Front Doors

by Scott Edwards

A front entrance door is an individual item in any property. Therefore it can and should make a statement. There are a number of factors to take into consideration when choosing a new front door, yet some of the most important ones are all too often overlooked.

Security is always the primary issue with any entrance door, and this should not be compromised in any way. The security of a front door is reliant upon two factors. The first is the composition of the material from which the door is constructed, and the second is the strength of its locking system. The strongest doors by far are either composite engineered or solid timber. These doors are almost impossible to break through, whereas those constructed with upvc panels are relatively easy to destruct.

Having a front door that is structurally sound is imperative. However, if the method of securing the door in its closed position is sub-standard then the doors solid structure in itself is useless. As almost all front doors open inwards, an intruder applying their weight in the right place to a door that is not secured properly is all it takes to gain entry. Unfortunately the majority of people rely upon nothing more than a simple Yale style lock. With this kind of lock the security is based on a simple receiver that is screwed to the frame. A relatively small amount of body weight can easily dislodge this. All Yale locks should be accompanied by a dead lock situated at the midpoint of the door. When activated, the deadlock is inserted into the frame providing far greater security.

All modern doors and frames should have multi point locking systems. These are either operated by turning the handle upwards then being locked into position with a key, or by turning a key a number of times that activates the bolts. These are commonly on all upvc doors, but are now just as freely available for timber doors also.

Choosing the right style of front door will depend upon your individual taste and what is most fitting with the property. For example, putting an extremely traditional panelled door on an ultra modern house or vice versa is a confliction. Although as the front door of a property is an individual item there are no set rules on what a homeowner should do.

Many people prefer to incorporate glass into their front doors and frames to both add character and allow greater penetration of natural light. This glass should always be toughened in accordance with current building regulations. However, for greater security and safety, laminated glass is far more effective. Laminated is actually two pieces of glass that has a plastic film between them that holds them together. Rather than shattering like toughened glass, laminated stays together and is very difficult to breakthrough.

Your supplier should give you the best advice regarding which material, design, security system and glazing to use in your front entrance door.

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