So, you’ve decided it’s time to remodel your home. You spend some time thinking about wallpaper, carpets, lighting and furniture – but what about your doors? Believe it or not, the style of door that you choose for each room can make a huge difference, not just to how the room looks, but the amount of usable space you have, the amount of natural light you enjoy, the temperature, and even how noise travels in your home.
Here’s a quick look at the types of doors that are available to you, and how they affect your home.
French folding doors are stylish and iconic. They create big openings and they allow a lot of natural light into the room. If you use one as a divider; between your living room and kitchen, for example, then you can enjoy all the benefits of open plan living and still have the chance to close the doors when you want to, either to make the living room easier to heat, or to cut down on noise so people can be relaxing in the living room while the chef is at work.
French doors make great room dividers, and since there are various different leaf sizes, you can easily find the perfect style to suit your home, with openings of 6ft – 8ft available, and other sizes on offer for traditional builder openings, a French Door will suit almost any home.
External French Doors are also available, and they offer the perfect way to make your home feel bigger and to let you take advantage of a nice garden view. However, for security and insulation purposes, it is vital that you have these doors installed by a professional.
Bifolding Doors are similar to French doors, except that they fold in a slightly different way, collapsing into themselves rather than swinging wide. They are top-hung, and they have no threshold or base track, unlike sliding doors. This is important because it means that you can have through flooring installed, without a break, making it ideal for people who want to enjoy the benefits of open plan living, with a door there when they need it.
If the path that French doors follow when they open takes up too much space, then Bifolding doors are a great option, both internally and externally. Just like French doors, they come in a range of materials and sizes, and you can get stylish timber bifolding doors that offer good thermal performance and that are sturdy and secure. Thermal ratings of 1.8w/m2K are available.
Sliding Patio Doors
Sliding patio doors got a lot of bad press a few years ago for being a security liability, but this is unfair. While it is true that poorly fitted, low quality doors can be relatively insecure and can also be drafty, high quality doors that are professionally installed quite safe. The days of doors that could be trivially popped off their runners are long gone.
Modern patio doors have secure runners, strong frames, and highly insulating double glazing that keeps heat out in the summer, and in during the winter. The doors slide freely, opening to provide a nice large space for you. There is some burden of maintenance in that the runners must be kept clean and oiled, and the top and bottom runners mean that there will be a small lip or break in your tile or carpeting. If you want patio style doors to your conservatory, and don’t want to have a break in the carpeting, then you might not like this. For most people, however, it is not an issue.
Sliding patio doors have declined in popularity due to the fact that only 50% of the door can open, meaning you will always have a large obstruction that cannot be moved if you needed to fully open the doors for any reason – such as moving furniture in or out.
Sometimes, you don’t want an 8ft wide door, you just want a standard door to fit a normal doorway. You have a lot of choices even when that is the case. From UPVC doors with large glass windows, to steel-cored doors for maximum security, or heavy wood. You may opt for period-style doors to math what your neighbours have, or something lighter and more modern looking.
When you are choosing a standard door, your main concerns will likely be security (a steel cored door with a good lock system, fitted to a sound frame, can be incredibly secure), insulation (check the thermal rating on the door), and weather-proofing. Treated wooden doors can be secure and warm but if they are going to need refinished frequently, and become high maintenance because you live in an area where the weather is constantly bad or saltwater is going to damage the varnish, then you may prefer a different finish. UPVC frames tend to be hardwearing and long lasting, but they sometimes discolour with age and that is harder to put right than cracked or peeling paint.
When it comes to internal doors, you don’t need to worry about insulation or security as much, but there are other things you might want to think about. Large glass panelled doors may not be ideal if you have energetic children who love to play with a football in the hallway, for example! Nor would such a door be suitable if your teenage son is learning to play the guitar and you want to enjoy peace and quiet in the living room. Remember, your doors act as an insulator, a sound barrier, and a room divider. Think about all of that when you are planning your next purchase!
It’s easy to dismiss a door as just being a portal that you walk through, but the right choice of door can make a big difference to the atmosphere of your home and the feel of each room. Before you start renovating your property, stop and think about what you want to achieve with each room. This will help you decide what sort of doors to buy. Consider playing with some room design software, and thinking about things like the direction the doors open in, or the method for opening the doors.