Choosing the best doors for your home raises many questions. The most popular choice is usually UPVC doors. This is understandable, as these doors are more affordable. Because composite doors are more expensive, there is a perception that they are the superior product. This begs the question: are composite doors better than UPVC? This article is going to provide some clarity. We’re going to explore the difference between UPVC and composite doors, in a bid to help you decide on the door that best suits your needs and your budget.
The front door to any home represents different things to different people. In many ways, it defines the home. The door you choose becomes a lasting definition of your style. Contemporary or classic, the door to your home is part of the first impression. It’s a statement, as well as a practical and necessary fixture to the house. You may not have thought of all the considerations that go into choosing doors for your home. I’ve put a lot of thought into the topic and believe that this should offer valuable guidance on the matter.
Deciding between UPVC doors vs composite doors is not merely about aesthetics. Price is something no one can ignore. Our wishes don’t always correspond to our budget. Once you’ve decided that a particular door is the one for you, it’s going to be a part of your life for many years to come. For this reason, you need to look beyond the here and now. Does the door you choose offer sufficient security? What about insulation? Since composite doors are more expensive, are you actually getting more value over UPVC doors? In this regard, you’ll want to consider the durability and long-term maintenance costs carefully.
So far, I’ve raised more questions than you may have initially thought of. It’s time to supply some answers. I’ll begin with a summary of the priorities one needs to consider when deciding on the best door for your home.
· Aesthetics: foremost on our minds, would be how the look of the door fits in with the general appearance of the home.
· Price: As with all fixtures, affordability cannot be ignored. For most people, our homes are the most significant investment we’ll make. When investing in your home, genuine value for money can be more important than the immediate expense.
· Thermal Efficiency: When looking at long term value, insulation from the elements plays an important role. If a cheap door doesn’t offer sufficient protection from the cold, your heating costs could negate any savings on the value of the actual door.
· Maintenance: This is another value related consideration. Not to mention the effort required to keep your doors in top condition. I think it’s safe to assume that we all prefer low-maintenance homes.
· Durability: How long a door lasts is an undeniable value factor. The cost and inconvenience of replacing your doors prematurely can easily offset the initial savings.
· Security: Even if you install the best locks, the actual strength of a door is going to determine how secure your home is from unwanted intruders.
This is the primary criteria upon which I’m going to assess the advantages and disadvantages when comparing UPVC doors to composite doors.
It would probably be a good idea to start with the technical details. What is the difference between the materials and how are these doors made?
As the name suggests, composite doors are made from various materials. The materials used will vary, depending on the manufacturer. They generally include UPVC, glass, wood, and steel.
The idea behind composite doors was to develop a durable product, strong enough to withstand impact. In doing so, these doors have come to replace traditional wooden doors as a more secure, low maintenance option.
The versatile nature of composite materials allows for a great variety of colours, styles, and textures.
Unplasticised Polyvinyl Chloride (UPVC) is a common material used for low-cost building products, from doors and windows to cladding. Unlike regular polyvinyl, UPVC is more rigid and, therefore, better suited to building applications, like doors.
UPVC doors are made using an insulated steel frame, which is encased in UPVC. This provides a cost-effective method of producing a weather-resistant door, requiring little maintenance.
Aesthetics and Style
Both UPVC and composite doors are available in a range of colours and styles, providing a magnificent selection of options to suit modern and classic home exteriors.
Generally, there are more options in the composite door ranges, when compared to UPVC doors. Many homeowners prefer the natural appearance of composite doors, which are virtually indistinguishable from traditional wooden doors.
Apart from a slightly limited range of options, UPVC doors have a less natural appearance. Although UPVC is not precisely a plastic, it has the look and feel of a plastic product.
When it comes down to it, the cost will always be an essential factor in deciding which door to install. Price is the most compelling reason to consider UPVC doors. The price difference between UPVC and composite doors can be as much as 60%. It is this noticeable price difference that has made UPVC doors so accessible.
Though, as I mentioned at the start of this article, price should be considered in the greater context of long-term value.
As we are all aware, keeping your home heated in winter is expensive. Reducing this cost is always going to be an advantage. This makes insulation a high priority for all materials used in the building.
Both UPVC and composite doors offer exceptional thermal protection. However, composite doors are thicker than UPVC alternatives. They can be up to twice as thick. This means that composite doors provide the best insulation from the weather outside.
In terms of the financial implications, as well as environmental concerns, composite doors are the better option.
This is one area where UPVC doors are every bit as good as composite. Both types of material are basically maintenance-free. Occasionally wipe the door down with a damp cloth, and it will remain in pristine condition for life.
Composite materials and UPVC are both weather resistant and don’t scratch easily.
In the realm of building materials, longevity can be the ultimate distinction of price vs actual value for money. When you compare the purchase price of composite doors to UPVC, the latter is much more attractive. There’s an additional cost of installation, and the apparent inconvenience when it comes to replacing doors.
On average, composite doors tend to last up to 50% longer than UPVC. How long a door lasts will depend a lot on external factors, like the weather and exposure to direct sunlight. This applies to any type of door. Regardless, a composite door will always be the more durable option, lasting for about 30 – 35 years. In contrast to most UPVC doors, which have a life expectancy of around 20 – 25 years.
This reason is possibly the most compelling when considering composite doors as a better option.
There can be no denying that an exterior door is an essential part of securing your home. This may not be the first thing we think of, but it’s not an oversight that we want to discover when it’s too late.
Composite doors are made up of several layers, using a variety of materials. This makes them stronger. Since composite doors are much thicker than UPVC doors, and the content has superior strength, they are going to offer better security. It is tough to break through a composite door.
Another security aspect would be the risk of fire. In this regard, both composite and UPVC doors have an equal advantage. These materials are both fire-resistant. Widely the best you can get.
I suppose it comes down to that old cliché: you get what you pay for. At first glance, UPVC doors are really appealing. They look fantastic and cost substantially less than their composite counterparts. Both types of doors share the same low-maintenance advantages. Installing either type of door is basically the same.
When discerning the finer details, and long-term practicalities, composite doors emerge as the superior option. On just about every level, composite doors win the contest. These doors last longer. They offer improved insulation, as well as security. The question of style and elegance is debatable, that would be a matter of personal taste. Though you can usually expect a more extensive selection of colours and designs when looking at composite doors.
Considering, price vs the actual value, can become complicated. We cannot ignore the price difference between composite and UPVC doors. Some may argue that the average life expectancy of UPVC doors is sufficient. Within 20-years, you may have moved on from your current home. Modern design trends change all the time. Many homeowners choose to update the look and style of their house, long before either type of door would have reached the inevitable expiry date.
Now that you have the facts, it should be a simple matter of assessing your priorities against your budget and come to a rational conclusion, as to which door is the better option.