No one disputes that real timber looks great when first fitted, but it is rather expensive and being wood can warp and twist over time, plus it needs maintaining to keep the natural beauty of the timber looking as it should. PVCU double glazed front doors are generally inexpensive and wipe clean, and normally more draft proof and thermally efficient than timber front doors. Whilst standard PVCU doors do a job, are not necessarily the strongest material available to keep out any would be intruders. Decent quality double glazed residential aluminium front doors are inherently much stronger, more durable and more secure than most PVCU front doors, and so offer UK home owners a reasonable return on investment.
There are very expensive engineered timber front doors available that have been specially designed and manufactured so that they are guaranteed not to move more than 1mm. Like with any high quality product, you get what you pay for. These Century Engineered Timber Front Doors are very heavy and need special heavy duty hinges to take their weight, but do offer those with deep pockets a timber front door product that will deliver in terms of security, aesthetics and durability.
Rather like residential PVCU front doors, aluminium front doors are easy to maintain and make good external egress and access doors, be they front doors, back doors, kitchen/utility doors or French doors. Some of the real advantages aluminium front doors have over standard PVCU front doors are that they are made of a stronger material, they won’t fade in direct sunlight and they are available in any powder coated RAL colour so they can match in with the colour scheme of any dwelling.
PVCU front doors have traditionally tended to be the least expensive of all front doors, aluminium doors next, then composite doors, with solid timber doors being the most expensive. Selecting any new main entrance door for a property should not be just about price, but also about personal preference. For example if you select a high quality front door with a stylish design for a property in a superior finish, it is like having a designer label stuck on the front of your house.
The reasonably realistic woodgrain effect texture of most composite front doors makes them look like a stylish traditional timber door with decent kerb appeal. Composite doors, like aluminium doors and PVCU doors are low maintenance, robust and weather resistant do not rot, warp or crack, nor will they ever need painting. Composite front doors tend to hide minor scratches and are easy to clean, and of course are the most thermally efficient of all front door products.
Whichever material you choose for the external door(s) for your home, ensure the product is the equivalent of “Secured by Design” security wise, with a 3 Star high security locking barrel. Established in 1989, Secured by Design (SBD) is brand owned by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) and is the corporate title for a group of national police projects focusing on the design and security for new and refurbished UK homes and commercial premises as well as the acknowledgement of quality security products.
Before ordering any new external door for a property, through which any individual(s) can gain entry, it is worth checking it has been Secured by Design approved or has the equivalent in terms of multi-locking, robust hinges and lock barrel. According to the Secured by Design website “Door assemblies must pass BS:PAS 23 General Performance Requirements (excluding annexes) and BS:PAS 24 Enhanced Security Requirements. Doors must also pass the end bolt test, which simulates an attack on the bolt.”
Do make sure before you purchase any new front door that it comes with a substantial product and installation guarantee, and do your research to ensure that whichever supplier and/or installer you select will be around for at least the next decade in case of any issues that arise after installation. Ten year guarantees are industry standard, so ensure you a) get one that is worth the paper it is written on and b) that it is a comprehensive warranty with no call out charges.
Here in the UK the better more expensive high quality composite doors perform to the highest standards, irrespective of the weather and thermal efficiency is paramount as it substantially reduces your fuel bills and carbon footprint. Most high quality composite doors are available with a different exterior to interior finish, many with matching or complementary frames. The better composite doors tend to be tailor-made and not “cut to size” and come in a range of colour and wood grain effect finishes. Some manufacturers via their authorised installers even offer matching French Composite Doors if you want to push the boat out.
By opting for a high quality composite door for a home over cheaper mass market options, home owners are not only stamping their individuality and personality on their property, but also making a statement that they value quality, durability and good value for money. If only the best is good enough, these higher priced, high specification, high performance composite front doors, with their design, build quality, unrivalled security and attention to detail deliver a strong, weather tight, secure, aesthetically pleasing and virtually maintenance free product.
Another reason why so many UK property owners go for composite doors is that the realistic woodgrain-effect texture of a high quality composite door makes it look like a traditional wooden door, but with none of the drawbacks commonly seen with timber or PVCU. A composite is not just about aesthetics and luxury; it’s about performance, security and style and ultimately enhancing the value of your property.
To find out more about composite doors, PVCU doors, aluminium doors and engineered timber front doors visit Hazlemere Windows High Wycombe showroom on Cressex Business Park just off junction 4 of the M40 or its Welwyn Garden City Showroom on Mundells Industrial Estate, off the Mundells one-way system.
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