One of the important choices to be made when replacing your front door is the material used in construction. Each of the most popular construction types – UPVC, metal or hardwood front doors – have their own individual strengths, and what is right for one property might not be right for another.
Your decision on which door to choose will probably involve a combination of:
- Ease of maintenance
- Insulation properties
- Value added to property
Many homeowners turned to UPVC as it scores well in most of these categories; it is relatively inexpensive, easy to maintain, can be insulated and is durable. The sacrifice tends to be aesthetics – UPVC technology has advanced since it was first introduced and it is now able to more closely replicate traditional building materials, such as the woodgrain of a hardwood door, but it is still clear from anything but a passing glace that the door or window is made of plastic / not the real thing.
The reasons for choosing UPVC are all valid, but more and more people are investing in real wood front doors as a focal point of their homes. The look and variety available in hardwood doors is unmatched by any other material – wood is arguably the most flexible building material available – and the range of possible designs far exceeds those of metal or UPVC alternatives.
The range of hardwoods in different colours and with unique grain effects, often combined with glass panels or metalwork, is a massive plus from a design perspective. Nothing catches the eye and wows visitors like a solid wood door made by a skilled craftsman. As wooden doors can also be altered and shaped easily it can often be tailored to your own specification without having to be specially ordered from the factory.
Although wooden doors have many benefits, it is usually the look that is the deciding factor – like a period property they have an authenticity and romance that is impossible to adequately replicate with anything else.
Most people would agree that a solid wood door also feels better in use than any of its counterparts. The weight and solidity of a door gives a feeling of quality and security (not many burglars relish taking on a solid hardwood door) and the warmth and texture of the wood are altogether more pleasant to touch than a plastic or metal equivalent. Over the lifetime of the door these things are important; like the pleasure of owning any luxury item.
Although hardwood front doors are at the luxury end of the market in terms of quality, the cost can be very reasonable – even comparable to a UPVC door. Over the lifespan of the product you may only ever change your front door once or twice if buying quality; over this length of time the possible cost of the extra investment in wood compared to artificial materials becomes negligible.
Due to its composition, wood is naturally a good insulator and highly effective at keeping the cold out. In addition to keeping in the heat, wood also provides excellent sound insulation, blocking a great deal of unwanted noise from entering your house – vital if you don’t want to be woken up by your neighbours coming in from a night out.
Maintenance and durability
A good quality hardwood front door will require a minimal amount of maintenance and if installed and treated with care you can expect it to last 25 years or more. UPVC doors, which are feted for their durability will offer a similar lifespan to this – whilst plastic doors do not rot, wear, tear and degradation of seals etc limit how long they will last.
Wooden doors are also capable of being repaired; wood is easy to work with and should a part of the door become damaged the chances are good that a joiner can fix or replace the problem area.
Wood is a natural product and doors made using wood from sustainable forests are a sound environmental choice. If you live in a conservation area or listed building you may find that planners insist on homeowners using traditional wooden doors and windows in any renovation.
Investing in a solid wood door for your home can increase the value of your property by increasing its ‘curb appeal’ and giving it a more luxury aesthetic than homes with the usual UPVC doors and windows. In our opinion a contemporary hardwood door with a stunning modern design cannot be matched for impact by anything else, and the feeling of quality when prospective buyer feel the solidity of a wooden door when entering your home will be likely to positively influence how they feel about the rest of the house.