The doors to your home are not only functional but they also add to the aesthetic beauty of your home and of course to the kerb value should you ever wish to sell your property. One option that you may wish to consider a replacement door for your home that will bring all these benefits and more is a French door. They are elegant yet functional and versatile creating a great way to open up your home into your outside area. As they open outwards, French doors allow you to fully utilise room space whilst at the same time introducing the minimum amount of light and ventilation into your home. Their versatility comes through being able to lock one leaf shut or to open up both doors (secured with hooks to stop them being caught in a draught of wind). If you’re interested in new French doors for your home here’s our guide to all that you’ll need to know about French doors.
What are French doors?
French doors are a very popular choice for homeowners looking for a replacement door that will add a touch of elegance and class to their property. They are most often used at the rear of a home to bring the outside in, to create a stunning walk through to an outside area such as a garden, patio, decking or fields and also to maximise the outside view. French Doors can also be used to connect adjoining rooms, again due to their inherent ability to allow light to flow easily between spaces, they are a very popular option in this situation. They are often seen used between rooms such as a dining and living room or kitchen.
What’s the history of french doors?
As you would imagine, the origin of French doors can be traced back to the French Renaissance of the 17th century. During this era it became fashionable to have open areas in homes which allowed light into the property so French windows, as they were initially known, were used on balconies to allow more natural light into the room before the days of electricity. They were essentially large windows with single panes of glass. The term French door then became used when property owners began to replace the wooden doors that separated two rooms with glass french doors to allow more light into the home. This fashion quickly spread throughout the rest of Europe and the USA over the course of the 19th century. The early settlers of Louisiana brought this influence to The States it can be seen even today in places like New Orleans.
What’s the difference between French doors and Patio doors?
French doors and patio doors are very often confused with each other. Originally the term Patio doors was used to refer exclusively to sliding doors which led out into an outside space. However, the term has now grown to refer to all types of doors that lead from the back of the house out to the garden, the patio, decking etc. and can sometimes include French doors.
Traditionally, French doors are two identical doors side-by-side that open outwards to create a route into the outside, this is ideal for smaller homes or properties with small gardens as they help to expand the space. Patio Doors tend to have two sides and open by sliding which means that the whole space isn’t open for walking through as the part being slid open will overlap with a fixed side so partially blocking the space.
What are the benefits of French Doors?
Letting the light in: French doors are all about the light, that’s why they were originally developed back in France in the 17th Century to allow more light into dimly lit homes. French doors act much more like a window than a door with the glass extending for most of the door’s length.
Bringing the outside in: Adding a French door to a room that faces on to your outside space can not only create additional space by opening up the area, but will provide that room with a superb view by integrating the outside with the inside of your property.
Aesthetically pleasing: Whatever the style of your home, whether modern or traditional, the installation of French doors can add kerb appeal to your property. The beauty of French doors is widely acknowledged as coming from their symmetry and proportions which add a touch of timeless elegance to any style of home.
Energy efficiency: French doors are known for their energy efficient properties. If they are manufactured with double glazed window panels, they will offer decent thermal efficiency for your home. This means that not only will French doors enable you to cut down on your heating costs, but they will also leave your home feeling more comfortable.
Are French doors secure?
As French doors are generally installed to give a view of both the inside and outside of a property, it may be considered that they’re not the most secure of doors, but actually that’s not the case. Providing that they have been correctly installed, French doors can be just as secure as any other door in your home.
The vast majority of French doors will be fitted with multi point locks that lock the frames together when they're closed and cover splines to fill the space where the doors meet, as this is the most vulnerable area. You can of course take some extra measures to ensure that your French doors are fully secure such as:
Having laminated glass fitted to add extra protection
Install double glazing rather than single
Cover the handles with security bars at night or when you’re not home
We hope that in this article we have covered your questions regarding the installation of French doors in your home. If you are considering the installation of French Doors to your property, the team here at Welbeck Windows are happy to help with any further queries or to give a free no obligation quote - just give us a call on 0203 583 3525 for our expert advice.