A numbers of years ago the only choice of materials for external doors was wood, mainly hardwood. The doors were generally stained or sometimes painted. Wooden doors back then had a tendency to warp and twist with changes in the environment. Increased moisture in the timber would cause the wood to swell and after drying out it contracts. This continuous movement meant that doors sometimes became poor fitting. There was also the regular maintenance required to keep the doors in good condition.
Nowadays things are much better. Wooden doors benefit from modern manufacturing techniques known as engineered doors. The end result is doors that perform much better even in differing environmental conditions. Wooden doors are still very popular and look great on the front of your home.
In addition to better quality wooden doors there are a number of newer materials used for the manufacture of external doors for you to choose from. These additional materials include uPVC, steel and composite materials. Between the various materials there is a vast range of styles offered.
UPVC doors are very popular as they provide a maintenance free life. They were originally only available in white but now come in a number of plain colours and also with a wood grain effect in various species, for example light oak. The doors consist of an outer frame with an insulated PVC panel in many different styles or double glazing. They do not warp or twist and when closed provide a weather proof seal with the frame.
Steel doors are particularly suitable if you require a higher level of security for your home. These doors are made from steel framing and covered with sheet steel. The core of the door can be filled with an insulating material to improve the thermal efficiency and reduce heat loss through the door. The door frame is normally made from folded steel making a very secure door set when installed. Both door and frame are usually galvanised for protection against corrosion. Steel doors can be delivered primed, ready for painting or prefinished in the factory to any colour.
Composite doors are made using glass reinforced plastic with a centre core of foam which produces doors that are very hard wearing and thermally efficient. They also do not warp or twist and are not affected by moisture. The outer face of the door can have a wood grain effect which looks very realistic. A number of colours are available and the colour is right through the outer door face and does do fade.
Most doors made these days are generally made to a high standard and perform well in varying conditions. Architects Belfast, when providing architectural services, will take into account positioning and the level of exposure on external doors and recommend suitable doors that will be perfect for the job.