When shopping for a front door, you may be overwhelmed by the amount of choice. They come in many styles, colours, sizes and even materials. If it is a replacement door you are looking for, you probably prefer to go for what you know. That is, unless your last front door functioned poorly and let you down. In which case, you probably want to be careful you do not buy something with the same faults. For most people, the cost of buying a new front door is not minor, and it is better to make the large purchase worthwhile by carefully considering your options.
The furniture used in your front door is one of these important considerations. Most people consider the differences just for aesthetics and style, but the function of the hardware is just as important. Some brands have a very poor quality of furniture. These often break easily, requiring to be replaced often, or are easily damaged by general wear and tear. For example, they may scratch very easily, become tarnished and lose their shine. This is not an attractive feature. Flimsy handles and locks are also a huge security risk. When buying, ask about the brand of hardware used. Unbranded hardware is often of the flimsy range, so be sure to look for a door with a trustworthy brand of hardware.
Front door handles come in many shapes and sizes. Some doors do not have an external handle at all, requiring only to be unlocked with the key and pushed open. When closed, these doors lock without requiring to be locked with a key, so they always require the key to open from the outside. This is the most typical lock function, whether there is a handle or not, as it protects you from intruders that may follow you in to the home or if you forget to lock the door. Some of the styles of door handles include lever, pad, knob and curved. Not all styles of door handle are available for every door, it depends on the brand.
Spy holes are one piece of door furniture that is vital if the occupier is vulnerable in any way. Using a spy hole before opening the door to callers (or even those who have not called, but are outside) can help to judge whether you know the person or not and what they may bring with them. Doubled up with a security chain on the inside of the front door and you have the ultimate protection against callers that pose potential risks.
Letter plates are an optional addition to your front door. However, these are not necessary in every situation. Some homeowners have an external letter box, or a letter plate within a side panel. In these cases you can opt out of having a letter plate in your front door.
Finally, you may prefer to have your house numerals or name on your door. Again, this is an optional addition – most people tend to have their numerals next to their front door. This is not always suitable, perhaps due to windows, side panels or a porch. Numerals can also be added to the door later on in most cases, although some doors require the screw holes to be specially made if the surface is too tough for standard drills.
Front door furniture comes in a range of different colours and finishes. For the best quality, you want to look out for a finish known as PVD. PVD stands for Physical Vapour Deposition, and is the process used to create a very hard-wearing finish. For shine finishes, it keeps them bright over time. For all finishes, including the matte finishes, it reduces the likelihood of damage such as scratching or tarnishing.