Front door design

A key component of your home’s exterior aesthetic, the main entrance should not only complement the overall style of your property, but also provide security and privacy

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Front door designs are many and varied and period-style offerings still take inspiration from basic planked structures or, variants of the classic six-panel Georgian, or four-panel Victorian door. Glazing, too, plays a key role.

Of course, many original front doors to period homes have survived the whims of fashion or the DIY enthusiast, and if you’re considering restoration, Ventrolla provides a nationwide front door refurbishment service. In addition, detailing, such as etched or stained glass insets and fanlights, can be reinstated by local specialists offering bespoke glazing services and advice.

When it comes to replacing an original front door, it is usually best to consider a like-for-like design. Should a more modern stance be appropriate, it is possible to mix and match styles — just ensure the door still works with the architecture and proportions of your home.

 

Related articles: How to restore your front door | How to strip a pine door | How to repaint and revive out door wood work

 


Mumford & Wood’s Conservation doors can be made bespoke in a range of authentic designs, such as this six-panelled Georgian door. Made from sustainable Siberian larch, they are finished in three coats of microporous paint and are Secured by Design accredited. A similar door costs £5,700 with sidelights. Mumford & Wood

urban front red

A modern take on early-20th-century designs, Urban Front’s timber planked Como E80 features a large oval vision panel and can be hinged (up to H240xW104cm) or pivoted (up to H240xW120cm). Available in timber and painted finishes, it is shown here in Fireengine Red, £5,316, Urbanfront

Georgain style Westbury Joinery six panel timber front door


Inspired by Georgian designs, this six-panelled door from Westbury Joinery features two double-glazed units at the top to increase light levels without compromising on privacy or traditional style. Made from a combination of larch and accoya, and finished in three coats of microporous Westbury White paint, it costs around £1,900 for H210xW110cm. (01245 326510; westburyjoinery.com)

For historical accuracy, look to reclamation yards and specialist dealers, which can offer advice on appropriate designs for the door itself, as well as ironmongery. If you opt for a reclaimed front door, inspect it closely to ensure the wood is a not warped, cracked or showing sign of rot. Should a suitable size be unavailable, most doors can be trimmed by up to 25mm without adverse affect.

Brodoak roundhead

Made from French oak, the made-to-measure Manoir arched planked door is internally ledged to ensure both faces are the same. A matching frame allows for housing within a square opening, or it can be made for an arched opening. Supplied unfinished or oiled, from £1,981 for up to H210xW90cm (bespoke sizes on request) at Broadleaf Timber

 

In terms of replacement doors, off-the-shelf designs and door sets can prove an ideal solution if you’re conscious of cost, but styles are restrictive and sizes standardised — unlike the entrances of many historical homes. A more flexible option for period homeowners is to go bespoke, as this offers infinite possibilities in terms of size, style and material.

 

mumford wood

This made-to-order vertical oak plank entrance door is part of Mumford & Wood’s Conservation range. Crafted from sustainable, engineered timber using traditional methods, it’s supplied with high-quality locking systems, ironmongery and three coats of factory-finished paint or stain. From £4,314, including sidelights, Mumford Wood


Jack Brunsdon & Son offers a fully bespoke service, allowing you to specify every component of the door, from material and finish to glazing and furniture. Painted in a heritage green shade, this half-glazed design is perfect for maximising light in a dark interior. From £3,500, including installation

Historically, pitch pine was the timber of choice for both a Georgian and Victorian front door. However, these days a high-quality, traditionally crafted exterior door is far more likely to be fashioned from durable hardwood, such as oak or, increasingly, accoya, a chemically modified timber that outperforms hardwood in terms of strength and stability.

All external doors should be fitted with high-security deadlocks and, in order to ensure adequate strength and protection against intruders, they should be made of a solid-core construction that is at least 44mm thick. This will also aid heat and sound insulation, as does the use of slimline heritage double-glazing.

For authenticity, timber doors can be finished and maintained using quality linseed oil, wax, or microporous paint, culminating in a weather-tight barrier that is both aesthetically pleasing and secure.

 

jbkind moseldoor

The Mosel door is part of JB Kind’s Thermal L range. Its solid composite engineered construction is faced in a sustainable oak veneer, and finished with an insulated glazing unit, enhanced with zinc camings. £647.45 for H198xW84cm

sash window oak

The Sash Window Workshop’s made-to-order timber doors are handcrafted from accoya or European oak. They are finished with at least three coats of factory-applied paint, or can be hand-waxed on request. Prices on application

Traditional style Jeld Wen timber composite Insulux front door in Reed Green

Designed to offer increased thermal efficiency and security, Jeld-Wen’s new timber composite Insulux doors feature built-in aluminium sheets to give added stability and security, as well as a foam core that delivers U Values as low as 1.2W/m2K. Available in eight designs including the four-panelled Longleat, pictured below in Reed Green, the range costs from £1,642 for H208.5xW85.5xD5.5cm, excluding installation

westbury oak door

Standard components and bespoke traditional doors by Westbury Joinery are made using premium engineered hardwoods and finished with three coats of paint. If laminated double-glazed panels are specified, they can be finished with applied glazing bars. Prices on application

Stuart Interiors specialises in traditional joinery techniques from the medieval period to the 18th century. This Tudor arched solid oak panelled door, within a heavy solid oak frame, was designed and made to order, and is finished with handmade ironwork. From £2,500 for a similar design

Everest Grove composite door in Chartwell Green


Available in almost 100 designs and in choice of 16 finishes with a wide variety of glazing options and door furniture, Everest’s composite range is not just sturdy, low maintenance and energy efficient, but can also be customised to complement the style of your home. This Grove design in Everest’s Chartwell Green costs from £2,000 made to measure and installed

Sash Window Workshop 1920s glazed timber front door

Sash Window Workshop creates timber doors in styles from any era, including Georgian and Victorian, plus bespoke detailing to match any existing doors. Handmade from accoya with a painted finish, this 1920s-style design costs around £4,200, including the side window

Broadleaf timber front door

A specialist in real wood products, Broadleaf offers a selection of handcrafted timber doors in a range of designs to enhance traditional homes. Pictured is its Chateau door, which is made from solid French oak and features an authentic Tudor arched head and elegant reeded face. Made in Wales, the doors can be supplied fully sanded ready for finishing, or with a coat of Broadleaf exterior oil. A similar design up to H210xW100cm can be made to measure for around £2,775, including frame

Urban front front door with modern twist


If you’re looking for something a bit different, this bespoke door from Urban Front offers a modern twist on a traditional panelled design. Constructed from European oak, which has been stained in Urban Grey and lacquered, a similar H240xW120cm door would cost around £11,400 with side lights and storey light, excluding installation

Direct Doors Tuscany front door with tulip style tri glazing

Online retailer Direct Doors offers an extensive range of reasonably priced doors at the click of a button, suitable for DIY fitting. With a solid core and American white oak veneer, this Tuscany design offers the look of solid wood at a fraction of the cost. Shown with tulip-style tri-glazing, it comes in three sizes, from £432.72 for H198xW76xD4.5cm, delivered within 72 hours