How to choose my door

Aluminium doors have steadily grown in popularity among homeowners thanks to their durability, sleek design and energy efficiency. They can fit into various architectural styles and are known for their ability to withstand extreme weather conditions. If you're considering an aluminium door for your home, follow this guide to make the best choice for you.

Evaluate your needs

Before you can make an informed decision about which aluminium door to choose, it's essential to clarify exactly what you're looking for. Here's how to pinpoint your requirements.

  • Purpose of the door - Identify where you intend to install the door. Is it meant to be a grand entrance to your home, a backdoor leading to the garden, or a transistion point between your living room and patio? The door's location can guide its design, size and functionality.

  • Frequency of use - A main entrance door will see frequent use, requiring it to be highly durable and possibly having more advanced security features. On the other hand, a less frequently used balcony or patio door may prioritise aesthetics over heavy-duty use characteristics.

  • Climate considerations - If you live in an area with extreme weather conditions, like coastal areas or those that are exposed to high winds and the weather, this will also influence your choice of aluminium door. You may wish to choose a door with higher insulation, or a finish that is able to withstand extreme conditions.

  • Aesthetics and Home Design - While this might not seem like a "need", for many homeowners, ensuring that the door complements the house's architectural style is vital. Think about how the door's design will fit in with your home's facade and interior design.

Focus on Insulation

Proper insulation is crucial for any external door, as it plays a key role in energy efficiency, comfort and even cost savings on utility bills. Here's a deeper dive on the importance of insulation for aluminium doors:

  • Thermal performance - Doors act as barriers between the external environment and the indoors. A well-insulated aluminium door can effectively reduce the amount of heat that enters during summer and escapes during the winter. This means that your heating and cooling systems won't have to work as hard, leading to potential energy savings.

  • Double glazing - This refers to a door (or window) that has two panes of glass, with a gap filled with insulating gas in between. This configuration significantly reduces heat transfer, making the door more energy efficient. Double glazing also adds the benefit of noise reduction and increased security due to the extra pane of glass.

  • Thermal break technology - Aluminium is a good conductor of heat, which isn't good for insulation purposes. A thermal break is essentially an insulating barrier placed within the aluminium frame to prevent heat transfer. It ensures that the cold or heat from the external environment doesn't easily pass through the door and into your home. Opting for doors with thermal breaks enhances energy efficiency dramatically.

Security Matters

Security matters when it comes to your home - especially when you are choosing new entryways. Here's some considerations you need to take into account:

  • Robust Frame - Aluminium is naturally strong and durable, which makes it an excellent choice for security. Ensure that the door's frame is robust and reinforced, providing a sturdy barrier against potential intruders. In the UK, look for PAS-24 and Secured by Design certifications.

  • Multi-point locking systems - Unlike traditional single-point locks that secure the door at only one location, multi-point locks secure the door at multiple points along its length. This makes it significantly more difficult for intruders to force the door open.

  • Anti-Tamper Hinges - Ensure the door's hinges are designed to resist tampering from the outside. Concealed or interlocking hinges are harder for intruders to access, making forced entry more challenging.

  • Weather Resistance and Security - A door's ability to withstand extreme weather conditions indirectly contributes to security. A door that's compromised by heavy rain, strong winds or other environmental factors can become a vulnerability. Aluminium doors that are weather resistant not only ensure longevity but also maintain their structural integrity, contributing to the overall security of your home.

Choose the right finish

Aluminium doors are celebrated for their adaptability in terms of design and finishes. The finish you can select can significantly impact the door's appearance, longevity and maintenance requirements.

  • Powder coating - This is one of the most popular finishes for aluminium doors. Powder-coated finishes are applied as a dry, free-flowing powder which is then cured under heat to form a hard, protective layer. The benefits of this finish are:

    • Durability - resistant to scratches, chipping and fading

    • Environmentally-friendly - Powder-coating typically emits zero or near-zero volatile organic compounds (VOCs)

    • Variety - Comes in an array of colours, allowing you to match or contrast with existing decor seamlessly. With dual-colour finish, you also benefit from the option of having one colour to the outside of your home and another for the interior.

  • Anodised Finish - Anodising is an electrochemical process that increases the thickness of the natural oxide layer on aluminium surfaces. The benefits of this finish include:

    • Durability - Offers greater resistance to wear, corrosion and UV radiation.

    • Sleek Appearance - Gives the aluminium a rich, metallic shine

    • Low Maintenance - Anodised aluminium doesn't chip or peel and it's easy to clean.

Think about customisation

Aluminium as a material, offers flexibility in design and fabrication, allowing homeowners to customise doors to meet specific needs, aesthetics or unique architectural requirements.

  • Tailored Dimensions - Not all doorways are standard sizes. If you have an unusually sized door or wish to enlarge or reduce a current opening, aluminium doors can be made to bespoke dimensions, ensuring a perfect fit.

  • Handles and Hardware - Hardware can make a significant difference in a door's appearance and functionality. Consider personalised handle designs, unique colours, or even advanced hardware options like biometric options.

  • Threshold and Sill Options - Depending on the location of your door, for example, main entrance, patio, balcony amongst others, you might want to customise the threshold. For instance, a flush threshold offers a seamless transition between indoor and outdoor spaces, while raised thresholds can be effective in preventing water ingress.

  • Enhanced accessibility - For those with mobility challenges or for homes where accessibility is a priority, custom aluminium doors can be designed with wider dimensions, special handles or low-resistance swing mechanisms.

  • Think about future plans - If you're contemplating future home improvements or expansions, design your door with those in mind. This forward-thinking approach ensures your door will remain a perfect fit for your home for years to come.

Choosing the right aluminium door for your home is a blend of functional requirements, aesthetic preferences and long-term considerations. From understanding your specific needs and insulation to emphasising security and exploring the vast world of customisation and finishes, our TECHNAL fabricators are on hand to help.

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