Front and back close doors

Front and back doors to your building provide security and help keep flats warm.

These doors take a lot of use and abuse, so should be strongly constructed. If replacing or installing a new front door in a listed building or conservation area, check whether you need consent.

Installing a new close door

Make sure new doors are wide enough to allow bins and furniture to get through the door.  

If you are installing a close door for the first time and there is a step at the entrance, the door should be fixed a metre back from the step to avoid accidents. If there are steps inside and the door opens inwards then the door should be fitted so that the first step is a metre beyond the edge of the opened door.

Any glazing should be made of toughened or safety glass.

High quality ironmongery will repay the additional purchase price:

  • door knobs are not as easy to use as lever handles but are less subject to damage by vandalism
  • a good door closer will prevent annoying door banging
  • fit three sets of hinges to reduce the likelihood of the door warping
  • kick plates and finger plates protect the door from wear
  • fit a hook and eye to allow the door to be kept open when required

If the door closer causes the close door to bang shut, it can usually be adjusted as there should be a 'damper' action. If not, consider fitting a 'dictator' closing catch, which will ensure the door closes quietly.

Consider installing permanent ventilation to allow fresh air into the close and stair. This will help prevent condensation occurring on your skylights and damaging the skylight window frames.

Professional help recommended?

Although the work may appear straightforward, ensure your builder or tradespeople have the skills for the job. If in any doubt, get professional help to specify and organise the repair.

Who pays?

Repairs to the doors to your close and stair are normally common repairs. However, if there are main door flats which have their own entrance or shops in your building, they may not be required to pay and the repair might be mutual.

Installing a door for the first time is an improvement and all owners will need to agree before work can go ahead.

Further information

Changeworks for Citizens Advice Scotland Factsheet 'Reducing Heat Loss From Your Windows and Doors'