How to choose the right front door for your home: Materials and options available
Before you purchase a new front door for your home, it’s important to be aware of the options available to you and narrow them down to the material and design that suits your home and your needs.
Front doors are now made with a range of materials including; wooden, uPVC, composite and aluminium so understanding the features, benefits and disadvantages of each should be a key consideration. In this guide, we will take a look at all of the materials available to you to help choose the right front door for your home.
In this guide:
Learn more about front door materials available including wooden and composite and their pros and cons.
Find out more about how wooden, composite, uPVC and aluminium front doors compare with each other.
Learn more about the costs of replacing a front door including the factors that can affect the cost.
Find out more about choosing glazing options for your front door.
Front door materials
Each front door material has its own pros and cons which make them suitable for a range of homes. The material you choose will depend on the needs of your home, the security and thermal efficiency you’re looking for, as well as your budget.
Wooden front doors: what should you consider?
Wooden front doors are now a popular choice for a front door, as a natural material, a wooden front door fits with the Eco interior design trend and can be customised in a number of ways to suit the exterior and interior décor styles of your home.
The pros of wooden front doors include:
- Increase your property value
- Increase the security of your home
- Provide added insulation and thermal efficiency for your home
- A long-lasting and durable option (as long as the door is of a high quality)
However, you should also consider the cons of a wooden front door which include:
- More maintenance than other types of door
- Can be prone to sagging as a result of swelling and shrinking in different weather conditions
Types of wooden front door
When choosing a wooden front door, you should be aware that there are different types available, made with different materials. The type you choose can have an impact on the quality and functioning of the door so it’s important to consider all of the options.
- Engineered wood – these doors have a wood or foam core and are coated with a wood veneer, making them look like solid wood but with the benefit of the insulation of the core. They offer improved strength, stability and durability and are a low maintenance option.
- Solid wood – these doors are 100% natural wood that has not been engineered. They are made up of the same type of wood cut into pieces and glued, dowelled or jointed together to create the door.
At Vufold, our range of Ultimate External Wooden Front Doors are made using a CLPF core which combines an insulated core and laminated hardwood to create a door that is strong and durable.
For more information on wooden front doors, read our guide: External wooden front doors: benefits and factors to consider.
When should you buy a wooden front door set?
Many suppliers offer wooden front doors in sets which will mean you have everything you need to install your front door correctly and securely.
Before ordering a wooden front door set, there are a number of factors to consider:
- Do you need to purchase a new frame too?
- Thermal efficiency
- Type of wood
Each of these factors can have an impact on both the quality and the cost of the wooden front door you choose so it’s important to consider each of them carefully.
A front door set should include everything you need for your front door installation and will save you from having to source the individual parts separately. Buying it as a set will ensure that all of the elements match and that the door fits properly.
When choosing a set, make sure you carefully consider the quality of the set you’re choosing to ensure the door will stand the test of time and help to improve the curb appeal of your home. You should also consider the security of the door to make sure your home will be protected and no weak spots are left for potential intruders.
Vufold wooden front door sets
All of Vufold’s front door sets can be provided with the following optional extras, including:
- Frame kit
- Long bar handle
- Night latch and hinges
- Dead lock
- Door viewer
- Post box
To learn more about front door sets, read our guide: A guide to buying wooden front door sets.
Composite front doors
Many homeowners are now choosing composite doors as an alternative to uPVC and wooden doors due to the additional strength and security they can offer. Before choosing a composite front door, it’s important to consider the benefits and options available to you.
Composite front doors: what are they, benefits and factors to consider
Composite front doors are made up of a combination of different materials which, when formed together, provide an even stronger overall material than the materials on their own. This helps to create a more durable and effective front door for your home.
The main benefits of composite doors include:
- Excellent security
- Excellent thermal efficiency
- Improves the kerb appeal of your home
- Low maintenance
One of the biggest disadvantages of a composite front door is the higher cost. They tend to cost more than other types of front door due to their composition but, if it fits with your budget, it can offer far more benefits than other types of door and will not need to be replaced as often in the future.
When buying any new front door for your home, there are a number of factors to consider and this is no different when it comes to choosing a composite front door.
- Style of the door – this can have an impact on the overall look of your door and home so should be carefully considered.
- Size or configuration – this will ensure that you choose the right door for your home and the space you have available.
- Supplier – considering the supplier you buy your composite doors from will allow you to ensure that your door is of a high quality and make sure that they are reliable and will deliver your door when you need it.
- Glazing – being aware of the glazing options available when buying a composite front door will have an impact on the look and design of your front door.
- Guarantees – this will help you to understand how long the door will last and help to keep your home as secure as possible in the future.
To find out more about composite front doors, read our guide: What is a composite door: benefits and factors to consider.
Composite front door colours
Once you have decided on the material, size and side panel options for your new front door, another important decision to make is the colour. Composite front doors are manufactured in a huge range of colours so there is usually something to suit every home and style.
The doors are coated in glass reinforced plastic which can be made in almost any colour so, depending on the supplier you choose, you’re likely to have an endless supply of colour options.
The most popular composite front door colours include:
- Oak/wood effect
- Blue or navy
When choosing the colour for your front door, you should consider the style of your property and whether the colour will match with the other doors and windows in your home to make sure you make the right choice.
For more information on composite front door colours, read our guide: Composite front door colours: options available and factors to consider.
Comparisons: How do the different materials compare?
Knowing how different front door materials compare with each other can help you to make the right decision for your home and needs.
Wooden vs composite front doors
Wooden and composite front doors are both popular options among homeowners and both have their pros and cons that might mean that they suit different needs.
How do wooden and composite front doors compare?
Here’s a quick glance at the main differences between wooden and composite front doors:
|Wooden door||Composite door|
|Cons||Vulnerable to the elements||More expensive than other types of door|
|Life expectancy||30 years||Over 35 years|
|Maintenance||Requires occasional maintenance to stay in good condition||Extremely low maintenance with none required|
|Cost||Less expensive than composite doors||Most expensive door material|
|Thermal efficiency||Very good||Excellent|
|Sound insulation||Very good||Excellent|
Learn more about choosing between wooden or composite front doors.
Wooden vs uPVC front doors
uPVC used to be a popular door with homeowners but they are slowly being replaced with other materials due to the additional benefits they can offer.
How do wooden and uPVC front doors compare?
|Wooden door||uPVC door|
|Cons||Can be prone to warping||
|Life expectancy||30 years||10 years|
|Maintenance||Requires occasional maintenance to stay in good condition||Minimal, will require cleaning|
|Cost||£500 - £1800||£250 - £500|
|Thermal efficiency||Very good||Fair|
|Sound insulation||Very good||Very good|
Read more about wooden and uPVC front doors: A guide to choosing between wooden or uPVC front doors.
uPVC vs composite front doors
uPVC and composite front doors offer their own benefits and features which should be considered before buying them for your home. Heres a quick overview of the key differences:
|Composite door||uPVC door|
|Life expectancy||30+ years||10+ years|
|Maintenance||Very low maintenance||Some maintenance|
|Cost||£900 - £1500||£250 - £500|
|Thermal efficiency||High level of thermal efficiency||Low level of thermal efficiency|
|Sound insulation||Excellent||Very good|
Read our guide for more information on uPVC vs composite doors: uPVC vs composite front doors: what is the difference?
Composite vs aluminium front doors
Composite and aluminium front doors are two of the strongest and most durable front doors you can choose. Here’s a quick overview of the key differences:
|Composite door||Aluminium door|
|Life expectancy||30+ years||45+ years|
|Maintenance||Very low||Very low|
|Cost||£900 - £1500||£1400 - £4500|
|Thermal efficiency||Very good||Excellent|
Read our guide for more information on composite vs aluminium front doors: Aluminium vs composite doors: How do they compare?
How much does it cost to replace your front door?
When choosing a new front door, one of the most important factors to consider is the cost and whether the door you choose fits with your budget.
There are a number of factors that can affect the cost of your front door, including:
- The material
- Style of the door
- Cost of installation
- Choice of glazing
- Whether you buy the frame and door or just the door
You should also consider additional costs that can affect the cost of your door:
- Installation costs
- Extra finishes
- Door furniture
- Whether you need a custom-made door
- Disposal of your old door
For more information on front door costs, read our guide: What is the cost of a front door replacement? Factors to consider.
Choosing glazing for your front door
Front doors are available with glazed panels in the doors or sidelights that can be placed either side of the door. However, the type of glazing you choose can have an impact on the cost, look, thermal efficiency and security of your front door.
The benefits of a front door with glazing include:
- Increase the aesthetic appeal of your home
- Range of designs and sizes
- Superior thermal efficiency
When choosing the right glazing for your front door, you should consider whether you want double or triple glazing and whether you want clear or frosted glass for privacy and security. All of these elements can impact the overall functioning of your door so should be considered carefully.
For more help on front door glazing, read our guide: A guide to front door glazing options.
John Collins - Managing Director
About John Collins
John has built Vufold into a unique online door and window company and has spent 20 years bringing innovative products and designs to fruition, recognising niches in the market and placing them in the likes of Wickes and Travis Perkins, he started Vufold in order to sell them directly. John founded Vufold and has amassed a wealth of experience in product design and development, and in particular timber-based productsRead more about John Collins