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Door Restoration in Essex – How to Maintain Style & Function

Original features are at the very heart of a heritage property. Unfortunately, many property owners rush to replace period features when age starts to take its toll. At Fortis & Hooke, we think there is a better way.

Fortis & Hooke Case Study

When we were contacted by Mrs Smith about a door restoration project for a Grade II listed property in Essex, we knew this was the perfect opportunity to implement our unique Longaevitas system to great effect.
The door was a beautiful example of a period feature, but it was letting in a nasty draught and placing an unnecessary financial burden on Mrs Smith.
She wanted to keep the original door but was determined to breathe fresh life into her home. Read on to find out how we identified the problem, fixed the root cause and gave the door a new lease for life.


Mrs Smith first contacted us seeking professional advice for an original wooden door on her property in Grays, Essex. The door had developed issues in both its
appearance and function, leaving her paying more for energy bills throughout the year.

As well as becoming visibly worn, it had swollen into its frame, making it difficult to open and close. There were also large gaps around the sides of the door, which let in a lot of draughts, especially through the winter.

Because her property was Grade II listed, Mrs Smith didn’t want to replace the door. This would not only devalue the property, removing some of its original character, but could be problematic in terms of applying for permission.

Door Restoration in Essex – How to Maintain Style & Function


Door Restoration in Essex – How to Maintain Style & Function

Our consultant surveyor spoke with Mrs Smith and assessed images of the door in great detail. Every wooden door has its own idiosyncrasies and history of care. To find a solution that’s truly long-lasting, a thorough inspection is required.

It transpired that the door had been painted repeatedly over a very long period. Layer over layer of paint had cause both aesthetic and functional issues.

Ineffective paint protection allowed moisture into the original timber, causing swelling which made the door difficult to operate. Over time, this had also caused the gaps to emerge around the door, creating draughts in the property which makes it near impossible to keep warm.

To rectify the issue, the door needed to be stripped, repaired and painted to the highest standards.


We suggested our Longaevitas system, which includes a full restoration of the door. We extracted the original door from the property, which was temporarily replaced with a tailor-made, fully-functioning, secure door. This way, our customer didn’t have to put up with disruption to her property while the door was repaired.

The original door was taken to our workshop where it was stripped, repaired, strengthened and painted with expert precision. Following our final quality checks, we reinstalled the door into the original frame. Our team also made sure that the door was a perfect fit in situ, checking the opening and closing as well as its appearance within the frame.

Finally, we installed our draught proofing system to optimise the door’s thermal efficiency while maintaining the heritage appearance and character. The process was completed in just under two weeks and will last for at least a decade – with a ten-year warranty on all repairs.

Door Restoration in Essex – How to Maintain Style & Function
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