One of the hardest aspects of a front elevation is getting the timber cladding and the front door working in harmony. Its easy to just match them or go for a very similar material. But we think it's definitely worth pushing the envelope a little and experimenting with different materials and colours. Obviously there will be times when matching is the right solution and that's just fine too.
In 2017, we wrote this same blog and its still a very popular subject so we've updated some of our points/ considerations and hope that these tips help you make a decision.
1. Is the cladding being left to weather or is it being treated or finished? This determines whether or not it’s necessary that the front door is a close match to the cladding. Usually if cladding is going to be left to silver, the finish of the door is easier to choose because essentially you could have anything. If the cladding is going to be finished or keep its original colour, then matching or going for a painted finish works better. However, there is also the option to go for an opposite colour completely – for example – choosing a dark wood like fumed oak to work with western red cedar cladding.
2. Is the cladding going to be horizontally or vertically boarded or even both? Its simple to go in the same direction, but the door can be more of a focal point if the boarding is going in a different direction. This also reduces the difficulty of matching the door exactly to cladding that comes right up to the door. However if you have diagonal or a zigzag feature to your cladding, matching the front door to that might work better if there is no other aspect of the front elevation that could work with it.
3. If the house has a lot of cladding, it’s also worth considering not going down the hardwood look and going for a painted, bronze or steel finish. This works particularly well if the house has more than 50% cladding over the surface of it. Making this choice, breaks up the timber look and creates even more of a focal point.
4. If the cladding being used is a colour or painted a colour like grey for instance, it is either worth matching the RAL colour or going a few shades darker or lighter depending on where the door sits on the houses elevation. Or another choice is to then go for a timber front door that is completely different to make the door stand out. For example, going for Iroko for the front door when the cladding is douglas fir.
5. Another concern is if the house already has a lot of different materials going on like a wood lookalike cladding system, aluminium windows and zinc roofing. We tend to try and find the least used material to match to as it could look too balanced and that wouldn’t necessarily be the best end result. For instance, if the house has corten window features and black cladding, going for either a black or corten finished door could work very well.
6. We always find that it’s best to lay all the samples of the different materials down in front of you and also be aware of the fact that each material will take up a different amount of space on that frontage. Fine tuning with samples like this always helps to put the bigger picture into perspective.