Ian Firth started his career in hardware at the tender age of 15, but soon progressed to being Managing Director of Cartwright Hardware in Leeds. However in 1982 he took the giant leap into the unknown when he set up his own business – Ian Firth Hardware Ltd.
It was a big risk, working from his family home supplying local housebuilders with ironmongery, but the gamble paid off and just a year later the company moved to its first premises.
But only 4 years later the company moved again to premises in Lady Ann Road, Batley, due to increased business demanding more storage space and more staff to help deliver over £1m worth of sales per year.
In 1988 the company branched out into Patio Doors, Garage Doors and Internal Doors, offering a supply and fit service for some products.
By 1995 the company started selling Composite Doors, steel and GRP faced, and invested in cutting machinery to be able to customise the doors to meet the designs the customers wanted. This needed space and it soon became apparent that even with the extensions to Lady Ann Road, it was not going to be big enough to allow for expansion.
In 1996 the company moved into our current home, Lady Ann House, purpose built offices and warehouse on a 3.53 acre site at Shaw Cross, Dewsbury.
New product ranges were being added all the time to become a one-stop-shop for our customers, loft doors, kitchen sinks, taps, ventilation products, ducting kits, builder’s metalwork, and research into supplying factory made internal doorkits began on the back of the success of the external doorset division of the business.
In only a few years after moving to Lady Ann House a 15,000sq ft extension was commissioned and the External Door Manufacturing facility moved into the newly created space. New, state-of-the-art, CNC machinery was purchased in 2005 to improve output.
Work began on developing our own range of fully tested and CE marked Gridlock locks and latches as well as our patented Quicksemble snap-fit adjustable hinge system for our internal doorkits.
By 2007 turnover had hit over £12m with our own fleet of vehicles delivering across the country every week. Every site on the UK mainland was serviced at least once a week, with local sites receiving more frequent drops.
However 2008 saw one of the deepest recessions in living memory and the company was hit by the downturn in housebuilding across the country. Certainly not defeated, the company consolidated and got through a very difficult period in the construction sector.
Further product ranges were introduced in 2009 to meet Code for Sustainable Homes requirements, such as compost bins and rotary clothes driers.
2015 saw the publication of five new brochures featuring External Doors, Internal Doors, Hardware, Associated Building Products and Environmental Products.
In 2018 and 2019 we invested in further machinery to increase our production capacities for both External and Internal Doors, and 2019 saw record turnover of almost £15m.
2020 promised to be another year of progress for the company with further investment in machinery and introduction of improved sales order processing software planned, but the pandemic had other ideas. By no means undeterred, after closing for a short time during the first national lockdown, the company re-opened, re-mobilised and came back leaner and stronger. 2021 saw the company break it's turnover record and forge ahead with original expansion plans into it's 40th anniversary year.
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