When it comes to deciding on which is the best front door for your home, it can help to know the main differences between an Aluminium Front Door and a Composite Door.

If you visit a showroom and see an Aluminium Front Door alongside a Composite Door, you will quickly notice that the features of an Aluminium door are very different from a composite. Both doors will usually be painted using a powder coat process but only the aluminium door will have a marine grade paint finish as standard. This ensures the external finish will withstand extreme weather conditions and it will not fade. The other major difference in paint finish is that a composite door will have either a PVC or fibreglass skin and the paint applied will usually make it shiny. The process for painting aluminium is more sophisticated and the end result provided can be gloss, matt, textured or even wood, concrete or bronze effect. Contact Spitfire Doors to discuss our Aluminium Front Doors

The skin surface of a composite door is usually faux grained to make the door look like timber, although there are new smooth looking PVC skins becoming available. You will notice that the faux grain on composites does not all run in one direction, as the upright panels typically run vertically and the horizontal panels have grain running horizontally, again to replicate timber but they are no good for creating a contemporary style door.  Aluminium skins on aluminium entrance doors are totally flat and regular and have the benefit of being able to accept many different types of finish or aluminium strips and numerals for example.


Anthracite Grey Aluminium Front Door
Images shows Steel inserts within the Aluminium door sash


If security is your main concern, compare the thickness and stability of the door sash when the door is open. Typically, a composite door sash is 44mm thick and an aluminium door anything from 80mm up to a massive 95mm. The inherent strength of the slab/sash, the external skin material choice and the hinges used, are the key factors in guaranteeing security. Cheap hinges usually mean an insecure door.

You also need to satisfy yourself about functionality and reliability, particularly in summer months when the door will be subjected to direct sunlight and higher temperatures externally. According to hundreds of posts on The Window Fitters Forum (a forum for professional installers to share their views) composite doors with GRP or PVC skins really struggle in the heat. They tend to warp, bow and twist particularly if the door is a dark colour.

Aluminium Front Doors are incredibly strong and highly secure, with substantial aluminium sections and thick aluminium external skins. These elements combine to prevent doors twisting and warping. Aluminium Doors have been popular in properties throughout Europe and the Middle East for many years, because they can cope with the extremely high temperatures.

The UK market is still getting used to the idea of having an aluminium front door and it is true that the up-front cost is higher than a composite door, but the lifetime cost will probably be lower. In Europe, composite doors are only sold in the UK and Ireland, but they have no appeal in Europe because of their performance values.

Composite doors are a relatively low-cost replacement or new build solution and most composite doors will offer PAS24 security accreditation, as aluminium doors do. The actual materials used and general construction properties of an aluminium door means they will easily outperform and outlast a composite door. And if you are looking for a genuine contemporary finish, they are much more suitable than a composite.


Aluminium Front Door with side panels
Spitfire Aluminium Front Door with side panels


How much will a new front door cost?

You might be surprised to know that there isn’t much of an up-front cost difference between for example a bespoke Spitfire Aluminium Door and a Composite Door.

Composite Doors cost more than uPVC front doors as they offer greater features and benefits and likewise, an Aluminium front door will cost probably 30-50% more than a Composite Door as the quality of the hardware, hinges, locks and materials are higher grade.

As every Spitfire S-200 door is made to your bespoke design, in your choice of colour with a wide range of handle options, it can take a little longer to manufacture the door. Every Spitfire Aluminium Front Door which features glass within the design will be triple glazed with a security laminate, composite doors are only fitted with double glazed toughened units.

Spitfire Aluminium Front Doors are incredibly strong so they can be made up to 1150mm wide by 2250mm high, to create a really grand entrance with stunning kerb appeal. If smaller doors are needed, they can also be made in sizes starting from 850mm wide and 1920mm high, so they are suitable for cottages and farmhouses. Composite door usually have a maximum width of 960mm and maximum height of 2000mm.

Every Spitfire aluminium front door will offer excellent thermal performance, achieving a maximum U-value of 0.9 W/m²K down to 0.6 W/m²K, regardless of their size, colour or design. Composite doors do not offer the same fabulous level of thermal performance and usually offer between 1.1 W/m²K and 1.4 W/m²K.

Aluminium Spitfire Doors have a life expectancy of 30 years. The hardware, including the handles, hinges and steel trims used in the manufacture of our Aluminium Doors is of high quality, which will make the doors more expensive than an average composite door. Visit the Spitfire Doors gallery of images.


Square pullbar handle
Square pull bar handle available on Spitfire Aluminium Front Doors


Which door is best for me?

Whilst up-front cost is often a consideration when choosing a new front or back door, there is so much more to consider before making your decision. Being able to compare the security, colour options, styles, hardware options, quality and weathering properties is important when deciding which entrance door will be best for you. The comparison table below might help.


  Spitfire S-200 Aluminium Doors Typical Composite Door
U Value


0.9 W/m2K 1.4 W/m2K
Security PAS24 option


PAS 24 option


Doc Q Compliant Yes


Designs Over 60 customisable designs 20 designs

Up to 1150mm x 2250mm


Typically 960mm x 1978mm
Colours Huge range of Marine Grade RAL colours, Wood Effects, Corten, Copper, Concrete, Bronze effects


Different colour available for the door and frame


18 colours, limited choice


Different colour available for the door and frame



Matt, Gloss, Textured finishes. Decorative grooves, numerals and Steel inserts


Woodgrain effect and some composites now offer a smooth finish as an optional extra
Door thickness 80mm 48mm


Round, Square or Oval Pullbars in different lengths Round Pullbar

Lever Handles

Finger Pull


Door Knocker


Choice of colour finishes

Details Flush sash and frame externally Flush sash except for glazed door designs
Glass Triple Glazed laminated

Optional obscured glass with clear lines

Six glass designs, toughened double glazing
Side lights and top lights Yes Yes
Optional Steel inserts within door sash

Day latch

Double Doors


If you would like to discuss your individual requirements further, please contact our Customer Services Team who will be delighted to help on 01625 412570. If you would like to design your own front door, please visit the Door Designer.