Which External Door Should I Choose?
The front door is an often overlooked part of home design. It is something that has a significant impact on the way that your home looks, and could even affect the selling price of your property, because it will affect the first impression that a prospective buyer has when they visit.
When you are shopping for an external door, you need to think about the style of the property you live in, the look of other homes in the area, and your own personal priorities. Is letting in some natural light a must for you, or do you want the most secure door possible? Do you live in a period property, or would you prefer to opt for more modern styles of external door?
A Look at the Best Front Doors
No matter what type of property you live in, external doors must be tough and secure. There are many different schools of thought regarding which front door material is best. Some people are firmly in favour of wood or wood veneer, however, unless the door has a solid wood core it will not be particularly secure, and even solid wood can warp and crack. Steel doors can pit and rust, and it is hard to add new locks to UPVC doors.
The most popular material these days is fibreglass composite. These doors are strong and secure, and very hardwearing, but they still have the same charming look as traditional wooden doors, so you can get that period Victorian look without the same maintenance burden.
Depending on the area you live in, and the climate, you may also want to think about what front door will let in the most light. Glazed front doors are certainly visually appealing, but it is important that you think about the energy efficiency rating of them, as well as how secure they are. Unless the glass is double-glazed and reinforced, there is always the risk that it will be easy to smash, allowing a would-be intruder to break in.
Oak External Doors
Exterior oak doors are classic and beautiful, providing a natural feel to the exterior of your home. With plenty of interior doors also available in an oak finish, you could create a co-ordinating look all the way through your home. Choose the look to suit your property from a wide range including panelled, glazed, solid oak or oak veneer.
Hardwood External Doors
Another popular choice for external doors is hardwood. These red woods are dense and hardy, secure and sturdy. They’ll give your home a smart appearance whilst withstanding the weather and every day wear and tear.
Choosing a New Exterior Door
It is common for doors to be sold pre-hung. This means that they come with the door, the frame, and weather-stripping. Note that if the door is wood, then you can plane it down to size if it is not a perfect fit for the opening. If it is made of metal or fibreglass then this is not an option.
Pre-hung doors are ideal for replacing very old external doors, where the frame is rotten, or where you want to enlarge the opening when you replace the door. Hanging a pre-hung door is a relatively easy job, although you must make sure that the frame is fitted securely to prevent damp and weather damage.
Look for doors that qualify for the enhanced security standard, PAS 24. This is offered only for factory-built door sets, and means that the door was able to withstand a three-minute long attack using drills, crowbars and hammers. If you want your home to meet the Secured By Design standard, then you will need to have external doors that qualify for PAS 24.
Overall choosing an external door is down to personal preference, but you should take the sizing, style and material into account to make sure you’re making the right choice for your property. Select the right exterior door for the front and back of your home and you’ll make a great first impression on visitors, as well as creating an entryway to enjoy every day.