Hardwood Doors or UPVC Doors: Which are Better?
Hardwood Doors or UPVC Doors? Comparing prices and features.
Both of these exterior doors have their own appeal to homeowners, but when it comes to changing your front or back door which one is the best for you Hardwood Doors or UPVC Doors?
Here we look at the main features of each type of door style and compare some market prices.
Door prices are sometimes the deciding factor when it comes to choosing which way to go, with many folks thinking that hardwood doors are all very expensive.
That may be true for the top of the range Oak or bespoke doors, but you may be surprised to see Hardwood door prices can run from £120 to £150 for the door itself and fitting can cost about £150 to £200 – let’s say around £350 to £450 all-in.
Making the cheapest hardwood door competitive with UPVC doors prices which can run from £450 to £650 (you can see more price guides later in the article).
However, there are other things that can also be influential in coming to a final decision such as:
- How long will the door last?
- How secure is the door?
- What do the doors look like?
- How much do Hardwood Doors or UPVC Doors cost?
How long do Hardwood Doors or UPVC Doors last?
As one type of home improvement you don’t want to have to do again for a long time, how long the doors are going to last is an important feature.
Timber, by its’ very nature, is going to need more attention and maintenance than UPVC. Unlike UPVC, wood is susceptible to rot, insect attack (woodworm / woodlice etc.). Noticeable expansion and contraction during prolonged wet or dry weather can happen (doors stick or jam), which may also lead to deformation, warping or splitting.
The exposed surface also must be coated with either a paint or stained and varnished to protect it. This means that you have to keep an eye on the frame and door to keep it in good shape.
UPVC, on the other hand, is virtually inert. It reacts very little to heat and cold, so you don’t get expansion or shrinkage issues, thus avoiding deformation, warping and splitting.
The exposed surfaces are already prepared and thus do not need painting (or re-painting). UPVC is impervious to insects and rot.
Having said that, a good quality hardwood door that is looked after can last 40 to 60 years, some have been known to last longer. Cedar wood doors can last about 30 years.
Depending on the quality of the material, you can expect about 15 to 20 years from a UPVC door. However, they are an engineered product made from multiple parts as opposed to a simple wood construction. Therefore, you may have more elements that can fail over time.
So, in our opinion, a hardwood door is a good choice in terms of lifespan, especially if you are going for Oak or Mahogany.
How secure are the doors?
- In terms of locking mechanisms, both uPVC and hardwood doors can be configured with similar symptoms and mechanisms. Both can benefit from multi-point locks – these engage at several points around the frame. 3 or 5 lever mortice locks that are bump, snap and drill proof are more or less standard these days.
- Glazing standards will also be similar. Toughened or laminated glazing can be fitted to either type of door, as can double or triple glazing.
- Impact resistance is likely to be higher for uPVC than for wood. Wood is a softer material than vinyl and can be more easily scraped or damaged. UPVC is quite impact resistant under normal day to day usage.
Visual Appearance – will you like how they look?
Hardwood doors are generally considered to be “easy on the eye” and appeal to a broad section of homeowners. There is nothing not to like about a good looking hardwood door.
UPVC doors, on the other hand, don’t appeal to everyone. People who are not fans claim that UPVC doors can look clunky and plastic.
With some very cheap UPVC doors on offer, they can suffer a bit on the visuals, but at the higher end of the market UPVC composite doors have some really good looking examples – however, there is a price difference, with composite doors usually priced at over £1,000 to start with.
Whilst you can get them in about 12 to 15 different colours, not all suppliers will have all the colours.
Wood grain effect UPVC is also something that you can opt for. The best wood grain effect finishes will be seen on upvc composite doors.
At the end of the day, as usual, which is the best door is going to come down to personal choice (and maybe budget).
How much do Hardwood Doors or UPVC Doors cost?
The final amount you need to spend on a new door is going to vary from job to job. This is simply because of differences in material, energy rating, supplier, door design, labour etc. etc.
However, to give you some idea of what exterior door prices you can expect to see, here are some door cost guides.
How much do Hardwood Doors cost?
Hardwood Doors Prices
How much do UPVC Doors cost?
UPVC Front Doors Prices
UPVC Back Doors Prices
In a lot of cases for new or replacement doors, people get quotes from double glazing companies and the prices include “supply & fit”.
Others may want to buy the door from one source and have it fitted by another. If you are thinking about doing this, then you might expect the labour costs to be £250 for a carpenter & mate per day for a straightforward removal of the old door and installation of the new one.
The job should be done inside a working day, but if you need extras like side or top panels, this can sometimes take longer.
If you are using your own contractor to do the job make sure that the price includes removal and disposal of the old door(s) and debris etc.
Best to use an accredited FENSA or CERTASS tradesperson or company for few reasons, not least that they monitor, regulate and check their members for competence annually.
Building regulations may apply to your new door, for example: If the door is 50% or more glazed, you need a FENSA certificate. Not only to comply with building regulations, but you will also need to show the potential buyer one if you are going to sell your home afterwards.
FENSA and CERTASS approved contractors can certify the installation as compliant for you.
- Find out more about patio doors in this article.
- See our uPVC & Composite Front Doors Guide article.
To find out how much a new door will cost for your home, send us a few simple details and we will arrange for free quotes from trusted installers for you.