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The Beginner’s guide to buying internal doors

Get started with our simple, step-by-step guide to guiding you on the right track. 

A How-to Guide

Buying Your First Doors

So you want to buy new doors…

Is this your first time buying a brand new internal door? Don’t know how to get started or know what you need? We’ve all been there, and we know how intimidating the process can be. With a little help from our handy beginner’s guide, you’ll soon be talking the talk with the professionals, asking the right questions, and finding the doors that are right for you at the best prices.


Let’s get started with our simple, step-by-step guide to getting you on the right track.

  • Finding your inspiration

  • Taking measurements

  • Get to know your options

  • Fire safety compliance

  • Choosing your doors

  • Budgeting

  • Fitting

We have over 40 years of experience in making and selling doors.

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Find Your Inspiration

The first step in any buying decision is understanding what it is you want to achieve with your design ideas. Websites like Pinterest and Instagram offer a great starting point to gather useful inspiration, and we’ve spent hours ourselves wading through so many amazing photos too. There’s no harm in seeing what other people have done with their doors – in fact, we encourage it!

Many people easily wade into interior design without much of an idea of what they’d like, but being able to visualise your ideas before you begin your search can prove to be incredibly useful. You may just find a colour combination you didn’t think of before, or even a new style you didn’t know existed!

It also pays to keep in mind the interior style in the rest of your home. More contemporary homes may not quite suit a more rustic style of door in some eyes, whereas those who prefer their home to have that ‘older’ aesthetic would not find a more modern door to be the best fit. Take a look at what you want your doors to say about your home and go from there.


Take Your Measurements

Next – and the most important step in any purchase of a new door – is the measurements you’ll need to inform your decision of which doors to buy. You’ll need to know just how much space you have to play with not only in your doorways, but in the door material itself. There are standard door sizes that tend to be used in buildings throughout the country, but it’s always recommended to measure your doors to ensure you are buying the correct sizes for you.

Standard UK Door Sizes:

Height: 78” (1981mm) – 80.5” (2040mm)

Width: 24” – 33”

Thickness: 35mm

Measuring an interior door opening’s size isn’t too difficult, don’t fret! It’s actually very simple once you know how. The easiest way to measure your door is to follow the three measurement rule. 

Measuring space for your door

1) Using a measuring tape, take the height measurement of the door required by taking three vertical measurements from the sill to the underside of the exterior trim at the top of the frame.

2) Take another three measurements, this time horizontal, for the width of the door. These should be taken from the top, bottom, and centre of the opening.

3) The thickness required can usually be determined by the height and width of your door, but often will follow the standard 35mm rule. If you feel it may be more or less, check with another three measurements at the top, middle, and bottom.

Once this is done, you should have a good idea of the sizes you will need to be on the lookout for. Most doors can be resized slightly in some way, so if you are looking for a certain size, feel free to let us know these and we can work with you to find the closest fit.


Get To Know Your Options

At first, you may think that there’s not much to a door – they’re just a solid piece of the furniture, right? The reality is so much more than that. A door can be the focal point of many rooms with the power to really change the feel of any room, and with this in mind there are multiple different styles to choose from in many different materials and finishes. Once you have an idea in mind, it’s time to find which styles of doors are out there that suit your vision.

Internal Doors

Specially made to be used inside the home, internal doors come in a variety of types, meaning you’re sure to find at least once style to suit your tastes. You’ll find options available including solid oak and panelled doors, perfect for most rooms. Glazed doors are a fantastic option for use to keep light flowing between rooms, while our range of white doors are the perfect canvasses for either your own modifications or as a clean, bright addition to your room.

There’s a host of different styles to choose from when internal door shopping too. Whether you like your designs traditional or contemporary, modern or victorian, there’s a style out there for everyone.

Louvre Doors

Affordable, versatile doors that are instantly recognisable for their horizontal slats; perfect for areas that need more ventilation such as airing cupboards or boiler houses. White louvre doors are some of our best sellers for their more minimalist styling. Why not take a look?

Folding Doors

Not every home has the same spacing available and full doors sometimes just can’t cut it. If you are looking for something to save space, browse our available bifold door designs. These fold in the middle and are fitted on a smooth track, ideal for use in smaller rooms or spaces like bathrooms and closets. Our white bifold doors make a great choice in these situations. There are also track kits available that can be fitted within the home to install some of our other great doors available, allowing you to save more space without compromising on design.

If you’re looking to possibly change your front or back doors, we also stock a great range of external doors that are worth a quick peek for more inspiration!


Check For Fire Safety Compliance

Each building is different with building regulations in place that vary from home to home depending on which area of the country you live in. Before you choose your new doors, be sure to check if there are any in your home that are required to be fire doors. It is a legal requirement to comply and can keep your business or your family safe.

Visit the BWF Fire Door Alliance website for more details on fire door policies.


Choosing Your Doors

The most fun part of any buying process is coming to choose a product that you think is the right fit for you. With all of the design options in mind, your sizing requirements, and the style you wish to buy, it’s time to find where to pick up your brand new doors from. Trust a supplier like us with a great review record to ensure you get your doors on time safely and just how you see them in photos and in person. Visiting our Glasgow internal door showroom is a good way to get a more hands-on feel for what you’re buying. 

Ask for Available Sizes

Inquire about our sizing options and if any of the doors you are requesting are made to measure. Also be sure to check stock levels and order lead time if you are ordering more than one door. For those in the trade looking for larger bulk purchases, get in touch with us and we can help find the quantity you are looking for.

Finished or Unfinished?

Doors can be supplied with different finishes too, so it’s worth seeing what options are available for your favourite style of door. Finishes can come in varieties including oak veneer (a layer of oak wood on the door’s surface for protection), pine, and in some cases even metal! 

We stock both pre-finished and unfinished doors. A pre-finished internal door is one that is ready to be installed right from purchase (save for adding handles, hinges, etc.) and is more durable than one that is still unfinished.. These are ideal for those who would prefer not to have to do the painting or varnishing themselves. Unfinished doors do not have the same coatings, letting you have more freedom of choice when it comes to the end look you want. Osmo Door Oil is exceptional for anyone who prefers a natural wooden finish to their doors. Enhancing the natural wood grain while protecting the door from most wear and tear, it leaves the surface waterproof and free from cracks, peeling, or flaking. 

All of our white doors are popular choices, as are our classic oak finished doors, and the choice is yours. Doors are versatile – however you want yours to look, you can achieve it with the right finishing touches.

Do I need extra accessories?

Most doors you can purchase won’t come with the essential furniture such as handles, locks, and hinges – these are left up to your own choice, allowing even further customisation options for the ideal door you have in mind. The right handle can make a world of difference to the overall design. Ask us for our latest door furniture designs in stock.


Keep An Eye On Budget

Sticking to your budget is crucial for any DIY project. Prices can quickly climb if you aren’t careful, so here’s some top tips to avoid overspending. Keeping these in mind should help you be able to stay closer to the budget that you have in mind. We pride ourselves in keeping our prices competitive so that our customers don’t need to shop around to find the best deal.

  • Know your budget, and stick to it. If you can afford a little leeway here and there, go for it, but otherwise try to keep it in mind while you are searching.
  • Don’t forget the accessories. Handles, locks, hinges, paint, etc. can stack up the price of your project if you forget them, so always be sure to factor in these extra costs when making your decision.
  • Purchasing a prefinished door means you don’t have to factor in extra costs for paint, oils, or other finishes, but they also can cost slightly more than unfinished.
  • Delivery costs vary depending on your location. Call ahead or ask in-store which pricing options are available for you.



You’ve chosen your doors, picked up all the necessary furnishings, and are on the road to getting your new doors in place! If you are unsure of how to fit your doors, you can request specialist help or follow easy to use instructions. We have a handy guide on how to install bifold doors right here

At this stage you will also be able to see whether or not you will need to trim your doors at all. At purchase you will have been made aware what kind of door you have purchased (if not, speak to our team and see if the door is solid or hollow and which finishes are applied), and this will help determine how much of the door can be cut away to fit.

Once fitted, there’s just one thing left to do…



Sit back, relax, and enjoy your purchase! New doors can make an amazing change to any home, whether you’re looking for a full refresh of the interior design or simply needing something a little more practical for the family. 

If you have any questions or helpful hints you think other beginners should know about, let us know at sales@shawfielddoors.co.uk – you could see your questions and tips featured!

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