The brand new front door can transform your home and give visitors a good first impression. However, it’s worth doing the right research ahead of time – choosing the wrong size or style can prove to be an expensive and time-consuming mistake.
There are many aspects to consider when choosing a door, such as size, design, structure, materials, budget and accessories.
Ready-made doors come in a variety of standard and common sizes. These are usually graded by width, ranging from 30 “to 36”. If your frame does not meet the standard dimensions, you can cut the door to size; each edge of many wooden doors can be reduced to 12 mm.
In some cases it is better to purchase a complete door set consisting of a frame and matching doors. If you have older properties, the original frame can become warped or even cracked over time, which can be an especially good move. Or you can decide to pay a little more and have the door weighed.
Since the front door will set the tone for the entire home, it is very important to choose a design and color that is consistent with the overall architectural style. Ornate glass panel doors, for example, suit a Victorian or Edwardian home, while clean, minimal lines are usually the best choice for a modern home. This also applies to other accessories, such as door handles and letterboxes.
The way the door is constructed is also important. The cheaper dowel doors are made from kiln-dried wood, which is mounted with slot plugs (small plugs) and adhesives. The high-quality M&T (pen ice and pen on) doors are made of specially selected kiln-dried wood, combined with traditional pen and pen on joints and adhesives, with excellent weather-resistant performance.
The most popular type of natural material used for exterior doors is wood, especially oak, pine and hemlock. Solid wood can crack and warp over time, which is why most wooden doors today are made from engineered wood. This is constructed by gluing a small section of wood together to form a multi-layer structure that is stronger and more stable than solid wood. The components are then covered with wood veneer panels – this process ensures that the color and texture of the door panels match.
Artificial wood is better for the environment because the manufacturing process produces less waste. However, unless the door provided is a finished product, you should apply paint or high-quality wood stains to the door to protect it from weather and rain and reprocess it regularly.
Fiberglass composite door fixtures are increasingly popular. Their design is similar to wood, made from a mixture of fiberglass and resin, and equipped with steel and PVC reinforced frames. These doors are weather resistant and low maintenance, come in a variety of colors, do not require any protective treatment and can be a realistic wood substitute. They’re also lighter than wooden doors, making them easier to hang and won’t warp or crack.
Another low maintenance option is PVC. This durable plastic is still widely used for patio doors, but its relatively fragile structure and plastic appearance make it less popular in front doors today.
Your choice will of course depend on the size of your budget. If price is the main issue, consider using engineered pine or hemlock doors. Many doors come without glass, so you can choose to insert your own patterned glass or stained glass to achieve a personalized effect. Buying unfinished doors yourself and painting or painting yourself can also save money. Single-layer glass doors are usually the cheapest, but they obviously cannot provide the same level of insulation as double or triple-layer glass, so they can be more expensive in the long run.
Hardwood doors are a bit more expensive, but they last longer than pine and can still be found at a reasonable price. Oak is a premium choice, with an attractive texture, excellent weather resistance and an unmistakable sense of luxury.
At first, composite doors are more expensive than most wooden doors, but the advantage is that they do not require finishing or maintenance, which can save time and money in the long run.
You should also consider the cost of door hardware. This can vary wildly, from a few simple chrome-plated zinc handles costing around £ 10 to a premium brass or polished nickel suit for around £ 100. You may find a handle set with handles, hinges, mounting screws and latches the most convenient solution.
Letter boxes (also called letter boards) come in different styles and price ranges. You can get a regular chrome-effect model for under £ 10, while the copper letter plate costs around £ 18. Engraved brass or wrought iron nameplates can run you any amount between £ 150 and £ 450, depending on the finish.
Quality locks are also important – for the best protection, look for locks advertised as anti-collision, anti-pry, and anti-drilling. Finally, you may need to add a door knocker or doorbell (unless you choose a letter board with a door knocker for the post).
and last but not least…
These are just a few things to consider when choosing a door. But remember, unless you have a porch or awning, the method of entry from your front door will depend on the weather, so don’t automatically choose the cheapest option. A high quality door, if properly finished, will keep its appearance for many years, leaving your first impression that you can be proud of.