For many people, an exterior door is simply a way to get in and out of their home, and they pay little heed to it, perhaps giving it a coat of paint now and then. To others, the entry door is a statement of intent that can say a lot about personality, individuality, and the pride they take in their home. A well-maintained door, incorporating the best exterior door hardware, can give a home a lift and make it stand out from the other homes on the street.
Instead of tired, generic door accessories, that make you home look like every other on the street, you can personalize hinges, door knobs, door knockers, address plaques, and letterboxes. Buying the best exterior door hardware will compliment your architectural theme, and create that all-important first impression. The front door is the first part of your home that people see, so taking a little care, and making sure that it is unique, sets the tone for how visitors interact with you.
Whether you want elegant brass door fittings, or contemporary stainless steel door furniture, selecting the best door hardware can be a tricky chore, as you are faced by a multitude of styles, materials and designs. Buying exterior door accessories involves balancing a number of factors.
Exterior Door Hardware Materials and Finishes
There has never been a greater range of door accessories available, and the material you choose for your exterior door fittings can make all of the difference. Ideally, you want to carry a theme throughout the door, and make sure that hinges, door knobs, door knockers, and letterboxes are complimentary.
Brass and Bronze Door Fittings:
Brass and bronze are timeless classics, associated with ornate, polished brass Victorian door knockers, or the elegant ‘olde worlde’ address plaques. However, modern brass and bronze door fittings are available in a vast array of styles and finishes, and you can use these to create a common theme, not just on your front door, but also through the home, as you carry the theme onto your interior doors and even your cupboards. Solid brass hardware is available as the traditional polished brass or as a matt finish. The oil rubbed bronze, is a very attractive finish, and heavy use actually improves the distressed look of the fittings.
Cast and Wrought Iron Door Accessories:
As homes become bigger, and front doors larger, more people are turning to the charm of cast iron door accessories, which look great when set against a traditional wooden door. Cast iron hardware is robust and durable, and can be made into intricate shapes and individualized designs, from rustic farmhouse to dark gothic themes.
Stainless Steel Door Furniture:
This metal has a beautiful finish that will not tarnish or deteriorate, and it is perfect for homeowners wanting to bring a contemporary feel to their home. Stainless steel door accessories are available as brushed or polished stainless steel, and fit perfectly with a modern aluminum or painted exterior door.
Aluminum Door Hardware:
With a similar appearance to stainless steel, although with a little less luster, aluminum door fittings are contemporary and keenly priced, well suited for homes with clean, minimalist architecture. They are one of the most common types and, whilst not as attractive as many of the other finishes, are practical and easily fitted.
Chrome Door Hardware:
Chrome is the perfect medium for contemporary door embellishments, and is especially popular as a way of sprucing up uPVC exterior doors. Usually consisting of chromium plated onto a brass core, it is durable and long lasting, and available in a range of styles and designs.
Home Improvement Guide – Exterior Door Security
It is easy to become fixated upon the finish and appearance of your entry door accessories, but the best exterior door hardware should also provide security. You can buy the most beautiful door lock in the world but, if it is made from cheap, inferior material, you risk leaving an open door to criminals armed with a set of lockpicks or a crowbar. Look for door accessories that are well made and robust, preventing anybody intent on mischief from violating your property. Quality should win, every time.
Exterior Door Hardware Durability
This is one of the most important factors when buying entry door accessories, because your new door fixtures have to last for many, many years. As with most things in life, you get exactly what you pay for, and looking for the cheapest option does not always pay.
For example, cheap brass door accessories are usually plated and, after a few months, this peels off to reveal patches of the base metal or unattractive plastic lying underneath. Your door hardware should be solid and able to withstand the rigours of daily use. Otherwise, you will have to replace them, and end up paying much more than if you installed quality door hardware in the first place.
Home Improvement Guide – Theme and Appearance
A good choice of door accessories can add a touch of class to a home, adding the finishing touches to your exterior painting. A poor selection, on the other hand, can look overblown and ostentatious, creating a poor impression. Imagine a visitor to your modern home, faced with huge, ornate polished brass door accessories that look as if you have tried to hard. What will they think of the person inside the home?
They would think that their ego outstrips their talent, or that they have a very deluded existence. Think carefully about your theme, because it should enhance your home and, sometimes, less is more. Of course, if you have a beautiful wooden door, then brass and cast iron are the perfect exterior door accessories.
The range of styles and patterns for exterior door hardware is huge, and you can find Victorian themes, classic rope patterns or clean, modern lines. The choice is limited only by imagination and will fit in with the overall architectural look of your home.
Home Improvement Guide – Practicality
Another element that you have to think of when buying door accessories is the practicality. For example, if you have elderly relatives with arthritis, you want a door handle that is easy to hold and has a smooth, light action. Thumb operated doorlatches are beautiful, but can be difficult for children with small hands to operate.
Finding the Best Exterior Door Hardware
Armed with an idea of some of the themes and materials available, you can look forward to finding the perfect exterior door hardware to suit your home. A little planning and forethought will ensure that your entry door creates a great impression and makes a personal statement, whilst ensuring that your home and family are safe and secure.