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Whether you’re self-building or renovating, it goes without saying that doors and windows will feature high up on your shopping list. And that list will of course include the front door. But, it’s not just a case of walking in somewhere once you’ve built or renovated, picking a model off the shelf and job done.
It’s important to start thinking about your front door at the initial design stage.Why? Because you’ll want it to complement your build and hint at what lies behind it, not jar and look out of sorts — the wrong door could scupper the overall look and feel.
So, with many models on the market here are five top things to consider before you buy…
1. The Style
Contemporary, classic or retro? Whether you want your front door to contrast or complement your build or renovation the door you pick will set the tone for your home. First impressions count. Traditional doors feature glass and panelled designs for a timeless classic look, perfect for period-style properties. For a mid-century look (circa 1950s), opt for a retro design in vibrant red, green or blue with a stain-glass half window. If it’s a contemporary look you’re after, designs tend to be large, wide and solid with little or no glass in the door, but glazed sidelights (or panels) that are frosted or opaque.
2. The Material
The material you choose will depend on the budget you have. At the lower end of the market, uPVC doors will set you back around £600. If you want the appearance of timber but without the price tag, then glass reinforced plastic (GRP) composite can be an option for around £900. Timber (solid hardwood) and engineered timber doors are often bespoke so you can have a hand in designing a style to suit. Timber doors start from around £2,000. Aluminium doors are a low maintenance option and suit a modern build or renovation or can add a contemporary twist to an older property. Expect aluminium front doors to start from around £2,000.
When fitting a new door, it’s important to think about light ingress — how much natural light will penetrate the floorplan. You don’t want your hallway plunged into darkness by a solid door that might look great but blocks out any natural light! If you’re renovating a Victorian house with a long narrow hallway, for example, it would be worth fitting a front door with a glazed top half to allow some light to filter through.
Large heavy doors with no panes of glass work well if you’ve got glazed sidelights either side of the door forming the frame or windows at the front of the house that allow natural light to flood in.
When it comes to picking the colour of your front door, you’ll need to think about how it’ll work with your windows – can you pick frames in the same colour? – and the build itself. Many companies now offer RAL colours, which means you can pick from a whole range of shades and hues – from zingy brights to soft, subtle greys, there’s a shade to suit. But if the natural look is more your thing, then opt for a timber stain or a palette of off white tones.
Consider the same things when choosing your windows, too. And think about how they’ll work with the front door you pick.
As well as looking the part, your front door should be secure, too. If you’re adding a front door to a new build, you must adhere to Building Regs for safety standards in Approved Document Q, which requires doorsets to meet PAS 24, a robust security standard.
If you’re replacing a front door, look for companies who adhere to Secured by Design, a police initiative that sets out security standards that can be awarded to companies who’s products pass rigorous tests.
For extra security, it’s a good idea to opt for security glass on sidelights or any glazing in the door, too.
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