Double Glazed Doors – Designs, Styles & Features.
Your guide to the different types of double glazing doors for your home.
The latest designs combine excellent thermal performance and security with great visual appearance, so by fitting double glazed doors you are giving your home the perfect exterior door.
The type of external doors fitted to a property serve a number of important functions and double glazed doors are perfect for keeping your family safe, your belongings secure and helping to lower home energy bills.
Firstly, and quite obviously, front and back doors are the primary points of entry/exit and, as such, take a lot of punishment.
The average front door can easily be opened and closed over 1,000 times in a year
(365 days x 3 times a day).
Secondly, along with double glazed windows, they provide the first line of security for your home. Keeping you safe inside (by keeping unwanted visitors outside) is what a good entrance door should do properly.
Finally, your external doors should not only keep out unwanted guests, they should keep out the weather and insulate your home against heat loss.
By the time you have finished our guide to the different types of double glazing doors for your home, you should know everything you “need to know” in order to decide which is the best design for your home and your pocket.
External Double Glazed Door Design Options?
What are the doors made from & what do the different designs look like?
1 External / Exterior door construction materials.
(what are the doors made from?)
The three most common materials used for doors & door frames are:
- Timber – Hardwood, Softwood or engineered wood are all used for front & back doors. Many homeowners believe that the only type of door to have is one that has the “natural” look and feel of timber.
- Aluminium – Also including aluminium clad timber doors. This material is used to make some of the more contemporary double glazed door designs. It’s strong, light and lasts for years. Modern aluminum doors are highly engineered to give maximum performance and great looks.
- UPVC – Including uPVC doors with hardwood timber frames. By far one of the more popular choices. Competitively priced, very durable and available in a huge range of design styles, a double glazed uPVC door is the first choice for many.
- Composite – Combining timber, uPVC & GRP within their structure, composite door designs are superb examples of energy efficient, strong, long lasting, great looking exterior doors.
The door itself, and the frame in which it is hung, do not always have to be made from the same material. Although it is common practice to be made from the same material there are many examples of uPVC or aluminium doors fitted within hardwood frames.
2 What are the different types of double glazed door designs?
(what do the doors look like?)
The best way to answer the question about what different door types are available, is to break it down into different categories. In this instance we are looking at the two most obvious design types, “entrance doors” & “feature doors”.
Front and back doors (entrances)
Front and back doors come in many different sizes, styles and colours and therefore there is a substantial choice from which to select the perfect one for your home. Broadly the visual appearance of any particular double glazed front or back door is going to fall into one or other type such as full glazed, part glazed or solid.
Entrances that are higher or wider than standard are often seen with additional side or top panels.
Patio doors (feature doors)
Slding patio doors are one of those home improvements that can really change the way you feel about your house and can give a room a whole new lease of life. Most often seen at the rear of a property, double glazed patio doors, especially French patio doors, are popular because they make a room feel larger and let in a lot of natural light.
Well liked patio door designs include French patio doors, Bifold patio doors or sliding patio doors.
Read more about the different types of double glazed doors
What are the typical Front Door, Back Door & Patio Door features?
- Can be double or triple glazed
- Decorative glass, such a patterned & leaded
- Safe glazing with Tempered or laminated panes
- A super wide choice of colours for uPVC & aluminium
- Surface finishes that perfectly replicate timber (uPVC & aluminium)
- Glazing beads fitted on the inside for security
- Anti-lifting tracks for sliding patio doors
- Up to A rated for energy efficiency
- Multi-point locking systems for extra security
- Many doors meet “secured by design” standards
- Low threshold options for ease of access
For those who want to use wooden doors, you have the option to have the colour factory applied, which should give the door a really professional level of finished surface. This applies to both stains and paints.
For coloured aluminium or uPVC double glazed doors, you can get around 15 to 20 variations for uPVC and more than 100 shaded for powder coated aluminium doors.
Both uPVC and aluminium have finished surface options that replicate the texture and appearance of real timber, commonly referred to as wood-grain effect.
Here are the standard sizes for front or back doors in the UK. If you have an opening that is slightly wider than this (within 2 inches or 50mm) you could probably get the frame extended, but anything significantly wider or higher than the dimensions given below is going to give rise to the need to add side or top panels.
|Typical average front & back door dimensions in the UK|
|6 feet 6 inches High (or 1981mm)||2 feet 6 inches (or 762mm)|
|6 feet 6 inches High (or 1981mm)||2 feet 9 inches (or 838mm)|
|6 feet 8 inches High (or 2032mm)||2 feet 8 inches (or 813mm)|
For doors or glazing where a degree of privacy is required, obscured, frosted or patterned panes can be fitted.
On the subject of glass, it is recommended to use double glazing in any glass areas. Full length glass doors (patio doors or side panels) should be fitted with toughened glass. Or if you want to go the “extra-mile”, laminated glass options are also available.
More Residential External Door Options
How much do new or replacement doors cost?
The cost of a new or replacement door is based on:
- Design or style
- Size / dimensions
- Construction material
- Amount of labour required (supply only or fully fitted)
Generally, softwood products would be the lowest cost, but they don’t (in our humble opinion) perform as well as other materials. Next would likely be uPVC versions, as they tend to be very competitively priced, with aluminium doors prices being at the higher end.
For a front or back door in white uPVC, you could expect to find fully fitted prices ranging from £500 to £700. For a composite front or back door, you could expect to find fully fitted prices ranging from £800 to £1,100.
With a sliding patio door, fully fitted prices go from £800 upwards, whilst Bifold door versions start at £1,200 to £1,400 for supply only (2700mm x 2100mm). French patio doors, for a set sized 1800mm x 2100mm, would begin from around £800 to £900.
You can see more pricing on the individual product page, but we advise you to get a proper written quote from an accredited supplier / installer.
A selection of Frequently Asked Questions.
Repairs are mainly exempt, but for a new installation it should meet building regulations. A FENSA or CERTASS registered installer can certify them as compliant.
Check out the UK Government planning portal here.
Modern techniques for applying colour are permanent and for uPVC or Aluminium or even composite doors, the colour is bonded not just painted.
The colours are stable and it is very rare for them to fade.
Yes, all installations will carry a guarantee.
The warranty on the work itself is supplied by the installer, the one on the product is carried by the manufacturer.
Always check beforehand and get the terms in writing, but a typical new door will have a 10 year guarantee.
For a single front or back door, it can usually be done in 1 working day. But the bigger the door set, the longer it will take.