French doors are an ideal way to add value to your home whilst enhancing the style of both the and .
In this article we’re going to be looking at the basics ofto help you decide if they could be a good fit for your house.
What are French doors?
French doors are external, outward-opening, glazed doors. They operate on a simple hinge system which, unlike other doors, don’t require a track mechanism.
originated (perhaps unsurprisingly!) in France during the 16th Century when residents began to follow their Italian neighbours, adding balconies to their architecture.
Initially they were considered very much a status symbol as stately homes favoured them in order to bring in much needed .
These days, have become commonplace to allow anyone the opportunity to maximise into the home, on ground level especially. Their large, double-glazed panels are still popular in creating that great sense of space.
One or both panels of can be opened, offering an unobstructed view of the outdoors.
Without a fold or slide, French doors open outwards so you will need to consider the space the doors will take up outside.
Unlike its counterpart, the , do not draw the eye to middle bars, but open up the space fully.
French doors also offer the opportunity to alter the aesthetics of the home with the addition of Heritage or Georgian bars.
The large openings that a affords work perfectly for summer days when socialising in the garden and yet flooding the home with much needed and warmth during darker winter months.
How much do French doors cost?
French doors remain popular as they are generally cheaper than a or bi-fold doors.
Depending upon the size of the opening, French doors can be purchased for under £500 making them an affordable option for most homeowners.
The cost of will vary according to the finish, with UPVc sitting at the cheaper end of the scale.
Any additional bars such as Heritage or Georgian will of course add extra cost.
Due to the energy-efficient materials, French doors will undoubtedly reduce heating bills whilst increasing value to your home.
The cost of the therefore soon ‘earning their keep’.
Styles of French doors
French doors can generally be produced in three materials:
can be picked according to the style of the house.
Contemporary homes, for example, will often benefit from the grey or black whilst the timber option ( , for example) can enhance the characterful home.
The extremely popular white UPVc or aluminium fits most styles of decor, with many using the Georgian bars to add a sense of character to their home.
Timber can be painted or stained giving various options.
Maintenance needs to be considered with a require wiping clean. , whereas UPVc and aluminium are powder-coated and therefore only
Whilst French doors increase the amount of in any room, the addition of extra side panels either side of the doors can add further brightness.
With a range of sizes from around 1.2 metres to 1.8 metres, French doors will transform any room.
Security and efficiency of French doors
Using a professional glazing company is the best way to ensure that your new doors are fully compliant in terms of building regulations.
The double or triple glazed French doors will be toughened, safety with low u-values offering energy efficiency. of
French doors use multi-point locking systems, offering peace of mind to the homeowner.
You can also upgrade security with a patio door alarm.
Aredifficult to fit?
When installing French doors into an existing solid wall, it is always advisable to seek professional help.
Careful consideration will be needed in case of ‘load bearing’ walls and discussions about options for working around this problem.
In such case, building permission may be required.
When replacing existing , the installation will be less problematic.
Correct measurements of old doors (see also ‘How To Measure A Door‘) and frames will ensure a seamless switch.
If you choose to replace with timber , minor adjustments can be made to ensure a perfect fit.
What about weatherproofing?
One important consideration with fitting any new or in your home is that it can deal with the natural elements.
Professional companies will ensure a basic level of weatherproofing with rubber ‘weather seals’ fitted to both the and the to reduce any gapping between the two.
If are being fitted as a DIY project, you should ensure that a weather strip is nailed or glued to the and .
For rooms that are particularly cold, additional insulation in the form of heavy curtains or blinds will help.
Child and pet-friendly
When it comes to toddlers in the home, a stair gate is a parent’s best friend.
In the past, these security products had no place when it came to French doors.
However, manufacturers are finally recognising the need for a wider child-proof gate allowing them to be fitted across a opening.
The addition of dog/cat flaps can be factored into the glazing at the point of construction.
Because double-glazing panels are sealed, a glazier would need to replace a panel with the pet flap built in if required at a later stage.
A good tip here would be to hold on to the original panel in case you move house.
Why should I choose a?
Whether you have a contemporary or traditional home, the offers a great solution in a variety of options at affordable prices.
The ‘wide open’ look, the creation of space and maximum makes this one of the most popular choices of external doors.
French doors have continued throughout the centuries to remain high in the popularity stakes with homeowners worldwide. They are easily able to overcome problems and encompass all needs of the considered homeowner.
Simply choose the best option for you: UPVc, aluminium or timber, select a style that reflects the personality of the and open up your home to the possibilities that French patios can offer.
Thanks for reading!
Looking for more choices? Look at our complete guide to patio doors inside the Glass Directors Doors area.
Hi, Matt here! I started out almost 20 years ago as a teenager working in the family business fitting doors, windows and conservatories. I now run this website to share the best tips and advice for anyone looking to get a good deal on double glazing.