French Door Installation

When you’re having French doors installed, you should be able to expect expert installation from the vendor where you purchased the product. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen, and you could end up with poorly installed doors that fail to perform up to the manufacturer’s specifications. While virtually all vendors will claim they have knowledgeable and experienced specialists for installation, the truth falls somewhat short of that.

When we tell you we have expert French door installers, you can count on the fact that they have 20 years or more of experience, and that your new French doors will perform perfectly for years to come. Below are some of the insights which our specialists have learned over the years, so as to benefit all of our customers at installation time.

Tips on styles and sizing

Before actually deciding on a final purchase of French doors, you’ll need to consider the glass type, the window type, the doors’ material, the color, and the size. Many manufacturers will provide standard French door styles which can accommodate virtually all door openings, but there are also some custom options available which can be used to fit into unusually sized spaces.

You may want to purchase French doors which have a single active door, or you may want to purchase a door which has a three-point locking system to provide extra security. The majority of French door installations are for doors which swing outward from the center of the door opening, although there are also inward-swinging doors. Wherever you happen to be installing your French doors, make sure you have plenty of room for the doors to swing inward or outward. French doors always require more space than do standard doors.

Tips on installation

If you have purchased a set of French doors, it’s best to leave installation to the professionals, since there are few more factors to consider beyond a standard installation. One of the most important things to consider about installing French doors is the radius of the swing inward or outward, so as to be sure that you have clearance either way.

The next thing to be sure of is the jamb depth on the door opening. Hopefully you have purchased French doors which will fit within that depth, so there is no conflict to throw everything off. In most cases, newer homes can readily accommodate a standard-sized French door, but if you have an older home, you should make sure of your sizing before purchasing.

You’ll often find with older homes that there door openings are non-standard sized, and in that case, it will be necessary to install a new door jamb inside the opening, so as to accommodate whatever French doors you have purchased. If your particular door frame is a standard size, you will have the option of purchasing your French doors in pre-hung kits, and this has the effect of making installation fairly straightforward.

This is the one exception to the rule about hiring professionals to install your French doors, since the pre-hung kits remove much of the requirement for expert installation. Several of the steps necessary for installing French doors are actually eliminated by purchasing pre-hung kits, but you will still be required to follow the guidelines issued by the manufacturer of your French doors.

How experts can help

Assuming that you’re not using pre-hung installation kits, there will be some professional expertise called for during installation, and that’s the value added by a professional. It’s critical that your French doors are level and straight, so you’ll need to shim the jamb plum during installation. An expert will know just how many shims are necessary for the side jambs, in order to keep the head jamb level.

Nailing the frame to the wall studs calls for some experience as well, and when this step is finished, your door should open and close properly without much effort. Applying the final trim is another step which a professional will be able to add value on. This step calls for driving finishing nails through the trim directly into the wall studs, and then trimming off any shims which are exposed.

When a skilled professional installs your French doors, they will not only be fully functional, but they will also look as though they have been expertly installed, with everything neatly trimmed and pleasing to the eye.