Despite the increasing popularity of bifold and sliding doors, the traditional French door continues to hold its own.
How do they work?
Essentially they are simply double doors fitted to either open inwards into the home or out into the garden. It is also possible to install them in bay windows.
Design and materials
While white uPVC doors are the most commonly found, there are far more design options than you might think including aluminium, timber or a combination of the two. Whether your home is a period cottage or a contemporary new build both the frame and glass can be tailored to suit. Many companies will work with you to find a design that either matches or complements your existing windows.
While French doors are the smallest option when it comes to the view it will give you, you may want to consider maximising this by also installing windows on either side of the doors at the same time. This will greatly improve your view and the amount of natural light you get in the home.
The best French doors are as secure as any other door when fitted correctly, if not more so. Three point locking mechanisms ensure a really sturdy resistance to a surprising amount of force.
Are French doors the right choice for you?
French doors are a popular choice for homes of all shapes, ages and sizes, providing a simple and functional connection between your home and your outside space. A key benefit they have over more advanced sliding or bifold doors is that it’s easy to open just one door at a time for access or just to let a little of the outdoor air in. And then you can fling them both open in better weather. As the simple choice, however, they do have some limitations.
- In terms of flexibility of configuration there are not a lot of options as they tend to be a simple set of double doors.
- As they are pretty much standard doors the frame create a raised lip on the ground.
- The view to the outside will not be as complete or wide as with sliding doors as the glass panes tend to be far smaller.
French doors are usually the least expensive option when it comes to installing patio doors, particularly if you choose the contemporary UPVC design. You can pick a standard set of doors off the shelf from a high street DIY store to keep costs at minimum but if you are looking for a more bespoke design to suit a period property e.g. Edwardian or Georgian the cost is likely to increase. If you would like to install windows on either side of the doors this will also raise the price.
Once you’ve sourced the doors themselves you will need to consider the labour costs involved. Obviously the simpler the installation the less this is likely to cost but it’s definitely worth comparing multiple quotes to make sure you’re getting the best deal.