French Patio Doors

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What is A French Door?

French doors are actually windows that function like doors, and are commonly used as patio doors in houses.

A French door usually comes as one pair, and has light construction of glass panes that extend for most of the door’s length.

When a French door is installed as the entry to your house’s patio, all you do in summer days is to keep the French door open. The French door interconnects your indoor and outdoor living spaces.

When the French door is closed, it still allows you an extremely broad view from the inside of the house to the outside.

Most parts of a French door is made of glass panes which allows incredible amount of natural light coming into the house.

French doors are very stylish with aesthetic features, and also function well as a home door for basic security.


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French Door Standard Sizes

French door do have standard door width starting at 1 foot 6 inches. The maximum width can extend to 3 feet.

Standard heights are 6 feet 8 inches, 7 feet, or 8 feet.

Depending on your house and patio, it makes perfect sense to buy French patio doors with custom sizes directly from manufacturers or factories.

French Patio Doors


French doors are commonly used as both entry patio doors and as interior doors that separate two spaces. The two spaces are the interior of a home (e.g. living room) and a backyard patio.

Patio French doors are highly popular and in demand for house owners.

  • The doors allow a visual connection between two spaces that are supposed to be separated.
  • They allow privacy for both separated spaces.

French patio doors often open on to a backyard patio, and are used with a screen door system.

French doors are available in both inswing and outswing fittings. Most French patio doors are outswing (looking from the inside of the house).

Unlike sliding doors, French doors may take up more space when they’re in use.

French patio doors should come with multi point locks. Normally a 3-point lock should allow the locking of the doors and the frames together when in the door is closed. All the lock barrels may come with anti-bump cylinders for security.

Cover splines should be used to cover the rebate gap between the doors where they meet, because that’s the weakest area on a French door.

Interior French Doors vs. Exterior French Doors

One of the main functions of a French door is to use it as a patio door of a house.

The doors are termed as exterior French doors because the doors open outward to the patio which is very much an open area outside of the house. Binds are often installed on exterior French doors.

They are recognized as interior French doors because it normally outswing opens from the inside of a house to the patio, where the patio area is considered part of the home area.

In some houses, interior French doors can be found in the entryway between a dining room and kitchen. You may see them separating a living room and a dining room. Even as interior doors, they still enable light to flow between the different spaces.

Curtains and blinds are sometimes installed with the interior French doors to provide privacy between the spaces.

French Door Design


The design options for French doors include:

  • Door material
  • Window types
  • Glass types
  • Color
  • Size (mainly width and height)

Unless you require custom-made doors, most manufacturers offer standard French door styles that are readily available to fit standard door openings.

French doors have two standard types: Outswing and inswing. But French patio doors are installed as a pair of doors which swing out from the center of the door opening.

A French door may have a flat panel of glass with no grills or grills with simulated divided lites, which is often known as Atrium door.

  • The lites may extend the entire height of the patio French door.
  • The lites are available in half-view and three-quarter view options. This setup allows light to filter into the interior of the house but still provides privacy between the spaces.

History of French Doors

The name “French Door” can be traced back to the 16th or 17th centuries during war time between France and Italy.

The French brought along the ideas of Renaissance artworks and architecture which focus on proportion, symmetry and light. The ideas were implemented on doors i.e. The French Doors.

People in common households at that time didn’t use electricity and modern lights. Having glass panes extending for most of its length (or sometimes the entire length) allows making use of natural sunlight. French doors let the sunlight in and lights up the entire interior of a house during day time.

French doors were originally made from wood and wrought iron for style. Individual glasses but not traditional solid materials were embedded into the structure of French doors which allows light to pass through to a house.

Patio Door Types


French patio doors are certainly one type of patio doors, and have an aesthetic appeal that provides an elegant, timeless look inside or outside any home.

An outswing French door opens to the exterior of a home and maintain usable space on the inside of the door.

However, a French door isn’t the only option for patio doors. Below are a few different options of patio doors.

Sliding: The simplest door giving access to patio from a house. Sliding doors usually have one stationary door panel. The other panel opens by silding horizonally on tracks.

Swinging: French swinging patio doors can have inswing or outswing. They’re similar to normal doors and have with two panels.

Folding: Folding doors open in accordian style, and usually have multiple panels.

Multi Sliding: When a sliding door has more than two panels, it’s a multi sliding door.

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