For many homes around Ireland, the back door is the main entrance to the house. I remember working on a house where my clients explained that their 20-year-old front door was like new as it was hardly ever used. Their back door was the main entrance and the door that everyone called to when they visited. Whether yours is a highly trafficked door or simply only for occasional use, here are six things to consider when replacing your back door.
The design of back door you choose really depends on the style of your home and your own personal taste. Whether you are looking for a traditional or more contemporary style, you’ll have a vast range of options in uPVC, composite and aluminium. My advice would be to try to get to visit the showrooms to see the doors in reality. Bring photos of your home with you to help your sales representative guide you as to the most suitable styles available.
Glass or no glass
One of the things to consider is whether you want a glazed or solid door. A glass door is an excellent idea if you’re looking to get more light into the room where the door is going. It’s also a perfect option if the door is going into a utility or laundry room that has no other windows. You can go for a fully glazed or half-glazed door. If privacy is a concern, you may prefer to go with frosted glass or a completely solid door.
Whether you’re going for uPVC, composite or aluminium doors, you will have a wide range of colour options to choose from. A nice idea is to go with a dual colour for your back door. This is where you choose one colour for the inside of the door and a different colour for the outside. I’d recommend choosing a neutral shade that matches your woodwork for the interior and a contrasting or statement colour outside.
Your choice of door handle will have an impact on how secure your door is. A handle with steel reinforcement, for example, will provide ‘Jemmy resistance’. This will stop a burglar from being able to snap the door handle making it more difficult for them to gain entry.
uPVC back doors come with high-security multi-point locking mechanisms, cylinders and handles. They also come with toughened safety glass as standard. Many designs also have an internal bead which prevents the glass from being removed from the outside. Speak to your sales representative about the different security options available.
Internal locking options
It’s a good idea to go for an internal thumb-turn locking mechanism instead of a key on the internal side of your back door. A thumb turn will allow you to easily open and lock the door from the inside without having to find a key or leave the key in the lock. Do bear in mind, however, that this kind of lock is easier for small children to open. If this is a concern, a traditional key lock internally may be a better option.
All new back doors will offer a high level of thermal efficiency which will reduce heat loss in your home. If you are going for a glazed door, you will have a choice of double or triple glazing. Double-glazing can reduce heat loss or heat gain by almost 30% in comparison with single-pane glazing. Triple glazing performs even better and is ideal for colder environments and exposed sites.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Managing Director Optimise Design, B.Arch. RIAI RIBA
& Design Expert for Senator Windows