Five tips for choosing a front door

The front door of a house. Photo: PA Photo/thinkstockphotos

The front door of a house. Photo: PA Photo/thinkstockphotos

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1. Wooden front doors are solid, have a natural look and feel, and are available in both traditional and modern styles.

They can be painted any colour to match the outside of the house, and can be varnished or stained. If you’re concerned about the source of the wood, FSC-certified doors - available at Wickes - are environmentally sustainable.

From a practical point of view, it’s often easy to replace an existing wooden door without taking out the entire frame - wooden doors will fit most standard frame sizes and can usually be trimmed down for minor adjustments. A drawback of wooden doors is that they require regular maintenance in order to have a long lifespan.

2. UPVC doors are virtually maintenance free and usually supplied as a door set, with a frame and multi-point locking system. The frame will need to be fitted into a brickwork opening and so may require a professional to install it. When buying a UPVC door, it’s important to remember that the sizes are set, so the door can’t be trimmed down.

3. Composite doors are also low-maintenance and almost always come as a door set. They are thermally efficient and compatible with more advanced security features, such as more sophisticated locking systems, but tend to be slightly more expensive. These doors can’t be trimmed down, but should save the installer time and effort because the door furniture usually comes pre-installed.

4. The lifespan of a front door depends on how you maintain and care for it - most exterior doors last from 10 to 30 years. All options, including wooden doors, perform well in damp locations, provided the door is correctly finished and maintained. UPVC and composite doors require far less maintenance than wooden doors and can be more durable in coastal areas.

5. Door furniture on wooden doors can be easily replaced to make it look newer or more contemporary. In most cases, this is as simple as removing the screws from the piece of door furniture and replacing it with a newer equivalent.

Door furniture on UPVC and composite doors may not be easy to change, depending on how it’s fixed to the door. If it’s permanently fixed, it can’t be removed and so the whole door may have to be replaced.