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HomeFixDo French Patio Doors Both Open

Do French Patio Doors Both Open

Which Option Is Best For Me And My Home

Patio Series 2: French Doors

When looking at the different types of doors that are available for a renovation project, it is a big decision to make as it will affect how you use the space in your home and garden.

Bi-fold, French and Patio doors undoubtedly offer a better view of the garden when compared to windows, so these are often the most popular choice. After deciding on having new doors installed, the next step is to choose which type of doors you want.

The three options are:

Bi-folding doors These doors feature multiple leaves that concertina back to fully open up the aperture.

Patio doors Patio doors tend to be made up of two or more large panes of glass, one of which slides behind the other.

French doors Traditional patio doors that are often found in older properties these usually comprise of two doors which both open out into your garden or outside space.

View All three door options offer an enhanced view when compared to windows, but bi-fold and patio doors will provide a wider view than French doors as they usually just comprise of two doors.

Aesthetics and Property Types French doors tend to be best suited to older properties as there is a greater variation in frames and glass styles available, meaning they can be adapted to work with traditional features such as sash windows. The doors can include lead or Georgian design or can be fitted with plain glass for a more modern look.

What Is A French Door

The French door is a popular interior and exterior door style. It is distinctly known for having two sections with hinges attached to the door framing side and opens and closes in the middle. Also called French windows, it is constructed with either individual or several individual glass panes framed within muntins.

The French doors we know and love today are heavily influenced by Italian Renaissance art and architecture. The idea of these stunning doors was first brought to France in the 1500s. It was inspired by Italys double doors and windows that conveniently open to an airy balcony that overlooks the sprawling gardens and outdoor spaces.

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A History Of French Doors

Youve probably sometimes wondered why theyre called French doors. Are they French? Well, yeah. In the 17th century, just when the Renaissance period was coming to an end, French doors originated in Southern France. Gradually the doors grew famous all over the country, and then by the 19th century, they were all over Europe. At first, they were called French windows because they were just wide windows with single panes of glass they were used just in balconies to let in natural lighting into the room because back then, there was no electricity.

After the invention of electricity, French doors still didnt go away. Instead, they became even more loved for their visual appeal and aesthetic value. Older French doors were made very large to let in natural light into a room, and their frames were made with iron and wood, then these iron and wood frames were fitted with one very large glass frame however, contemporary ones are a lot smaller and come with more panes than older versions. They are now made with aluminum, PVC, and hardwood, these materials are strong yet light, and thanks to them, French doors are loved all over the world today.

Benefits Of Garden Doors

Swinging French Patio Doors

Garden doors are great for adjoining the kitchen to the garden. Its perfect for entertaining friends and family over barbeques outside. They also give you relaxing views of the garden or allow you to watch the children from the inside while they are playing outdoors in the backyard.

Nevertheless, theres one important aspect where garden doors win over French doors. Its security. Despite its aesthetic appeal, French doors fall short in this department. Because its built with mostly glass panels without a center post, it lacks the sturdiness and support required for a stable exterior door. The locks and bolts in French doors can also become flimsy because they are not securely attached to the framing or post.

On the contrary, garden doors are made with more robust building materials to give homeowners the peace of mind that their property is well protected day and night.

Read Also: How To Build A Patio On A Slope

Diy Installation & Replacement

Installing either French or sliding patio doors means working with an existing opening in your home or creating a new one. Hiring a door installation pro is essential as there are important structural issues to consider.


These are complicated and more expensive to install and replace. The hinges and panels must be fitted precisely to the frame to resist leakage and air infiltration where the two panels meet.


The cost to replace a sliding door is more affordable. These are simpler to install as it often come as one fixed unit to be fitted into the opening.


  • Simple to operate.
  • Most maintenance involves only regular cleaning and a screwdriver.
  • Sliding rollers have a long lifespan and are easier to adjust and replace than hinges when house settles.
  • Track will get dirty, especially during wet weather. Needs continual cleaning with a vacuum or wet cloth to keep it working properly.
  • Track may need to be lubricated if the doors start to drag.


Do Both Doors Open On French Patio Doors

4.8/5French DoorsopenopenSliding doorsopenboth French door

People also ask, do French patio doors open in or out?

You can have your doors installed to go in any direction, however. We also provide sliding patio doors as an option if the area doesn’t allow the doors to swing at all. French doors have the distinction of offering doors that swing inward and outward.

Secondly, can you have screens with French doors? Because French doors are operated as either swing-in or swing-out, Phantom’s screens do not interfere with their functionality. They can be installed on the inside or the outside of your doors, allowing for increased privacy, bug protection and shade.

Likewise, people ask, what is the difference between double doors and French doors?

Additionally, double exterior doors used for entry to the patio or back yard are more often made of solid wood, whereas French doors usually have one to eight panes of glass. Double doors are also known to be larger individually than French exterior doors and louver doors for exteriors.

Which door opens first on French doors?

At the moment, the right hand door opens first, then the left.

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Exterior French Doors: A Buyers Guide

Looking for the best patio doors? The window-door hybrid has never lookedor performedbetter. Heres how to find the right ones for your house and budget.

Maybe you have a new stone patio and want to open a sunny passageway from the living room. Or youd like to see your garden from the kitchen while also ushering in more light and air.

When the French crossed doors with windows back in the 1600s, they had something similar in mind. Exported to North America a century later, pairs of the multipaned doors could be flung open to catch a breeze in summer while inviting in the sun year-round. In fact, Thomas Jefferson installed several pairs of them at Monticello.

Today, French doors come in a wide variety of styles, from uninterrupted panes of glass to ones crisscrossed with diamond-shaped grids, and they slide as well as swing. New engineering means greater energy efficiency, wind resistance, and security, freeing the mind to focus on what counts: light and air.

One of the nicest things in a room is a splash of sunlight on the floor, says interior designer Mally Skok. Unlike windows, French doors let light in low, and create a sense of always being able to step outside, which is cheering.

Heres how to bring this now very American tradition home.

Similar to shown: 7010 Thermal French doors, from Simpson

Cons Of Sliding Doors Vs French Doors

Andersen E-Series French Hinged Patio Door with System 3 Blinds in Glass


A considerable difference between french doors vs sliding doors is the track involved with sliding doors.

The sliding track deters many people from this option. The track can be unattractive in appearance. Also, often one has to step over the track to prevent stubbing the foot or tripping.

While tracks are made more and more hassle-free, it is something to consider for those who prefer to walk barefoot or have young children crawling or running around.

⦠Less Energy Efficient

Sliding doors are known for one disadvantage in particularâ not being energy efficient. Since sliding doors are primarily made of only glass, they lose more heat than other types of exterior doors. Glass paired with the looser seals provide less insulation.

However, you can find higher-quality options that are made of several glass layers and metal frames with thermal breaks.

⦠Less Variety in Accents

Sliding doors must have particular handles that make opening the door natural and not awkward for the wrist. Therefore, there are much fewer options to choose from.

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French Door Prices Cheltenham

If youd like advice on choosing the French Doors or Entrance Doors for your Cheltenham or Gloucestershire home, contact High-Tech Windows today. You can call us on 01452 857 057 fill out our online contact form and a member of our team will be in touch.

For those with a specific door style in mind, start an online quote. Simply enter a few details to receive a bespoke estimate, with no obligation to book.

Or you can book a visit to our showroom, where you can view our French Doors and Entrance Doors face-to-face.

Which Patio Door Style Is Right For You

Patio doors have the potential to completely transform a living space by letting the outside in through a seamless connection all while maintaining energy efficiency, beauty and security. French and sliding doors are often the two style choices that homeowners come down to when choosing patio doors for their home. While both styles are excellent options, there are certain pros and cons each possess that will vary depending on the type of living space you have.

Weve put together some facts about French doors and sliding glass doors, their design differences and also similar traits that they share so that you will be fully prepared when making your decision.

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French Doors For Rear Exterior Use

Many homes are built with French doors as the backdoor, patio, porch, land, or other rear enclosure. French doors are best described as two matching doors that mirror one another. When in use, French doors typically have one door with a handle, lock, and other moving hardware for everyday use. Conversely, the other door stays closed, has no moving hardware, and is kept in place by latch at the base of the door that links to the doorframe, keeping it securely in place. The latch on the non-moving door can be lifted, allowing both doors to open for the purposes of moving in appliances or furniture, or for letting in the breeze on a pleasant spring evening.

The hallmark of most French patio doors is their use of multiple glass panes, usually at least four to eight panes called lites. Some French exterior doors may just have one, large lite, while others can have as many as 12 lites each. The glass used in quality French exterior entryways is hurricane-grade, impact-rated glass capable of withstanding anything natureor a thiefcan throw at it.

Do French Or Sliding Patio Doors Cost More

Kitchen French Doors

French patio doors typically cost more than sliding patio doors, but the cost of either door style can vary greatly depending on the custom options you choose. In fact, Home Advisor estimates the average cost to install any door is between $475 and $1291, which is a fairly wide range.

Average Cost of Installing Doors

In reality, when determining the cost of any patio door, its really up to you and your preferences. Perhaps you want to replace your existing sliding door with French doors. Or youre looking for a new patio door color that will fit your home decor. Or maybe, you just want the most energy efficient patio door on the market. All of these factors and much more can affect the cost.

For more information on what affects the cost of patio doors read, How Much Does a Replacement Patio Door Cost?

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Here Are Two Popular Types Of Patio Doors To Consider

-Sliding Patio Doors

Sliding patio doors are doors with two panels, one of which slides open and closed. These doors often come with a screen door that can slide open and closed as well. The homeowner can leave the glass door open and the screen door closed to let fresh air into the home, but keep bugs out. Sliding doors provide a good level of insulation and they let less air into the home when they are closed. They are energy-efficiency and save space because even when they are open, they do not take up room outside or inside the home. No one has to move furniture or think about where they are standing when these doors are open. They occupy less space overall than other types of doors.

-French Doors

French doors are undeniably appealing in appearance. They give the patio a stylish, friendly look that is hard to overcome. Often, both sides of the French doors will open, but sometimes, one side is stationary while the other opens. French doors have a level of elegance to them and can be customized to fit the exact style and décor of the home and patio.

Now that you know the difference, how do you decide which door is right for your patio? Here are a few things to think through before you make a decision.

  • Design
  • Energy Efficiency
  • When you replace any door or window, you want to think about energy efficiency. You dont want the door to cause your energy bills to rise. Any new door should help energy efficiency, but sliding patio doors are often more energy efficient overall.

    Pros & Cons Of French Doors

    To determine which French patio door is best for your home, itâs important to decide what features matter most to you. French patio doors allow in plenty of natural light, create architectural interest and blur the lines between indoor and outdoor living. However, when comparing hinged and sliding patio doors, a hinged French patio doors tend to require more room than a sliding patio door.

    If you’re interested in learning more about how a French patio door can complement your home, the team at Pella is always here to help. Contact us for a free in-home consultation today.

    Why do they call them French Doors?

    French doors got their name because they originated in France as a very popular door style, dating back hundreds of years. Hinged doors were created to allow more light into a room before electricity was invented.

    Are French doors the same as patio doors?

    Yes, French doors are a type of patio door. Hinged patio doors are commonly referred to as French patio doors, but four-panel sliding patio doors are also a type of French patio door.

    How do French doors open?

    French doors are hinged at the side and swing open and closed. Sliding French patio doors are another option, and they open and close by sliding along a track.

    Are French doors safe?

    Yes, French doors are safe and include locking hardware. With smart home technology, you can feel safer by monitoring when your doors are opened or unlocked.40

    Can French doors be locked?

    Are French doors energy efficient?

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    Can You Reverse French Doors

    You might think that inward swinging and outward swinging doors are two sides of the same coin. So do you really need a special door couldnt you just use any French door and face it to swing in or out ? Well, no. The doors are sold as inward swinging or outward swinging, and for a good reason. They are not the same door, reversed, and you cant just reverse a door to make it swing the other direction.

    • Outswing doors use a bumper sill that limits exposure to the weather. On an inswing door, this piece is missing.
    • Different gaskets belong to each kind of door. They work to keep the door weather-tight, but the needs of each door are different. If you try to flip it and put a door meant to stay inside outside, you will most likely just end up with leaky doors.
    • Doorstop molding does not line up correctly if you just reverse the door. You have to remove and reinstall it.
    • Outward swinging doors use special hinges to prevent a thief from removing the hinge pins and opening the door. If you use an inward swinging door, you will be missing these secure hinge pins.

    In summary, the number of issues you would have to correct to reverse French doors and still have them function properly isnt worth it. Technically, anything is possible, but at some point, youre practically building a new door.

    How Much Do French Patio Doors Cost

    Classic & French Colonial Sliding Patio Doors – Centra Windows

    The cost of sliding and hinged French patio doors varies based on the features you select including material, glass, color, and grille patterns. Choose from several series offering a variety of features to meet your unique needs. Use our Find A Distributor tool to find a Ply Gem Windows dealer near you.

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