When my wife Lis and I set up Kitchen Door Workshop in 1996, the internet was not widely used, and the idea of replacing just your kitchen doors to give the room a make-over was still relatively new. Until then, if you wanted to give your kitchen a new lease of life, you had to go through the mayhem, mess and financial stress of ripping it out and starting again. Lis and I believed that replacement kitchen doors were the ideal way for people to refresh their kitchens – by simply replacing unit doors and drawer-fronts, you can change the whole look of the room but still keep its essential structure and lay-out. Armed with plenty of enthusiasm and not much else, we set up our replacement kitchen door fitting service in Hailsham, East Sussex.
Over the years, the business grew and grew. But as house prices rocketed and it became increasingly easy to acquire bank loans, people began to show a preference for borrowing money against the future value of their house in order to fit new kitchens, rather than making smaller changes – like replacing their unit doors. Then the financial crisis hit - house prices started to fall and it became harder to secure loans. Uncertainty about the future value of property combined with a lack of job security meant people thought twice before starting costly home improvement projects. Not only were they looking for greener, more affordable alternatives to buying a whole new kitchen, they were also prepared to do the work themselves. This revived interest in replacement kitchen doors coincided with a boom in online shopping, so we launched the Kitchen Door Workshop website, aimed at both savvy online shoppers and DIY enthusiasts. As well as supplying doors and accessories, we wanted to help our customers at every step of the process – from measuring their units to fitting their new doors – so we produced a DIY handbook and a series of 'how-to' videos.
In 2013, we designed and launched Trends and Visions, our own collection of British-made doors. Developing and launching our own range really helped us grow, and in 2015, we moved to a new showroom and offices in Uckfield, East Sussex – the official opening of which was attended by the town's Mayor. Over the years, thousands of our customers have very kindly left their feedback on independent consumer review site TrustPilot, which has led to us being awarded an "Excellent" rating. Since the very beginning, Kitchen Door Workshop has supported a variety of charitable causes, including Plan International, an organisation that helps families in the developing world. We also extend this ethos to our staff, who receive 5 additional annual leave days to be used volunteering in the local community. We'd love to show you how quick and easy it is to replace your kitchen doors, and hopefully we'll inspire you to create the kitchen of your dreams.