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 your home look like every other on the street, you can personalize hinges, doorknobs, door knockers, address plaques, and letterboxes. Buying the best exterior door hardware will complement 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 tricky, as you are faced with many 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 the difference. Ideally, you want to carry a theme throughout the door and ensure that hinges, doorknobs, 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 throughout the home, as you carry the theme onto your interior doors and even your cupboards. Solid brass hardware is available as traditional polished brass or matt finish. The oil-rubbed bronze is a very attractive finish, and heavy use improves the distressed look of the fittings.
Cast and Wrought Iron Door Accessories
As homes become bigger and front doors larger, more people turn 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 farmhouses 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 homes. Stainless 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. While not as attractive as many other finishes, they are one of the most common types and are practical and easily fitted.
Chrome Door Hardware
Chrome is the perfect medium for contemporary door embellishments and is especially popular for sprucing up uPVC exterior doors. Usually consisting of chromium-plated onto a brass core, it is durable, long-lasting, and available in various styles and designs.
Home Improvement Guide – Exterior Door Security
It is easy to become fixated on 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 must last for many years. As with most things, 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 rigors 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 with huge, ornate polished brass door accessories that look like you have tried too 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; 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 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 door latches are beautiful but can be difficult for children with small hands to operate.
Finding the Best Exterior Door Hardware
Armed with some of the themes and materials available, you can look forward to finding the perfect exterior door hardware to suit your home. Planning and forethought will ensure that your entry door creates a great impression and makes a personal statement while ensuring that your home and family are safe and secure.