The main point of entry into your home is your front door. It is where you greet your guests, and welcome them into your world, and the door itself is representative of who you are, and how you wish to be seen. Therefore, while the selection of the type of door you choose has to satisfy the function your entrance requires, it also serves to offer visitors a taste of your style, and the interior decor beyond the threshold.
Characterised by two doors hung together, with the opening created from the handle in the centre of where they join, French doors are a stylish deviation from traditional single-door application. These types of doors could be internal, erected in dining rooms to create an elegant atmosphere, or could extend itself into an external feature such as patio doors. In the case of doors that have a side facing the outside, it is as imperative as it is with the main front door, that it can withstand any threats from the environment. In such cases, the doors should be solid structures, but if security is not a concern, French doors with inlaid glass panels add an element of grace that increases the appeal of the room and home.
Having acquired the home you’ve always wanted, means that you will need to protect its contents and, more so, your family. Security is available in a selection of options to suit the area in which you live, the style of your home, as well as how much money you wish to invest in making your property safe. Aside from early-warning electronic alarm systems, the design of door you choose can enhance your protection.
Doors made with a durable metal mesh, set in a wood or aluminium frame can be attached to an exterior door is reasonably strong enough to prevent small animals or intruders from entry, but allows occupants of the house visibility of the outside to see who is requesting entry into the home.
- Triple protection: At the entrance of your home, you could first install a screen door, then a sliding door fitted with a latch, and, lastly, a sturdy wooden or metal door, complete with a deadbolt to ensure that once it is latched in, only those within will be able to grant entrance into your home.
- Rear passage doors: When your home extends further away from the front door, reinforce your interior or garden doors by erecting a metal door that can be fastened with either a key entry or a padlock on a chain.
Wood exterior doors
The gold standard of front doors are wooden doors. They come at a hefty price, require maintenance from sanding, oiling, varnishing, or painting at the slightest sign of wear, but it is all worth it. Aside from the security offered by its strength, wooden doors can be personalised, carved, stained, and embedded with complementary ornamental metals.
This option has an array of colour and design options to choose from and create yourself. It is easy in your pocket, and durable, but the security it offers does not compare favourably to wood.
Steel entry doors
Although steel entry doors are cost effective and simple enough to hang by yourself, they are not durable, particularly against Mother Nature.
Your choice of front door should play well with the design of your home, and match the decor within.
- Single doors are the most popular choice, and feature a single or double hinge on the side affixed to the entrance way.
- Single door with matching sidelight is a single door design favoured by contemporary architecture, and sees the door alongside narrow glass forming vertical windows on either or both sides of the door.
- Double doors feature two, large, matching doors that open from the centre, and can be fit into a doorway that is arched.
- Single door with matching sidelights and ‘half-round transom’ is a front door design that incorporates the construction of a ‘transom’, which is a semi-circular or elliptically-shaped glass window. The transom is built into the wall above the threshold of the front door. Transom design usually include matching sidelights on either side of the door.
Single door, TDL sidelights and ‘elliptical transom’ refers to a single door having a sidelight which uses a specific type of glass divider to segment the sidelight into smaller window panes. The glass is divided by TDL (True divided light), and will have a very short, semi-circular window cut above the door.
Single door, TDL sidelights and ‘half-round transom’ sees the half-circle transom merge with the sidelights, in the wall above the front door.
Although it is not a task for the faint hearted, installation or replacement of the front door is possible, and is at a moderate level of complexity.
Step One: Research the activity of installing a front door. Gather all the materials and instructions you require for the installation process, taking measures to purchase products and machinery, if necessary, and prepare surfaces and any adhesive or sealants within reasonable advance.
Step Two: Measure your old door. Use a measuring tape to determine the exact size of door you require. Ensure you plot the position of the door handle, the jamb (the side post or surface of the doorway) width, and that the opening and closing range of the door is unimpeded.
Step Three: Ensure that you have received your replacement door, and that it has the specifications as you have ordered, and proceed to remove your old door.
Step Four: Test out your new door by placing it into the space where it will be fixed, so damage or errors can be noticed, and rectified, or if minor, then adjustments can be made immediately.
Step Five: It is in your best interests to insulate the door from the elements and street sounds at this time, as well as to install the trim that goes with the door. Having done so, drill and insert the handle and lock mechanism.
Safety and security is non-negotiable in this day and age. Safeguarding your home from the weather is just one aspect; decreasing your vulnerability from crime requires investment in time and isn’t that costly. Short of rigging up your home with booby traps, consider door reinforcement such as deadbolts that can only be released from within your home, expanding metal security doors, electronic alarms, and keyless entry systems.
Key entry Traditional key entry sees a key disengage a lock which in turn allows you to either pull down a door handle or turn a door knob to open a door. Door hardware comes in a variety of finishes to compliment your door, your room, and your home decor.
Keyless entry Technology has made it possible for you to access your home simply by pressing a button. Aside from remote entry, touchpad entry, with the use of a smartphone, allows access by a numerical code.
The best course of action is to seek out advice and recommendations from your local Doors experts.