What to know before you buy a new front door

Kerb appeal is important, and fundamental to a good first impression is a handsome front door…

urban front door
Urban Front

It’s the first thing you see when you come home every night, and the sight that greets your guests before you do. Having a front door you can be proud of is very important. We’ve asked the experts to solve the commonly asked questions everybody has when looking to update theirs. Plus, we reveal the best brands for every style, from traditional to contemporary and even salvaged.

Why might it be time to invest in a new front door?
A smart and sturdy front door will add value to your home while also ensuring it’s secure and draught-free. ‘Ironically, improved central heating can cause original doors to warp, and many were constructed using bone glue, which over time can weaken’ says Kerry Walters at The London Door Company.

‘Decorative glass was often removed and locks repeatedly changed, all of which can render a door less secure or attractive. If this is the case then a replacement front door can make all the difference.’

What style of front door should I choose?
If you live in a period property, an authentic style is always a good option, and many companies have comprehensive ranges or can create a bespoke design to suit your exact requirements. However, if you live in a newer property, or simply fancy something more modern, there are some key points to consider.

a high resolution composite image of six door entrances to multiple apartment properties in london, england
Painting or staining a front door can add personality to your home
George Clerk/Getty images

‘Think about the materials on the outside of the building, for example window frames, cladding, rendering, and any metals or stone, as well as the interior including the flooring, staircase and other visible doors,’ advises Elisabeth Assaf at UrbanFront. ‘The front door should stand out, but it needs to work with the rest of the house.’

What is the best material for a front door?
In terms of finishes, not only does solid wood or a wood veneer feel more pleasing, it can be stained or painted a different shade should you so desire, and a well-chosen door can also bridge the gap between a traditional façade and a contemporary interior. ‘The key is to choose a simple design in a timeless timber such as oak, or a classic dark colour’ says Assaf.

And what about the door knob or handle?
‘Go for a stainless steel knob or a lever handle rather than a long pull handle. Bronze door furniture is also a good option,’ advises Assaf. Remember too, that there is strict legislation concerning replacement of external doors, so always check local regulations.

Four of the Best Places to Buy Doors

Whatever first impression you want your door to make, these are the brands to know…

Best for traditional: The London Door Company
For over 30 years the brand has used both traditional methods and advanced technology to make its range of high-quality doors. 155 St John’s Hill, London SW11, londondoor.co.uk

london door company
London Door Company

Best for modern: Urban Front
Founded in 2003, Urban Front crafts both hinged and extra-wide pivot doors, all with a reinforced steel core, high-security locks and stainless steel fittings. Chesham Business Park, Chesham HP5, urbanfront.co.uk

urban front raw steel door
Urban Front

Best for timber composite: Jeld Wen
This company provides a range of doors with a sustainable timber exterior and an insulating foam and aluminium strengthening core. Available in natural wood or any RAL colour. Retford Road, Woodhouse Mill,Sheffield S13, jeld-wen.co.uk

jeld wen door
Jeld Wen

Best for salvage: Lassco
Salvage doors can be hard to come by, but this is the place to find Victorian and Edwardian examples. A joiner should be able to adjust a slightly larger door to fit. London Road, Milton Common OX9, lassco.co.uk

lassco front door

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