The front door that you choose for your home sets the tone for what guests can expect to find on the inside and makes a real statement as to the levels of security that you have put in place. They differ greatly from interior doors and need to be given a lot of thought.
When choosing a design, it will become apparent that there are a myriad of styles to select from, but in the UK, these are the most common:
Single doors with glazing side or top panels
Double doors/French doors
Pivoting wide doors
In addition to these styles, you can customise your exterior doors with inset windowpanes, privacy glass and different hardware, but these are the basic starting point designs readily available.
Unlike interior doors, front doors need to be strong, sturdy and solid. Essentially, your entrance needs to be finished with a security door that sits inside of an unbreakable door frame, which is why the following materials work best:
Steel: Though prone to signs of corrosion, steel doors are perfect for modern buildings and an impenetrable aesthetic.
Fibreglass: For modern convenience with traditional good looks, you can’t go wrong with fibreglass doors. They can be moulded to look like traditional styles, but won’t need replacing for a lifetime and will be fantastically weather-resistant.
Wood: A wooden front door offers fantastic security, style and sophistication, but it will likely set you back a reasonable amount of money. Usually the most expensive option, wooden front doors are an upgrade that a lot of homeowners seek to make in future years.
Of course, the simplest way to install a new front door is to have your supplier do it for you, but this service will normally come at a premium. With that in mind, a lot of people look to hang their own front doors and the process isn’t as difficult as you might think. If you have even a modicum of DIY experience or skill, you might like to try installing a front door yourself, by following these steps:
Research the styles available. Before you get started, you need to know what types of front door there are to choose from, so you can make an educated decision as to the aesthetic that will work best with the rest of your façade. You can also think about materials and security at this point as well.
Measure your old door. You’re going to need a few different measurements, such as that of your existing door, your frame, jambs and your sill. It’s important to get these measurements spot on, otherwise you could find yourself taking delivery of a door that simply won’t fit the space you have.
Remove your old door. Be sure to dispose of your old door responsibly or reuse it for something elsewhere.
Fit your new frame. If you measured carefully, your frame should fit into place perfectly, leaving just enough space for some sealant.
Fit your door. Be sure to check that you are hanging your door level, with enough space to open fully and that your sill is in the right place. You want a tight fit, but not one that requires effort in terms of opening and closing the door itself.
Insulate and install the trim. With everything in place, you can finalise the installation by adding all of your trim pieces that hide the fixtures. From there, it is a case of adding a letterbox and your hardware, not to mention security fixtures.
Once your front door is in place, you need to start thinking about how you will keep unwanted guests out of your home, which mean security and locks. Speaking to your home insurance supplier could be a good idea, as they will be able to tell you which locking systems will bring your premium down the most, thanks to being exceptionally hard to circumvent.
You will definitely want to consider Yale locks, as well as 5-pin cylinders, mortice locks and multi-point locking systems. Anything other than these options will be viewed as a weak security system, but you can ask your door supplier for advice as well.
With people becoming so keen to try their hand at household projects in recent years, more and more DIY stores are now starting to stock beautiful front doors, ready to simply buy, adapt and hang. Other options include uPVC window suppliers, who always offer matching doors and for something a little more unique, carpenters can be commissioned to make custom designs