Unless you are planning on living in a house where privacy is non-existent and you’re intending on residing in one large open plan expanse, then you will be requiring internal doors for your self-build or renovation project.

Internal doors have been dividing rooms since the dawn of building and with the increase in suppliers has come the increased considerations homeowners need to undertake before they make a purchase. No longer just functional products which make up the fabric of a house, selecting a traditional or contemporary style comes into play, as does the decision of whether to buy them on a door-only basis or as a complete doorset with ironmongery in place, and how the door is constructed in the first place — all of which will be driven by price.

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How much should I budget?

The price of internal doors varies greatly depending on three key factors: material, construction quality, and whether you’re buying a single door or a doorset. At the cheaper end of the scale, if you are buying on a door-only basis you would be looking at paying between £50-£200 per door — budgeting a further £30-£40 per door for handles, latch and hinges.

For doorsets, to show how greatly prices can vary, companies such as JELD-WEN offer sets ranging between £90-£300, while the likes of Urban Front advertise doorsets starting at £1,200. Ideally you’ll want them to last, and are less likely to change your internal doors than opt for a new kitchen, so think about investing in quality doors and prioritise your budget accordingly

What’s the difference between hollow and solid timber doors?

The key difference between hollow and solid doors is the way they are constructed, which affects the price as a result.

“A hollow two-skin door has air spaces within the core, it is less robust, lighter in weight and usually cheaper,” explains Martin Hile of JB Kind. “Doors with a higher price point will usually have a solid core construction and a prefinished timber veneer.”

The fabric of solid doors also provides better sound and thermal insulation, with insulative properties running through the core of the door.

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Raw door in American black walnut by Urban Front

How do I decide on a style?

“We find that homeowners want the internal doors on the ground floor to be special, but are not as bothered with the doors upstairs as guests don’t see them,” explains Elizabeth Assaf, Designer at Urban Front. “For most people it’s about creating that wow-factor when you walk through the entrance and matching these doors to the architrave, frame and even flooring too. People have changed the way they think about doors and adjust their budget accordingly.”

Achieving this wow-factor can be done in many ways, from cross-directional grains and different timber and colour options, glazed inserts to allow light to flow throughout the home, as well as how the doors open out or into a room. “Pocket door systems are rapidly increasing in popularity, due to their stylish look and space-saving advantages,” adds Martin Hile of JB Kind.

Frameless doors are becoming a popular option for those seeking a modern look too, as Urban Front’s Designer Elizabeth Assaf explains: “Those living in contemporary houses are more likely to choose frameless doors, but these are more expensive as they have to be made with an invisible frame and shadow gap — this style is most suited to those who want the door to be part of the fabric of the house and not attract attention.”

This needs to be planned at the design stage however to ensure the wall is built so that the junction between the wall and the door is perfect. “An architrave is used to cover up untidy edges, so you will need someone who specialises in building this type of wall,” advises Martin Hile, Commercial Director at JB Kind.

Should I choose a doorset?

When buying doors you will be faced with the choice of whether you buy the door on its own or as a doorset — you should be clear with the supplier which you are after from the outset. “There’s a big difference between off-the-shelf doors as you will then have to pay for the frame, hardwear and everything else on top, plus extra for a carpenter to hang the doors which can also lead to mistakes being made,” says Elizabeth Assaf, Designer at Urban Front.

Besides the benefits of having a whole system with reduced labour costs to install, doorsets also benefit from accuracy and speed of installation, but if you are carrying out a renovation project then you may consider buying single doors on a supply-only basis — especially if you already have a carpenter on site.

“Doorsets lend themselves well to new openings but separate doors can be best if you’re carrying out a refurbishment as the frames will already be in place. It depends how much work you want to get involved with, as ripping out frames can be problematic if you don’t know what lies underneath. When fitting a standard door it’s just a case of measuring the opening, bearing in mind the floor level, and hanging new hinges plus the new door,” says Chris Miller, Product Manager at JELD-WEN.

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JB Kind

What should I do about fire doors?

Fire doors are usually required when the property is more than two storeys – fire doors may be required when a loft is converted, for example, to meet Building Regulations requirements – and/or if the garage is integral. Many suppliers have noticed an uptake in converting their standard doors into fire doors, particularly on more vulnerable rooms such as kitchens.

“This is purely for peace of mind; it’s not a requirement for every door to be a fire door except doors which are en route of escape,” says Chris Miller, Product Manager at JELD-WEN. “Fire doors contain a fire-tested core but it is the associated parts such as fire hinges which allow the fire door to work efficiently. The doors also feature an intumescent strip which swells as a reaction to heat and forms a seal around the door and frame, and will come with either a 30 or 60 minute protection.”

Expect to pay between 10-20 per cent more for a fire door.

What are the most common mistakes to avoid?

“The main mistakes homeowners make are that they do not consider doors as part of their interior fit-out budget, they do not measure the door sizes required correctly, and do not install and treat/finish the doors correctly,” says Martin Hile, Commercial Director at JB Kind.

“Another common mistake is that people don’t think about which way the door is going to open — whether it will open into or out of the room and whether it will be hung left or right. You also need to make sure you leave enough space for the door to open out to. Homeowners should spend more time getting these things right at the beginning. Sometimes it’s worth living in the house first to really consider how you want to enter different rooms and what space is available — it’s not as simple as just choosing a door, you need to think about so much more,” says Elizabeth Assaf, Designer at Urban Front.

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