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What Are French Doors: A Complete Guide

What Are French Doors?

French doors, with their elegant design and practical benefits, have become a popular choice for homeowners in Leicestershire and across the UK.

Whether you’re looking to enhance the aesthetic appeal of your home, improve natural light and ventilation, or create a seamless connection between your interior and exterior space, French doors offer the perfect solution.

In this complete guide, we will explore the features, benefits, and potential drawbacks of French doors, as well as the different types available in the market. So, let’s dive in and discover the beauty and functionality of French doors.

So, before we begin, what are French doors?

What is a French Door?

French doors, also known as double doors, are a type of door that features two panels that open outwards. What sets them apart is the glass panes that fill the panels, allowing plenty of natural light to enter your home.

The glass panes can range from single panes to multiple panes, depending on your preferences and the style of the door. French doors are often used as exterior doors, leading out to a patio or garden area, but they can also be used as interior doors, creating a beautiful division between different rooms of your home.

Why is it Called a French Door?

The term “French door” refers to the design style of the door, which originated in 17th-century France. French doors became popular during the reign of King Louis XIV, who was known for his love of natural light and the grandeur of his palace, the Palace of Versailles.

The design of the door, with its glass panels, allowed light to flood the interior spaces and created a sense of openness and connection with the exterior. The elegance and beauty of French doors quickly spread throughout Europe, earning them the name “French doors”.

French doors have since become synonymous with style, sophistication, and design, making them a popular choice for homeowners around the world. They have been featured in many interior design magazines and home improvement shows, solidifying their reputation as a design statement in the world of doors.

The History and Origin of French Doors

The history of French doors can be traced back to the 17th century, during the reign of the Sun King, Louis XIV, in France. French doors were originally used as windows, leading out to balconies, gardens, and terraces, allowing natural light to flood the interior of the palace.

The design of the doors, with glass panels set within a timber frame, created an elegant and light-filled space, which became the hallmark of French interior design.

The popularity of French doors quickly spread beyond the borders of France, reaching different countries and cultures around the world. The design of the doors allowed the natural beauty of the exterior to be seamlessly integrated into the interior, creating a sense of harmony and connection with the surrounding environment.

Over the centuries, the design of French doors has evolved, incorporating different materials, technologies, and manufacturing methods. Today, French doors come in various styles, from traditional to contemporary, offering homeowners a range of options to suit their personal preferences and home design.

At Phair Windows & Glass in Leicester, we have a selection of uPVC, timber and aluminium French doors. Get a free quote for your home improvement project today.

French doors and glass roof to modernise and refurbish conservatory
French doors opening up a conservatory onto the patio

What Are The Benefits of French Doors?

French doors offer numerous benefits that make them a popular choice among property owners in Leicestershire. Here are some of the key benefits of installing French doors in your home:

  • Plenty of natural light: The glass panels of French doors allow natural light to flood your home, creating a bright and inviting space.
  • Aesthetic appeal: French doors add elegance, style, and sophistication to any room, enhancing the overall aesthetic of your home.
  • Seamless transition: French doors provide a seamless connection between your interior space and the exterior, allowing for easy access and the free flow of movement.
  • Improved natural light and ventilation: French doors maximise natural light, reducing the need for artificial lighting, and provide optimal ventilation, making your home more comfortable.
  • Energy efficiency: French doors, especially those with double glazing, offer energy efficiency benefits, potentially reducing your energy bills.

Potential Drawbacks of French Doors

One of the main concerns with French doors is the security aspect, given the glass panels and multiple access points.

However, there are security solutions available, such as reinforced glass, multi-point locking systems, and security film, to address these concerns. These security features can greatly enhance the security of your home and provide peace of mind.

Regular maintenance, such as checking the door frames, hinges, and locks, is essential to ensure the security of your French doors. By keeping the doors well-maintained, you can prevent any potential security issues and extend the lifespan of your doors.

How Secure Are Modern French Doors?

Modern French doors are designed with security as a top priority. Most modern French doors come equipped with multi-point locking systems, which provide enhanced security compared to single-point locking systems. Additionally, the glass panels of modern French doors are often made of toughened glass, making them more resistant to break-ins.

Some security features, like door sensors, exterior lighting, and security cameras, can be added to further enhance the security of your home. Regular maintenance, such as checking the door frames, hinges, and locks, is also essential to ensure the security of your French doors.

What’s the Difference Between Patio and French Doors?

Patio doors and French doors are both popular choices for connecting indoor and outdoor spaces, but they have some key differences. The main difference between patio doors and French doors lies in their design.

Patio doors typically consist of one large glass panel that slides open horizontally, while French doors feature two or more panels that open outwards or inwards on hinges. This difference in design gives each type of door its own unique aesthetic appeal.

In terms of functionality, patio doors are known for their smooth sliding mechanism, making them a great choice for areas with limited space. French doors, on the other hand, offer a more traditional and elegant look, with their classic panel design. They also provide a wider opening space when fully opened, allowing for better ventilation and easier access to outdoor areas.

Another difference between patio doors and French doors is the amount of natural light they let in. Patio doors typically have larger glass panels, allowing for more sunlight to enter the space. French doors, on the other hand, have smaller glass panels separated by wooden or metal frames, providing a more traditional and cosy feel.

When it comes to insulation and energy efficiency, both patio doors and French doors can be equipped with double or triple glazing to improve thermal performance. However, French doors tend to provide better insulation due to their tighter seal when closed.

In terms of security, both patio doors and French doors can be equipped with sturdy locks and security features. However, French doors are generally considered to be more secure due to their multiple locking points along the side of each panel.

Which is Best French or Patio Doors?

Whether you choose patio doors or French doors will depend on your personal style preferences and the specific needs of your space.

Patio doors are great for maximising space and allowing in ample natural light, while French doors offer a timeless elegance and enhanced insulation.

Varieties of French Doors: From Traditional to Contemporary

French doors come in different varieties, allowing you to choose the style that suits your home’s design. Whether you prefer a traditional, classic look or a modern, contemporary design, there is a French door style for you.

Let’s explore the different types of French doors, including the materials used, to help you find the perfect fit for your home.

Different Materials Used in French Doors

French doors can be made from different materials, each with its benefits and features. Timber French doors offer a natural and warm aesthetic, ideal for traditional and classic home designs.

Composite doors, made of a combination of materials, provide the benefits of strength, energy efficiency, and low maintenance. uPVC French doors are a popular choice for their durability, energy efficiency, and cost-effectiveness.

Aluminum French doors offer a sleek and modern design, with the added benefits of strength, security, and resistance to corrosion.

The choice of material for your French doors should be based on your preferences, the style of your home, and your budget.

How Much Does It Cost to Install French Doors in Leicestershire?

The cost of installing French doors in your home can vary depending on various factors, such as the type of door, the materials used, and the complexity of the installation.

In the Leicestershire area, the average cost of French door installation ranges from £1,500 to £3,000. However, it’s essential to get a personalised quote from reputable door suppliers and installers to get an accurate cost estimate for your specific requirements.

Phair Windows & Glass are a leading French door installer serving customers across Leicester city centre and across Leicestershire. Get in touch with our specialists for more information or for a free quote.

Frequently Asked Questions

French doors and double doors are terms often used interchangeably, but there are some differences between the two. French doors are hinged double doors that open outward, typically with glass panes, allowing natural light to enter your home. On the other hand, double doors can refer to any two doors that are installed side by side, opening together or separately. While the term “French doors” usually implies a more decorative and elegant design, double doors can be of different styles, materials, and functionalities, depending on their purpose, such as entryways or closets.

A French door is a type of door that features two panels opening outwards, often with glass panes. The glass panels of French doors allow natural light to flood your home, creating a bright and inviting space. French doors are commonly used as exterior doors, leading out to a patio, garden, or balcony area, but they can also be used as interior doors, providing a beautiful division between different rooms of your home. The design of the door, with its glass panels and double doors, adds elegance, style, and charm to any room.

In the UK, French doors are commonly known as “double doors”. However, the term “French doors” is still widely used by retailers and manufacturers, as it accurately describes the style and design of the door. Additionally, the term “French windows” is also used in the UK to describe a similar type of door that features more glass panes. Regardless of the name, French doors add elegance, style, and character to any home, creating a seamless connection between your interior space and the exterior.

The main difference between a French door and a normal door lies in the design and features. French doors typically have two panels, opening outwards, with glass panes, allowing natural light to enter your home. In contrast, a normal door features a single panel, opening inwards or outwards, without glass panes. French doors are often used as exterior doors, leading out to a patio, garden, or balcony area, while normal doors are commonly used for interior or exterior purposes, depending on their design and style. The design of French doors adds elegance, style, and sophistication to your home, creating a seamless transition between your interior space and the exterior.

Energy-Efficient & Highly Secure French Doors from Phair Windows

French doors are a timeless and elegant addition to any home. With their unique design and structure, they can enhance the aesthetic appeal of your living space while allowing in ample natural light and ventilation.

Whether you prefer French doors or patio doors for your home in Leicestershire, Phair Windows offers a range of high-quality, ultra-secure options to choose from. Or, to open up a space even more, consider our bifold doors which can be folded to one side.

Dreaming of New French Doors?

Get a free quote on our selection of uPVC and aluminium French doors today. 

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