Composite Front Doors: The Modern, Durable Choice

12 min read Doors

The Complete Guide to Choosing Composite Front Doors That Complement Your Home’s Unique Style

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A gorgeous front door is the homeowner’s pride. It is an eye-catching structure that adorns the façade. But there are priorities beyond curb appeal… safety, functionality, accessibility, and more. Energy efficiency, door size, material, and budget are always the top considerations for buyers.

Whether you want to upgrade to double-glazing or urge to renovate the porch, a high-quality composite door adds style, aligns with the security systems, and lasts for years.

Before you get confused looking at the options online, read our in-depth guide to front-door ideas for statement-making designs.

blue composite front door

Types of Front Doors for Home

The first thing to decide when choosing an entrance door is the type of material. Here is an overview of the types of front doors to help you with the decision-making:

#1. Hardwood/Timber

It is hard to get over the elegance and beauty of wooden doors. Since ancient times, wood has been the prime door material offering unlimited style opportunities and peerless sophistication.

There are two kinds of wooden doors – solid wood and laminated/engineered timbers:

Solid timber core doors are made of single slabs of mahogany, oak, and other timber plants. These slabs are cut into pieces and joined together per se the door configuration requirement. Property owners invest in these leaves and frames for extreme resilience, durability, performance, and safety.

Engineered/laminated wood doors are made of layered pieces of top-grade wood bonded together, employing cutting-edge heat and compression techniques. These timber combinations feature alternating grain flow mechanisms to prevent warping due to heat and moisture impact.

bespoke front door

Pros:

Excellent curb appeal Wood is extremely customisable Matches all house styles- traditional, vintage, rustic, and contemporary Natural and sustainable

Cons:

Susceptible to rotting and termites Expensive than other materials Requires regular maintenance Solid wood leaves can warp due to moisture absorption Engineered wooden doors are difficult to repair

#2. Aluminium

Aluminium is the sure shot bet for countering challenges like hot weather, temperature differences, extreme conditions, corrosion, rotting, warping, and rusting. The glossy-textured metal retains the sleek finish for years without maintenance. Aluminium front doors render contemporary nuances, superb strength, and longevity at a high price tag.

Pros:

Supreme resilience and security for exterior doors Up to 50 years of extended lifespan Fully recyclable Easy and affordable with low maintenance. Reliable thermal insulation

Cons:

Vulnerable to oxidation, releasing white residues Limited customisable options Do not match classic home exteriors

#3. uPVC Composite Front Doors

This thermoplastic material is the top choice for homeowners to avoid costly maintenance services. Branded exterior PVC doors are premium-graded composition eliminating the drawbacks of low-cost models. Modern uPVC doors are resistant to salt, water, and UV radiation.

Despite the hype, it is worth putting a second thought before purchasing. While you may find colour options, scope and flexibility are limited for style choices or bespoke designs. If you love tweaking the looks in every (painting or remodelling), wooden and aluminium profiles offer enormous possibilities.

Besides lacking structural strength, the material tends to fade gradually. Within a few years, it starts developing minor cracks. At the end of the lifecycle, the structure breaks down and cannot be repaired. Replacement is the only alternative, which may cost an arm and leg.

Pros:

Lasts for up to 25 years Little to no maintenance (except cleaning) Inexpensive than other materials uPVC is recyclable Withstands extreme weather conditions This material reduces external noise These doors are stable and insulated

Cons:

Lacks aesthetic appeal Cheap, poor-quality doors may warp within a few years.

#4. Composite Front Doors

Traditional Composite doors are all about material strength, durability, security, and matchless performance. These doors are made of a combination of materials- wood, foam, uPVC, and glass-reinforced plastic (GRP).

The classic wooden look matches almost all architectural patterns. Composite door leaves are 10% thicker than other materials offering supreme energy efficiency. The flexibility to choose from opulent hues and styles makes it the prime choice surpassing all exterior door types.

Pros:

Composite doors do not require sealing or painting like wooden leaves. These sturdy doors last for more than 30 years Plenty of colour, design, and customisation options A combination of advanced locking systems and reinforced materials makes it a highly reliable and safe exterior door

Cons:

Highly expensive. Produces a creaking sound

Popular Front Door Styles

1. Solid Panels

Some premises deserve privacy and security. A glass door may not be a suitable element if the porch is too close to the street. This is where solid panel wooden doors gain prominence. It is the best option for insulation, safety, privacy, and aesthetics. With proper care, these doors can last for decades.

2. Glazing Combination Doors

Glazed panels connect one to the outdoor ambience while amplifying the natural light and semblance of the surroundings. Contemporary double-glazing insulating products with A+ ratings serve all purposes- solidity, safety, and energy efficiency. You can go beyond the sheer profiles with frosted, stained, or custom-etched decorative borders.

timber door

3. Oversized/Supersize Doors with Side Panels

This design is for large spaces. You may go bespoke designing a big door (up to 3m tall and 1.5m wide). Apart from the dramatic element, such profiles allow easy access to heavy furniture pieces without causing dents or scratches on the leaf.

4. Vintage Style

Are vintage doors made of wood? Myth busted. You can get uPVC composite front doors in a vintage-style with woody-emulated models. It is a thoughtful idea for glorifying mid-century homes without spending a fortune. Antique look, stained glasswork, and state-of-the-art specifications assure security, functionality, and accessibility.

5. Double Doors

Create a wide opening to shower an inviting feel to the visitors with double entrance doors. This is an additional style choice if you are looking for an oversized door. Having two leaves means enhanced support for the profile. It reduces the pressure of the heavy door on the hinges and frames.

6. Farmhouse Style

If you are fascinated with the country living style, a farmhouse design entrance door can be a splendid addition to your home. It incorporates a classic farmhouse feel with chic components. From 100% wooden profiles to glitzy glass-panelled pieces, these doors can be engineered to match different home construction patterns.

What to Consider When Buying a Front Door

Choosing an entrance door for a residential building raises several concerns- security, pricing, energy efficiency, performance, endurance, and more. Here is a quick checklist of factors to focus on when you are flooded by a pool of choices:

Door Security Attachments

Safety is the prime concern when choosing an external door. The front door is not an exception. For comprehensive security, the door fixtures and locks must address issues like jemmying, breaking the handle lock, door slabs, etc. This goes beyond a lock installation (only thief-resistant BSI BS-3621 locks).

purple front door

Eyeing these problems, we recommend these vital security features for the entrance door:

Multi-point locking system – an advanced three-point locking system operated with a single key to keep the door firmly attached to the frame

Hinge bolts – small hardware for all types of external doors to prevent intruders from cutting the hinges using a hacksaw.

Sash jammers – small fixtures to form another layer of security that can be operated from the inside. Installing sash jammers at multiple points prevents forced entry, even if someone has the door keys.

Thick laminated glass – laminated security glasses consist of an internal plastic or PVB layer between two glass panels in double-glazing models. This layer holds the glass pieces into the frame when attacked by a sharp/heavy object. Ideally, 6.8mm thick laminated glasses are adept for external doors.

Letterbox guard – this fixture on the door prevents letter-fishing activities. It safeguards your door from thieves who steal the car keys lying near the door or get access to the internal lock to get indoors.

Door chain lock – an extra security layer to prevent the wide opening to a stranger.

Handles – Thick handles (police-approved TS007 models) secure the euro cylinder to prevent burglars from breaking the attachment and locking system.

Building Structure and Pattern

Your door style must coordinate the home architecture form to make a statement. A mismatch can spoil the ambience of the porch area. Consider the window designs to strike a balance. Consult a door designer to explore the options.

Materials

Material is always a personal preference. It depends on your budget, choice of design, and security factors. Experts recommend steel, aluminium, timber, or composite materials for exterior doors.

Fire Safety Ratings

Fire ratings indicate how long it can protect the interiors from burns. For instance, an FD60-rated door offers extended protection against fire for up to 60 minutes. This is essential if your front door opens into a corridor, stairs, etc.

Insulation and Conservation

Energy efficiency is eminent for every household. Besides switching to double-glazing models (A+ rated panels), several other elements contribute to the thermal efficiency of the front door: Airtight weather seal/gasket Wood, steel, uPVC, and composite doors are the best choices for insulation Proper fitting door hardware

Door Attributes

Quality- Cutting corners means compromising the door quality. Since it is an external door, buyers should emphasise energy ratings, security systems, and material resilience over fashion.

Colour- Find out the shades available for the specific door model. Test various tints to see what works for your door colours and your walls.

Size- There is much to decide about the door size. A colossal door with side panels looks impressive, but you must ensure sufficient room for the structure. A small door is a better option for compact spaces. Altering the door size is not a good idea for traditional homes. Demolishing the brickwork may weaken the structure of the building. Get the exact size as the old one when replacing the leaf.

Design- It is all about looks, but specific design characteristics strengthen the door structure (wooden grids with small glass panels). Door style coordinating with the home décor and exteriors bestows a stunning impression on the most fundamental part of the house.

Always Purchase the Front Door from a Reliable Seller

A guaranteed product gives greater assurance and peace of mind. An industry-standard product carries at least a 10-year guarantee from a reputed manufacturer. Once assured your door meets the necessary standard and comes with a manufacturer’s guarantee, you can hire a certified door installer for the rest.

What is the Cost of a Front Door?

How much should you spend on a new front door?

The cost of front doors depends on various factors- size, material, style, fixtures, labour charges, etc.

uPVC doors are inexpensive options can start at £300 (excluding installation). However, outlays can go higher (up to £1500) for expansive branded models.

There are several variations of composite doors in varying designs, configurations, and hardware. The prices of new composite door can range between £550-£2,000.

The starting price of aluminium front doors is £1000 but can surge beyond £2500 for premium bespoke items.

Quintessential wooden front doors with luxurious impressions are the investment for security, insulation, and vibes. However, the material is the most expensive lot in the market. This can cost £750-£4,000 based on the type of wood, style, attachments, size, etc.

residential timber door

Door Care and Maintenance

The front door needs upkeep for extended lifespan and functionality. Exterior doors are exposed to dirt, moisture, and weather impact. Lack of caring means an uninviting porch for the guests.

Take note of the door material and hardware for adopting adequate care measures. Here is a concise guide to external door care and maintenance tips:

Wood

All types of wooden front doors require routine care and maintenance than any other material. It is prone to moisture damage, rotting, warping, and termites. Typically, you can do maintenance work, including repainting every 3-5 years. Fading and peeling paint is a pointer that your entrance door needs repainting. Call a professional to perform sanding, staining, and sealing to refresh the look.

solidor entrance door

Aluminium

Aluminium doors retain the lustrous look with minimal but essential care practices. Here are the cleaning and maintenance instructions to keep these doors functional: Clean the door every month to remove dirt and grime deposits. Mix a non-abrasive cleaning agent in water. Soak a soft cloth in the solution to clean door surfaces.

Apply the detergent on stubborn stains and marks. It will soften the deposits to give a spotless sheen after cleaning.

To clean the glass panels, spray a mix of equal parts of water and white vinegar. Leave on for a couple of minutes and wipe off the residues. You may also use a glass cleaner for the same. If there are scratches on the paint, apply a touch-up coating with a fine-bristled brush to cover the marks. Repaint the door when it looks discoloured.

uPVC and Composite front doors

These front doors are easy to clean and maintain compared to their timber counterparts. Prepare a concentrate of gentle soapy detergent treated with warm water. Use a non-scouring sponge to clean your new composite door surface.

Lubricate the Door Fixtures

Apply a silicone-based lubricant to the hinges every six months for noise-free operation. Put a few drops of Teflon/graphite-based formulation into the keyholes and operate it a few times. This will spread the liquid evenly to keep the locking systems functional.

Front Door FAQs

– What are the most cost-effective exterior doors?

There are two considerations when choosing a cost-effective external door. Product and installation for the new door alongside regular expenses on maintenance. uPVC front doors are economical in terms of product pricing and installation charges. But composite front doors are the most secure option.

You can skip the maintenance costs following a DIY cleaning and greasing routine once in 3-5 months.

pink and salmon french doors

Final Thoughts,

The internet may be awash with cheap products. But high-quality composite front doors are always a wise investment and valued addition to the property. It is the focal point of the home exterior that people notice about a building. Besides intricate style and vibes, this external door is crucial for a comprehensive safety shield against weather impacts and intruders.

Modern external doors are energy efficient and equipped with advanced security systems bearing a manufacturer’s guarantee. If you want to install or replace your entrance door, contact the best local door fitter for quality assurance and professional-grade services.

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