French Door Buying Guide

There are many reasons that homeowners like to install French doors in their household. Sometimes a homeowner is just looking to bring in a great deal more natural light to brighten up a specific room. In some cases, an easy access way to the outdoor area is desired, perhaps to join a living room with the exterior deck, so family members can easily enjoy both indoor and outdoor living. In still other cases, homeowners like to install French doors simply because they have a long history in traditional architecture, and they bring a great deal of aesthetic value to any household where they’re installed.

If you were to install a French door on your patio today, you would most likely get a number of comments from all your friends and visitors over the next several months. There’s no question that a French door brings a whole new aesthetic aspect to your home, and that it adds a great deal to the interior decor. On top of everything else, by installing French doors you will be increasing the resale value of your home, in case you ever decide to relocate. In this buying guide, we’ll discuss the most important aspects of French doors, and why you might want to install them at your own residence.

Types of French doors

If you’re in the planning stages of installing French doors, you should consider which French door is best for your household. There are all kinds of options, such that, depending on your home’s unique needs, you will be able to find the perfect French door for your home. Here are some of the most common French door types:

Single-hinged French door – this is a great option if you have limited wall space in your residence, and you can purchase a French door that either swings inward or outward. If you’re standing on the inside of your home, an in-swing door opens up into your room, while an out-swing door will open up on the outdoors. You can also personalize a single-hinge French door with a number of different color options, including any custom colors that you might appeal to you. Ideally, French patio doors are a great option for installation in either bedrooms or the kitchen.

Double-hinged French doors – these French doors have panels that separate right in the middle. Some designs have both panels remaining operable, while other designs have a fixed panel and an operable panel. You can get a double-hinged French door with either in-swing or out-swing design, and they’re a beautiful addition for a family that enjoys indoor and outdoor living. Double-hinged French doors can also be customized with a number of between-the-glass blinds or a grill style that perfectly complements the existing style of your home.

Sliding French doors – sometimes these are known as multi-slide doors, but they are actually French doors. Sliding French doors are sold in standard size ranges, and they generally include three operable panels, stacked on top of a fourth panel which remains inoperable. You can also buy a pocket installation in which the multi-slide French door has a hidden entrance into the wall and disappears when slid open. In a standard installation, the doors will stack together right there on the end panel. Since these doors slide along a track, they will always take up less space then traditional French doors which are hinged. You can also incorporate a number of different hardware styles that will convey either a modern or more traditional aesthetic as part of your home’s appeal.


French doors are inherently energy-efficient, and often have double-pane or triple-pane glass mounted between the individual panels of the grid framework. Here are how the different types of French doors stack up in terms of energy-efficiency:

Vinyl French doors – these come with a number of appealing options for any home where they’re installed. Energy-efficient options are available for all vinyl French doors, regardless of the grill pattern or color scheme that you choose for your doors.

Fiberglass French doors – this is probably the strongest material that you can make French doors from, and it delivers superior performance for a long period of time. They’re available in a number of modern colors, and they’re suitable for virtually all climates. A fiberglass French door is energy-efficient both from the standpoint of the glass itself and the material that the door is constructed from.

Wooden French doors – these are probably the most energy-efficient French doors on the market today, and you’ll have the option of creating either a contemporary aesthetic or a traditional one. The wood itself is inherently energy-efficient, because it has tiny air pockets trapped in the material which serves as an insulator to keep conditioned air inside and unconditioned air outside.