There are a number of factors that should be considered when choosing exterior door furniture, from creating curb appeal and a long-lasting, high-quality appearance to ensuring the door is safe and secure.
Substance and style
The most visible element is the front door furniture, which includes a range of different items such as centre doorknobs, pulls and handles, knockers, bell pushes, letter plates, numbers and lock covers. These are available in a variety of different styles to suit every type of home and design. For example, bright polished brass or chrome is an ideal accompaniment to dark wood or black doors and also provides an excellent contrast to matt finish doors, especially in more muted shades such as blues and greys. High-shine black nickel hardware offers the same finish and an eye-catching contrast with brighter colours. Satin chrome or satin nickel offers a more understated, matt appearance.
Alternatively, for more traditionally styled or rural homes, there is antique black and brass door furniture. To ensure a truly authentic look, there are other items such as traditional bell pull fittings and decorative door studs available in matching black finishes to complete the look.
However, in addition to the aesthetic requirements, it is also important to select a material that is suitable for the weather conditions the door furniture will be exposed to. This ensures the front door stays looking new for longer, and the finish on the hardware does not tarnish or degrade. For example, in coastal areas, it is important to select products that can resist the salt air; therefore, 316 stainless steel or PVD brass is recommended. Physical Vapour Deposition or PVD is the process of coating brass with a thin layer of hard-wearing metal, such as zirconium, which prevents wear and damage from the elements. PVD brass also has a high-shine, golden finish. 316 stainless steel contains a small percentage of molybdenum that enhances corrosion resistance. There are stainless steel items available in a range of finishes to help achieve the desired look.
Making it safe and secure
Regardless of the style of home or front door, it is important to ensure that it provides a sufficient level of security. The type of lock required will depend on whether the door is wooden, composite or uPVC. Wooden doors most commonly have two types of lock fitted: a sash lock or a single/double locking night-latch; and a deadlock morticed into the edge of the door, providing additional security. It is always advisable to seek advice from a professional and to ensure that any proposed product is CE Marked to confirm its quality.
In addition, many insurance policies will require locks that conform to British Standard 3621 as a minimum and insurance providers will often ask if the locks meet this standard during the quotation process. BS 3621 applies to a range of different lock types including Euro deadlocks, sash locks and night-latches. Still, all compliant locks must have a minimum of 20mm bolt throw into the door frame and include anti-lockpicking and anti-drilling measures.
The front door is an important part of any home so care and consideration should be taken when choosing the right type of ironmongery to ensure it gives the best first impression to visitors and provides a real deterrent to potential thieves.