The Tradesman’s Entrance

The Tradesman’s entrance

Our side door was originally the Tradesman’s entrance. For people visiting the house not grand enough to use the front door, but not dirty enough to use the back door (night soil man, coal man), there was a Tradesman’s entrance. The door led to a screened hallway which protected the privacy of the family. This had in more recent times been changed into a fire exit, and the tiled hallway carpeted over. It was due for a makeover. All the wires are part of an old telephone switchboard system.

Fire Exit
Fire Exit

It was not any more attractive on the outside. it looked like a sheet metal door. We did give it a coat of black paint which did improve the look



and on the inside we disguised the door as best we could, changing the space into a glitter ballroom, but we knew the door had to go as we wanted to bring more light into a dark space. We also took the opportunity to take up the old carpet to reveal the black and red tiled floor.



We got a new door made with the original detailing. We wanted the top to be glass so that it let in light to bring the stained glass panel alive




And it does bring the stained glass to life. We won’t be using it as a door, not even for Tradesmen! but it makes a great place to keep all our boots and shoes.



Join the Conversation


  1. Avatarsays: Alice

    Hi, great website, chuffed to have found you guys! We live close by and are doing a similar thing to you guys (although on a much smaller scale!). I’m interested to know where you had your door made? I’ve picked up a few useful contacts from reading your website so far, thank you. I agree, it’s tricky to find tradesmen who are interested in restoring features and not just doing the cheapest/easiest fix…

    1. Happenuponsays: Happenupon

      Hi Alice,
      Glad to meet you. So you want to know about the doors, well at our last house which was a Victorian Terrace and it had a modern front door. We investigated getting these guys Big Old door company, who make really good doors to the size you require (that is why you can’t buy off the shelf as old buildings have different size doors). The doors came in at around £1000 and we didn’t have the money. A year later I was in Swiss cottage and saw they had loads of great front doors for less than £100. I got a joiner to measure the size of my hole (the modern door had meant that the door frame had been clumsily reduced to fit the new standard size door) and with these measurements we looked at the doors. The doors do not have to be an exact fit as they can be increased by 1/2″ or so. I wanted a door with window panels so I got him to remove two of the top panels in the door and put in security double glazing. The total cost was £500 and helped sell the house I think (if you want pics I will dig some out for you). In this house we needed to match to the existing joinery which is quite distinctive. This meant our only option was to get a door made, and then to get the glazing done by our stained glazing man. This was not a cheap way to go, the door costed around £750 and the glazing costed another £450 so a total £1200. If you want to go down this route then we used Tanseys to make the door – they don’t have a website but are based in pudsey!Let me know what you do and good luck

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