Composite front doors, on the other hand, are costlier. You could expect to see composite doors prices at around +/-£500 for supply only, and prices over £1,000 for a fully fitted composite front door.
However, there are quite a few elements of the design and construction that will have a larger or smaller effect on doors prices.
Primarily, the key features influencing the overall cost of a new double glazed door will be the material it is made from (UPVC / Aluminium / Hardwood), the style of the door itself (Bifold / French / Tilting), the fittings and the energy efficiency rating.
Price fluctuations can also be found in each material category – for example coloured UPVC is costlier than white UPVC. If you add a wood-grain finish, that will push up the price a bit more.
Energy efficiency is identified by the energy rating label. Typically, the ratings will run from A++ to G. The standard rating for a modern double glazed door will be B (A++ best & costliest). Energy ratings have to meet building regulations. See BFRC for more info.
in other words, what can you expect to be included in the list price.
Front & back doors come in a huge range of styles. The most popular trend of recent years is to go for UPVC or composite products.
The usual size of a standard front or back door is 6ft 6ins x 2ft 6ins, wider versions run to 2ft 9ins. (1980mm x 762mm / 838mm).
For a larger entrance, if you need side or top panels, then the cost will increase significantly.
Bifold doors find much favour for picture entrances at the rear of a property as patio doors. You could expect to spend anything from £1,500 to £2,000 for a fully fitted double glazed 2 panel bifold door.
They have become very popular because of the way they fold open to the left & right, leaving a super wide opening that gives uninterrupted views of the outside.
Bifold Doors can be fitted with low level or floor level thresholds which is very convenient and safer than a raised threshold – good for wheelchair access.
They make use of a lot of glass, so you should pay attention to the thermal performance. (more here)
Probably what most people picture when asked to describe a patio door. Very popular, widely available from suppliers all over the UK. A typical installation will have 2 glazed panels, one of which is fixed into place, the other sliding either left or right depending on your preference. Multiple panels can be used to cope with large openings.
The one disadvantage of sliding patio doors is that they do not provide as much clear opening as bifold doors. This is because the panels are fixed within the frame, whereas bifold door panels all stack to the sides out of the way.
A classic French door design will feature 2 door panels fitted side by side within a single outer frame. The doors open form the centre – inwards or outwards.The appearance is one of multi-paneled glass panes, much like a grid.
You would expect to find prices in the region of £900 to £1,500 depending on size and design for a standard 2 door installation. Adding side or top panels to cope with larger than usual openings will increase the cost.
The introduction of the modern composite front door has opened up the market for high quality entrance doors that look amazing, last a very long time and have superb security.
The finished surface of a wood-grain composite front door has to be seen to be believed – virtually indistinguishable from high grade timber.
The GRP surface and insulated reinforced interior make for a very tough and highly energy efficient product.
However, composite doors are not the cheapest, as you can expect to pay over £1,000 for a basic example. If you add specialised door furniture and side panels, you can expect the cost to go to around £1,500
Apart from influencing prices, the quality of the glass you fit to your doors will also impact upon security and energy savings.
There are UK building regulations that cover the type of glass that must be used in a door where the glass goes down to floor level – in short, you must use tempered or toughened safety glass as a minimum.
However, it’s likely that toughened glass will already be included as standard for many “full height” glazed doors. If it is not fitted as standard, then it will likely be classed as an optional extra and charged for.
The double glazed units fitted to the door typically use 4mm thick float glass with a 12mm air gap. The most energy efficient double glazed doors use 28mm gas filled sealed units with different thickness glass on the inside and outside. The idea behind using different thickness glass is to help with sound transfer – this type of sealed unit is much quieter than a standard unit.
Another way to improve energy performance is to add low-e glazing. This glass makes use of an ultra-thin metal oxide coating that reflects heat either away from or back into the room depending on where fitted.
Be mindful that by using one or more of these features you are likely looking at higher double glazed doors prices also.
One feature you may not be aware of and that can come in useful if you live in a noisy area. If you use different thicknesses of glass on the interior & exterior it will help reduce noise penetration.
Very often the glass can be used as a decorative feature in a home, and fancy glass on a front door can be seen all over the UK.
Leaded glass is an old favourite, but it may be that you just want to use frosted or other obscured glazing to give some privacy. Options range from simple frosting to textured glass to ornate patterns & designs.
The cheapest external doors are probably made from pine softwood. However, they need a lot of looking after and upkeep to make them last longer than 5 to 10 years. The best value for money double glazed doors, in our opinion, are UPVC.
Depending on the materials used, allow 7 to 10 days from the time you order for delivery. The door itself can usually be fitted in a day.
There is very little expansion or contraction in a UPVC or composite door. Once installed correctly they will always fit perfectly.
If you use an accredited professional (FENSA / CERTASS), then any certifications and approvals will be taken care of by the installer. You don’t have to do anything.
Typically, you will find that UPVC doors are guaranteed for at least 10 years.
Composite doors and frames are usually guaranteed for 10 years.
Both of these doors use a different method of colouring. UPVC doors have a coloured skin or “foil”. Composite doors use coloured materials (GRP) to make the door. Fading is not a modern problem and both types of door will carry guarantees against the colours fading.
So you can easily see which supplier is offering the best value for money. If you only get one price, how do you know it’s the best one for you?
One time I was told “if it’s not written down, it didn’t happen”. If you have your quotes in writing, there is clarity about exactly what you are getting for your money. In the unlikely event of a dispute, then you have a clear record to rely upon.