The business card of the house - choosing the front door

29 of December '21

The front door must be resilient enough to withstand harsh weather conditions like wind, rain, scorching sun and potential intruders, and at the same time pretty enough to make a good first impression. Unfortunately, meeting these needs is a difficult task. Most older doors are made of woodor veneer, which warp, crack and delaminate after years. Metal doors don't last forever either - the surface of some can begin to peel over the years. Whether our door has deteriorated, or we simply want to replace the door with one that better suits our requirements - we will present the available options

How to replace a front door

Sometimes replacing a door, simply means replacing the door leaf with another one. In some cases, we will have to replace the entire frame, which includes the door frame and threshold - especially if these elements have begun to rot.

Even if the old door frame is fine, the wall studs to which it is nailed can bend and change their shape. This makes it difficult to open and close the door. In order to make a new wooden door fit into an inadequate frame, we can rework the old frame a bit, aligning it to make the door work properly. This option is only available when we are dealing with wooden doors - metal and fiberglass doors will no longer be repaired so easily.

Front door design

Most manufacturers offer dozens of door styles, and a wide selection can also be found at home furnishing stores and door dealers. We may also be tempted to design our own unique door design. Some manufacturers allow us to specify the types of panels and glass we want to use. Such doors must be made to order, and we have to wait up to a few weeks for implementation. A third option is to have a local carpenter make a wooden door according to our needs. Again, the disadvantages are time and cost.

The best materials for the front door

One of the most important decisions is what the door is made of. Most models combine several materials - many fiberglass and steel doors have wooden frames. However, it is the surface material that has the greatest impact on appearance, durability, security and price.

Drewniane drzwi wejściowe
mogą nadać wyjątkowy rustykalny wygląd domu

Wooden front doors can give a unique rustic look to a home

© James Balensiefen

Wooden doors

Wooden doors are the most common. Their strengths are versatility and beauty. For the production of wooden doors, of course, most often uses hard and durable wood, such as - oak, ash or exotic species such as mahogany and rosewood. Such doors can also be painted in different shades, imitating a different type of wood than the one from which they were made.
Increasingly, doors are made of glued wood. Such wood will usually be recognized by vertical strips of wood that are factory-bonded together. Only the wood panel prepared in this way is processed, glazing is inserted, decorations are made. After processing, the whole thing is painted and it is difficult to notice at first glance where the door panel is glued together. Doors with the highest resistance are made of solid wood glued in three layers - the individual layers in the door panel are glued perpendicular to each other. This gives the highest resistance to changes in humidity, very important for exterior doors. When selecting various glulam door offerings, it is worth paying attention to whether they have no wood blemishes - knots and other changes in the course of the grain. Any deviation from the ideal can cause the door to warp, even after several years.
When buying prefabricated wooden doors, look for durable stains and transparent finishes, such as polyurethane. A high-gloss finish provides the best protection for painted doors. Whichever finish you choose, you must apply it to the top and bottom edges. This helps prevent moisture absorption and swelling of wood doors.

Drzwi stalowe czy aluminiowe
mogą być malowane na różne kolory

Steel or aluminum doors can be painted in a variety of colors

© Neonbrand

Steel and aluminum doors

Steel and aluminum doors are the best choice if security and durability are priorities in our home. They are stronger than wood or fiberglass doors and will not crack or warp. Good quality doors have very good burglar resistance and high fire resistance. Basic steel doors cost the least compared to others available on the market. However, a steel door system with premium hardware can almost equal the cost of a wood door system.
Unfortunately, any mechanical damage to the foil veneer is not repairable (it cannot be replaced or repainted). All steel doors have an inner frame made of wood or, for greater strength, steel. The cavities in the frame are filled with high-density insulating foam. The surface is usually smooth or has an embossed pattern. The technology of steel door production gives virtually no opportunity to make the door according to the customer's design, as well as to change its dimensions. However, we can only talk about the cost-effectiveness of this type of door in the category of their purchase cost, since the cost of their operation is relatively high due to their low thermal insulation.

Fiberglass composite doors

Fiberglass doorsare among the most expensive doors on the Polish market, but their very high resistance to the elements, high thermal insulation and unique appearance make many people eagerly opt for them. They mimic the appearance of wood with a wood-like texture and can be stained in oak, cherry, walnut and many other types of wood. Beneath their molded surface is a framework of wooden frames, including the wooden edges of the lock set. The voids in the structure are filled with polyurethane foam insulation. Fiberglass composite doors come with a long warranty. Since installation affects durability, these long warranties usually apply only to complete entrance systems.

What to look for when choosing an entrance door?

Whether you're buying a door leaf alone or a complete frame and door system, keep the following buying tips in mind:

  • For complete entrance systems, make sure all components come from the same manufacturer. (Many systems are assembled by distributors with parts that may not fit perfectly.) Check that the door leaf is properly sealed and that the threshold meshes with the bottom edge of the door.

  • When you want to use glazing in the front door, look for burglar-resistant glass.

  • High-quality steel and fiberglass doors have a thermal barrier - often a vinyl strip or part of a wooden frame - that separates the inner and outer shells of the door. This prevents cold and heat from the outside from passing through the sash and frame and frost from forming on the inside surface.

    Development: Dominika Tyrlik

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