You’d be forgiven for not giving much thought to how your doors and windows are produced when either buying new or renovating a home.
But don’t admit that to the managing director of Middlesbrough-based firm ERW – and general all-round wood enthusiast – Lawrence Wall.
ERW has been manufacturing doors, windows and conservatories across Teesside and the North-East for 38 years.
Lawrence started working for the business in 1986 before buying it from his employer four years later. Now the family-run outfit employs 28 people and has supplied to more than 20,000 homes, from the top of Northumberland to the bottom of North Yorkshire.
“Our business was originally called company Eston Replacement Windows,” explains Lawrence.
“But in 1994 I went to see a lady in Stockton, who told me she wouldn’t deal with anyone who wasn’t local, even though we were about 10 miles away! So we realised that name was too parochial and the ERW logo was born.
“That’s when we started working further afield. But locally we’ve worked for Taylor Whimpey and we’ve renovated windows at the Georgian Theatre in Stockton, Wilton Castle and Rockliffe Hall – we specialise in the restoration of listed or historical buildings.”
In 2009, ERW invested more than £700,000 in expanding its premises on Skipper’s Lane Industrial Estate in Middlesbrough to accommodate a new computerised production plant and paint shop.
Lawrence added: “We design products that are traditional in appearance but meet all the demanding standards of today, in terms of thermal efficiency and building regulations.
“We produce high performance, factory-finished products, and we don’t employ sub-contractors. We manufacture and install everything, which is really important for customers’ guarantees and their peace of mind.”
Lawrence runs ERW with his wife Julie and their children Helen and Phillip, along with a loyal workforce, including one who has been with them from aged 16 to 40, and another who’s approaching 20 years with the firm.
ERW has also recently launched a new range of contemporary doors and windows, which can be seen at www.erwltd.co.uk.