Choosing Exterior Doors

There can be many reasons for changing an external door. It may need repairing or repainting, it might be draughty and old fashioned or it could simply no longer suit your taste or the style of your property.

As it’s the first thing visitors see, a front door deserves careful consideration so to help you select the right product, we've highlighted the most important points to consider when choosing an exterior door.

The door frame

The first thing you need to decide is whether to replace the door or the whole door frame. We have softwood frames that can be painted in a colour of your choice.

Find your style

A front door is a statement about who you are, so select a style that complements your home and your personality.

Trends come and go, but there are classic styles that stand the test of time, such as oak doors which are a popular material and can be matched up to patio doors and windows. We have an excellent choice of oak external doors with complementing joinery options for your interior such as the Garda or Lexington from our white oak range.

panelled door creates a textured look with more depth. We have a variety of designs to suit all tastes and budgets in our solid wood and composite ranges. If you have a dark hallway that could do with brightening up, why not add glazing to some of the panels?

Material matters

Exterior doors are split into two broad categories, engineered timber and composite. Both have their benefits, so weigh up the pros and cons before making a decision.

  • Timber looks authentic and when combined with premium oak veneers these exterior doors offer that much sought after ‘kerb appeal’. Timber doors are available in a wide variety of panel and glazed designs in both traditional and contemporary styles to suit any property.
  • The most popular composite doors are made from glass reinforced plastic (GRP), which have a woodgrain effect and come in a wide range of colour choices. The composition of these doors makes them extremely robust and hard wearing.
  • You can also buy timber composite doors which have a timber exterior but have added stability, security and thermal performance through their design with foam and aluminium strengthening cores. These give you a more natural wood finish with the added benefit of great performance.

Weather performance

The British climate is so changeable that it is essential to select a good quality door with a decent guarantee.

Don't forget, a wooden door will have to be painted or stained to ensure it stays protected, so if decorating is not your thing, you might want to consider a composite door.

Security

When it comes to security clearly a good locking system is a must. You can now get 5 lever mortice locks with cylinder-free multi-point locking systems for improved security. For added peace of mind you might want to consider buying an exterior doorset that is accredited by the police approved Secured by Design, and offers additional security features.

Building Regulations

There is strict legislation governing the replacement of external doors, so it is always worth checking the current regulations before making a purchase. You may also need planning permission, depending on the type of project you are undertaking and whether your preferred door has glazed panels.

Finishing and maintenance

Depending on the type of door the maintenance requirements can vary. One of the advantages of wood is that you can alter its appearance when you feel like a change, a simple coat of paint or stain can considerably alter the look. If decorating is not your thing, you might want to consider a composite door. They are available to purchase in a wide range of colours and need no painting or staining.

You can change the look of a timber door with a simple coat of paint or stain. We recommend investing in Hi-Build paint and stain products to provide lasting protection from the elements. They can be found in decorators’ centres and some retail outlets.

Composite doors are more robust and need no decoration, eliminating the need for future maintenance.