Aluminium front doors are increasing in popularity as the installation time and overall cost falls. There are a lot of styles and colours to choose from, making it appropriate for various kinds of houses. Couple that with how wooden doors degrade over time and aluminium front doors seem like a natural evolution.
Like any material, however, it has its advantages and disadvantages. To help you decide if aluminium doors are the right fit for your home, we have created this handy list outlining their strengths and weakness.
Also, if you don’t live in housing you own, there are still plenty of options for upgrading your living space. Quotatis has a range of articles to provide inspiration. Perhaps you’re looking for flat decoration ideas, or even ways to improve the outside of your home? Explore our wide array of content, designed to meet any of your home renovation or decoration needs.
Pros of aluminium front doors
Strong and durable
Considering that the front door is the main entrance into your home, you want to guarantee that it’s secure and keeps your home safe from unwanted visitors. Aluminium is strong and durable, so it can stand up to a good deal of force.
More so than uPVC or timber doors, aluminium models are more likely to pass the European standard EN1627-1630 test – a standard hallmark of strength and safety.
Also, many manufacturers take additional steps with their certifications. Be on the lookout for any makes that carry the Secured by Design credit, which is backed by the Association of Chief Police Officers as a qualification of security.
Unlike wood, or even other metals like iron, aluminium is incredibly resilient to the effects of weather. Firstly, an aluminium front door will never rust despite its constant exposure to the worst the British weather has to offer. It does corrode (very few metals aside from gold don’t), but this is a far cry from rusting.
The difference between these two processes is that one is dependent on the other. Corrosion occurs first, when metal comes into contact with air and oxidisation takes place. The atoms of oxygen in the air bond with those of the metal and then, eventually, begin to break apart. Rusting occurs after this, and only affects steel and iron. The reason rust is so visually unappealing is because it is where oxidised metal flakes off, revealing new metal underneath. This can then be oxidised too and the cycle continues.
Aluminium has a swift oxidisation process, but once it takes place it prevents itself from rusting. It does this by, instead of flaking, producing a hard, white surface layer. This is called an oxide skin.
Damaging the skin will re-expose the aluminium to oxygen and the process will repeat without damaging the metal. There are, however, two extreme and unlikely cases where aluminium can be degraded through corrosion – covered later in the Corrosion – chlorides and sulphides section.
Secondly, aluminium surpasses wood in the sense that as a metal it can never rot. Water damage is less of an issue, and its overall lifespan is longer (often lasting decades). You’ll likely only ever have to change an aluminium front door once in your lifetime.
Aluminium front doors look magnificent on modern-day homes, as they are often sleek and simple. They can also look great on older style homes, as there are lots of styles and colours to select from.
Manufacturers often colour their aluminium with a powder coating, but you can always paint your aluminium door if decide you’d like it in a different colour. Just bear in mind that standard paint might begin to chip and fracture under consistent heat of the sun and rain, so ensure you utilise a credible brand of paint.
If you’re trying to find a bespoke door, aluminium is a great option as it has an exceptional strength-to-weight ratio. That means you can have designs with big windows and other features that uPVC or wood might not have the ability to endure.
Additionally, higher range aluminium doors sometimes come with extra components built in to further prevent the metal from deforming under extremes of heat, such as in the height of summer and winter.
Sustainable / environmentally friendly
Aluminium front doors are a sustainable choice since they can be recycled. When aluminium is recycled it produces new aluminium that is consistently high in quality. It also only takes 5% of the energy used to create aluminium the first time to recycle it at this level.
This means that once aluminium is produced from bauxite ore, it can be almost endlessly recycled into new items without polluting the environment. So, not only does the initial aluminium product have a lifespan of decades but it will also technically never have an end of life so long as it’s repurposed.
So, a front door of this kind is an ideal option if you want to be environmentally friendly.
Energy saving (some of the time)
For some makes of door, their environmental benefits can also provide financial benefits too.
Despite a slightly higher initial cost, certain manufacturers produce doors with specialised infills and seals that ensure you waste as little heat as possible. This is great for winter and could potentially save you money on your bills in the long run.
That said, if you live in an area with extreme highs and lows in temperature make sure to check our list of cons too. Given the heating properties of metals like aluminium, it’s worth checking that aluminium is the right fit for your house and home area.
Cons of aluminium front doors
The various components of aluminium doors can rub against each other with time, resulting in problems with jamming. Worst case scenario: you may wind up not being able to shut your front door. To prevent this, you have to oil the parts with a suitable product regularly.
Another common issue that can arise with aluminium is scratches. While minor scratches can be dealt with using a paraffin cleaner, more noticeable marks can sometimes form. In this case, even when painting over it, the indentation is often still visible.
Not (always) thermally efficient
As we noted earlier, the implications aluminium has on your energy bill aren’t completely straight forward. While some higher-end doors do come with insulating components, aluminium also has naturally conductive properties due to its properties as a metal.
This means that cheaper brands may not just struggle to retain heat in the winter but could also make it harder to keep the rooms nearest your home’s entrance cool in the summer months. With issues like this, it’s worth considering where you live, how hot or cold it can get throughout the year, and how much heating your house tends to use up per year.
Issues with condensation
Because aluminium can get very cold, your front door can end up suffering from condensation. You may find that in humid rooms near your front door, water beads form on the glass or door frame since they are cooler than the temperature of the room. If you don’t deal with the problem quickly, you can wind up with mould growth. This can not only look unattractive but can potentially cause health issues.
Solutions to this issue include installing double glazed window panes in your door, as opposed to single glazed. You can also improve air flow and reduce humidity by installing air conditioning.
Corrosion – chlorides and sulphides
Chlorides and sulphides are chemical compounds based on chlorine and sulphur respectively. Corrosion via these sources would take a while to damage an aluminium front door, but it’s still worth keeping in mind.
After all, these compounds may not sound very common, but sodium chloride can be abundant near seaside properties. This is due to the fact that sodium chloride is the chemical name for salt. Additionally, sulphides are highly prevalent in polluted areas, such as London and other metropolitan cities.
While oxidisation isn’t an issue, under the right circumstances chloride and sulphide corrosion can ruin your aluminium front door. If you’re worried about these issues, it may be worth investing in a protective coating agent that you can apply. There are powders and anodize available as solutions, but certain kinds of paint will also protect against corrosion.
Now that you know the advantages and disadvantages of aluminium doors, the decision is yours. Whether you opt to choose uPVC, wood, composite or aluminium, we can assist you to discover a pro to install your brand new front door. Simply fill in the form below to discover up to 4 installers in your location.