Thursday,October 29,2020 22:49 PM

Spruce up your entry and exit points

By Umar Nsubuga

Added 20th June 2017 12:27 PM

"Today people are looking for what is in vogue when selecting a door for a house."

Spruce up your entry and exit points

"Today people are looking for what is in vogue when selecting a door for a house."

(Credit: Nicholas Oneal)


After constructing the structure of the house, the next stage is the finishing phase. At the finishing stage, a number of things are done.

Peter Wasswa, a construction engineer, says these include fixing windows, doors, shutters, plumbing and wiring for electricity and flooring.

He says most people fix the doors first to close off the house to criminal elements. "Today people are looking for what is in vogue when selecting a door for a house. Doors act as shields, ensuring security from any intrusions and add a touch of class to a house or home."

The door materials

David Kireli, a civil engineer, says usually doors are made of materials including, but not limited to, wood, metal and glass. "Wood can be from Mvule, eucalyptus, mahogany or any other tree species."

He adds that anyone can have a door from any material, but to get quality products, they have to pay more money when it comes to doors for the exterior. This is because external doors have to be strong to act as shields from intrusion as well as the elements. They also give the house character.

Fred Mpalanyi is a carpenter in Bukoto. He says there are several door variations based on whether it is to be used on a residential house or a commercial building.

According to Mpalanyi, when you are buying a door, it is important to consider the appearance, durability, cost and the material.

Location and size

Shamim Karungi who works at Bob Furniture in Wakiso says doors come in different shapes, sizes, and that materials can be operated in various ways and purposes.

"The choice of a door and its size are dictated by the frequency of usage, affordability and nature of house."

Meanwhile, Kireli says the most professionally and universally accepted dimensions are 3x7 feet for a single door and 8x8 feet for a double door.

Placing a door depends on the room's function and space available, he adds. A distance of one foot (1ft) off the wall, whether from the left or right, is recommended.

The civil engineer says the door should be placed where it swings and rests. If it is placed in the middle of a wall, it may swing endlessly, thus weakening the walls. Also, cracks can emanate and weaken the house.

"A door for a toilet or latrine should not be the same size as the living and dining room or bedroom doors," he explains.


According to Kireli, a door to the dining and living room plus bedrooms should give enough space for entry of beds, chairs, fridges, large tables and other essentials in the house or office.


Whether wooden, metallic or glass doors, each of these materials have both benefits and setbacks. For instance, wood doors are cheaper than glass and metal in sub-Saharan Africa.

If it is an office or studio, Kireli says "You need wood because it is sound-proof, but you also cannot use it when you want to guarantee security metal is better.

Metallic doors, meanwhile, offer more security in case of an intrusion than glass and wood, but glass adds a touch of class and finish to a house.

In case of an intrusion, glass is less protective than metallic or wooden doors. If a fire breaks out in a home, wooden doors would only catalyse the fire. However, you cannot escape a fire outbreak when easily trapped or locked in a house with a metallic door.


On his part, Mpalanyi says the most common ones in Uganda are;

Single rigid panel: He says these are merely one-piece doors mounted on hinges on one side. The door basically swings on one side, but not on the other way. They can be stained or maybe painted, comprising a single rigid panel made of materials like wood, metal or glass, attached using a hinge along one side.

Double doors: These are often preferred for public places like offices, hospitals and commercial buildings. Kireli says they allow many people to enter and exit at the same time.

Steel casement doors are made of metal or aluminum or steel frames fitted with glass. They, however, need burglar proofing for security.

Panel doors have panels inlaid from the surface of the door. There can be as many panels as one likes, the typical number of panels are four with the top two panels being larger than the bottom two.

Glass doors are made of glass with a minimum of 8mm toughened glass. The glass can be clear or opaque, for use say in a bathroom. They are great for increasing the light within a home.

Flush doors are flat surfaced, with no panels or embossing on either side.

Sliding doors have a two-door design hanging on sliding tracks inlaid into the wall. They are usually glass-clad and are often used for patio and balcony entrances.


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