My first few blog posts are going to be about the few things we have done to the house in the years we have been here. Hopefully this will put you in the picture as to where we are and what’s to come!
The first cosmetic job we decided to address when we bought the house was buying a new front door. Given that our finances were tight in the months after moving in, you’d think this wouldn’t have been a priority but you’ll see in the next entry why it was. This entry covers front doors more generally and a lot of what I’m writing will link to why the front door was front of the queue for replacement!
The way I thought about it was thathere are two essential things that a front door contributes to a house.
1. Kerb Appeal
The qualities of a building that make it attractive when it is seen from the street.
The front door is the one of the first things visitors to your home will see and it is usually the focal point when taking in the view of your house . It’s also one of the few ‘structural’ ways of marking your style on the exterior of your home. Some say that the colour you choose for your front door tells of your personality, whereas the style of the door tells of the house’s personality. I’m a big fan of traditional, simple & solid looking front doors.
The above is one of my favourite pictures from Pinterest – I think it’s a look very typical of London houses. Little Grey Cloud has a storm porch, which is very practical but has the slight drawback of obscuring the front door a little. I would have loved a house with steps up to the front door and columns or iron railings, but those are more typical of Bloomsbury addresses and as such a little out of the reach of first time buyers!
A row of my dream houses – Cartwright Square, Bloomsbury
The state of feeling safe, stable and free from fear and anxiety.
One of the main reasons for us replacing the front door of the Cloud fairly quickly was to ensure we had a good secure one. The Met Police say that the primary route of entry and exit to a home for burglars is through doors so we thought this was a wise thing to sort early on.
I’ve inlcuded a link to a useful guide to ensuring your home’s doors are secure below, so I won’t attempt a comprehensive guide in this post but you primarily need to be thinking about the material of which it’s made and if/where to have any glass panels. If you are replacing or fitting a new door set, make sure it is certified to British Standard PAS24-1: 1999 ‘Doors of Enhanced Security’. Timber doors should have a solid core, be at least 44mm thick and comply with BS 8220. Most new upvc & composite doors come with built-in 5-point locking systems, whereas you would need to add your own locks to a timber door.
Glazed panels often add interest to the design of a door but can represent a significant weakness. Larger glass panels are best avoided and all glazed areas in or around the door should be laminated glass, or covered with a reinforcing window film. This may be where style and security clash, but there is such a wide range of doors on the market now that I’m sure you’ll find something you like but that will still sufficiently protect your home.
When we were choosing our new door, we tried our best to balance both of the above. In doing so, we made the hard decision not to choose and restore a reclaimed solid wood door. Instead, we bought a upvc-composite door. We had two reasons for making this choice. Security – as outlined above and following a discussion with our local crime prevention officer who informed us about how easy a wooden door was to break (and we really wanted to avoid hiding the door behind any sort of iron gate). Ease of use – my parents have a traditional solid wood door and it is very much affected by the weather – swelling in the heat and shrinking in the cold (I can’t count how many times I nearly dislocated my shoulder trying to pull that door open!).
Though we chose a modern alternative, I still wanted it to be in a style appropriate to the age of the house as far as possible. There will be some pictures of the new door in my next entry, so you can see what you think of our selection.
There’s a part of me that wishes I’d been a bit more creative, like the people who own the house pictured below:
Houzz.com’s front door gallery – here
The Met Police advice & tips on front door security – here