12th Dec 2022 -

Whether you are looking to source front doors for a building project or to replace the worn or unattractive front door to your property, it’s important to balance safety and style. In this guide from Building Materials Nationwide, we’ll explore the materials used to make front doors, your design options, and the best ways to ensure your new door is secure.

What are Front Doors Made From?

When buying front doors, you will be choosing between four materials, each bringing its own benefits and drawbacks to a building project.

  • UPVC: uPVC front doors will be the cheapest option on the market. This doesn’t necessarily mean a lack of sturdiness, with quality uPVC doors offering better performance than many wooden doors. The central drawback of uPVC front doors is their appearance, which has a plastic look that cannot really be altered. Many find this unattractive, which is something to keep in mind when looking for the best door options. This traditionally white look can also discolour over time, though other door colours are sometimes available.
  • Composite: Composite front doors will be made from a combination of several materials, including wood, composite wood products, reinforced plastic, and insulation. Combining these elements gives both strength and thermal efficiency. Stylistically you’ll have a wide range of choices and colour options too, with great looks featuring glazed panels available. Secure composite doors are low maintenance, and designed around long-term performance. The downside is the price, which will be higher than wood or uPVC.
  • Wood: Traditional wooden front doors remain the choice for many, with a solid and authentic heft. They can be easily painted in any colour, unlike composite and uPVC options.  A drawback of wooden doors is that, for a similar price to composite doors, they will offer inferior protection. Another drawback of timber doors is that they will require more maintenance than other options, with treatment and repainting.
  • Metal: Metal front doors are also available, typically made from aluminium. This is an extremely strong option that will offer great performance over time, including under severe weather. While metal doors may be more known in commercial environments, you can find designs for domestic buildings too. A metal front door will be an expensive choice – comparable to composite options.

How Can I Ensure Front Door Security in the UK?

When buying a front door, security should take precedence alongside look, keeping homes and families safe. This can be ensured through both the strength of the door and its locking system. A good metric to look for is the Secured by Design scheme, a police-run qualification that door manufacturers can apply for and have their products tested to ensure resistance to things like lockpicking and blunt force, giving peace of mind to homeowners. Some doors will include locks and handles, while in others you will need to provide them separately.

Front Door Designs

When shopping for single front doors, you’ll typically have the choice between more traditional panelled options and sleek flat designs. Traditional options can be solid with varied panelling looks, or can include a glazed panel. Opting for a transparent or opaque glazed panel will help to bring more light into a house. More contemporary flat door designs can give a great look to locations like blocks of flats or modern houses.

Bespoke Front Door Designs

If you have a specific design or material in mind for a door, bespoke design services operate across the country. They will let you choose the material, be that composite or solid wood, alongside the design of your door, with panelling and glazing decided by you. You’ll also be able to pick the colour of your door. These made-to-measure options can also come pre-finished, ready-hung in their frames with all ironmongery installed.

Replacing Your House’s Exterior Doors

A homeowner can opt to replace their front doors due to wear or visual reasons. In many cases, standard doors can simply be installed within the existing door frame, whereas if you are opting for a bespoke front door it may be delivered in a frame as part of a door set. Some companies will install doors themselves, while for others a professional will need to be hired by you.

Grey UPVC front door

External Front Door Prices

According to myjobquote.co.uk, a new uPVC front door will be the cheapest option at £250-£500, compared to costs of between £400 and £2000 for a composite door. Solid wood doors will range hugely in price, with pine options costing comparable amounts to uPVC, while oak or mahogany can be as much as £1300 for a door. Metal front doors for houses can be in the high hundreds per door.

You should also consider whether you’ll have to factor in the cost of fitting, which can be around £100, though this can rise for cases where frames need replacing, or for the removal of an existing door.

High-Quality Exterior Doors for Sale

We offer a range of front doors on our website, with many attractive and practical options at great prices. Our full range can be delivered across the UK, and all products within it are perfect for small or large-scale projects. Building Materials Nationwide works with professionals across the UK. For those in the industry, we offer dedicated account managers through our trade account system. Your account manager will be able to help you organise orders of whatever you need, including doors and much more. If you need a product that isn’t on our website, your account manager can source it for you through our network of suppliers, at a great trade price. Our trade account service helps to save you time and money, delivering you whatever you need when you need it.

Sign up for a trade account online now.

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