The front door you choose is quite essential. It’s the first impression your home makes, whether you’re self-constructing, renovating, or simply wanting to update an old door.
Your front door is a critical practical item that affects more than just your home’s front appeal. Because it is the primary access point to your property, it must be secure and warm.
With that in mind, our professional guide looks at the essential features to consider, such as the material options and what you need to know about security, thermal efficiency, and Oak Doors arrangement.
How to Put a Front Door in the Right Place
Before you start looking for a front door, think about where it will go. Despite their name, not all front doors lead to the front of the house.
Consider a partially glazed style or one with sidelights if your new front door will be leading into an entrance hall that is low in natural light.
A solid door, on the other hand, will be more appropriate if your home is located on a busy road or street — a fanlight above can offer light. Choose a door with frosted glass as an alternative.
Consider sidelights to provide natural light into your entrance if you choose a solid front door, such as the Bliss Blackney door from Urban Front (opens in new tab).
What is the Best Material for a Front Door?
When it comes to choosing a material for your new front door, you have various alternatives. Despite all of the latest innovations in the world of front doors, the most popular material is still wood. Timber is not only attractive, but depending on the species, it can also be a cost-effective option.
Front Doors Made of Wood
When choosing a wood for your front door, keep in mind that if not properly treated and maintained, some of the less expensive softwoods can twist and warp over time.
To keep its wonderful aesthetics, any type of wood will require some upkeep.
For period front door styles, timber is the ideal material. A Victorian home would benefit greatly from this partially-glazed door. (Photo courtesy of Dulux)
Hardwood doors are just as prone to move as softwood doors, but hemlock, a robust North American softwood particularly well suited to doors, is a fair compromise for those who want something better.
Heat-treated timbers like Accoya, which outperform many hardwoods, are a suitable choice.
Solid wood is significantly less sturdy than laminated or engineered woods, which are made up of small portions glued together.
Make sure you select a wood preservative that is appropriate for your needs.
Is PVCu a Good Front Door Material?
The front doors of Evolution (opens in new tab) have a timber-effect, giving this Georgian home a traditional look. (Photo courtesy of Evolution)
Although PVCu (also known as uPVC) is the most cost-effective material for front doors, it is not suitable for everyone.
Appearance-wise PVCu falls short of the natural beauty of wood and the modern charm of some metals. However, if you are ready to spend a little more, you will find that the PVCu industry has advanced significantly in recent years, both in terms of aesthetics and performance.
The cost of a simple white PVCu front door begins at £350. (not including installation costs.)
Front Doors Made of Aluminum
The front of the custom build is brightened by an orange Kloeber FunkyFront door (opens in new tab). (Photo courtesy of Kloeber)
Aluminium doors are sturdy, long-lasting, and ideal for giving a home a sleek, contemporary, or industrial appeal.
They are also ideal for those who are concerned about warping or movement owing to weather changes, as they will not do either.
Steel is also a viable alternative.
Metal front doors, on the other hand, tend to be on the higher end of the pricing spectrum, starting at around £1,000 unfitted.
Front Doors Made of Composite
Composite front doors were created to have a wood-like appearance with the performance of aluminum. They are low-maintenance and have a high thermal efficiency.
Composite doors are typically built of glass reinforced fibre (GRF) and are 44mm thick, with either a hard foam insulating core reinforced with steel or a solid wood core.
On the negative, if the color or finish is placed over a white fibreglass skin, the door may become scratched over time, which is ugly.
What are the prices of front doors?
The cost of a front door, like most home furnishings, is determined by the specification, material, size, and quality requested.
Solid wood front doors range in price from £300 to £500, but certain bespoke or high-quality examples (such as over-sized pivot doors and the like) can cost up to £2,000.
To acquire a realistic cost average, get at least three estimates from different vendors when narrowing down different products. This will allow you to examine the disparities in what’s included and what isn’t.
When comparing front door prices, keep in mind that listed prices normally exclude installation, shipping, hinges, removal of your old door, and, in certain situations, VAT. Also keep in mind that front doors with side windows and panels are more expensive to install.
Employing a local tradesperson to install your front door (or doing it yourself) can save money if you’re confident in your measuring skills, but you risk a poor finish and erroneous measurements.
- The price of a PVCu front door ranges from £300 to £350.
- Front doors made of wood: From £300 to £500 (engineered doors).
- Front door made of aluminum: Starting from £1,000
- Front door made of composite material: Between £750 and £900
What is the Best Front Door Style for Me?
The Performance series from Green Building Store (opens in new tab) has triple glazing and dual compression seals for long-term airtightness. They range in price from £800 to £1,550. (Photo courtesy of Green Building Store)
It’s critical to choose the correct front door style to give your home the most curb appeal.
Timber is a sympathetic choice for traditional-style or period homes, and it frequently matches the overall aesthetics of a property nicely, especially when combined with timber windows. If your house is Georgian or Victorian, it’s a good idea to look for a suitable fit for the time — for example, late Georgian residences had fan lights, whereas those from earlier in the period had solid wood doorways.
Combining a modern home with a sleek aluminum front door is a terrific choice because the wide range of colors allows you to be a little more imaginative. Flush doors are becoming more popular as a technique to achieve a clean and polished look in contemporary homes.
However, some of the most contemporary and striking front doors are made of wood, while aluminum designs may really give some wow to an otherwise classic appearance.
Security Options for the Front Door
Front doors serve as a barrier between the outside and the inside of your home, so they must be secure against attackers while also allowing occupants easy access.
Front doors are typically equipped with two locks: a mortice deadlock and a night or rim latch:
The mortice deadlock is installed inside the door housing and must be activated with a key from both inside and outside.
A night or rim latch (still known as a ‘Yale’) can be opened from the inside to aid escape in the event of a fire, although it is less secure than mortice locks because it can be forced open.
PAS 24, a more stringent security level, is only available on factory-built doorsets. Houses that fulfill the police-set Secured by Design criteria must also meet the PAS 24 requirement.
This includes a three-minute assault on the doorset with a variety of hammers, crowbars, and drills.
Although having two different locks isn’t required, it is part of the NHBC’s recommendations for new homes and has been extensively accepted by insurance companies as a result. The deadlock should have five levers and fulfill the BS3621 standard if possible.
Fitting a door chain and, on solid doors, a viewer are also considered good security elements on front doors.
Consider stuff like a smart video doorbell if you want to add some smart technology into your door security.