Home renovation can be an all-encompassing project – and you’ll be amazed by the variables you’ll be forced to consider.
In no time, you’ll be thinking about hollow doors, solid doors, frameless doors, glazed, sliding, bifold doors, pocket doors…
The jargon is endless.
And it can be dizzying.
Your choice of doors makes a significant impact on the flow, the aesthetic, and the layout of your home. So knowing what’s out there is the first step to making decisions.
We’ve compiled a comprehensive “how-to” for choosing the right type of doors for your property.
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Internal doors create privacy for each room while injecting personality and a style profile on the surrounding chamber.
If you have a period home and the doors are in good condition, you might consider having them stripped or dipped to restore them to their original bare wood.
However, stripping requires an enormous amount of effort and could cost you as much as it costs to replace the door completely.
Replacing internal doors, and juxtaposing a modern look in a period home can be the difference between bland and brilliant.
However, there are some considerations to take into account.
Hollow or solid?
The choice between hollow and solid doors is largely driven by price.
A hollow door is a two-skin construction with an air cavity within the core. Hollow doors are lightweight and much cheaper than their solid counterparts.
However, hollow doors come in a wide variety of stylish designs, and they’re sturdy enough for general use.
A solid door, on the other hand, feels sturdy and substantial. A solid door with an engineered timber core is the best choice if price isn’t a deciding factor; less likely to warp than a standard solid wood door which can be sensitive to environmental change throughout the year.
Solid doors provide better sound and thermal insulation than their hollow equivalents.
A standard-sized hollow core door should start at around £30/$50 per door; while a solid door is likely to be approximately £70/$100 per door.
Upstairs and downstairs?
Many people choose to spend more on the downstairs doors, fitting more standard doors in the rooms upstairs.
Guests are likely to see only the downstairs doors, so if you’re going for the wow-factor (but need to stay in control of the budget), consider the downstairs your aesthetic priority.
How to settle upon a style
There are some important considerations:
- How much daylight do you have inside?
- How much room do you have?
- Do you go for framed or frameless?
- How high are your ceilings?
The hallway is the first thing that your guests see when they enter your home. A dark hallway can feel unwelcoming and cold.
If you have a dark entrance space, consider installing glazed- or part-glazed doors throughout the downstairs of the home.
If your back room has beautiful bifold doors, opening onto the garden and affording a wealth of daylight into the space, consider monopolizing on that daylight. Allow the light to flow around the home with glazed doors.
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Pocket- or sliding-doors are becoming particularly popular because they maximize your available space.
Sliding doors are stylish and free up the arc of swing that traditional side-hinged doors demand.
If you’re tight on space (or just like the idea of stylish doors that disappear into the wall), consider pocket doors.
Framed or frameless?
Frameless doors are modern and stylish – they blend into the fabric of the home, almost disappearing into the wall.
Frameless doors can be more expensive than standard framed doors to install because the construction needs to accommodate the invisible frame and shadow gap.
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Houses with large rooms and tall ceilings could benefit from over-sized doors. A standard door size is around 2 metres in height, but for tall rooms, going to a height of 2.4m or more adds an element of grandeur.
Of course, non-standard sizes are always going to be more expensive.
Choosing a doorset
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When you’re buying a door, you can buy just the door leaf or an entire doorset.
When you buy a doorset, you get the door leaf, the door lining, and the architrave. You also get hinges, latches, locks, etc. The handle may also be included, although this isn’t necessarily standard.
When you buy just the door, you only get the door leaf. If the door frame is already in place, you might consider saving yourself some money with just the door leaf.
Doorsets often make the installation of your doors a little quicker because you have everything you need in one place.
It’s recommended that you hire a skilled carpenter to install your door as it can be a precision operation.
What about fire doors?
Fire doors aren’t required in most standard “two-up-two-down” properties. They’re an expectation of Building Regulations if the property is more than two stories or when a loft has been converted for dwelling purposes.
Fire doors are around 10-20% more expensive than a standard door.
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The front door is a potential statement piece which can add a real sense of what to expect inside. Reserving a budget for your front door is an investment well made.
Similar considerations should be made for external doors – should they be glazed or solid, and what type of locking mechanism will maximize the security of your home?
A real way to boost a property’s desirability is adding bifold doors to the back of the house. Bifold doors concertina into themselves to open the entire back wall of the home; blurring the line between the inside and outside.
Daylight floods into spaces with bifolds, and the windows provide super-efficient thermal insulation during the winter.
The most common mistakes. How to avoid them.
The biggest mistakes people make when choosing doors for a renovation project are:
- Lack of consideration for interior doors when it comes to the interior fit-out budget
- Incorrect measurements. Always get a professional to measure-up for you.
- Incorrect installation. Get a professional to fit the door.
- No consideration for which way the door will open – into the room, or out of the room.
- Leaving enough space for the door to open.
So, when you’re choosing the doors for your renovation project, enter the prospect with a little insight and avoid the pitfalls.