Perhaps you have a new stone patio and would like to create a sunny passageway from the living room. Or perhaps you’d like to be able to see your garden from the kitchen while also letting in more light and air. What are french doors one side fixed?
Back in the 1600s, when the French crossed doors with windows, they had something similar in mind. When the multipaned doors were exported to North America a century later, they could be flung open to catch a breeze in the summer while inviting in the sun all year.
French doors now come in a variety of styles, ranging from uninterrupted panes of glass to those crisscrossed with diamond-shaped grids, and they slide as well as swing. New engineering means improved energy efficiency, wind resistance, and security, freeing the mind to concentrate on what matters: light and air. A splash of sunlight on the floor is one of the nicest things in a room. Unlike windows, French doors let in low light and give the impression of always being able to step outside, which is uplifting.
Here’s how to bring this now-very-American tradition into your own home.
Exterior French doors nowadays are frequently delivered prehung in a wood frame, complete with sill and weatherstripping. This makes installation easier. Optional grilles and hardware can be added to complete the look of your door.
Should you do it yourself or hire a professional? While an experienced DIYer may be able to replace old pre-hung doors with new ones, most homeowners will want to hire a professional, especially if a new opening is required.
What are their prices? Prices range from $400 for stock steel set to over $3,000 for semi-custom fiberglass or aluminum-clad wood (uninstalled).
How long will they be in place? Warranties can last anywhere from two to twenty years, and some can be transferred to the next homeowner.
Where can I buy it? Low- to mid-priced models are available at home improvement stores. However, for the most extensive selection, go to high-end lumberyards and window and door showrooms.
Exterior French Doors in the Traditional Style
A traditional pair can take on a modern look when surrounded by fixed transoms and sidelights.
- They let in a lot of natural light, which creates an unparalleled sense of space and indoor-outdoor connection.
- Even when it rains, they can brighten up a room.
- They can let in a lot of air, which helps with cross-ventilation in the summer. All that glass can channel the sun’s warmth when closed in the winter.
- They give sliders a more traditional appearance by using beefier bottom rails and window grilles.
- They come with a variety of lights to complement the style of your home and add architectural detail.
- If swinging doors are combined with swinging screens, they may necessitate floor space on both sides.
- They are vulnerable to the elements. Those who swing in may invite water in. Those that swing out are exposed to the elements.
- They require some upkeep. Slider tracks must be kept clear of debris. Weatherstripping and hinges will need to be replaced on a regular basis. To keep the view clear, all of those panes must be cleaned on a regular basis.
- They also put you on display. For privacy at night, they may require shades, blinds, or drapes.
Before You Purchase
Work with your designer or general contractor to determine the best location for views from inside, comfortable access, and sun and wind exposure, unless you are simply replacing old French doors.
Clearances: Before choosing hinged doors, ensure that they will have enough space to fully open, whether they swing in or out. Space-saving options include one hinged door and one fixed door, or a sliding door.
A transom or sidelights can help to increase the impact. Textured or frosted panes provide privacy; in the Chicago area, look for a design pressure rating that meets local building codes.
Hinged screens require floor space, and sliders require another track; a semitransparent material, such as fibreglass screen cloth, is less obtrusive. The best solution may be a retractable screen, which rolls up into the jamb and out of sight until needed.
- Quality vinyl is inexpensive and long-lasting, and it has the appearance of painted wood—use a different colour for each side. A rigid foam core improves energy efficiency.
- Premium Atlantic Vinyl doors, prehung pair starting at $2,700
Fiberglass is a stable, energy-efficient, and low-maintenance material that offers superior resistance to UV rays, rain, and cold weather; it can be painted or finished with marine varnish. Insulation is provided by foam cores. It is available with a smooth finish or a realistic embossed wood-grain look that can be stained. Prehung pair of Grande doors starting at $3,500; Masonite
Wood Clad Cost:
Wood on the inside has a warm, traditional appearance; aluminum, vinyl, or fiberglass cladding on the outside adds durability and better resistance to the elements. For added strength, the core is typically engineered lumber; paint or another finish can keep the laminated veneer inside looking new. Proline 450 Series Patio Doors, prehung pair starting at $2,600.
Exterior French Doors that Save Energy
Window glass no longer transfers heat as effectively as it once did. Doubled or tripled tempered panes (which can block some light) with air or gas-like krypton providing insulation are now available; “low-e” coatings can also help prevent heat transfer.
- However, proper installation and maintenance are equally important. To save energy and reduce drafts, the doors must close tightly and have good weatherstripping Manufacturers provide various methods for achieving the look of individual panes while reducing energy loss.
- Separated small panes harken back to a time when glass couldn’t be made in sheets—or insulated. Cleaning is difficult.
- One-Sided Bars or Grilles: Flat or beveled grids create the illusion of divided lights—outside for curb appeal, inside to frame views. For cleaning, it can be fixed or removable.
- Bars or grilles on both sides: If there are double panes, spacers between them can enhance the illusion.
- Sandwiched Grille: A grid sandwiched between two panes looks the least authentic from any angle, but is the easiest to clean.
Types of Doors
A French door is defined by a single hinged panel; a fixed sidelight can suggest the appearance of a pair. When the door opens inward, an overhang keeps rain out. Tuscany Series door and fixed panel in vinyl; approximately $2,000; Milgard
Exterior French Doors with Double In-Swing
Two doors that lead in have a gracious appearance. An arched shape can be eye-catching. Top French doors are made of aluminum-clad wood and start at $6,000 for a pre-hung pair. Contact genesis if you require french doors with doggie doors.
Swinging Out Doubles
As the wind blows, the out-swingers tighten, compressing the seal. The coordination of windows increases visual impact. A Series Hinged Patio Doors in Wood, Fiberglass, and Composite; prehung pair starting at $2,860.
Exterior French Doors with Center Hinge
A pair is suggested by one door and one fixed pane. Place the hinged side of the swing where it is most convenient. Taller bottom rails lend French-door cred to single-paned windows. Prehung pair of 200 Series Hinged Patio doors in vinyl-clad wood starting at $2,470.
Exterior French Doors with a Single Slider
A slider saves space both inside and outside. Remote-control blinds installed between panes provide light control while maintaining a clean appearance. Designer Series Sliding Patio Doors in Aluminum-Clad Wood with Motorized Shades; prehung pair from $4,425.
Slider with Telescoping Mechanism
Smooth-gliding ball-bearing rollers transport up to ten panels. Pella Architect Series Multi-Slide and Lift-and-Slide Patio doors in aluminum-clad wood; this configuration starts at $14,560.
Styles of Light
The traditional style is indicated by doors with 15 divided lights. Architect Series, prehung pair starting at $3,700; Pella
Lighting Design for Craftsman Doors
- Two-over-one lights are reminiscent of vintage bungalows.
- 400 Series Frenchwood Pine Doors, prehung pair starting at $2,175.
- The manor-house look is achieved through diamond grids and a dark stain.
- Prehung pair of A Series Diamond fiberglass/composite doors from $2,160.
Lighting Design for Contemporary Doors
400 Series Frenchwood Pine Doors, prehung pair starting at $2,420.
Lighting Design for Prairie Doors
- Architectural Fiberglass Glass Panel doors, prehung pair starting at $7,150.
- A rough opening should be plumb, level, in the same plane, and about an inch wider and taller than the frame of the doors. When you focus on properly preparing the opening, the installation always goes more quickly.
French Door Hardware for the Outside
This traditional option is natural because of its ergonomic shape and traditional good looks, especially when paired with an escutcheon plate.
Exterior French Door Pulls
Fixed handholds aid in the opening of sliders. Can be decorative and stand out or recess into the door. Rocky Mountain Hardware Metro Entry Sliding Door Set, $719.
Face-mounted bars run top to bottom and slot into sockets in the casing and threshold, evoking period French doors. They retract when the knob is turned to the open position. Learn more about french doors at home depot. Genesis Sliding doors for the best genesis french door installation. You can contact us at 847-851-4065.