11 Sep 2018

Finding the perfect doors for your self-build project

Where doors are concerned, there are so many off-the-shelf options available that it’s easy to overlook the potential that bespoke designs can deliver. But as Ian Chubb, Founder of luxury manufacturer Deuren, explains here, taking a tailored approach could be the secret to finding your perfect door.

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There’s no denying the fact that the most important feature of a door is its functionality. Ultimately, it’s there to get you from A to B – everything else is a bonus. But for a self-build project, where so much individuality is channelled into each step of the process from concept to completion, injecting personality into the smaller details can have a striking impact on the overall look and feel of a space.

Internal, external and garage doors all have the potential to become central design features if given the right amount of attention. But as with everything in the modern self-build and renovation environment, the amount of choice alone can be overwhelming. So how should you go about finding the perfect doors for your project?

Start looking early

A key factor when it comes to choosing doors is to begin looking and planning as soon as possible. Whilst doors and windows are often elements that are left until the latter stages of a self-build, the earlier they’re considered, the more flexibility there is around mechanisms and sizing. As soon as the walls are up, choices are immediately limited. It’s far more convenient to fit a door – whether hinged, pivot, sliding or oversized – within an opening that’s been specifically left for it, rather than creating space after the event. Plus, factoring doors into decisions from the start of a project can help with the plethora of choices surrounding windows, finishes and other visual considerations.

Map out the journey

Wandering through a home is a kind of journey – albeit a short, self-contained one – so creating a sense of coherence throughout can have a resonant impact on the overall feel of the surroundings. Mapping out this walkthrough from start to finish can be a great exercise in working out what you’d like to achieve. Is uniformity important to you? Matching garage and external doors can help create an impactful first impression, whilst riffing on one consistent internal door design – by mixing up glazed and non-glazed options, for instance – is a sophisticated way to add a splash of creativity to an overall house style.

Subtle vs striking

As part of this journey-mapping, consider the effect you want your doors to have within your build. Do you want them to fit seamlessly into the surroundings? Or stand out as one-of-a-kind centrepieces? Bespoke designs can be a brilliant solution for both ends of the subtle vs striking spectrum – affording you the ability to match the finish and hardware perfectly to the wider colour palette and materials you’ve chosen, or opt for contrasting hues to create an attention-grabbing effect.

Plan for the future

Longevity is a major consideration when it comes to more permanent fixtures in a self-build project. It’s far more straightforward updating things like wall colour, window dressings and furnishings as tastes and trends change, so choosing style over current fashion is a good idea when it comes to finding the right doors for your project. Timeless doesn’t have to mean traditional though – there are plenty of modern finishes that are endlessly versatile and have long-lasting appeal. For instance, external and garage doors with an anthracite grey finish have been one of the most popular styles for the past few years, whilst oak, walnut and ash can be great options for both contemporary and more rustic homes.

Focus on solutions, not problems

All effective design solves a problem, and the same is true with doors. So if you’re weighing up whether or not to have an open-plan kitchen-diner, or trying to maximise the space in your garage, don’t limit yourself with standardised options. For example, full-height sliding pocket doors can be a brilliant way of opening up a space – allowing you to transform two rooms into one when needed – whilst there are myriad mechanism choices where garage doors are concerned. Roller and sectional doors are excellent space-savers, with side-sectional configurations additionally affording easy pedestrian access – perfect for multi-functional garages.

Think outside the box

Similarly, don’t be constrained by your idea of what a typical door is – the options for creativity are practically endless. Pre-hung doorsets are becoming an increasingly sought-after option amongst self-builders and renovators, as they offer a made-to-measure entryway solution, removing the familiar DIY headache that fitting a door in a frame entails. When it comes to design, the freedom afforded by a bespoke approach shouldn’t be overlooked – from oversized, full-height options to unusual shapes and even curved panels. And don’t forget the details – magnetic latches, hidden hinges and hi-tech security mechanisms might seem like small considerations, but they can make a huge difference to a door’s functionality and aesthetic appeal.

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