The free diy home improvement guide with answers to your questions on a wide range of do it yourself projects.


Good First Impressions – Doors

imposing front doorEstate agents always say that curb appeal is the most important thing when it comes to selling your home. People may only drive past before making up their minds. Equally when you have guests coming over the first part of the house they see will be your front door. Creating the best first impressions could influence people's reactions to the rest of your home – or even to you.

Simply putting a new door on your home can completely change the way it looks. Painting your old door or brightening it up with new door furniture can also improve the way it is looked at. Research has shown that a red door is one of the more popular colours when people are considering a purchase.

Deciding which type of door to buy can be a minefield, but a few of the choices listed here should offer a helping hand.

Period Doors

  • Late Georgian doors were usually six panelled solid timber doors often painted dark colours.
  • Victorian doors were usually blue, brown, red or green depending on the fashion and they also made use of stained or etched glass panels
  • Edwardian doors were often outlined in a lighter colour than the main paint. Porches would have the same paint scheme.
  • Art Deco doors used vertical panels with motifs and often a glass panel across the top of the door.

New or Second-hand?

Reclaimed or salvaged doors are easy to find in reclamation yards. Buy a door which suits the period of your home and try to find the door furniture (handles, locks etc) which suit the style. It is likely they will need some restoration, but dipping services exist which will bring the door back to life. It can then be painted or stained to suit.

A new door is likely to be wooden or PVC and can be purchased through a specialist or even from a DIY store.

If you are fitting the door yourself great care needs to be taken with the fitting. It is essential it is a snug fit to prevent draughts. Some maintenance of the door jam may be required for it all to fit together.

Letterboxes, Handles and Locks

These can all be purchase at any DIY store or from the reclamation yards. Depending on the style you prefer you can choose brass, chrome or even wrought iron. Remember that brass will require some maintenance to keep it shiny.

Insurance companies will usually offer discounts to people who have good security on the front door, so good locks are essential.

  • Choose a 5 or even 7 mortice lock in addition to a deadlock cylinder lock.
  • Add a bolt across the top and bottom for extra peace of mind
  • Most new doors have steel panels down the lock side of the door for extra strength. Solid wood doors are already very strong.
  • Locks should be fitted by an expert to maintain the integrity of the security system. Careful alignment is essential.

So fitting a new door is a fairly easy process and the choices are wide. Whether you want to fit in with the rest of the street or stand out from the crowd you can use you entrance way to make a statement about what type of house you live in.