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Choosing the right door furniture for your home

Door handle. Photograph by Fran Gambín

Often when building or renovating a property, 'big ticket' items eat up most of the budget, leaving little money left in the pot when it comes to putting the finishing touches to the home. However, skimping on the quality of your door furniture is a mistake.

Door handles and locks are touched by every member of a household every day; they have to operate thousands of times over their life span.

Inferior door furniture can cheapen the look of an entire property, whereas good quality door furniture can make a cheap door look and feel like a more expensive product. Shoddy door furniture also tends to fail quickly - the springs in lever mechanisms wear out, the material finish can 'wear off' (especially relevant for plated metal finishes), and such failures may leave your property more vulnerable to break-in and burglary.

Thankfully, there is now a huge choice of good quality, reliable and secure door furniture from which to choose, as well as wide ranges of styles and materials. Here are a few things to consider when making those all important choices:

The front door

The front door is the focal point for the entire home. First impressions are vital: visitors make snap judgments within seconds of approaching a property, which will frame their perception and set the tone for the rest of the house. The presentation of the front door and the area surrounding it is key. A good, solid front door, well painted with good quality door furniture can enhance the 'curb appeal' for the house and act as an impressive gateway to your home.

New door or refurbished door?

If you are fitting new ironmongery to a refurbished door, you will need to check that the new ironmongery will cover the fixing holes left by the previous fitting. It may be possible to fill and paint over the holes if the door is to be painted.

Door function

Does the door have to be locked? Not every door will require a locking mechanism. If the door is fire rated it may require a door closer. Overhead door closers can look unsightly and institutional - it may be possible to fit a discreet concealed spring mounted door closer in the doorjamb.

Character

If you like to stand out from the crowd, you can find some unusual wrought iron door ironmongery - but do be careful, as a design that is too 'wacky' may become tiresome after a short while and you may wish that you had picked something more subdued. A well-made, classic, understated design will stand the test of time.

Users

Elderly or disabled users will need door handles that open easily and are not fiddly or awkward. Users with arthritis or loss of hand function will find a doorknob difficult to operate. Children will need door furniture that is robust enough to withstand their abuse!

Style of property and doors

It is important to match the type of door furniture to the look and feel of the rest of the property - for a contemporary, minimalist property, cool sleek lines and a contemporary stainless steel finish is ideal. Stainless steel, whilst not the cheapest option, will not corrode and will resist scratching. It is important that the finish on the ironmongery will wear well and be easy to keep clean. Where traditional panelled or reclaimed doors are to be used in a period style property, good quality brass door furniture will complement the overall ambiance of the home.

Photo credit: Fran Gambín




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