One winter night not long after buying my house, I borrowed a thermal imaging camera and took a look at the place from the outside.

I was expecting certain floor to ceiling double glazed windows (many of which, I think, are older than me) to be massive sources of heat loss, but the surprise was the front door. However, thinking about it, this was in a porch for most of the life of the house - before the last owners demolished it to make wider access to the garage. So it was probably never intended to be the only barrier between inside and out.

In addition to leaking heat like crazy, it had a letter box which got smashed to bits by an idiot delivering a parcel, it leaked water in heavy rain, all the hardware needed replacing, and it was desperately in need of paint.

Put all that together, and it was time to replace.

After some dithering over UPVC vs composite, I managed to find a somewhat reasonably priced composite from a local firm, including the desirable feature of being white on the inside (like all my other internal doors) and black on the outside (to match the garage).

Abbey Windows in Reading took a full three months and change to get round to doing the install (in fairness, they did warn me it would be twelve weeks) but on the day, their man did a nice job. This included being able to re-use the expensive ABS cylinder I salvaged from the deadlock on my old door, meaning my keys (the ones that fit all the other doors) all still work.

The real test will be how it holds up over the coming months and years, but for now, it’s a nice neat job and classing the place up a bit:

New front door, inside and out