The Ultimate Guide to Buying the Best Front Door in 2024 | SWR Home & Outdoor
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The Ultimate Guide to Buying the Best Front Door in 2024

Buying a new front door isn’t something you’ll do every day. That’s why it’s so important to get it right, as making the wrong purchase could be disastrous for your home’s kerb appeal. The process needn’t be taxing though. Have a read of our ultimate guide to buying the best front door and be confident that your purchase is the correct one.

Topics To Cover

  • Front Door Materials
  • Getting The Design Right
  • Insulation: Understanding U-Values
  • Security
  • Choosing The Right Supplier

what is the best material for a front door

What are the best materials for front doors?

Front doors come in a range of materials – each with their own characteristics. The most common types are:

  • Timber/wood
  • Aluminium & Steel
  • Composite
  • uPVC

The Pros and Cons of Wooden Doors

With their natural, high-value look, a wooden front door is well suited to period properties and more traditional home exteriors. They remain a popular choice but do require extra maintenance compared to other types.

Pros Cons
  • Timeless look, ideal for traditional properties
  • Customisable/bespoke
  • Require more maintenance than other types
  • Wood can expand, contract and bow
  • Expensive

The Pros and Cons of Aluminium & Steel Doors

There is a tendency to associate metals with a cold and sterile aesthetic. However, today’s aluminium and steel front doors come in a range of designs thanks to modern manufacturing techniques.

Pros Cons
  • Durable & long lasting
  • High thermal efficiency – foam core
  • Lightweight
  • Colour won’t fade throughout lifespan
  • Highly secure
  • Traditional designs limited
  • Can be expensive

The Pros and Cons of Composite Doors

A relative newcomer to the front door market, composite front doors are perfect for the price conscious consumer. That’s because they’re made of a combination of different materials for additional strength, security, and durability.

Pros Cons
  • Durable: can last up to 20 years
  • Good thermal efficiency
  • Low maintenance
  • Plenty of designs and hardware to choose from
  • Great kerb appeal
  • Prone to discolouration

The Pros and Cons of uPVC Doors

A good option if you’re on a tight budget. uPVC doors have a reputation for being cheap and poorly made but modern types are of a much higher quality. The strength of uPVC is in its ability to mimic other materials without costing the earth.

Pros Cons
  • Low maintenance
  • Good insulation
  • Inexpensive
  • Range of different styles
  • Less durable than other types: 10 years lifespan
  • Can expand/contract in hot and cold weather
  • Average thermal efficiency

How do I choose the right front door design?

It’s a common mistake to choose a door you like the look of without considering that it even goes on your home.

For example, a Victorian terrace will always look better with a more traditional style of door as opposed to something sleek and modern.

Think carefully about the style and finish. Many companies offer a visualisation service, where you send over a photo of your home and add in the door that interest you. The chances are that it doesn’t look right at all!

Picking The Right Colour

You have the design and material nailed down but what about the colour? It can have a big impact on home’s kerb appeal – negative or positive.

Look at the front of your house and make a note of any details that would help with the choice of colour. This could be the window frames, colour of the brickwork and pathways, even the plants by your entrance.

Grey and neutral colours are a safe choice for traditional or modern homes. But something with a bit more character can really add personality. Again, we recommend using a company’s visualisation service – it’s usually free and means you get an idea of how it looks on your property before committing to a purchase.

Door Insulation: Understanding U-Values

Besides the design and colour, a door’s thermal efficiency is another important attribute.

The more thermally efficient your doors the better they are at retaining warmth within your home. The less efficient, and you may notice your energy bill creeping up.

It’s measured by U-value, which is a figure that describes the insulating performance of doors or windows and refers to its ability to transmit heat (W/m2K)

The lower the U-value number, the less heat is lost and the better the door is at insulating your home. By law, doors and windows must have a U-value of At least 1.4W/mK².

You will find wooden doors have poor thermal insulation. Something that is ignored by customers in favour of their look and design.

What is the best front door for security?

Burglars are more likely to come through your front door than any other part of your home. To protect your property, you need a door with the best possible security.

There are two factors to consider:

  1. The material of the door
  2. The lock

Also, remember to look for the British Standard (BSI) kitemark, PAS 24, and Secured By Design accreditations

Aluminium & Steel Doors

The strength of metal creates a resilient barrier between your home and the outside world. These front doors stay strong under pressure and are much harder to breakthrough compared to something like uPVC.

Wooden Doors

Their solid and sturdy design means wooden doors are a sensible choice if you’re concerned about security.

Please note that the strength of any door does come down to the lock and frame though. For that reason, we recommend a five-lever mortice lock with a solid frame to deter any potential burglar.

Composite Doors

The door is composed of several materials to create a dependable option that requires less maintenance and expense than a wooden door.

A composite door may also include a reinforced steel frame and a solid hardwood internal frame. This coupled with a sturdy glass-reinforced plastic exterior creates something that can stand a huge amount of force.


Older and cheaper uPVC doors tend to have low-quality locks, which can be easily broken with force. However, newer uPVC doors now come with anti-snap locks that are lot more difficult to break.

Another issue with uPVC doors is that you can’t add any extra locks to the door after purchase. Any new lock would have to be a replacement in the specific area of the door.

For the best possible security, make sure your uPVC door comes with an anti-snap lock and multi-point locking system.

Choosing A Front Door Supplier

Look for a company with lots of positive reviews and a large online presence. The best companies have a showroom where customers can view products without the obligation to buy.

“Discount door” websites may have good deals but offer no installation service and could be hard to get hold of if things go wrong.

SWR Home & Outdoor supply doors from the best manufacturers in Europe and a full installation service.

Wooden front door in a limestone brick property.
Dark blue upvc front door with diamond window.
Man putting keys into a front door.
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