How to Choose the Best Door Types in Scotland

Scotland’s diverse architectural landscape demands careful consideration when selecting external doors for your home. From the historic charm of Inverness to the bustling urban life of Glasgow, the choice of doors plays a crucial role in both aesthetics and functionality.

In this guide, we’ll explore the different door types and provide insights on choosing the best residential doors for various locations in Scotland.

Different external door types to consider

There are many different door types, styles and materials to choose from when trying to find the best door to suit your home.

These residential door options cater to various needs and design preferences, offering homeowners a range of choices to enhance the functionality and aesthetics of their homes.

Swinging or Hinged Doors

Blue aluminium front door in inverness (1)

Swinging or Hinged Doors

Single or double doors that swing open on hinges. Common for interior and exterior residential use. The main materials used for these doors are UPVC, composite and aluminium. Find our residential doors here.

Sliding Doors

a photo of a sliding patio door in aberdeen after the matesrates team has finished

Sliding Doors

Doors that move horizontally along a track. These are ideal for spaces with limited swing clearance, commonly used for patio doors

French Doors

upvc french doors

French Doors

Double doors with multiple glass panels. Often used for connecting indoor and outdoor residential spaces. Discover our French door options.

Bi-fold Doors

upvc french doors

Bi-fold Doors

Multiple panels hinged together, folding in a concertina style. Bi-fold doors maximise space and create a wide opening.

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How to Choose the Best Residential Door for Your Home

When it comes to choosing the best residential front or back door for your home, there are several factors to consider, particularly when selecting front, back, and patio doors. We will cover each of these in the next section.

How to choose the best front door

Considerations to make

When considering the security of your home, it’s crucial to prioritise doors equipped with robust locking mechanisms. This ensures enhanced protection, offering peace of mind for you and your family.

In Scotland, where weather conditions can be unpredictable, selecting a front door with exceptional weather resistance is imperative. The door should withstand the challenges posed by rain, wind, and cold temperatures, maintaining its integrity and functionality over time.

Additionally, the aesthetic appeal of your front door matters. Opt for a design that harmonises with the architectural style of your home, creating a cohesive and visually pleasing entrance that complements the overall look of your property.

What to look for

  • Material Quality: Opt for durable materials such as UPVC, aluminium or composite.
  • Insulation: Ensure the door provides proper insulation to maintain a comfortable interior temperature.
  • Glass Options: If your front door includes glass, choose reinforced or double-glazed options for added security and energy efficiency.

Comparing materials

When it comes to selecting the ideal material for your doors, it’s essential to consider a range of factors that balance aesthetics, functionality, and maintenance. Here’s a breakdown of various door materials, each with its unique set of advantages and considerations:

Wood: Renowned for its classic and aesthetic appeal, wooden doors exude timeless charm. However, they may demand more maintenance compared to other materials. Regular sealing or painting is essential to protect against weathering, making them an excellent choice for those who prioritize traditional aesthetics and are willing to invest time in upkeep.

Steel: Steel doors are synonymous with security and durability, providing a robust option for entry doors. While they offer exceptional protection, their weight can be a consideration, and they may have fewer design options compared to other materials.

Fiberglass: Fiberglass doors strike a balance between versatility and energy efficiency. Low-maintenance and resistant to warping, cracking, and peeling, they can mimic the look of wood without the upkeep demands. Energy efficiency contributes to long-term cost savings, making them a practical choice for those seeking a blend of aesthetics and functionality.

Vinyl (uPVC): Vinyl, or uPVC, doors are known for their affordability and low maintenance. Resistant to various environmental elements, they offer a cost-effective solution for homeowners prioritizing budget-friendly and hassle-free options. While they may lack the luxurious feel of wood or steel, uPVC doors provide practicality in diverse climates.

Aluminium: Aluminium doors offer a sleek and durable option, particularly suitable for modern aesthetics. Resistant to corrosion, they ensure longevity even in challenging weather conditions. Lightweight and easy to install, aluminum doors contribute to low maintenance requirements over time.

Composite: Composite doors, blending materials like uPVC, wood, and glass fibre, provide a versatile and durable solution. Combining the aesthetics of wood with the low maintenance of other materials, composite doors offer an attractive option for those seeking resilience and style.

Deciding on a design

Consider the architectural style of your home and choose a design that complements it. Selecting the perfect design for your front door is a pivotal decision in enhancing your home’s overall allure.

Begin by harmonising the door’s aesthetic with your home’s architectural style. Consider design options that reflect your personal flair, whether it’s a splash of color, distinctive hardware, or intricate detailing. Functionality should align with daily traffic patterns, guiding you toward designs that suit your household’s unique needs.

Striking this balance also involves integrating security features seamlessly into the design, opting for reinforced materials and robust locks. Exploring design options such as classic paneled doors, sleek minimalist styles, or ornate details can further tailor your front door to align with both your tastes and the character of your home.

Ultimately, the right front door design transforms your entrance into a stylish and welcoming focal point, leaving a lasting impression on visitors and passersby alike.

Best front doors by location


For Inverness, an excellent front door choice would be a Composite door. Here’s why:

Composite doors offer a compelling blend of durability, aesthetics, and insulation, making them particularly well-suited for Inverness’s unique environment. 

The city’s variable weather conditions, including cold temperatures, demand a door that can withstand the elements, and composite doors, composed of materials like uPVC, wood, and glass fibre, excel in this regard.

Beyond their resilience, composite doors also provide an opportunity to infuse Scottish design elements. Many manufacturers offer customization options, allowing you to incorporate intricate patterns or glasswork inspired by the rich cultural heritage of Inverness. This not only adds a personalised touch but also integrates your front door seamlessly into the local aesthetic.

Moreover, composite doors prioritise security with robust features, an essential consideration for any homeowner. The peace of mind offered by the door’s strength and durability is invaluable, especially in a city setting like Inverness.

A Composite door stands out as an optimal choice for Inverness, offering a harmonious balance of weather resistance, cultural relevance, and security.


Opting for a uPVC front door in Aberdeen proves advantageous due to the city’s challenging climate. Unplasticized polyvinyl chloride, known for its weather resistance, withstands Aberdeen’s coastal winds, rain, and cool temperatures without warping or corroding. Additionally, the low-maintenance nature of uPVC is ideal for a busy urban environment, offering a hassle-free solution.

The energy-efficient properties of uPVC contribute to a well-insulated home, crucial in Aberdeen’s colder climate. Affordability further solidifies uPVC as a practical choice, ensuring residents can enhance the durability, efficiency, and resilience of their homes without compromising on budget considerations.


For Glasgow, an aluminium front door emerges as a standout choice. The city’s dynamic and modern urban ambiance aligns seamlessly with the sleek aesthetics of aluminium doors. Their clean lines and bold finishes contribute to the overall contemporary look, enhancing the visual appeal of homes in Glasgow.

Glasgow’s unpredictable weather, characterised by rain and diverse conditions, makes aluminium doors particularly advantageous. Renowned for their resilience, aluminium doors resist corrosion, ensuring longevity and performance even in the face of environmental challenges.

In a bustling city like Glasgow, where time is often a precious commodity, the durability and low maintenance requirements of aluminium doors make them a practical and efficient choice. Homeowners can enjoy the benefits of a stylish and resilient entrance without compromising on their busy lifestyles.

In summary, an aluminium front door proves to be an excellent fit for Glasgow, combining modern aesthetics, weather resistance, and low maintenance for a door that complements the city’s vibrant character.

How to choose the best back door

Security Features:

Prioritise security by selecting a back door with robust locks and materials, enhancing the safety of your home.

Functionality and Traffic Flow:

Consider the primary use of the back door. If it’s a high-traffic area, choose a design that accommodates frequent use and complements your lifestyle.

Weather Resistance:

Evaluate the weather conditions the door will face. Ensure the material is suitable for your climate to prevent issues like warping or corrosion.

Energy Efficiency:

If the back door leads to a conditioned space, choose a door with good insulation properties to enhance energy efficiency.

Aesthetic Integration:

Harmonise the design with your home’s exterior. The back door should complement the architectural style and overall aesthetic of your property.

Material Selection:

Choose a material that aligns with your priorities, whether it’s the warmth of wood, the durability of steel, the low maintenance of uPVC, the versatility of composite doors or the modern appeal of aluminium.

Privacy Considerations:

Assess the level of privacy required for your back door. Consider features like frosted glass or window treatments to balance natural light and privacy.

Ventilation Options:

Depending on the location and use, consider the door’s ventilation options. Features like sidelights or a door with a vent can enhance airflow.

Budget Considerations:

Establish a budget for your back door project. Different materials and features come with varying costs, so align your choices with your financial parameters.

Maintenance Requirements:

Evaluate the maintenance demands of different materials. Choose a back door that fits your willingness and ability to maintain it over time.

How to choose the best patio door

Choosing a patio door involves crucial considerations, especially when deciding between bi-fold, sliding, and French door options. Here are key factors to weigh:

Space and Layout:

Assess the available space around your patio. Bi-fold doors are ideal for wide openings, while sliding doors work well in more confined spaces. French doors, with their swinging design, require adequate clearance.

Aesthetic Preference:

Consider the visual impact you desire. Bi-fold doors provide a modern, expansive look. Sliding doors offer a sleek and contemporary appearance. French doors, on the other hand, exude timeless elegance.

Indoor-Outdoor Flow:

Determine how seamlessly you want your indoor and outdoor spaces to connect. Bi-fold doors, when fully open, create a wide and unobstructed passage. Sliding doors provide a large opening but with less visual impact. French doors offer a classic transition.

Ventilation Needs:

Think about ventilation requirements. Bi-fold and French doors offer full openings, maximizing airflow. Sliding doors provide ventilation options but may not offer as much clearance.


Consider the maintenance demands of each option. Sliding doors often have fewer mechanical components, requiring less upkeep. French doors and bi-fold doors may need more attention due to their multiple panels and hinges.

Budget Constraints:

Establish a budget for your patio door project. While bi-fold doors can be more expensive due to their complexity, sliding doors and French doors may offer more budget-friendly alternatives.

Climate Considerations:

Factor in your climate. If you experience harsh weather conditions, consider the weather resistance and insulation properties of each door type. French doors may be more susceptible to drafts than sliding or bi-fold doors.

Ease of Operation:

Evaluate the ease of operation for each door type. Sliding doors are typically easy to operate, while bi-fold doors may have more moving parts. French doors require proper clearance for unhindered swinging.

Door type FAQs

A glazed door is adorned with glass panels, enhancing aesthetics and allowing natural light to permeate spaces, creating an open and luminous atmosphere.

A molded door is crafted by shaping diverse materials, molding them into specific designs or patterns, resulting in a uniquely fashioned and textured door.

Consider crucial factors such as security, durability, and aesthetics when selecting the material for your front door, ensuring it aligns with your needs and preferences.

With proper sealing and regular maintenance, wooden doors can effectively withstand the diverse and sometimes harsh weather conditions in Scotland, maintaining their integrity over time. If you wish to avoid issues such as warping and rotting, you might consider a composite door instead. They offer the look and feel of a wooden door without the common problems.

Prioritise strong locks and hinges when selecting a back door to enhance security, ensuring the safety of your home and providing peace of mind.

While DIY installation is possible, it is advisable to opt for professional installation to ensure proper functionality, alignment, and adherence to safety standards for your patio door.

Yes, sliding patio doors can be energy-efficient, particularly when equipped with double-glazed or energy-efficient glass, contributing to insulation and minimizing energy consumption.

High-quality composite doors are designed to resist fading, maintaining their vibrant and aesthetic appeal over the long term with minimal colour deterioration.

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