- Features of the best aluminium entrance doors.
- Understanding door sizes and designs.
- How secure are aluminium front doors?
- How much do aluminium front doors cost?
- Summary – Things to consider when buying aluminium front doors.
Often the front door is the last item in a substantial home improvement project. Composite doors are a cheap and high-quality alternative to a front door. Some of the best aluminium entrance doors provide all the advantages of a composite door with even more features and benefits.
Features of the best aluminium entrance doors.
To choose the right aluminium front door for your home, it is worth looking at their construction and design. There are three common types of construction for aluminium doors.
- The aluminium door with an inset decorative panel.
- An aluminium door manufactured with the panel as an integral part of the structure.
- A structurally bonded aluminium front door.
All types of aluminium entrance doors provide security and reliability. Where they tend to differ is in their appearance and their price point. The aluminium door with the inset decorative panel is usually much cheaper.
Whichever of the two types of aluminium entrance doors you look at all will come with the following specifications as standard:
- Durable powder coated finish in a big selection of colours.
- Extensive options for handles, locks and door furniture.
- Secure multi-point, manual or electronic locking systems.
- Single or double door options.
- Thermal efficiency.
Advantages of aluminium front doors.
Aluminium entrance doors we consider superior to plastic PVCu doors as well as composite doors. While composite doors such as the Solidor or the Endurance are solid and secure, aluminium front doors provide some key benefits. These benefits are enhanced when there are other aluminium products in the home as well such as bifolding doors, sliding doors and aluminium windows.
• Higher thermal insulation
• Even better security as aluminium doors accepts substantially more locking points.
• Exceptional acoustic insulation
• Very stable front door sets.
• An exact colour match to other aluminium products in the home, not a near match like composite doors or foiled PVCu doors.
Understanding the aluminium door and frame system.
It is worth knowing that often the panel and the door profiles are two different products, frequently from different manufacturers. There are companies that specialise in making panels for aluminium entrance doors. These panels are integrated within aluminium residential door systems, for example in the Dutemann Haus entrance door that uses the renowned Schuco system. The aluminium system used is very important when choosing some of the best aluminium entrance doors. The reason for this is the design, testing and engineering of the door profiles irrespective of whether it is panelled for a front door or glazed for a back door.
So one consideration in choosing some of the best aluminium entrance doors is knowing the system that is behind it. Ask what system is behind the overall product.
Dutemann Haus, Hormann, Internorm, Spitfire, Pirnar doors and many others all utilise sophisticated aluminium systems and a high quality construction. Other quality front doors use profiles such as Comar Architectural Systems or Smart Systems.
Understanding aluminium panels in front doors.
The other important component in some of the best aluminium front doors is the door panel. A quality aluminium door panel will comprise:
- A thick aluminium panel. Over 40mm is ideal.
- Internal and external aluminium skins that have a good thickness, typically 3mm.
- A thermally efficient inner core as well as suitable reinforcement within. U-Value of about 1.2Wm2K are typical.
- A door panel that feels weighty and solid. A good test is to knock on the door and see how it feels.
By nature of the panel construction, thermal efficiency will come as standard. If your door panel has glass elements, these should be precise in their detailing and fitted from the inside with hidden fixings or an internal bezel.
There are several ways to construct aluminium entrance doors around the panel. These are typically:
- The glaze-in arrangement. This is where the panel is glazed into the door just like glass. The door leaf is stepped away from the panel creating an attractive border.
- The door panel having an extended leg covering the inside, outside or both sides of the door. This creates a flush looking door without the ‘picture frame’ detail of the glaze-in method.
- More expensive doors that are built around the door panel or structurally bonded.
The technology used in aluminium entrance doors.
Technology in aluminium door construction, security and design have advanced significantly in recent years. As a result, modern aluminium doors offer high engineering, clever features and high insulation the maximum in security and thermal efficiency just like their PVCu and timber counterparts.
Aluminium doors have far better hardware solutions compared to plastic or composite doors being available with a wider choice of locks and handles owing to the absence of a ‘eurogroove’ upon which so many plastic and composite doors are based. There are other benefits not available with PVCu such as completely concealed door hinges, a far wider choice of pull handles, greater ironmongery options and much more.
When it comes to appearance, gadgets, security and customisation there is a lot of choice with some of the best aluminium entrance doors on the market. Aside from a huge choice of colours, textures and fine detailing, accessories are on-trend.
The upper-tier of aluminium entrance doors come with a lot of technology built-in. Examples include:
- Top quality materials including all aluminium, hybrid aluminium-timber or aluminium and steel.
- Automatic or manual closing.
- Features such as integrated LED lighting.
- Automatic door locks, fingerprint scanners and connection to home automation systems.
- Electromechanical locks also offering access control.
- Quadruple-glass units.
What you want on your door depends on the product and your budget. It is possible to spend upwards of £10000 on a high-specification, technology-laden aluminium front door.
Choosing contemporary or traditional front doors.
Every quality door panel manufacturer and supplier will be able to demonstrate a range of both contemporary door sets as well as the more traditional designs. As a result, whatever style you want for your home won’t differ very much in construction.
To modern or traditional doors comes a choice of glass options, locking systems, door accessories and a choice of door handles.
Understanding door sizes and designs.
One of the main reasons to choose an aluminium entrance door over the composite door is more flexibility in panel sizes and overall door sizes. For example, composite doors can be unsuitable for cottages and older houses with narrow doorways owing to panel size limitations. While aluminium entrance doors are can also be restricted by size, there is usually more flexibility for smaller doors. For large door sets, aluminium has the biggest advantage. Here is how door sizes compare for and double doors. Also included are some composite and timber doors to provide a comparison.
|Brand||Single Door Maximum Size||Double Door Maximum Size|
|Dutemann Haus Entrance Door||1200 x 2390mm||2390x2390mm|
|Solidor Composite Door||1013x2163mm||1927x2163mm|
|Rocal Endurance Composite Door||1004x2050mm||1996x2050mm|
|Smart System Designer Door||1000x2500mm||2200x2500mm|
|Origin Residential Front Door||1130x2700mm||2260x2700mm|
|Spitfire S200 Front Door||1100x2200mm||2190x2200mm|
|RK Door Systems Exclusive Front Door||1100x2200mm||2300x2200mm|
|Bereco Timber Front Door||1181x2500mm||2073x2500mm|
|Express Bifolds Aluminium Front Door||1200x2550mm||2390x2550mm|
|Pirnar Front Doors by Arkay Windows||1300x3000mm||2700x3000mm|
|Hormann Thermocarbon Front Doors||120x3000mm||2200x3000mm|
|Conventional Glazed Aluminium Door||1200x2400mm||2400x2400mm|
So taking some well-known brands, the size advantages of aluminium over composite doors is significant. An aluminium door comes up to 30% bigger than a typical composite door.
Colours and Textures.
All the major front door manufacturers offer RAL, anodised, textured or metallic colours. Options include satin, matt or gloss finishes and mixtures of different colours inside and out. Origin, Smart Systems and other brands also provide a range of wood effect finishes using the sublimation process.
Some doors use a conventional powder coated method others offer enhanced protection finishes.
Glass options for aluminium doors.
With some of the best aluminium entrance doors triple glazing comes as standard. Also standard is toughened or laminated safety glass.
The glass options available with front doors are extensive with traditional and contemporary glass designs. Door numbers, acid etching, sandblasting, colouring and custom-designs come with most door brands.
Customising aluminium entrance doors for your home.
Aside from the handle choices and door accessories, aluminium doors provide great customisation options. Doors are available with glazed panels to the sides or above.
You can integrate these doors within a two storey screen or one-off design of entrance. Accessibility is taken care of with a choice of standard rebated or low thresholds for wheelchair access. Finally, you can use all the colour advantages of powder-coated aluminium. Powder coating allows single or dual colours, wood effect finishes, contrasting doors and frames and much more besides.
As a result, you can integrate your front door within a screen or create an individual stand-alone front door.
How secure are aluminium front doors?
It goes without saying that as a current and highly engineered front door, the best aluminium entrance doors are certified to several security standards. Some of these standards are British. Other doors originate from Europe and are certified to European standards. British certification includes Secured by Design, Document Q, PAS24 and others. European standards you will see include WK2, WK3, RC2-4 and others. Many of these are harmonised standards, therefore you have relative peace of mind.
The locking systems on the best aluminium entrance doors use some of the best door locks such as Winkhaus. Front doors are substantially more robust and secure than many side and backdoors in our homes.
Other security features in aluminium front doors include hidden door hinges, laminated glass, toughened safety glass, concealed fixings and internal beading of any glazing. We must mention the frame construction of aluminium doors generally that is one of the most secure mechanical methods of door construction with cleats and brackets as well as sealants all creating a strong door and frame joint.
How much do aluminium front doors cost?
Because of the huge choices in aluminium front doors, it is very difficult to provide a good indication of prices. The styles, glazing options, hardware choices and the supply chain all affect the price you pay. However, as a very approximate guide, the below prices are based upon a coloured single door with a combination glass and panel construction and standard high security locking system.
Prices include VAT and fitting. We strongly recommend you obtain a firm quotation.
Dutemann Haus Front Door
Origin Residential Front Door
Hormann Thermocarbon Front doors
Pirnar Front Doors
Spitfire S500 Front Doors
Express Bifolds Aluminium Front Door
RK Door Systems Front Door
Some popular brands of aluminium front doors.
You can integrate a decorative panel into virtually any aluminium residential door system. Some brands do this in a very simple way to make aluminium front doors affordable. Other brands go the extra mile with better design, construction and door performance. Here are just some of the brands to consider.
|Mid-Range Front Doors||High-End Front Doors|
|Origin Residential Front Door||Dutemann Haus Door|
|Hallmark Architect Collection||Pirnar by Arkay Windows|
|Lumidorr by Arkay Windows||Hormann|
|Smart Systems Designer Doors||RK Door Systems Excellence Front Door|
|Spitfire S200||Spitfire S500 Luxury Series|
|Express Aluminium Front Door||Hörmann ThermoSafe|
|Sunflex Front Doors||PortaNova Doors|
|RK Door Systems Entre Economy Range||Reynaers Pivot Doors|
|Hörmann Thermo65||Schuco Adeco Door Panels|
|Hörmann TopComfort||Internorm AT400 Series|
|Pirnar Optimum and Premium Range|
Summary – Things to consider when buying aluminium front doors.
You can expect to pay more for an aluminium door than any composite door. These doors are also on a similar price point to timber front doors. Price aside, here is what you should consider before you buy a new aluminium entrance door.
- Traditional door styles are more limited than contemporary designs.
- Current ‘gadgets’ such as fingerprint scanners or access control systems may be obsolete/difficult to work with in years to come.
- We do not recommend you buy these doors on a trade supply only basis. Expert installation is essential.
- Some door companies will require a qualified electrician where electrics are involved.
- Avoid stock size doors sold online. Always have a professional survey carried out.
- The panelled front door glazed into the door sash provides the most affordable option.
Composite doors often try to mimic the authentic product of which aluminium doors are one. In choosing the brands mentioned in this article or any of the many quality products, you are getting some of the best aluminium entrance doors you can buy. These superb products are unlike the multitude of me-too composite doors on the market. They are individual, their looks justify the price and are an investment in your home. Try to view these doors side by side with a composite door and the differences are immediately obvious. The appearance, opening and closing action and the quality of construction are unlike any composite front door.
Contact us if you would like further information about buying aluminium front doors and where to purchase in your area.