Door fitters - what to consider when choosing doors

Door fitters - what to consider when choosing doors

Doors can provide a range of functions, besides that of security and privacy. For a start they can give a positive first impression to anyone entering the home, so in essence they offer aesthetic value alongside more practical considerations.

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The first consideration when choosing a door should concern how it is constructed. Whether for external or internal use, doors can be constructed from numerous materials, including steel and timber.


The most widely used material for external doors is timber. Includes hardwood, softwood, laminated and stabilised, heat treated. Wooden doors tend to be the cheapest available but they do tend to be prone to twisting and warping.

Hardwood may at first seem to provide a solution to this problem, but many people consider that hardwood doors suffer just as many problems as softwood ones. One supplier recommends the use of hemlock, a North American softwood which is extremely durable.

Alternatively, you can opt for a wood that is laminated or stabilised, particularly if it's made of oak. This will make the door even more durable and stable.

Acoya heat-treated timber is said to be the most stable of all materials. This is a process that is fairly new, having been developed in Holland and it has been applauded for its ability to make softwood even more durable than many hardwoods.

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uPVC & aluminium

uPVC is the cheapest alternative to timber, these tend to be built around a steel frame and are fitted with high-security multi-point locking systems. They are long lasting and maintenance free.

Aluminium is mostly used for patio doors or French windows. The frames conduct a lot of heat and are usually arranged in a sliding arrangement. This started to become unpopular from the 1960's onwards and many modern patio doors fold back in a concertina arrangement.

Steel & composite

Steel doors are popular in North America but in the UK have tended to be used mostly for social housing. They give an impression of security, something of a fallacy because the door is no stronger than its frame or its locks.

A composite material is another option. It has a far more realistic wood grain effect than PVC and can be supplied in a range of colours. As with uPVC it needs a sub-frame which is usually either timber or steel. This means that these doors are usually hollow, but they can be packed with insulation which adds to their thermal efficiency.

What to consider when choosing your door

  • Appearance – especially important for the front of your home, because here more than anywhere you want to make a statement.
  • Style – from hardwood external to flush internal to doors with moulded panels there is a variety of different styles to compliment your home and your requirements.
  • Security – as your home’s first line of security, external doors need to be secure in order to give you the highest level of protection.
  • Insulation – don’t forget that doors act as insulators; a well made door will help your home to retain heat, therefore lowering your home heating bills low.
  • Easy to maintain – some materials are easier to maintain than others. Hardwood doors, for example – whether exterior or interior – will need treating to ensure longevity, particularly timber external doors which have to weather the elements.

From French doors to uPVC sliding patio doors, Windows Guide can help you secure the perfect doors by putting you in touch with local recommended door fitters in your area. Whether you’re looking for French, patio or even a front entrance door that will perfectly compliment your home, we can help. 

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