Some of our most frequently asked questions specifically about door materials, answered by Holly

Hello! My name’s Holly and my Dad runs Ideal Window Solutions, your favourite local window, door and conservatory specialists. Based in Fareham, Chichester and Southampton, they expertly supply a range of high-performance doors throughout Hampshire and West Sussex.

Ideal are one of the few home improvement companies that offer the full range of door materials. They supply uPVC, aluminium, composite, and timber doors for all types of properties, as well as fire doors. I’ve learnt a lot about all these different door materials throughout my life. That’s why I decided to write these answers to any questions you may have on door materials and their unique qualities! For more information, please feel free to get in touch!


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Grey timber front door

Which door material is best for my home?

Other than budget and personal taste, the best door for you largely hinges on the property type and its location. Typically, you’ll find the following applies:

  • uPVC doors: The most budget friendly option, suited to all types of home
  • Aluminium doors: Best suited to modern homes
  • Composite doors: Suitable for all types of home, expertly replicates the look of authentic timber whilst remaining low maintenance
  • Timber doors: Approved for use in restrictive conservation areas
  • Fire doors: Homes over 2 storeys high, renovated or new build homes with 3 or more storeys, 2 storey houses with integral garage.

If you live in a charming coastal area like Southampton, Gosport, Portsmouth, Bognor Regis, or Worthing, did you know high quality uPVC, aluminium, and composite door products (like ours!) resist sea salt corrosion too?

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What’s the difference between a uPVC and a composite door?

uPVC stands for Unplasticised Polyvinyl Chloride. This is a plastic material that's very adaptable, affordable, and easy to make. This door material is the most popular and accessible on the market.

Composite doors, however, are manufactured by melding two or more materials together under high-pressure conditions. They select the best components of different materials to become incredibly strong and thermally efficient. They also tend to have insulating foam cores. Both materials are easy to maintain, only requiring the occasional wipe down with soapy water.

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White uPVC back door
Grey timber front entrance door

Are uPVC doors better than wood?

It's not a question of which is better, but of which is right for your home. While it's true that timber doors can face problems like splitting and rotting, these can be avoided by carrying the occasional bit of maintenance. Timber doors also look amazing and are magnificent natural insulators.

uPVC doors are completely immune to any of the problems that real wood may face, and they require less maintenance. All that's required is the occasional wipe down with soapy water to keep a uPVC door looking brand new.

View our Timber Doors

Why are aluminium doors good?

Aluminium is an incredibly strong metal. This means that it is exceptionally resistant against strong force from potential intruders. It also means that it can support large panes of glass, making it an ideal material for patio doors and bifold doors.

Thanks to state-of-the-art thermal breaking technology, aluminium doors are now more thermally efficient than ever. They will ensure that your home stays warm in Winter and cool in Summer, keeping those energy bills down.

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Grey aluminium windows and doors
fire door

Where are fire doors required?

According to current building regulations, new builds with 3 or more storeys must have fire doors leading to every habitable room off the stairwell. This is also the case for new renovations to existing buildings. A new loft extension counts as an extra storey.

Fire doors are common in shared accommodation buildings and tall blocks of flats.

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Can I have a composite door in a conservation area?

Some conservation areas have strict rules about properties only having authentic timber doors. However, a timber-effect door will still maintain the traditional charm of the area.

Made from either uPVC or composite material, a timber-effect door combines all the traditional looks of timber with the low maintenance of plastic.

View our Composite Doors
Grey composite back door

Our latest reviews

Replacement windows and door

The team arrived promptly. Work was done efficiently and on time. They cleaned and tidied up after the job was completed. We are very pleased with the results and would highly recommend them

10 /10


Very satisfactory work. Measurer and fitter very efficient, professional and friendly.

10 /10


Highly experienced and skilled operatives. Prompt arrival and left the site clean and tidy. Courteous and respected the Government restrictions at all times. Have used this Company before for other conservatory work and would use again if required.

10 /10

Replacement Glazing

Very impressed with all aspects of contract during these difficult times. Fitters were fully compliant with covid rules. Will thoroughly recommend them

10 /10


Excellent company. From first contact with their Sales, it has been easy going and painless. Fitters have done a fantastic job throughout, the quality of their workmanship is commendable. Would highly recommend this company to anyone.

10 /10

First class

The quality of the product and workmanship is of the highest quality. Well done Ideal Window Solutions Ltd. First class.

10 /10

Job was perfect

Everything about the two men who came was superb. They were punctual, friendly and experienced. Their workmanship was excellent. Their finished job was perfect. I would highly recommend them.

10 /10

Informative & professional

This is the second time we have used this firm. As before, they were informative and professional from start to finish. Prompt, tidy and thorough always.

10 /10

Would not go anywhere else

Brilliant. No fuss . No drama. Done in a couple of hours. Very pleased. Fourth door I have had fitted by this company. Would not go anywhere else. SFK. Alec lovely guy. Kind and respectful.

10 /10

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