• UK Oak Doors Blog

Stable Doors - A modern look at a traditional style

Traditionally seen as the preserve of the country cottage, the locations where modern stable doors are now installed are as varied as its design is unique. Whilst the look of this door type has value in itself, the practicalities of being able to open up the kitchen for the view or breeze whilst keeping the pets or children in (or out?) has its advantages too.

A fond image of postcard cottages shared by many of us contains the beautiful floral garden and the faithful, well behaved family dog curled up by the base of the half open stable door, the top half allowing just a glimpse of the culinary delights sat on top of the baking hot Aga.

Kiwi the UK Oak Doors dog


In reality however, a) gardens can be a pain to manage; mowing the lawn a fortnightly achievement b) the dog may well be curled up at the foot of the door but it’s because he’s been shut out, he’s not well behaved, he’s chewing on your son's trainers c) the old stable door allows through a draught at the top, middle and bottom of the door so strong the kitchen is being considered for a wind farm by the local council and d) there seem to be fourteen Tesco’s within any three mile radius so baking is not really that frequent  an occurence.

Three of the above experiences are a fact of life we are unable to assist with and whilst Kiwi the UK Oak Doors office dog rarely eats our trainers there is one area that we do have a lot of experience with. That is, modern or traditional oak stable doors for homes that fit properly and securely with style.

 Oak Stable Doors: Country Cottages Only?

Whilst technology has radically changed aspects of life to eradicate traces of previous styles and fashions, it can’t remove the basic requirements we want for our most basic of home fittings. In fact, technology can expand the possibilities of home fittings making previously unsuitable luxuries a possibility. A perfect example of this is the modern stable door. A number of changes have occurred to modern lifestyles that have made the stable door more widely suitable to home life and technological advances in design and material sourcing have underpinned this.

Climate change has thankfully yet to substantially raise average temperatures in the UK but we have seen differences in the extremes of our weather conditions and temperatures. Before the widespread use of reliable central heating, double glazed windows and wall insulation, the possibility of using the open top function of the stable door in the kitchen was limited to a few summer days per year in select parts of the UK. We’re not suggesting stable doors in homes with modern heating systems mean we can waste energy wilfully though. Actually, the thick solid oak construction of the Ox-Bow stable door is far better for heat insulation during colder periods than flimsier old style stable doors and is very efficient. It also includes an option of double glazing for the central window.

Modern Build – Classic Designs

However, even when firmly shut, the stable door for the house still presented further problems to energy loss and security. There are three reasons why the traditional old stable door was draughty, often leaked and, even when fully closed, presented an easy opportunity to thieves. These three reasons are 1) fitting of the door to the frame 2) the tightness of the fit between top and bottom halves of the door and 3) the sturdiness of the wood used in construction (poor quality wood/construction is obviously more likely to warp over time with the changing weather conditions and thinner wood will not support security locks).

Oxbow Stable Door


The Ox-Bow stable door from UK Oak Doors (see 'external doors') is made from 44mm thick solid European oak allowing for the fitting of insurance required security locks. The superb build quality also ensures that when fully closed the kitchen will not suffer any added heat loss compared to a conventional oak door whilst still offering the advantages of the stable door for warmer days.

So for a mixture of reasons we have noticed a growing trend for city and suburban homes to include a stable door as part of a renovation or new build as well as the continued growth of installations in the countryside. Indeed, why spend thousands solely on the contents of your kitchen when for less than £500 you add a huge ‘wow factor’ to your home or investment with something like a sturdy oak stable door (unfortunately we cannot help with the behaviour of your dog).

It's also worth noting that depending on the agility skills of your prized pooch, stable doors don't always mean that the dog is locked in or out! Certainly, Kiwi (pictured) is pretty adept at leaping over them...

This entry was posted in Blog, Oak Door Articles on July 8, 2011 by will.

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