How do you choose a front door for your home?

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When you think of your front door, do you primarily imagine its appearance? No one disputes that the door leading to your home is supposed to make an impression, serving a representative function. However, do not forget that the door is not only a nice appearance, but mainly a private bodyguard that stands guard over your home.

What issues should you pay attention to when choosing an exterior door that will be practical and representative at the same time? And, what is equally important, which will comply with current requirements? According to the law, exterior doors must be at least 90 cm wide and at least 200 cm high. Although more popular are the standard single-leaf doors with a rectangular shape, but exactly in this regard there are no restrictions. We advise you what to consider when buying.

What material are they made of?

Unfortunately, it is impossible to choose a front door that meets all your requirements. Each material has its own advantages and disadvantages, so when making a purchase you need to decide what is more important to you – soundproofing, resistance to damage, ease of installation, or something else entirely? We present in brief, what distinguishes models of front doors depending on the material of construction.

Wooden doors

  • pros: good acoustic insulation, low thermal expansion, long durability (provided that it is properly maintained), the possibility of changing the color of the door by staining, classic appearance
  • disadvantages: the need for regular maintenance of wood, sensitivity to humidity

PVC doors

  • pros: very good sound absorption, easy to install, low price, good thermal insulation, light weight, easy to keep clean
  • disadvantages: difficult to repair after damage. low anti-burglary parameters

Aluminum doors

  • pros: durability, strength, light weight, high anti-burglary parameters, good heat insulation, good sound absorption, modern design
  • disadvantages: high price, susceptibility to scratching
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Steel doors

  • pros: durability, strength, high anti-burglary parameters, attractive design, good heat insulation, easy to keep clean, resistance to changing weather conditions
  • disadvantages: noisy operation, poor sound insulation

In addition, sometimes the interior doors are partially glazed. This is an interesting solution that significantly affects their aesthetics. You can choose transparent, frosted or semi-permeable glass. They are made of stronger glass, so you do not have to worry about their durability.

Three most important parameters

Once you have learned what the specific materials of construction are, pay attention to the three most important parameters of the front door. These are thermal insulation, soundproofing and burglary resistance. Let’s take a closer look at each of them.

Thermal insulation

This is the primary function of exterior doors. Heat loss due to poor thermal insulation makes heating bills higher and the comfort of homeowners significantly decreases. If you want to save energy, pay attention to the heat transfer coefficient U – it should be as low as possible. According to the law it should not exceed 1.3 W/(m²-K), but you can already find doors with a U-value of 1 W/(m²-K) on the market.

The best thermal insulation is definitely achieved by steel and wooden doors, but this doesn’t mean that you have to give up other materials. Just make sure you carefully read the parameters listed on the website before you buy.

Soundproofing

Noise from the street can be annoying. Especially if you live in close proximity to a highway, playground or school. Coming home after work or relaxing with a book on a free weekend, we all hope for some peace and quiet. That is why it is so important to take sound insulation into account when making a purchase. In case of exterior doors the sound insulation index is expressed in decibels? What does this mean? If, for example, 90 dB is heard from outside (this corresponds to traffic), a door with a sound reduction index of 40 dB will reduce the noise to 50 dB, which is the noise level of an office. In the case of the acoustic insulation factor, as opposed to the thermal insulation factor, the higher the value of the factor, the better.

Break-in resistance

One of the basic functions of entrance doors is to ensure the safety of household members, which is why it is so important to pay attention to the burglary resistance of the selected model. In Poland, in accordance with the European standard PN-EN 1627:2012, we distinguish six resistance classes, ranging from 1 to 6. The higher the class, the better the security. In the case of class one, the use of physical force alone is sufficient to force the door, while in class four the burglar needs power tools and much more time. Class five and six are used only in banks, safes and state institutions.

Peter Bowers

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