“Knock- knock, who’s there?” From the largest of their kind at the Kennedy space center, to red painted entrances in Philadelphia churches and even the band named after them, one of the most important inventions in architecture is the humble door. Whether for initial impression of a beautifully crafted front door, or a well placed security door for that added touch of safety in your home, they form an integral part of what we interact with on a daily basis.
Doors vary widely in shape, design and aesthetic appearance, and with so many to choose from it can be difficult to decide which way to go. One important factor to look at is the material which you choose to fit your home.
Wood: Wooden doors vary in size, shape, and design. Because wood is simple to work with and easily decorated and painted, it is a favourite. Regardless of climate, they are effective at insulating against mild or more extreme weather. Another great part about wooden doors is that they vary greatly in price, with a simple pine door being quite affordable, to various ornate rare wooden doors which are quite expensive.
Steel: Incredibly strong, weather resistant and resistant to corrosion, steel doors carry quite a high price tag and can weigh quite a few pounds depending on their size. Because of the nature of steel making and shaping, they also come at a cost, but may be worthwhile buy if you’re looking to reduce noise, and want something very safe.
Fiberglass: A relative newcomer to common-use building materials, fiberglass is very sturdy, and performs extremely well under fast changing weather conditions so it’s better to use these doors outside. Because it is so easy to shape and colour, it can be made to look like wood and customized in any almost conceivable fashion or color.
Glass: Glass doors don’t work well as exterior doors, but for the interior of the home they can fit perfectly in cupboards and rooms alike. Because of the nature of glass, it can provide and interior space with extra light, making it a perfect choice for older homes in need of some added lighting.
Vinyl: Vinyl doors are extremely cheap, easy to clean, and fit a multitude of functions. Although they received bad press a few years back, modern technology has greatly improved the ways in which these doors can be used. They are colour coordinated, and can be made uniform to fit a particular style.
Aluminium: Doors made from this lightweight metal are better suited for indoor use, and can fulfill many roles. Brushed aluminium is a clean look, but these inexpensive doors can also be made to spec, and easily colored and designed to your needs.
Hollow metal: Hollow metal is a good material for extreme weather, and is usually made of very durable cold rolled steel. These make very strong exterior doors, but do not provide great insulation, and so they aren’t well suited for colder climates. You can choose a stainless steel door if you are worried about corrosion, which happens on standard steel doors.
Door locks are integral to the safety features of a door, and from relatively weak to extremely strong, there are a few types to choose from when considering what would feel best for your living space.
Not so strong: Spring Latch Locks—These are suited best for use inside a house, because they are not tamper proof and are purely meant to latch closed.
Stronger: Standard Deadbolt Locks—A deadbolt is a special type of lock with the same features as a spring latch except that it adds a single “deadbolt” to the locking mechanism which makes the lock tamper resistant.
Strongest: Vertical and double cylinder deadbolt locks—Are the strongest locks as the bolt either protrudes vertically into a set of metal rings on the receiving end of the doorframe, or it is recessed into the door in between the 2 cylinders making the bolt in either of these tamper proof.
Traditional doors: Traditional doors are styles in such a way that you often find they have glass panel inserts, scrollwork and in some cases, colored panes. They often also have raising inserts which make them distinctive and quite beautiful.
Craftsmans doors: Usually of a wood of fiberglass construction, these doors are characterised by a top window, which may have a single or multiple panes.
Modern doors: Contemporary styling dictates that these doors often have single long panes on a side of the frame or in the door, made of many different materials they are normally quite cleanly styled with straight lines.
Rustic doors: These doors are normally older, or at least styled to look older. They are thick and heavy, and normally crafted from wood or metal.
Arched doors: Are the most distinctive, and can exist throughout the other styles, with window panes, or large heavy double wooden doors with a wide archway for a spacious, open feel.
Installing a door has to be exact and precise, because an incorrect measurement can lead to a badly fitting door. Firstly, you will need to accurately measure your frame area, and ensure that you accurately record your height and width. If you are replacing and resizing a door, you need to remember that a door and a frame will need to fit into the space you are considering resizing—this is often costly and time consuming, so it isn’t recommended that you try this unless absolutely necessary.
A timeframe for replacing a door is normally measured by the amount of hours required for a crew to install it, which can vary depending on the variables such as weight, size, and dimensions of the door. For a standard, single, prehung door, the average time is between 2.5—4 hours, with a crew of 1 or 2 people installing it. A double hung door with windows normally has the longest install time with an installation crew 1 larger than that required for a standard door.
Once again, cost is dependent on the scope of the project. A professional installation crew will look at all of the factors involved in installing, such as the type and material of the door, the size, and crew needed to install it.
The national average on door repair is in the region of $220.00 for a standard door, whilst the average for an installation of a new door can be as high as $900.00 depending on the type of door you choose. Garage doors are the most expensive, with a price tag of over $1000.00. These are rough estimates however, and talking to the right kind of person can ensure you get a fair price.