Choose doors well

Doors were meant to seal the house from wind and rain. Open doors in most apartments meant free access for children to scamper about and most of us grew up living in our neighbours' houses than in our own. Doors, by their sheer scale and size make for first impressions. In fact, home owners today are investing in carved wood or stained glass entrance doors, so that as you linger before the door opens, you have already met the people who live there.

The market has a multitude of options, although primarily you will find they would be drawn from the following broad material categories:

Wood: There are ample options available in the market, from teak to mango wood. These days they come insect-proof with fire-retardant features. Wooden doors for their warmth and classic connotations make an impressive statement. Depending on your space and budget, you can have a singular hinged door or a grand double door. You can opt to paint them or let them show off their natural grain. While these doors are easy to repair, in the long run they are sensitive to seasons and the weather. External doors especially, would need an awning above them to keep the vagaries of nature at bay. Real wood doors can start at Rs 30,000 and move upwards, depending on the age of the material, the carving and the finish.

Steel: Invest in a steel door if security is priority. Incredibly strong, these doors do not demand much as regards maintenance. These come insulated to keep the heat and cold out, provide ventilation, and have smooth wood finishes — one would almost be mistaken for a wooden door. Galvanised steel is used to ensure that the door is rust- and corrosion-free. Prices start at R30,000.

PVC: Unplasticised polyvinyl chloride (UPVC) doors are well insulated to keep noise, dust and heat out. They require no painting, are UV resistant, so do not fade with exposure to sunlight. Some come with special rainwater tracks to ensure the frames do not remain wet on rainy days, and are best attached to balconies. These tracks allow any water seeping into the frame to flow out. Most of these doors come with reflective glass to keep the heat out. And one can forget about warping or rust with these doors. Prices start at R27,000.

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