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Choosing an exterior door

Reasons to replace an external door

There can be many reasons for deciding to change an external door apart from it needing repair or re-painting. The fitting may be poor allowing draughts to enter the house, through gaps at the bottom or sides of the door. The door could be unfashionable and in a poor state of repair, squeaking and sticking when used. The hallway could be dark and you want to allow more access to natural light.

It is essential to measure the doorframe in a number of places across its width and height. Make a note of any discrepancies in the measurements as they may help when fitting the door. External doors are normally divided into two categories panel or molded doors. They are normally thicker than interior doors as they are built for exterior use.

Panel doors

There are different panel designs available ranging from 6 wooden panel doors to 15 glazed panel doors. Finishes are usually hardwood. They consist of two vertical stiles and horizontal rails enclosing the panels. The panels are made of solid timber or glass. Two kinds of glass panel doors can be purchased.

The first type consists of glass already fitted. This means the paneled door must be fitted when it contains the glass. The second type is fitted to the frame and then the glass panels are added to the door individually. This makes the door lighter to handle when hanging. Putty and beading should be used, and silicone sealants are also available in a variety of finishes.

Moulded doors

Moulded doors are shaped from a sheet of wood, PVC or fibreboard and then bonded to a timber frame. They are often classic in design with moulded panels. Some are available ready finished in a variety of colours.

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