How to find the right doors for your renovation

A grand front entrance can create a bold first impression, while an outdated door can diminish an opportunity to impress. So how do you decide which doors are best throughout your house, considering safety, functionality and aesthetics?

When you’re revamping your home or investment property, the right doors can make all the difference. The idea is to find a functional yet affordable door that adds interest and makes good use of light.

Every renovation decision, regardless of whether you’re looking for the right doors, the ideal benchtop or even smart landscaping solutions, boils down to one primary factor – cost versus value.

“You need to ask yourself: does it add more perceived value than cost or is it a low or no return item that is going to add no value to your renovation, but could cost you money?” says renovation expert Jane Slack-Smith [link:].

Replacing doors can really blow your budget, she says, as any cost differences between individual doors needs to be multiplied by the number of doors to be replaced throughout the house.

“You typically should allow up to $500 per door. That includes old doors that need to be stripped, repaired, painted, hung, and all the jewellery attached. Hanging doors is not easy in older properties and a professional will charge about $100 to do this for you,” Slack-Smith suggests.

“If you have five doors in your house, that can gobble up $2500 of your budget and you have to wonder: have you added value?”

It is possible to install new doors for less than $500, of course, but you need to weigh up the quality of the materials.

“There’s no doubt you can do doors cheaper but think about what overall look you want for your property; will $100 hollow, plastic or cardboard doors really create that look?” Slack-Smith asks. “Often when I visit renovated properties, it’s the doors that let down the overall look, so you need to be mindful of the aesthetic and the cost when weighing up which way to go.”


Safety considerations

Of course, doors are about more than aesthetics, particularly entrance doors, so there are a few things to think about:

  • are security doors or screens important in your neighbourhood?
  • is the property on the ground floor, therefore requiring secure deadbolts on external doors?
  • have you purchased the most suitable locks and deadbolts for the property? and
  • are you in an apartment building? If so, your entrance doors need to meet the requirements of Australian Standard AS1905.1, including any hardware, to ensure fire safety. Also, any screens installed should not compromise the functionality of the fire door.


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