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.
Glass: A glass entrance door can use a single glass panel or multiple panels with wooden or aluminium frames. Glass textures are what you can play with - from frosted, etched, coloured or stained. These days, there are glass doors that come with double glazed panels that sandwich shades or blinds within them. Some of these can actually be removed. Choose this door if you want a different design aesthetic, but be warned that they can be very expensive. Prices start at R5,000 per sq ft.
Door Skins: There are companies that also make door skins, which come in multiple options. They are primarily made from high density fibre (HDF), and compressed at such high levels to make them moisture resistant and stable. Melamine skins are treated such that they require no polishing, while veneered skins can be further polished to achieve a perfect finish. Prices range from R250 to R1,000 per panel.
New trends: Doors made from aluminium and fibreglass are also making a presence. The advantage of these doors is that they are sturdy and last well even in extreme temperatures and weather conditions in this country, be it heavy rains or severe winters.
Aluminium and fibreglass doors too have a presence. These work well in extreme Indian climes, be it heavy rains or severe winters. Fibreglass doors start at Rs 3,000 approximately.
What to watch out for
If you are getting your house built, do your measurements when the plastering is complete, so that you get the dimensions right
Let the doors (and windows) be the last fixtures you bring into the house after all the painting and plumbing. You wouldn’t want broken glass panes or dented metal
Keep in mind people using the space. If there are people on wheel-chairs, chances are you will need a door that is a bit wider, with low threshold option
Scout the market for best rates available. Draw out a budget before you go shopping. Ask the dealer if the price includes installation, what the warranty period is, and if you’re getting your door customised what is the maximum delivery time.
If you are replacing a door, stick to the older type, or else you will need to invest more for a new frame.
There are left-hinged and right-hinged doors. Check to ensure the door opens the way you want it.