A door is a structure that is used for opening or closing off an entrance. It is typically made of wood, but other materials like PVC, aluminum, or glass can be used as well. It is available in three major types of mechanism, namely hinged doors, rotating doors, and slide doors. Doors are also used to improve air circulation and even add light.
Among all kinds of doors, the front door is particularly essential since it is what people first encounter when visiting a house or a building. Nobody knows exactly when doors first came into use. However, the first recorded use of this structure was by the ancient Egyptians. The use of doors in ancient times was also recorded in the Bible.
According to the book of 1 Kings, the entrance of King Solomon’s temple was adorned by a door made from carved olive wood and embellished by gold. In 2010, a team of archaeologists unearthed a 5,100 year old wooden door in Zurich, Switzerland. In the past, front doors were typically made from wood. Today, however, they can be made from a wide variety of materials. They used to be elaborately decorated as well. During the Tudor and Jacobean era (1485-1625), the front entrance of most houses would feature a carved door head made of hard wood, brick, or stone. In the Baroque era (1625-1714), doors were usually flanked between two Doric columns or pilasters.
During the Victorian era (1830-1901), doors were usually made from soft wood and painted to look like hard wood. They would be adorned with clear or colored glass panels. This trend continued through the Edwardian era, from 1901 to 1920. While in the Victorian period they were mostly adorned with brass for decorative purposes, front doors of Edwardian houses were usually decorated with colorful Art Nouveau or Neo-Georgian glass.
From the 1920s to the 1950s, solid hard wood doors were getting more and more expensive, so people started to make front doors from cheaper wood or even plywood. Although these materials are affordable, they are not very durable and they get damaged easily when exposed to water. Today, there are more durable yet affordable alternatives available. One of the most popular materials used to construct front doors is uPVC (unplasticized polyvinyl chloride). This material is also used for window frames and sills, drainpipes, and downspouts. Compared to wood, it is cheaper, more energy efficient, and it does not shrink or expand with humidity. However, uPVC doors tend to be flimsy and unattractive.