When I had to replace my front door it occurred to me that I hadn’t ever given the choice of door any thought. When you move into a property, despite it being one of the first things you touch, the front door is often ignored and taken for granted. It’s only when it doesn’t work that you actually take notice of it. That’s when the decision making nightmare begins. Which door? What type of door? How much? Made from what? Can I fit it? Double Glazed? Which manufacturer is most reputable?
Actually, choosing a door can seem a little daunting and confusing at first, but with careful consideration you can confidently make the right choice.
The First Step
Before we dive into the technical aspect of choosing a door we first need to consider what we want the door to achieve. It may sound silly, seeing as the front door seemingly only does one job; letting people in and out. But actually, it does many jobs. We must ask ourselves some questions, so consider the following:
- What is my budget? What is the most I can afford to pay?
- How important is security over aesthetics?
- What material options are available?
- Are there different energy ratings?
Once you have answered the questions above you can get onto the exciting part. Actually choosing a door! Here we are going to look at the most common choices; the uPVC door and the timber door.
uPVC has become the manufacturers choice of material for the modern door. Part of the reason is cost of production. uPVC doors can be manufactured mass produced on an assembly line therefore allowing for bulk rates on door components and efficient assembly. Another reason why uPVC doors are popular is the relatively low maintenance. A wipe to clean when it gets dirty every 6 months should do the job. Durability is a key factor in uPVC doors that adds to its popularity; they can withstand the wind, rain or shine and with excellent sealing they tend to be draught proof too. We must not forget to mention the insulating abilities of a double glazed front door. This will help to keep your fuel bills down.
Timber doors, although not everyone’s choice, tend to be used in properties that require a sympathetic modernisation. It is unlikely you would see a grade II listed Victorian country home with a white uPVC door. With its aesthetic appeal it does come with a number of responsibilities. A timber door requires more maintenance. You’ll want to regularly recoat your door with a micro-porous finish to allow the wood to breathe. You may also find a solid oak door, for example, will be very expensive. Possibly into the thousands of pounds, although a lot of repairs can be done yourself. Another difficulty is the draught stripping typically isn’t quite as effective, and although a good insulator, poor sealing can impact your fuel bills.
Jason King is an experienced door fitter for over 25 years and regularly contributes to blogs on behalf of Value Doors regarding all matters door fitting!