frame.  The reason for this is normally that the contractor has not taken the final floor levels into consideration when building in the door frame, and he has buried the door frame into the screed and then tiled or laid carpets on top of this.  Whatever the original height of the door frame was, it is now effectively a lot smaller, because the door frame is now sunken into the floor, by sometimes as much as 75mm.  The only way to now fit the door is to trim the door by this amount.  This excessive trimming of the door reduces the structural integrity of the door. 

We recommend that when building in door frames, a 75mm nail is punched into the bottom of each of the door frame stiles.  This achieves three things. 

  1. You can set the door frame to the correct height.
  2. You can “plum” the door frame level by merely tapping on either side of the frame.
  3. The door frame does not absorb moisture from the concrete through the exposed end grain.

 Another option is to order the door frames slightly longer than the doors. 

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Home Window Security

Bay Windows - Doors Direct

Imagine how scary it would be to wake up in the middle of the night and realize an intruder has gained access to your home. Protecting against a break-in might mean investing in a professionally installed and monitored home security system, but that shouldn’t be the first step.

Begin by conducting your own home security check; after you’ve checked all of your home’s exterior doors for weak spots, move on to examine its windows.

Check ground-floor and basement windows

Ground-floor and basement windows are more likely to be targeted than those on the second floor, and deserve the most attention. The exception is those second-floor windows that can be easily accessed by a deck or other elevated structure outside the home.

Start your home security check by looking at your ground-floor windows from afar. Are they blocked by high shrubbery? Bushes give ideal cover for someone planning to break or force open a window; cut greenery back so that front windows are fully visible from the street.

Keep locks locked

Make sure all windows can be opened, closed, and locked with relative ease—and then remember to keep them locked whenever you’re not around. The biggest problem that occurs with windows is when home owners exit their home and leave windows wide open—and vulnerable.

In spring and fall, when daytime temperatures swing and windows are frequently opened and closed, get in the habit of locking windows as you shut them.

Install simple security devices

Add blocking devices to the most easily accessed windows so they can’t be opened from outside.

Wooden dowels placed in the track block windows that slide horizontally, and require no installation.

Steel locking pins (about R80 each), inserted in small holes that must be drilled through the frames, prevent vertically-sliding windows from being opened.

If you install a home security system later, the pros will install glass-break sensors on your most vulnerable windows.

Check garage windows

Garage windows are often forgotten—give them a home security check to make sure they’re securely locked. Install curtains or apply translucent security film on garage windows so that valuables aren’t readily visible. Thieves are more likely to attempt a break-in if they see items worth stealing.

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Source - House Logic

The Future of door frames - 4Everframe

composite door frame

Our composite door frame combines all the strength and convenience of wood door frames with enhanced properties that make it moisture and insect resistant.

No longer have to worry about a steel door frame that will rust and is bulky to transport nor have to worry about a door frame that will absorb moisture and rot like wood.

4Everframe is a wood plastic composite door frame manufactured from recycled wood & pvc plastic.

These eco-friendly frames are also easier to store and transport as they can be clipped together on-site.

If you live in High-humidity, high-moisture environments or have extreme weather exposure areas 4Everframe can help you.

If you have specific environmental considerations – such as salt spray, high insect populations, or moss – then 4Everframe is right for you, because it has anti-insect, anti-fungal, and rot-resistant properties.

The 4Everframe can be painted or left in its natural brown wood colour. You treat 4Everframe just like a traditional door frame, it can be cut drilled or screwed and you hang your door on it identically to a timber frame.

4Everframe is the only wood plastic composite door frame available in South Africa and is sold exclusively through Doors Direct.

The future of door frames has arrived with 4Everframe.

Click here to buy online.

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Tips for Installing Wooden Windows

Here are some tips for installing Wooden Windows that we have learn over the last 25 years.

When installing timber windows, it is of the utmost importance, that the external plaster does not encapsulate the base of the window frame, as water will get in between the wood and the plaster, due to the different expansion coefficients of timber and plaster. This trapped water will be unable to escape, because of the DPC, and will cause the timber to ultimately rot. 

Make sure the wooden windows are the right way round.

When installing your windows, please ensure that they are not upside down or inside out. Check that the window frame is installed perfectly level and square, and make sure that the lintels have been propped up for at least two weeks, prior to the frame being installed. Remember that there should be a gap of between 5 & 10 mm between the top of the lintel and the top of the window frame. The lintel must not be resting on the frame.

Glazing Windows

When glazing meranti windows, you must ensure that before you fix the glazing beads back into wooden windows that you have sealed the glazing beads all round, taking particular care to thoroughly seal the end grain where the glazing bead has been mitered. Don’t forget to also seal the rebate on the window or door before fixing the glass. To prevent water leaking into the house, you must always glaze up against either silicone or putty. 

Forcing Windows Closed during construction

When visiting construction sites, we often come across windows which have been forced closed, not withstanding the fact that there is concrete or plaster in the rebate of the frame or sash. This has the effect of causing the sashes to warp and also causes the handles or stays to loosen. Please ensure that before attempting to close your windows, the inside of the frame and sash are free of any debris which could hinder the smooth operation of the window.

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Painting Wooden Sliding Sash Windows

Wooden Sliding Sash Window - Doors Direct

 

Sliding Sash Windows have become increasingly popular over the last couple of years. We find that an increasing number of customers are painting their wooden windows, and unless this is done correctly, all sorts of problems can occur. Doors Direct Sliding Sash windows are designed in such a way, that the sashes can be easily removed for painting.

This is done by removing the beading on the inside as well as on the outside of the window frame. You must ensure that all surfaces of the wooden window frame, the sash as well as the beading are painted with a good quality pink primer, prior to applying undercoat. The paint primer must first be applied to all surfaces including surfaces that will not visible after installation. Primers are a specialised surface sealer that prepares the surface of the timber for further painting they also contain special additives to prevent problems such as described above

Doors Direct sells three different styles of sliding sash windows, the full pane sliding sash windows, Victorian sliding sash windows and Cape Dutch Sliding sash window. To find out the price of our sliding sash windows please click here.

Do you know the right style of door for your home?

Choosing a new door is quite simple if you know the options available to you. Match the style to your type of home.

 

Flush Doors

Flush Doors are smooth on both sides, and generally made of plywood or MDF and are available in hollow or solid core. They are the least expensive and are well suited for modern architecture. Most often these are used internally.

 

Two Panel Doors

As you will see in the pictures there are variations on two-panel designs. By adding an arched top panel the door becomes great for Cape Dutch or French country style homes.
Having a larger panel on the top gives the door a traditional look, especially when combined with appropriate hardware set low at the rail level

 

Four-Panel Doors

Four-panel doors are another variation in traditional architecture. You can find these with hollow cores and in solid wood.
These doors will give you an elegant finish. These are a good choice for traditional style décor and formal home entrances

 

Six-Panel Doors

One of the most common door styles is the six-panel configuration. You should be able to find this door with a less-expensive hollow core as well as in solid wood.

 


8-21 Panel

More panels are suited to more modern house designs. There are options available in hollow core and solid wood. A classic pattern of square panels.

 

Specialty Doors

Once you move away from standard size and shape doors you will end up spending more. This door arched door will require an arched jamb. The arched look is ideal for Mediterranean style homes, especially with Spanish influences. Doors Direct is able to custom craft doors to your specifications.

 

French Doors

French doors have a frame around one or more transparent panels, usually filled with glass. The goal is to maximize light in a room. Used on external walls they connect the house with the outdoors and allow light into the room
French doors can also be used internally in areas meant to put a room of your home on display, like music rooms, home offices, living rooms, Dining rooms, etc.
If you are going all-out on character and have an older style Victorian house, stained glass might be the way to go.

 

Pivot Doors

Oversized and dramatic, pivot doors are available in engineered wood and in solid wood. Perfect for a main entrance in a modern home.

 

Folding Stacking Doors

Sliding / folding doors are stackable folding doors of multiple panels that slide and stack neatly to one or two sides.
This allows for a seamless transition between indoors and outside entertainment areas free of any barrier or obstruction.
With multiple combination openings of up to 10 or 12 meters can be easily managed

 

Carved Doors

When you want a unique entrance why not combine your love of handcraft and natural materials and opt for a carved door. It’s African and unique and locally made.