It is four years since our composite front door was fitted, so I thought I would do a quick update for readers about how it has stood up to daily usage and weathering, in terms of appearance and functionality during that time. If you are considering looking at composite doors similar to ours, you may find the information useful.
Our composite door isn’t protected behind a closed porch. It is fully exposed to all the elements, so I did wonder how the finish would weather and wear over time. So far, fortunately it is still looking really smart. It was described as weatherproof with a wood grain finish and it has remained true to that. The black colour hasn’t faded. The surface hasn’t cracked, split, bubbled or warped, which were problems we encountered previously with our painted wooden front door. Admittedly, that was the original 1930s front door, so it had done well to survive as long as it did! But essentially, a composite door doesn’t seem to suffer from the same problems.
The hardware (handle, knocker and letterbox) show a little sign of surface weathering, but nothing drastic.
Our front door has an electronic keypad which has been really great for us as a busy family with lots of coming and going. I feel sure we, or the three kids, would have forgotten or lost door keys several times over in the last four years. The benefit of this is that you can’t ever lock yourself out – unless you can’t remember the keycode I guess! There has only been one time when I couldn’t get in immediately and that was because the battery in the keypad needed replacing.
One of the benefits of swapping our old original 1930s door for a composite one was the immediate removal of draughts in the hallway. It’s a nice, solid door with a good seal and I can confirm we are still warm, cosy and draught-free 4 years on!
We have had to adjust the door a couple of times since it was installed when it ‘dropped down’ on the hinges slightly, meaning it wasn’t closing quite right in a couple of instances. I think this is just a result of usage – a bit of ‘wear and tear’ over time which only requires a minor adjustment by someone who knows what they’re doing. It hasn’t needed any serious repairs or refinishing, so is really low maintenance – which is how I like things!
Just as we don’t need to maintain the outside – apart from a quick clean now and then – the white inside surface is just as smart and low maintenance.
I many people love the beauty of an original wooden front door – myself included – but in practical terms, I have no regrets about installing a composite door. Some of the new composite doors are very beautiful in design anyway, featuring leaded or stained glass details and in styles that are appropriate to a period house. I would just ensure you opt for a door from a reputable supplier as I’m sure quality can vary a lot.