A self build house project diary
by Oliver Cannell
Thursday 18th December 2014
(published/edited Tuesday 10th November 2015)

Front door joinery arrival and installation

One of the most exciting parts of the house so far has arrived.

I wouldn't say choosing the front door was the hardest item to buy for the house, but it is certainly one of the most important to get right, in terms of the style.

As we're not having plastic windows, there's no way a plastic door would do the architectural design any justice. I definitely wanted to have a large, solid looking door in a contemporary style but that can quite often be an expensive option.

We found a photo of a great looking oak front door, on the Inpirational Doors website which we thought would look good. So I started shoping around to see what's out here.

I did manage to find some off-the-shelf doors (and frames) which are a bit cheaper than some of the main brands/manufacturers, but I think ultimately, they would still have been more expensive than what we've managed to achieve.

These guys do some beautiful front doors, and many website browsing hours went into our finally chosen door choice, which would match the look and feel of doors offered by these companies:


Deciding on the materials for the doors was also very important. I knew timber was a must and obviously a hard wood is best, so it lasts longer, but it all comes down to price at the end of the day. If we went for a painted door then we would certainly get away with using a soft wood or even an MDF, but I was leaning more towards have a stained door, so hardwood was the preference.

Also, the problem with our front door frame, is it's not a standard size. We have a glazed side light next to the door, so buying something off-the-shelf was pretty much going to be out of the question, unless we could specify exact sizes. I think I did find one manufacturer that would make everything to order, but then it was bordering on custom build prices by then anyway.

So, after pretty much coming full-circle, the same company who supplied our windows and french doors (Howarth Timber near Hull), were able to come up with the goods. They have a sister website called Inspirational Doors, where they sell off-the-shelf doors for you to incorporate in your own frames.

A local joinery company, to our builder in Salisbury, was able to design and build a nice frame in matching white oak timber. We specified all the ironmongery to be used (nice shiny chrome to add another touch of class) and the builder has been adding those to the door and frame on site.

They've done a beautiful job of making the frame and the door is looking great now that's installed. The glass should be also be arriving fairly soon, although it's probably best to leave that out for a now, while the builders are bringing their tools in and out of the house. The door sticks a bit on the frame at the moment but we can at least lock up the house and know that it's all secure in time for Christmas. There are a couple of pieces of ironmongery yet to be fitted - the bar handle, the spy hole and interior security chain - but the front door is currently my favourite part of the house.

EDIT (November 2015)

It looks like the www.inspirational-doors.co.uk website has now been merged in the parent Howarth Timber website. I can't seem to find the same front door that we bought, but I'm sure they'll be able to supply a similar one.

Next entry: Interior woodwork (Friday 19th December 2014)

Previous entry: Screed floor is dry - now comes the interior fit out (Monday 15th December 2014)

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