There is lots to consider when choosing doors for your self-build project, and plenty of choice available, but finding the solution to fit both your taste and space can be a challenge. Julie Ann Lloyd, Manager of online retailer Door Superstore, shares some top tips on how to choose the best internal doors to unlock the potential of your property.
Internal doors perform essential functions like providing privacy and creating a space that is more cost-effective to heat, but they also play an important part in the overall interior design scheme of a property, even those that embrace an open-plan design. As well as enhancing the overall look and feel of a home, the type of internal door you go for could also help add value. With so many options now available, self-builders are spoilt for choice but as well as considering your budget, make sure you consider all the additional benefits that certain styles can offer. Don’t know where to start? Here are some top tips to help you pick and fit the best door for your next project.
Whether you’re renovating a period property or designing a new build, it’s vital that all internal doors complement the overall style of the scheme and the internal decoration.
For a more contemporary feel, internal glazed doors are a good choice, and they are available in a range of design options, including the addition of patterned glass panels. The clean lines offered by white internal glazed doors, plus the fact that they maximise the flow of natural light, make them a popular choice. Similarly, flush internal doors that give a smooth, minimalist finish work well in more modern homes and are available in a wide range of colours and wood effects. For a really bespoke look, choose an unfinished door that you can prime and paint to match your own colour scheme.
If you’re renovating an older property, it’s worth looking for a door that complements your period design scheme but has been developed using the latest manufacturing techniques. From the attractive 1930s-style door, with three panels to the bottom half and a single panel to the top, to the classic four panels of a Victorian door and the rustic charm of a cottage-style door, there are many solutions and design configurations available to help create a low-maintenance, traditional look.
Regardless of your own preference, you need to make sure you work with the available space and taking a more creative approach to choosing an internal door can bring a wide range of benefits, particularly in smaller properties. Choosing a door with glazing can not only make a small area feel lighter and brighter but can also give a better view so that the door isn’t opened out on anyone or anything.
It’s also worth remembering that bi-fold doors are not just for external use; they are perfect on the inside as well and are great for living rooms and bedrooms as they take up only around half the floor space of a regular door. Sliding ‘pocket’ doors can transform small areas even more as they can ‘slide’ into the wall cavity and can help maximise every bit of available floor space.
With many of us spending more time working from home, another good solution for smaller properties is to choose a solid core door, which, unlike the hollow core varieties, offers a degree of soundproofing. When used throughout, this type of door construction can help minimise noise transmission from room to room.
Not only it is important to make sure the internal doors you choose are fit for purpose; it’s essential that you make sure that they fit. The average width of an internal door is 762mm, but as there are many different widths, thicknesses and sizes now available, new-build projects can enjoy more flexibility. If you’re renovating a property though, you will need to measure up for a replacement door, and this should be done by measuring from the inside of the existing door frame, not the door itself.
Measure the width at the top, middle and bottom of the door frame and remember that it’s the widest measurement that you want to buy – you can always trim down the narrower parts if you need to. When measuring the height, again use the longest measurement but don’t forget to account for any flooring that is yet to be laid, as this will make a difference. If in doubt, it’s always better to buy bigger and cut down any excess but remember that most doors only allow a few millimetres of adjustment and fire doors should never be trimmed from the top.
Although the requirements vary for properties used as private rental schemes and domestic homes, most new-build schemes will require fire doors. It’s always prudent to check with your architect or local planning advisor on all self-build schemes, but if fire doors are needed, there is no need to worry about the impact they may have on your overall design.
Although you have to be careful about painting fire doors to avoid a build-up of paint layers that could compromise their integrity, you can still choose from a wide range of styles and finishes, including glazing and panelling. Their solid construction also gives a quality feel and improved acoustic properties, so for peace of mind, and a little peace and quiet, it is well worth opting for fire-rated internal doors as standard.
Open to ideas
As well as the internal doors themselves, time and money should be invested in sourcing the most suitable door furniture, including handles and hinges and door framing accessories. Often, it’s these small details that can make the biggest difference, and so you should consider them at the outset. Working with a sole supplier that can provide the full package is also a great way to make cost savings, access help and advice, and coordinate product availability and deliveries.