Different Types of Doors
A stranger’s first impression of your house is usually gained on the doorstep, a poor quality front door in need of decoration says a great deal about the occupants. This does not mean that you should buy the grandest front door you can afford, a highly ornamental door bedecked in brass would be out of place as the entrance to a cottage-style house. The golden rule is to make sure that the front door is regularly maintained and is in keeping with the style, surroundings and size of the house. Inside doors also have an important part to play in interior decoration, and so do the doors of wardrobes, cupboards etc. But doors also have a number of practical jobs to do and none more so than the front door. This must keep out weather, noise, intruders, insects, domestic animals, dust and draughts. Internal doors have a simpler job to do, they cut down the passage of noise and they provide a barrier for rooms where privacy is essential. Before fitting a replacement glazed door, check with the installer that the work will comply with the building regulations.
The most popular type of room door, unfinished or veneered facings cover a lightweight wooden frame. A recent innovation is the embossed flush door which looks like a panel one. The inner core may be empty or filled with cardboard, wood strips or plasterboard depending on the weight and purpose of the door. The edges of the door are covered (lipped) with thin strips of wood and the position to attach hinges and the lock is usually marked on the appropriate lip.
A timber frame holds numerous wooden slats which are set at an angle. The number and the angle of the slats ensure that air passes freely through the door but the view is blocked. A wide range of sizes for cupboard and room doors is available, softwood is usually used and louver doors are often sealed and varnished to preserve the natural wood appearance. Paired louvered doors are occasionally used to produce Western-style swing doors. Built-in wardrobe doors are often louvered.
The basic structure consists of two vertical wooden stiles with three or more horizontal rails. The open spaces are filled with wood, plywood or glass. Paneled doors are nearly always made of softwood when designed for indoor use, but front doors are usually constructed from hardwood so that they can be sealed and varnished rather than painted. If you buy a front door which has a softwood base, make sure that it has been treated with a preservative to prevent rotting.
Aluminum alloy is the usual frame material, although plastic and wooden versions are available. The fully glazed floor-to-ceiling panel or panels slide horizontally, bringing the living room and garden together in summer. For many people it is the favorite window, but it is also a favorite for burglars and accidents. Use safety glass for glazing and have some form of decoration on the glass to indicate that the window is not open. Fit high-security locks.
A sturdy door which belongs on a country cottage shed or garage rather than an urban home. Strong but plain, the simplest version (ledged and braced) is made up of tongued and grooved boards held together by horizontal ledges and diagonal braces. The stable door version has an upper and lower section. The best type of boarded door is the framed, ledged and braced door. A stout frame constructed with mortise and tendon joints surrounds the boards. A mortise lock can be fitted.
Glazed casement doors, fitted single or in pairs, have long been the traditional way of stepping from the living room into the garden, but their role is now being steadily taken over by patio doors. Wooden French doors keep their place in period houses, although they tend to be draughty than patio ones and stays must be fitted to keep them open. In addition they lack effective control over ventilation. Use safety glass for at least the lower panes and fit a mortise lock to ensure security.