Author Topic: Aluminium doors  (Read 2442 times)

Mrs Pingu

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Aluminium doors
« on: January 29, 2020, 08:14:22 pm »
Not the type that looks like a massive window but one like https://www.katuk.co.uk/doors/front-doors/aluminium-entrance-doors.

Anyone got one? Good? Bad? What do I need to know?

My current wooden door needs some repair and although ecologically it would be better to keep it I really can't be arsed having to paint it every few years. It's north facing, gets pelted with rain and the neighbourhood toms keep pissing on it  >:(

So I was thinking about a low maintenance solution that's not ghastly UPVC or composite (as I see these can warp).
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Re: Aluminium doors
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2020, 07:33:25 am »

Re: Aluminium doors
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2020, 08:14:41 am »
I really like the look of the Ally doors.
There are some 50s / 60s houses near me that have had a re-furb, and the ally doors look really good in that context.
I'm not so sure how they would work aesthetically in a Victorian(?) terrace.

Also, something to perhaps consider, is how much trouble the fire brigade would have in gaining entry, when your home is aflame, and your steel / ally front door is locked.

Anecdata: Friends living in New Cross were burgled a few years ago. The miscreants reduced their front door to splinters and sawdust. They replaced the front door with a steel one and were told at the time that their particular model was the one most-hated by the LFB.

Mr Larrington

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Re: Aluminium doors
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2020, 11:53:08 am »
Steel front doors were invented to give dealers time to flush their stash before the Drug Squad can bash them open.  Trufax.

I read it.  In a book.
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Re: Aluminium doors
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2020, 12:17:34 pm »
I never got the point about taking one of the best thermal conductor (aluminium) and trying to make something thermally insulated out of it. Over the years, I have fitted all sorts of doors in my business, wooden, uPVC, and aluminium, and I can clearly say that the aluminium doors always feel colder in the winter. I can't say how this will translate on your heating bill, but the sensation of cold is really annoying.

I really can't be arsed having to paint it every few years. It's north facing, gets pelted with rain and the neighbourhood toms keep pissing on it  >:(

Have you considered fitting a door canopy over your entry door? Keeping the door always dry will make the paint last much, much longer.

A


Re: Aluminium doors
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2020, 12:25:45 pm »
You could adopt the technique favoured by the Duke of Devonshire and use gold leaf paint.  Apparently the windows at Chatsworth only need painting every 50 years!

Re: Aluminium doors
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2020, 01:36:07 pm »
If you did want to stay with wood then it may be worth your while looking at accoya wood. We live out here in Bermuda which is so humid and salt laden that any weakness in a product will be found out, exposed and destroyed. Not the place to have a steel bike!   I have seen aluminium windows and doors here pitted through in a few years. Accoya is basically treated (green) sustainable wood.
We have just replaced some wooden gates and shutters with it and its claimed to be good for 50 years above ground though I think thats a stretch. Its also supposed to take paint better too because it doesn't swell and crack it. Or you can leave it natural to grey.
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Mrs Pingu

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Re: Aluminium doors
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2020, 07:34:24 pm »
Mmm yes, I could try steel, there a garage door co here that does entrance doors.

Have you considered fitting a door canopy over your entry door? Keeping the door always dry will make the paint last much, much longer.
I have considered one. Not sure of the practicalities, but it's been a thought.

If you did want to stay with wood then it may be worth your while looking at accoya wood.

Have also looked at that but it looks like you need a specialist installer and there only appears to be one semi locally.
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Re: Aluminium doors
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2020, 07:47:34 pm »
Also, something to perhaps consider, is how much trouble the fire brigade would have in gaining entry, when your home is aflame, and your steel / ally front door is locked.

Anecdata: Friends living in New Cross were burgled a few years ago. The miscreants reduced their front door to splinters and sawdust. They replaced the front door with a steel one and were told at the time that their particular model was the one most-hated by the LFB.

I suppose it's a straightforward tradeoff between security and fire brigade accessibility.  I consider burglary to be the more probable risk (YMMV if you're a smoker out in the sticks or something), but I reckon there's a strong fire safety argument for a lock that doesn't require a key in order to be unlocked from the inside.

The way I see it, the alarm should be what wakes you in the event of a fire, and if necessary there are plenty of windows that could be broken.

If you have real reason to expect the emergency services to require forced access (eg. a disabled person who might not be able to get to the door in an emergency) then a keysafe would seem like a better solution than an easily-forced door.  AIUI you can register the code with the police or something.
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Mrs Pingu

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Re: Aluminium doors
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2020, 08:19:25 pm »
The burglars of our previous flat seemed to have no problem getting in our DG windows using a crowbar, and out again using our hammer, so I don't see why an entrance door should stop the fire brigade.
Do not clench. It only makes it worse.

Re: Aluminium doors
« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2020, 11:31:38 pm »
I'm in a 4th floor flat with a wooden front door & a door to the communal landing, which are both scoured by the elements.    The landing (fire!) door was replaced by the management company a few years ago & is already cracking.  The rubberwood front door from B&Q is 20 years old & still going strong.  I recall the joiner swearing a lot when he installed it as it took a lot of effort to fit the mortice lock.


I lurk on a couple of forums where people collect luxury watches.  Composite doors are usually recommended for security reasons, but with the caveat that if they'll stop burglars they will also cause a problem if emergency services need to get in quickly.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DxYLR32uNQ4
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ian

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Re: Aluminium doors
« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2020, 09:19:23 am »
I'm minded that burglars who want to get in will get in. Our (uPVC, yeah, I hate them too, but they came with the house, I'd have wood) back door may be looked and deadbolted to the insurer's cryptic specification, but if they're willing to break the glass in either of the two patio doors, they in. That might be noisy, but they could jimmy a window unit, I don't think those crappy little locks are going to scare someone with a crowbar, leverage and motivation.
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Mrs Pingu

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Re: Aluminium doors
« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2020, 12:18:12 pm »
Doesn't sound like anyone has first hand experience then...
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ian

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Re: Aluminium doors
« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2020, 12:38:59 pm »
Shark moat and drawbridge, it's the only way to be sure.
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caerau

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Re: Aluminium doors
« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2020, 01:18:16 pm »
The only thing I was going to say was that metal and insulation are kind of opposites :-)


We had metal window frames in our house in the 1970s and 80s and they could conduct the cold in* like the window wasn't even there.  Thick ice collecting on the inside of the window sometimes.


Having said that, looking at their description, they seem to have thought of this.




* yes yes, I know, heat out really
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Re: Aluminium doors
« Reply #15 on: February 01, 2020, 09:39:00 pm »
Steel front doors were invented to give dealers time to flush their stash before the Drug Squad can bash them open.  Trufax.

I read it.  In a book.

I read that in our local newspaper.

We have newish UPVC.  They are ok and it's easy to install a cat flap or get rid of one.  We'd have liked timber but feared it could be rain-forest sourced.  Returning from France I brought back enough oak and chestnut to make several front doors.   

Reading the blurb on Aluminium it sounds good but can't find any independent reviews. Why?
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Re: Aluminium doors
« Reply #16 on: February 02, 2020, 09:58:18 am »
We have new aluminium framed windows and patio doors. They are apparently thermally insulted and are the same as uPVC or better apparently. We certainly have no complaints.
Also you can get them in any colour.

Re: Aluminium doors
« Reply #17 on: February 02, 2020, 10:32:45 am »
They are apparently thermally insulted
Given the cold shoulder perhaps  :demon:

Re: Aluminium doors
« Reply #18 on: February 02, 2020, 04:08:31 pm »

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Re: Aluminium doors
« Reply #19 on: February 03, 2020, 10:52:19 pm »
Having experience of forcing entry through many different types of door and window I can say for sure that if the emergency services need to get in, they will. In the case of a fire though, by the time Trumpton have finished and gained entry, there may not be much left for the fire to destroy.

In the same way that the criminal fraternity evolve their tactics to combat Babylon, the emergency services upgrade their equipment to aid in rapid entry.

I spent a while as part of a covert drug enforcement team. Many a very early morning start to pay a visit to an 'entrpreneur' to disrupt their nefarious activity. On more than one occasion we came accross a new door or frame construction method. We just took this as a challenge and after a little while, a method was develpoed to get in. From sledge hammer, through 'enforcer' rams up to and including thermal lances before I retired. Failing that, a hooligan bar, a kevlar blanket and a ladder meant that windows could go through. Shock and awe.
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Re: Aluminium doors
« Reply #20 on: February 04, 2020, 12:56:40 pm »
We have just had aluminium windows, patio doors and a half glazed back door fitted. The aluminium is no colder than the glass it is surrounding to the touch. The back door is a typical two panel door with an aluminium panel in the lower half and a window in the top half.

When the back door was installed we asked them to cut a hole for the cat flap in it. Within a few seconds he had popped out lower panel put it on the workmate, cut the hole and re-assembled the door. I see no reason the fire brigade with a decent sized ram would have any issues and nor would a determined burglar quite frankly.
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Re: Aluminium doors
« Reply #21 on: February 06, 2020, 01:18:01 pm »
I wouldn't give aluminium doors houseroom (sorry!) as they are thermally disastrous, and inserting bits of plastic to thermally isolate the inner and outer sections just seems a very complex way of using an unsuitable material that will corrode, when you may as well have used a non-corroding, and well insulated material to start with.  I have professional experience of doors that are liable to be misused or attacked, including many drug raids, and UPVC just disintegrate under attack, but otherwise are a bit insubstantial and bendy, but keep the weather out, and last for ages. Wood can be pretty secure against casual attack, but only the very best made hardwood doors, and can last well against the weather, with a small amount of maintenance.  Steel, well its strong, and resistant to attack if hefty enough, but is corrosion prone, especially if dog piss is a hazard in your circumstances.  We had loads of Penscher high security doors rot away in about 5 years, where the tenants and their "friends" pissed against them on a regular basis. Total failure...  The fire brigade told me not to worry about them forgetting their security key they'd been issued for all the city's doors, as they would put a towrope on the doorhandle and pull it open with the fire engine.  I had to explain that the designer had actually put a bit of thought into it, and the holding power of the magnetic lock was way higher than the strength of the rivets holding the doorhandle on, by design. 

So far, I've found the best doors by far to be composite types.  Nice and rigid, last well, look OK, always come with fancy multipoint locking, and only averagely expensive.  Last one I bought for my previous home was about £1200 fitted.

BTW, I've tended to find the plod were remarkably poor about breaking into doors, and rarely actually looked at what they were dealing with before they attacked inappropriately.  I gave talks to some of the relevant ones, on the weak point of most of the doors they'd encounter in our area, and how to get in.  We used to work with the local drug squad quite closely, and cooperated on longer term surveillance and subsequent raids. Obviously we had ways of getting in that were usually slower than smashing it, but also usually far quieter.

Wombat

Re: Aluminium doors
« Reply #22 on: February 06, 2020, 01:37:51 pm »
Back in the early 80's circumstances were that I ended up setting up a security team, and recruited an ex-plod (invalided out) with substantial experience of fuzzy-like stuff to head it up. I also had a friend who, while having exceeding few pennies to rub together, owned a flat in a decent Marble Arch/Edgware Road block, courtesy of an ex. All her neighbours were arab sheikhs and the like, and she was continually being turned over. I put the one in touch with the other to advise and install security measures.

The next time, she lost 12" of brickwork all around the doorway where it was removed to effect entry  :o

Mrs Pingu

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Re: Aluminium doors
« Reply #23 on: February 06, 2020, 07:53:16 pm »
Hmm, cat piss is a hazard
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Mrs Pingu

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Re: Aluminium doors
« Reply #24 on: February 08, 2020, 05:41:42 pm »
Looking around locally it looks like I can get Hormann doors in Al and posssibly steel, Spitfire Al doors (but only the most expensive model so sod that, I'm not paying over 6 grand) and KAT (sister co to Spitfire) Al doors.
Sigh, what to do... why do all the composite doors look cheap and nasty? That fake woodgrain texture is barely better than UPVC.
Do not clench. It only makes it worse.