What style and design is right for my home?
Door styles & designs
Residential door styles are often described by their function. All the doors in this guide are exterior doors, which connect the home to the outside. Front doors and back doors are grouped together as ‘entrance doors’, and the other door styles are often referred to as ‘patio doors’. Patio doors tend to have a wider aperture and are so named as they lead the house onto the garden or patio.
Different companies will name their doors differently, however, there are three main types of door opening options: side-hung, sliding and folding. Entrance and French doors are usually side-hung, opening inwards or outwards on a set of hinges. These doors can also be paired to create double door sets. Sliding glass doors glide open by moving one panel behind the other, whereas bi-folding doors can be pushed to one side to completely open up a room.
Make the best first impression with a beautiful front or back door.
Entrance doors are composed of a door ‘slab’ hung within a frame. They can be made of timber, uPVC, aluminium or composite materials, depending on the look and performance you’re looking for. Energy efficiency is a key factor to think about, and as more than 70% of intruders target the front entrance during a burglary, you should ensure your front door is highly secure.
Today’s entrance doors are fully customisable, so you can pick the style, colour, glass designs and accessories that you want. Most companies will be able to offer a wide range of classic and contemporary styles for you to choose from. Ask for an appointment to discuss your needs and design choices.
Charming entrance door that splits in two to let the outside in.
Entrance doors split horizontally in two opening sections to create a stable door. As the name suggests, stable doors originated in the farmyard, keeping animals safely locked in and allowing them to be seen, fed and petted at the same time! Modern day stable doors look like a regular front or back door when closed, but the top half can be opened independently. Combined with a heritage colour scheme they can make your home look like a country cottage.
Stable doors are usually available in uPVC and composite door materials. They feature the same locking systems as any other door in their range. However, you need to check that they can achieve the same protection against the elements, too.
Double open out door set, ideal for the back garden.
French doors feature two side-hung door panels that open in or out, operated by a pair of handles in the middle of the door set. Traditionally French doors were made out of timber, but uPVC and aluminium framed door sets are now available.
The French door style is often used to add a touch of character and elegance to a home. They are a picturesque addition to any room, and can also be designed into a conservatory. The classic style for French doors is Georgian, with white frames and astragal glazing bars dividing up the glass into squares. Black or grey frames are a popular modern twist, and can be customised with letterboxes, arched frames and period door furniture.
Sliding patio doors
Wide glass doors for impressive views to the outside.
Patio doors glide open and closed effortlessly, ideal for if you enjoy spending a lot of time in your garden. Perfect for larger apertures, sliding patio doors can be designed as a ‘wall of glass’, offering expansive views to the outside.
Patio doors are available in uPVC, or slimmer aluminium frames for an even better vista. The glass panels also slide into place behind one another, so they don’t take up any internal or external space.
When shut, patio doors can achieve a high level of energy efficiency. Patio doors must be double glazed as standard, but some companies offer triple glazing, with low e glass and other heat saving technologies. Modern patio doors are also cleverly designed to prevent break-ins through interlocking panels, multi-point bolts and anti-lift strips.
Slide and fold to fully open up a room to the outside.
If you want to create the feeling of freedom, bi-fold doors are a clever way to open up your space. Bi-fold doors fold up like a concertina, allowing you to push the panels open fully to one side. They can be created with up to 6 glass door panels up to a metre wide, and installed in any room. In the kitchen, dining room, living room, extension, conservatory – the possibilities are endless!
Bi-folding doors are available with uPVC and timber frames, but aluminium is undoubtedly the best material for this door type. Due to its strength, aluminium can afford to have slimmer frames and carry larger glass units, whilst maintaining its structural integrity. Aluminium bi-folding doors also last longer and require little maintenance to keep them running consistently well.
Aluminium bi-fold doors fit flat against the frame for a stylish and modern architectural look. They can be designed in a range of colours, including classic monochrome white, black and grey.
Present your home in the best way with a smart new garage door.
Garage doors need to be strong, secure and weatherproof to protect your vehicles and other possessions. Being apart from the main house, garages are often seen as an easy target by burglars. Poor side door security is the worst culprit, but weak garage doors are also at risk.
Secure garage doors are made from solid timber or reinforced steel and designed to prevent forcible entry. Garages featuring multi-point locking and alarm systems are also a great deterrent to burglars.
Garage doors come in a variety of styles. Traditional side-hinged doors are a classic style, but ‘one-piece’ or ‘up and over’ doors are also popular. Sectional garage doors offer a nifty, space-saving design, as do roller doors, which can also be motorised to open automatically.
How to choose a door that's right for your home
Some people choose a like-for-like replacement door for their home, but there are so many exciting designs and colours out there! It's a shame not to explore other options.
Think about your home’s overall aesthetic – are you looking for a more traditional or contemporary design? Every door can be configured for your home. With hundreds of door styles, colours, accessories, glass and material choices, there are thousands of possible combinations. That means you can design a door that’s unique to you.
Finally, remember that one size doesn’t fit all with doors. A door needs to fit the door into the frame precisely, with no tolerance for gaps that could create a draught. It’s for this reason that you should never buy a second hand door – and make sure your installer fits a door made to measure your home exactly.
How to choose the perfect door?
When considering a new door, most people’s concerns generally stem around the colour they want, whether they want a painted or stained finish and what type of knockers, handles and letterboxes to have on it.
You might notice that these are mainly to do with the look and little to do with the functionality of the door. However, in terms of effectiveness and longevity, the most important factors to consider are more to do with how the door actually operates, begging the question: “What makes a great door?”
In our humble opinion, your door should:
1. Be easy going
No matter how great your doors look, they will soon lose their charm if you need to spend countless hours maintaining their appearance.
2. Look right
A bright yellow door with a chunky black knocker might make a statement, but added to the front of a period home it might look a little ill placed. Make sure the style matches the building.
3. Be secure
Remember, the main benefits of your door are earned through its functionality, not through the way it looks, so choosing a door that has an abundance of style over substance is fairly counter-productive. Make sure your choice is secure with multi-point locking mechanisms so it’s as safe as it is stunning.
4. Show support
It is vital that your door is attached to, and supported by, a secure frame. Frames that are incorrectly fitted will reduce the performance of the door and may lead the door to stick, let out warm air, let in cold air and even crack due to excess pressure.
5. Be energy efficient
British standards include energy ratings, which indicate how effective the door is and, effectively, how useful they are towards reducing energy bills. Do your research before you purchase.
6. Fit perfectly
Bespoke doors are made-to-measure, meaning they fit perfectly into the aperture of your home. That means the door is airtight and will not let hot air disappear outside, allowing you to hold back on artificial heating.
7. Be industry tested
Having a door that looks nice is great, but has it been rigorously tested in various harsh weather conditions? If not then a short spell of bad weather may lead to some nasty surprises.
8. Reduce noise pollution
This is achieved by the combination of how well the door is fitted along with what type of glazing, if any, you have chosen. Make sure you ask the right questions about how much sound can be expected to be blocked out of your home. It can make an extraordinary difference to how you relax in your home.
9. Remain firm
With a quality bespoke door, you will avoid the annoyance of unwanted shakes and rattles. Modern designs are tested in extreme conditions so that this irritation becomes a thing of the past.
10. Offer reassuring guarantees
If you’re going to pay good money, you must make sure you receive suitable cover. Make sure you know exactly what the guarantees cover before you buy, along with how many years the cover runs.
There are many industry renowned federations who take great efforts to ensure that good doors are easily identified. The main ones to look out for are BSI, FENSA and BBA. BFRC are relevant, too, should your door have any windows. Click the links to read more about each organisation.
For more detailed information on doors, take a look at our Doors Buying Guide.
'What style and design is right for my home?'