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Replacement front door options

Do you have one or more of the following issues with your old front door?!

Coming apart at the joins, delaminating, rotting, twisting or bowing, door jamming in the frame or even maybe the wind finding its way through in the strong southerly?!

Or it may be that you just want to spruce up your entrance with something fresh and new?

You are now probably asking yourself one or all of the following questions,

What kind of door do I replace it with? The same door but new? Or something different?

How do I go about replacing it?

Where do I start?????

Luckily for you, you have found your way to my blog ????

Firstly, we need to go over the options of door construction and what will work best in that rectangle opening at the front of your home.

Doors can be made of various materials, and some are made to handle different external conditions.

I have listed the most popular door construction/material types below and the pros and cons of each to help guide you with your final decision:


Aluminium has become one of the most popular entry door types used on new homes in New Zealand.

There is a great selection of designs and sizes available, and these come powder coated in a range of colours.

The pros of using aluminium for your front door:

  • Virtually maintenance free.
  • Hard wearing powder coated surface which wont wear down or flake like paint.
  • Stays straight and can be in full weather.
  • You can get thermal and double-glazed options.
  • Will best match your frame and windows (colour).

The Cons:

  • The frame must be square for this door type to fit, as you can’t trim an aluminium door to suit the frame (If the frame is out of plumb you would need to replace this as well).
  • If you scratch or dent an aluminium door it is hard to repair or touch up professionally without bringing in the experts.


A good range of timber types and designs available from most manufacturers and was traditionally used in most older homes Bungalows, Villas etc which had good sized porches over the door. Still popular on new homes and make a great feature entrance.

The Pros of timber include:

  • A good selection of timber types (colours and grain), Unlimited colour/staining options.
  • Has great thermal and sound performance.
  • Gives your entry that warm inviting appeal.
  • If the paint is scratched or door marked, you can repair relatively easily.
  • Can be installed by a handyman or builder.
  • If the frame is not square the door can be trimmed to suit.

The Cons:

  • Must be sheltered from weather (direct rain and long periods of direct sunlight).
  • Can twist or bow if not painted or sealed properly.
  • Maintenance involved in the upkeep of the coating/paint.
Painted Duramax door FVAR11

Composite (Fibreglass/Duramax)

A fibreglass skinned door which offers strength and durability. This door type has been available in NZ over the last 30 years or so. Very Popular in England and USA.

The Pros of Fibreglass door types:

  • Can be exposed to weather.
  • Can be painted any colour.
  • Have great thermal and sound performance.
  • A good selection of door designs.
  • Can be trimmed to suit frame.
  • If the paint is scratched or door marked, it is easier to touch up.
  • Can be installed by a handyman or builder.

The Cons:

  • There is maintenance involved in the upkeep of the coating/paint.

Composite (UPVC)

UPVC is similar to the fibreglass pros and cons above except that it comes in very limited colours and design options and needs to be ordered in a UPVC frame to suit the door and be installed by a builder or UPVC supplier.

In summary

An aluminium replacement door is a great option if you want a low maintenance door or if your entrance cops the weather or is coastal. An Aluminium door works best in an aluminium frame. If your frame is timber, it’s best to get a replacement door and new frame installed by your local aluminium joiner.

Timber doors can be ordered from your local door reseller or timber merchant any size and can be trimmed to suit the frame (if it is not square). Must be coated well and sheltered from rain and long periods of direct sun. Some timbers are more stable than others and have varying degrees of hardness, so you need to be wary of your selection. Most door manufacturers only offer quality timber types for doors so let them guide you!

Fibreglass/Duramax doors are an ideal replacement front door. They offer great thermal/Sound performance and can handle the weather. They can also be trimmed to suit the frame. Fine to go into Aluminium or Timber frames. These are also available from your local door reseller or timber merchant. Some stores have been found to stock standard sizes (if you’re after a door in a hurry).

I hope this info is helpful and you now have some idea of your next step in the process.

Aaron Smith