Shut the Front Door

A new front door can be a huge focal point in the appearance of your house and will have an impact that belies its size and style. However, choosing the right front door for your home is not just a matter of aesthetics, there are other considerations like energy efficiency and vital home security too.

How to make the right choice of door

Start by choosing a style and material that works for the house, this might be easy if you have a period home as the right design of door could be obvious.

Most period homeowners opt for a wooden door as this is faithful to the original plus they look the part and offer decent longevity if well looked after. However, new timber doors are not cheap, and a bespoke creation might be the only option if you are grappling with non-standard measurements from a couple of centuries ago.

There is the option of making the door hollow rather than solid; this drops the price, but you won’t get that lovely robust feel or the durability. Hollow timber doors last 20-30 years tops. They are also easier to breach for the keen bugler compared to their solid wood cousins.

Fibreglass is another option; these doors can look like wood without the price tag, and they are durable. Other choices include vinyl or uPVC, commonly seen in modern properties to match double or triple-glazed windows. These are the most energy-efficient option and the hardest to break through but for most period or traditional homeowners, they just don’t fit the design aesthetic.

Choosing the right colour

The right colour can depend upon so many things, the age of the property, its location and the colour of the windows. What might work for a Georgian townhouse – think rich dark blue or British Racing Green – won’t suit a similarly aged property in the countryside where a soft off-white, rustic sage green or faded blue would be much more appropriate.

Hitting on the best design

Even within specific historical periods, there are possibly a variety of door styles which could work with your home. If you are surrounded by similar properties, then take a look at the adjacent streets and see which design you think works best for your home. If the door is being handmade then you could alter the design slightly to suit your needs, so it is still faithful to the age of the house but styled to suit modern living so that means good draught-proofing and the ability to support quality mortice deadlocks.

Glazing or solid

Glazing may be faithful to the original or it can be a popular choice because it allows natural light into an otherwise dark hallway. However, glass is vulnerable when it comes to intruders and unless you choose regular good quality thermally regulated glass, it will allow heat to leach from your home. These challenges are surmountable if you want to have some glass but keeping it to a minimum will give you the best of both worlds.

Sidelight windows placed on either side of the door can let in natural light and allow you to keep the door itself solid wood. However, sidelight windows are a security risk. If you do want to have glass, then keep the window in the door as high as possible above the doorknob which makes it much harder for an intruder to break the glass and reach inside to open the door. Some Georgian doors have an arc of glass above the actual door so the hallway has natural light but the glass is too high to reach easily.

Eco-credentials and sustainability

Timber is a great environmentally friendly choice for your front or back door if it’s harvested from sustainable woodland or forest. Check this out with your door manufacturer. Sustainable timber usually comes from forests with FSC – Forest Stewardship Council – accreditation.

Modern draught-proofing methods and techniques like an adjustable threshold which can block airflow means that timber doors can compete with uPVC equivalents when it comes to energy efficiency.

Don’t forget the door furniture

Door furniture can make or break a door when it comes to styling and it’s an opportunity for you to get creative with a letterbox or door knocker. When it comes to keeping the draughts out and the warm air in, don’t forget to fit a covered escutcheon over the top of the keyhole for complete authenticity. They knew a thing or two about staying warm, these hardy Georgians and Victorians plus this is one word which seriously impresses your friends and family in a game of Scrabble.

We offer repair and restoration for original timber doors plus a bespoke design service to produce any size, shape or style of door for both traditional and contemporary homes. We provide a wide range of hardware and door furniture plus cutting-edge glazing which focuses on durability combined with historic authenticity. Choose from any colour or stain all expertly applied in our workshop with the superior coverage of a spray finish.

Contact us to find out more about our restoration services and range of new timber doors for your home.