- Features of the best aluminium entrance doors.
- Understanding front door panels
- What to expect as standard with the best aluminium front doors
- Advantages of aluminium front doors.
- Understanding the aluminium door and frame system.
- The system behind a new front door
- What you need to know about Origin front doors.
- Understanding aluminium panels in front doors.
- The technology used in aluminium entrance doors.
- Choosing contemporary or traditional front 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.
- More information about entrance doors for the home
Features of the best aluminium entrance 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.
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.
Understanding front door panels
The aluminium door with an inset decorative panel is essentially, old technology. There’s nothing at all wrong with these doors. However, they don’t offer the flush and seamless appearance of a quality product. Instead, the glass gets replaced with a decorative panel. Therefore, it’s exactly the same type of glazed door you’d have as a side, porch or back 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.
On the other hand, the doors manufactured with the panel as an integral part look different and better. First of all it’s not obvious it’s a glazed door. Looking at the door you see a full panel arrangement with clean lines, and visible no clips or beads holding the glass in place.
Glasswin doors, Dutemann Haus Doors, Spitfire versions and all the other high quality products come in this better all-round look. This flush look is the first clue as to how good the design of your doors truly is. A simple glazed in panel is fine. A flush look, seamless edge, minimal style tells you the engineering and quality are superior.
Therefore, the structurally bonded door is the more high end product, expertly made and providing an incredible product whether as a hinged or pivot doors. They’re of course, the most expensive types too.
What to expect as standard with the best aluminium front doors
Generally speaking, all quality front door products 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.
- Excellent thermal performance as well as U-Values.
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.
The system behind a new front door
Dutemann Haus, Hormann, Internorm, Spitfire, Pirnar doors and many others all utilise sophisticated aluminium systems and high quality construction. Other quality front doors use profiles such as Comar Architectural Systems or Smart Systems. We’d also suggest looking at the Smart Systems Designer door range as another product suggestion.
The Glasswin Front Doors product is another brand offering front doors at very good prices with the benefit of premium aluminium systems in their construction. They use either the company’s own, Schuco or Reynaers aluminium profiles. There’s also a very unique hybrid version using aluminium on the outside door skin and PVCu on the inside. This product is also one way of getting an aluminium door at a composite door price.
These doors come with quadruple glazing, German Winkhaus locks and even a hidden door sash design and hidden handles. There are many excellent aluminium front doors on the market and we suggest also checking out Glasswin doors, starting at just £1500. Their other aluminium ranges come with the same and even better specifications than brands costing two or three times as much.
Smart Systems designer front doors are another standout product. Upgraded to the 10 point locking system, it’s like having a premium steel door lock. Excellent designs, well-priced. In fact, some traditional door designs are so good, they’ll fool you into thinking it’s a timber door.
What you need to know about Origin front doors.
Origin we’ve mentioned making popular front doors for the home. These come with the same frame profiles as their successful folding sliding doors.
The appearance of Origin Doors is the basic glazed panel design where others prefer the flush look like Dutemann’s Haus, Glasswin or Spitfire. Choose an Origin front door and you also get matching side or back doors as well as garage doors. Finally, you get some of the best colour and personalisation options and a 20-year manufacturer guarantee on the frames.
Some websites mention Origin doors as being substandard. This is not only incorrect but also not true. The quality of Origin’s profiles is excellent. The powder coating process is within very strict industry standards, coated by certified and professional powder coaters. As well as this, the panels come with a very high-quality build. In short, these are just as good as other doors.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with doors where the door panels and the aluminium door profiles are from different suppliers. Even more important, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with using bifolding door profiles to make front doors. Virtually every bifolding door brand on the market has the ability to create single or double doors from these profiles. Above all, the Origin name and its guarantee are excellent.
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 1.0Wm2K or less indicated a better product.
- 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 glazes into the door just like glass. The door leaf steps 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, intelligent 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 broader 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 more comprehensive choice of pull handles, more ironmongery options too.
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 vast choice of colours, textures and subtle 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 selection of door handles.
Door designs vary around the country and many homeowners like to replicate the original front door style in composite or other materials. Glasswin Front Doors is one company we know of offering aluminium front doors in some of the best traditional styles. Even better with these doors, the decorative mouldings are full aluminium.
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|
|Glasswin Front Doors||1250×2250||n/a|
|Solidor Composite Door||1013x2163mm||1927x2163mm|
|Rocal Endurance Composite Door||1004x2050mm||1996x2050mm|
|Smart System Designer Door||1200x2400mm||2200x2500mm|
|Origin Residential Front Door||1130x2700mm||2260x2700mm|
|Spitfire S200 Front Door||1150x2250mm||2190x2200mm|
|RK Door Systems Exclusive Front Door||1300x3000mm||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||1200x3000mm||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 principal 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. Then you get innovation using a combination of aluminium and PVCu such as the excellent Alumina system, customised into a front door.
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. There’s even quadruple glazing available with some products within the aluminium panels.
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 screen. 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 like the excellent Dutemann or Spitfire products 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 some of the best aluminium entrance 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 sturdy door and frame joint.
How much do aluminium front doors cost?
Because of the considerable choices in aluminium front doors, it is challenging 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 single coloured 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.
|Brand||Starting Approximate Prices|
|Glasswin Front Doors||£1500|
|Origin Residential Front Door||£1600-£3500|
|Dutemann Haus Door||£3000|
|Smart Systems Designer Front Doors||£2500|
|Hormann Thermocarbon Front Doors||£3200 upwards|
|Pirnar Front Doors||£4000 upwards|
|Spitfire S500 Front Doors||£6300 upwards|
|Express Bifolds Aluminium Front Door||£3200 upwards|
|RK Door Systems Front Door||£4500 upwards|
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|
|Hallmark Architect Collection||Dutemann Haus Door|
|Lumidorr by Arkay Windows||Hormann|
|Origin Residential Front Door||RK Door Systems Excellence Front Door|
|Smart Systems Designer Doors||Spitfire S700 pivot doors|
|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|
|Alumina by Liniar residential door||Internorm AT400 Series|
|Pirnar Optimum and Premium Range||Pirnar by Arkay Windows|
Summary – Things to consider when buying aluminium front doors.
You can expect to pay more for an aluminium door than any composite door. Some high end aluminium 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 noticeable.
The appearance, opening and closing action and the quality of construction are unlike any composite front door.
Above all, the slim lines and strength of aluminium, not only give you neater looking doors but also without the size limitation of composite door.
We can help you with aluminium doors, designed at similar price points to composite doors, contact us for more information.
More information about entrance doors for the home
Use our contact form for more information about buying aluminium front doors. We can help with products, and where to purchase in your area.