Types of front doors: Which is best for your home?

The four most common types of front doors are:

  • uPVC
  • Aluminium
  • Timber
  • Composite

Each material tends to offer it’s own distinctive benefits and drawbacks, although there is occasionally some overlap between them. To help you decide which is best for your home, we’ve created this short comparison guide.

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uPVC doors

Red composite door with woodgrain effect

Many homeowners have criticised these for appearing to look ‘cheap’. It’s worth noting, however, that this may have more to do with how much they paid for their door; high quality uPVC doors are unlikely to appear in such a way. uPVC is a highly versatile material and can be finished in almost any colour, whilst it’s also a good insulator. This means potential savings on energy costs are quite high.

Composite doors

Composite doors tend to offer the best insulation values, thanks to either a foam or timber reinforced core. The Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP) skin is also extremely resistant to wear and tear, meaning the door should last a considerable amount of time. The exterior is designed to replicate the appearance of timber and tends to do so well, although some feel it doesn’t quite live up to the real thing.

Timber doors

Timber is an exceptionally stylish material and many feel it is impossible to replicate the look of genuine timber. However, it tends to require treatment every half decade or so, so it can resist rot or warping. Timber doors can be repainted, allowing you to change the appearance if you get bored. They also tend to fit extremely well on contemporary looking properties.

Aluminium doors

Aluminium doors are highly weather resistant, although cheap aluminium tends not to insulate as well as the other door materials. Like uPVC and composite doors, they only require wiping down occasionally to maintain their appearance. The coating used to finish aluminium doors in almost any colour, known as powder coating, provides an exceptional finish, unlikely to peel or crack after years of weather exposure.


uPVC tends to be the most cost-effective, followed by aluminium, then composite, meaning solid timber front doors tend to be the most expensive. Although, this can vary, depending on the supplier and quality of the door.

Which is most secure?

Generally, the material isn’t the strongest indicator for which types of front door offer the best protection from intruders. A high quality uPVC front door, for example, may be much more resistant to intrusion than a low quality aluminium one. Instead, you should look for whether or not the door has been Secured by Design accredited. The quality of the security hardware, such as Yale locks, is also a good indicator of security.

Additional considerations

Regardless of your chosen option, make sure a guarantee of at least 10 years is in place. If a company doesn’t offer this, it brings into question the longevity of their doors. If living in a conservation area, check with your local planning authority if there’s any restrictions on the types of front doors you can install too.