Our quick explanation for the different types of external doors

6 min read Doors

If you’re in the market for new or replacement external doors, the more you know about each product, the better chance there is of finding exactly what you’re looking for. So, to help you out, we’ve created this quick but informative door buying guide.

There are several door FAQs at the bottom of the page, which should help answer any specific door-related question you might have too.

Entrance Doors

black entrance door

Available for fitting to the front, back, or even side, of the home, entrance doors are as the name suggests, the doors used for entering and exiting the home. Virtually every home in the UK has at least one of them, and they play an important role in how the property looks from the outside.


  • Available in uPVC, aluminium, timber and composite materials
  • Fitted with multipoint locks and kitemarked locking cylinders to keep properties secure
  • Choose from a huge range of traditional and modern designs, a wealth of door furniture and colour options
  • Low threshold options available if easy access is required

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Bi-folding Doors

Aluminium bi-folding doors in white

Bi-folding doors consist of several glazed panels that open by folding in a concertina style and stacking on top of one another, leaving a wide aperture. This allows homeowners and guests to move between the home and garden with ease, which is great when entertaining.


  • Available in aluminium and timber, allowing for suitability to modern and traditional styles of home
  • Ultra-slim sightlines that let natural light flow inside the home, brightening interiors
  • Certified to PAS24:2012 security standards, so they keep properties secure
  • Thanks to polyamide thermal breaks or naturally-insulating timber, and the latest glazing technologies, they keep interiors warm and cosy

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Sliding Patio Doors

aluminium sliding doorsOpened by smoothly sliding sideways, sliding patio doors offer maximum natural light intake and impressive external views. They are available in inline and lift & slide varieties. On lift and slide patio doors, they can be opened to the desired position and secured in place by lowering the handle.


  • Sideways opening means they’re great for rooms where space is tight
  • Available in uPVC, aluminium and timber
  • Multipoint locks, toughened glass and a host of other security features mean you can enjoy peace of mind throughout the year
  • Choose from 6 configuration options, adapting them to fit small and large apertures

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French Doors

White slimline doors

French doors are the classic solution for introducing light into the home and allowing for easy access to the garden. They can open inwards or outwards and are known for their timeless 2-door design. As a result of the latter, they look good just about anywhere.


  • Available in uPVC, aluminium, timber and composite materials
  • Multipoint locks, security hinges, toughened glass and more keep properties secure
  • Standard U-values of 1.7 W/m2k, ensuring for better insulated homes
  • Can be fitted with Georgian bars and leaded glass – perfect for a more traditional aesthetic

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Stable Doors

Solidor Composite Stable Door

As you might have guessed from the name, stable doors take their name from the doors found on horses’ stables. Their top and bottom halves can be operated independently, allowing for the top to be opened whilst the bottom remains closed. This feature allows for the home to be ventilated whilst preventing pets and young children from getting outside.

  • Traditional style of entrance door that is especially suited to cottages, period properties and older styles of home
  • Built from either low maintenance uPVC and sturdy composite materials
  • ‘Secured by Design’ certified options available, maximising the level of protection for the home
  • A selection of low aluminium thresholds are available, ensuring for easy access to and from homes

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We hope the information on this guide has helped you in your journey to finding the perfect door for your home. However, if you would like more information, or you’re interested in getting a free quote for a new door, please get in touch with us here at Sheerwater Glass.

A door FAQ section is also available below

External door FAQs:

Do external doors come with a guarantee?

Yes, every door we install comes with a 10-year, insurance-backed guarantee. Therefore, your door installation will still be covered even if we must cease trading for whatever reason.

What door is best for a bungalow?

timber door project

Bungalows tend to be quite traditional in style, so if you require a new entrance door for a bungalow, a stable door is a great option. With that said, standard entrance doors come in a huge range of traditional door styles and colours.

If you’re looking to bring light into a bungalow, French doors will give you the natural light intake you require whilst being sympathetic to a traditional design. With that said, bifold and patio doors can be adapted to suit more traditional types of architecture too.

The ideas above regarding door suitability to modern and traditional properties can also be applied to properties other than bungalows.

What are ‘Secured by Design’ doors?

‘Secured by Design’ is the official UK Police security initiative that recognises outstanding security in home improvement products. ‘Secured by Design’ doors have successfully met these standards, demonstrating the excellent security they provide for the home.

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