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Making funds availible for your home improvementsWhy composite doors are better than standard UPVC front doors
For many years, UPVC front doors were seen as standard. Almost all homes were built with them, and homeowners with older properties chose to upgrade their front door to a UPVC one. This was all down to the properties of the material that made it perfect for an exterior door. UPVC is very durable and strong, and it stands up well against adverse weather conditions.
However, times have changed. Nowadays, there’s a new player on the market that’s taking the UK by storm. If you’re looking to improve your front door, then many experts now recommend you go with a composite door instead of the standard UPVC one.
As it happens, composite doors could provide a plethora of benefits that UPVC varieties can’t match. If you’re in the market for a new front door, then we urge you to read through this guide. Below, you’ll find out everything you need to know about composite doors and why they’re superior to UPVC ones.
What exactly is a composite door? Essentially, these doors are made out of various different materials. Typically, they’re made up of a timber core with a steel frame. Then, there’s an insulated foam layer that’s all stuck together and encased in GRP (Glass Reinforced Plastic). All of these different materials are pressed and glued under incredibly high-pressure conditions. There’s a lot more that goes into the construction of composite doors compared to standard UPVC ones.
So, a composite door gets its name because it’s made up of a composition of different materials. The end result is something that’s thicker than UPVC doors – considerably so as well. A typical composite door is nearly 45mm thick, while a standard UPVC front door is under 30mm thick. As you can imagine, this added thickness comes in handy when we compare the two doors and their properties.
Generally speaking, composite doors are also made out of better quality materials. For one, the whole concept of a composite door was born from the idea of picking the best materials for specific jobs. Each element in a door is chosen for a reason because it has particular properties. All the materials combine together to create a door that’s second to none.
By comparison, UPVC front doors are mainly made out of one material; UPVC. This stands for unplasticised polyvinyl chloride. Most of you have come into physical contact with polyvinyl chloride many times before as it’s used in lots of clothing. But, the unplasticised version is a lot more rigid and robust, which makes it great for doors or windows.
A standard UPVC door is made with a steel frame that’s encased in UPVC to create a sealed unit. As such, it does possess some tremendous thermal insulative properties and is very strong. These doors also happen to be the more affordable of the two options, but the benefits of composite doors greatly outweigh them.
Before we get onto the benefits of composite doors, we’ll start with some benefits that come from UPVC double glazed doors. If we’re being brutally honest, we’re only doing this because there aren’t that many benefits in comparison to the composite option.
With that being said, in the interest of fairness, we have to try and give both sides of the equation. So, here are a couple of benefits that UPVC doors might have over composite ones:
There’s no hiding from the fact that UPVC doors are more affordable to initially buy and install. The most recent comparisons have them at around 60% cheaper, which sounds like a lot. This is all because they’re made up of one material around the steel frame. So, it’s hardly going to be that expensive to construct them, particularly when you consider the material is basically just plastic. There’s less sophistication in the construction process as well, which is also why they’re cheaper.
Having said that, the cheapness of these doors doesn’t always play in their favour. As we’ll explain later on, you often find that composite doors cost more to install, but end up providing better value for money as the years go by.
Again, this is a somewhat trivial benefit that only a few people might deem worthy. UPVC doors are available in slightly more colours than composite ones, just because UPVC is easier to colour. However, you’ll still get composite doors in pretty much all the main front door colours out there. You’ll find shades of grey, white, black, blue, red, etc. But, UPVC front doors can be found in more outrageous colours that are rare to find on your average front door.
Now, we get into the main part of this guide. The following section will go into great detail describing the various benefits of composite doors. As you can imagine, doors that are so carefully constructed will have lots of advantages to them. This is all thanks to the materials used and the process of constructing the doors themselves. So, please take a look at all the key benefits that composite doors boast:
As we touched upon earlier, composite doors are so much thicker than UPVC ones. In fact, there’s almost an extra 20mm of thickness to a composite door. As a result, this creates thermal insulation that’s second to none. The thicker a door is, the harder it becomes for heat to pass through it. Therefore, more heat stays inside your home as it doesn’t escape through the front door.
In turn, this provides some significant benefits for you and everyone living in your house. Mainly, you get to enjoy a warmer home during the cold winter months. There won’t be any draughts coming from your front door, and the thickness of the composite material helps trap heat in your property. It makes you far more comfortable, and it also means you can turn your heating to a lower setting.
Consequently, we can say that the thermal efficiency of front doors helps lower your energy bills as well. It’s simple; the warmer your home is, the less need you have for your central heating. In some cases, you won’t even need it to be turned on at all. But, even when you have to have it on, you can turn the temperature down, which consumes less energy. In comparison, UPVC doors are much thinner, so they can’t compete on an insulative level. They’re still relatively thermal efficient, but nowhere near as good as composite doors.
While UPVC doors come in more colours, you can’t deny that composite doors are far better looking. To start, they just ooze class and quality. When you put two doors next to one another – but one is composite and the other UPVC – the difference is striking. The composite door looks so much better and more premium than a UPVC one. It’s almost like comparing some off-brand trainers with a pair of Nikes – they look similar, but one is just all-round better and of a higher quality.
You get a serious wow factor with a composite door that UPVC ones simply can’t match. Plus, the styles available are very impressive and instantly upgrade your curb appeal. There are lots of glass patterns you can have as well, which lets you alter between traditional and contemporary front door designs. Interestingly, while they’re available in fewer colours than UPVC doors, composite doors are actually more flexible in terms of the overall design.
So, if you want to buy a door that will upgrade the aesthetic appeal of your home, then composite is the only way forward.
A composite door is made to be as strong and durable as possible. If you think back to how they’re manufactured, it’s easy to see why they’re so much stronger than UPVC doors. A UPVC door is made from reinforced plastic encasing an outer shell. Sure, this is still strong and durable, but compare it to the construction of composite doors.
Here, you have the insulating foam core, a strong outer frame, then multiple layers of materials all pressed together to make up the door. All of the materials in use have been chosen because they’re strong and long-lasting. So, when you have many layers of these materials, it dramatically increases the strength of each composite door.
Furthermore, durability comes with this strength. As such, these doors can stand up to the elements and handle any bumps or scrapes. Part of the reason they’re so durable is down to the GRP skin that coats the door. It adds an additional layer of protection to help combat rain, snow, and any other substances that try and attack your door.
With all this in mind, it means that a composite door will last longer than a UPVC one. You have to wait much longer between replacements, which can save a lot of money over time. To give you an idea of the difference, a typical composite door will last for around 30 years – if it’s well taken care of. UPVC doors are lucky to last 20 years when kept in good condition. So, that’s an extra ten years between the two options, which can make a whole load of difference.
A little-known fact about composite doors is that they come with extra security features. They’re built with an anti-snap cylinder that’s also got anti-drill and anti-pick properties as well. In effect, these locks make it almost impossible for intruders to break through. The only way you’d be able to get into a house through a composite door is if you have the keys to the lock. These advanced security measures are possible because of the material the door is made out of. With UPVC, the plastic makes it hard to really install locking mechanisms like this.
Plus, composite doors are also so strong and thick that they’re near enough impossible to kick down. So, you don’t have to worry about someone trying to break down your front door through brute force. They’d need to have a proper battering ram to even make a dent in your composite door.
As a consequence, if you want to ensure your family remains safe at all times, then a composite door should be the only choice for you. UPVC isn’t unsafe, but they just cannot compete when compared to the might of a composite option.
Noise pollution is a problem for many homeowners. There are few things as annoying as trying to relax in your home but being treated to all the sounds from outside. You might hear cars driving by all the time, neighbours chatting away, horns honking, or nearby construction work polluting the airwaves. When you buy a home, you want to feel comfortable in it. You want to be at peace, and this is impossible if there’s so much noise leaking through to your property.
Again, this is where the pure thickness of composite doors is so helpful. The extra 20 or so millimetres of thickness adds more layers for sound to penetrate. As such, you effectively cancel out so much noise from outside. Less of it seeps into your home, which makes the whole place quieter. Things are made even better when you have double glazed doors too. The glass, combined with the composite door, makes for an excellent noise cancellation device.
If you live in a busy area where there’s always a lot of traffic or outside noises, then a composite door is probably the only option you can consider. It’s not worth getting a UPVC one as you’ll go crazy hearing all the noise every day. Eventually, you’ll just get a composite one, so save money and make the right choice from the beginning!
Front doors take a battering every single day. The wind causes dirt and dust to attach itself to your door, and the rain can beat down on it during the wet seasons and add to the filth. Plus, you have general wear and tear that happens as your door goes through life. As such, you have to maintain your door to keep it in the best condition possible. For some people, this can be a troublesome task as the material is hard to clean, and stains are difficult to get out.
However, composite doors don’t have this issue at all. There’s virtually no maintenance required when you own one of these doors. Visually, they might look like timber doors, but you haven’t got to treat it with anything or keep coating it with some sort of protective varnish. In many ways, the door protects itself with that excellent GRP coating. This keeps things like dirt and dust off the actual surface of the door. So, it just sits on there and can be wiped away with a wet cloth. That’s basically all the maintenance required; just a little wipe down when there’s dirt on the door.
This lack of maintenance can also save money as you don’t need to pay for any costly procedures to protect against cracks or to keep the colour looking its best. Everything stays the same, and your door rarely needs to be maintained.
As well as providing protection from intruders, composite doors have splendid weather resistance. We’ve already mentioned that they stand up really well against snow or rain, but they also offer protection from the sun. Well, what we mean is that the doors won’t get damaged by the sun’s rays beating down on it. Believe it or not, but this is one of the main problems for people with UPVC doors – particularly white ones.
Over time, the sun can cause the colour of a UPVC door to fade or stain. When this happens, it’s impossible to get out because the actual material itself has changed colour. So, you either have to deal with it, or you need to get a new door installed. With composite doors, because of the materials used and the GRP coating, the colour will never fade in the sun. Come rain or shine, your door will stay in perfect condition.
Yes, we spoke about this earlier, and it’s such an important point to make. We aren’t going to sit here and tell you that composite doors are cheaper than UPVC – because they aren’t. We’ve established that UPVC is by far the cheaper option, but is it the most valuable? In short, no, it’s not. Composite doors offer far better value for money, as you may have already guessed by now.
How come? Well, it all relates to some of the benefits seen above. For starters, the thermal efficiency leads to massive energy bill savings every month. Even if you saved an extra £10 a month thanks to your composite door, that’s £120 per year. If your door lasts the full 30 years, then you save £3600 on energy bills alone!
Then, factor in strength and durability. If your doors last for much longer than UPVC ones, then you won’t have to replace them as soon. This gives you more chance to save money to pay for the replacement. In fact, the money you save on energy bills can help go towards this! Plus, the strength makes them so hard to damage. With a UPVC door, someone can easily cause a crack or dent with a forceful kick. If they tried this with a composite door, then they’d break their toes. The strength/durability leads to fewer repairs, which saves even more money.
Alongside this, we mentioned the almost complete lack of maintenance. There’s no need to pay for someone to come and treat your front door when it’s made from composite materials. Thus, you save more cash on regular maintenance.
Even the noise-cancelling properties can help you save money! With UPVC front doors, you may have to buy additional seals or extra things to help block out the noise from the front of your house. A composite door is thick enough to handle this on its own, preventing you from going out and buying any extra things.
Of course, the build-quality has to be taken into account as well. These doors are made out of such high-quality materials, so you get what you pay for. When you take everything into account, it’s easy to see why composite doors are more expensive. But, it’s equally easy to see how much money they can save, making them far more valuable than UPVC ones.
It’s pretty simple, you should buy a composite door if you want to get value for money and fit your house with the best type of front door out there. If your current door is outdated and showing signs of wear and tear, then upgrade to composite today. You’ll have something that’s built to last for decades and requires little-to-no maintenance.
Or, buying a composite door is an excellent idea for anyone looking to renovate their property. If you want a home improvement idea that instantly makes a difference, then this is it. The sheer style and beauty of these doors will boost your curb appeal from the moment the door is installed. Plus, you also get all the other benefits that come with it as well.
In reality, the question shouldn’t be ‘why should you buy a composite door?’ It should be ‘why wouldn’t you buy a composite door?!’. Realistically, they’re far superior in every single category, and UPVC doors have become outdated.
To sum everything up; composite doors boast way more benefits than standard UPVC front doors. We’re not saying that UPVC doors are terrible. If anything, it’s more a case of composite doors being more superior in every way. So, if you want the very best front door, then it has to be composite. Most new houses use composite doors as well, so it’s very much the modern trend. These doors are built for the future, which makes them a worthwhile investment for your property.