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French Door Replacement Guide
All About Thompson Creek French Doors!
French doors let the outside world in. They’re beautiful, functional, come available in a range of attractive colors, and they turn any exterior room into a fabulous indoor-outdoor space. While they’re often used to open up space and they also help make your house feel bigger.
Throughout this guide, you’ll find:
French doors are double doors that open outward or inward on a hinge. They’re often used as an alternative to traditional patio doors, which slide along a track. Because they swing, rather than slide, French doors open much wider and provide maximum access to your home.
So, why exactly are they called “French” doors? Because they first became a design feature in 17th century France. Interestingly, French doors weren’t originally meant to be doors, but actually large windows. Over time, they became popular balcony entrance before people began to use them as ground floor access.
Modern French doors make a great statement in almost any home. They’re grand, let lots of light in, and help regulate the temperature in your home — especially in temperate weather. According to realtors, well-made French doors can increase the value of your home, so they’re even a savvy investment, too.
Several different types of French doors exist, and some perform better than others. We consider the double-hinged French door we offer at Thompson Creek the most versatile French door on the market.
Double-Hinged French Door
Thompson Creek’s double-hinged French door works beautifully as an exterior door. Available in steel or fiberglass makes, our French doors are durable, beautiful and completely customizable. You can choose between an outswing or an inswing design, select your favorite color, and pick hardware that complements your home’s architectural style.
All the doors we sell are made to order, so you can modify everything from the glass design to the door activation mechanism. Designed to stand up to the Mid Atlantic weather, Thompson Creek French doors stay looking great for many years.
French doors are both versatile and attractive. For a Renaissance vibe, install French door balcony access. To open up your dining room, add a deck and use French doors to create an indoor-outdoor entertainment space. French doors also work beautifully in basements, bedrooms, and semi-open plan spaces.
Front Door French Doors
Why go with a single front door when you can make a grand first impression with a French door instead? Because they open wide, exterior French doors feel extra welcoming. They also allow for easy access — in other words, no need for gymnastics or pivoting when you move furniture in and out. Finally, modern French doors are very secure, so they make great main entrances.
Patio French Doors
French doors work particularly well as an alternative to traditional sliding patio doors. They extend your space into the natural elements, let in light and air, and make your home feel much bigger. When closed, they’re the equivalent of a giant window, which is wonderful If you have a view — or if you can create one.
French doors are adaptable and attractive, and they boost the value of your home. Here are five more valuable French door benefits:
1. Opens the Home to Outside:
People tend to forget that their homes extend outside as well as inside. When you install a French door, you’ll have easy access to the outdoor part of your property, which can make even the smallest house feel much bigger. Open the door and you’ll immediately improve the air circulation in your home. In the spring, summer, and fall, you’ll also welcome birdsong and the smell of freshly cut grass.
2. Great for Entertaining:
People enjoy themselves more when they’re able to move around freely. Patio doors invite guests to step outside into your garden or onto your back porch. If you plan to use your patio area at dinnertime, you’ll find it much easier to carry food out through a wide set of French doors. When the weather isn’t so good, French doors in your dining room let a lot of light in, so you can still enjoy a bright, pleasant atmosphere.
3. Allows for More Room:
French doors expand your property and make your home much more inviting — even when they’re shut. Because they let natural light in and frame a large vista, French doors make the rooms they’re installed in feel much larger. You’ll also find it much easier to keep an eye on kids in the yard if you install French doors rather than smaller windows. If you’re worried about privacy, you can choose frosted glass or hang lightweight curtains or blinds on the inside of your French doors.
4. Ability to Move Large Items:
Accessibility is a major French door perk. No more shuffling boxes around corners, and no more sofa wrangling. French doors make it easy to carry large furniture items — musical instruments, chairs, mattresses, and refurbishment materials, for instance — straight into your home. If you need to make your home wheelchair accessible, French doors are an ideal solution — not just on the exterior of your house, but also throughout.
5. Energy Efficient:
Modern French doors are surprisingly energy efficient. Sliding patio doors, on the other hand, tend to allow more airflow than French doors. French doors open and shut more quickly than sliding doors, and have a good balance of building materials, all of which increase energy efficiency. Thompson Creek French doors are filled with highly insulating materials, so they help keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.
In practical terms, French doors are two doors hung in the same frame. If you have older French doors or patio doors in place, we’ll remove them — and your existing frame — before installing new French doors. If you want to replace traditional windows, your home’s frame will need modifying to accommodate your new French doors. The same modification principle applies when we install new French doors in solid walls.
Thompson Creek French doors come pre-hung in the frame. We mount the entire assembly at once, and then we make sure it’s level. Finally, we test your new doors to make sure they’re airtight and that they’re securely in place.
Here at Thompson Creek, we offer a wide range of different hardware options to complement your home’s existing architectural style. We carry wrought iron, brass, copper, gold, and silver finish handles — along with many other metal variations. You can choose from various handle styles, lock options, and deadbolt types. We also offer numerous convenient keypad locks. Security is key at Thompson Creek, so we only stock high-quality hardware brands like Schlage, Emtek, and Trilennium.
French doors are practical, adaptable and attractive. Still have questions? Here are the answers to four common French door FAQs.
Are French Doors the Same as Patio Doors?
French doors are similar, but not the same as patio doors. Patio doors slide along a track, so you can only open one side at a time. In contrast, French doors are basically two doors on a wide, single frame. Double patio doors and French doors are roughly the same size, so you can easily replace patio doors with French doors. French doors are ideal for both interior and exterior use.
How Do French Doors Open?
French doors are two doors, both on hinges, mounted on opposite sides of the same frame. They both swing out, or in, creating a wide, open gap in your wall — and they meet and lock in the middle. French doors come with a wide range of handle options, including knobs, lever-on-backplate handles, lever-on-rose handles, and D pull handles. You can open one side of a French door assembly and keep the other side locked, or use both doors to open up your space.
Are French Doors Safe?
Modern French doors are very safe and secure, as they lock using the same mechanisms as regular doors. Thompson Creek French doors are particularly robust, as they’re made from either strong fiberglass or long-lasting steel. Inside, layers of insulating material improve energy efficiency and help to strengthen the doors. Contemporary French doors are airtight and just as difficult to breach as a traditional high-quality front door, so your house, and its contents, stay protected.
Can French Doors be Locked?
Yes, French doors are lockable. High-quality French doors like those made by Thompson Creek have extra-secure locking mechanisms in the middle, where both doors meet. You lock and unlock the doors in the same way as you’d lock and unlock traditional doors. Thompson Creek French doors also incorporate deadbolts, so you can lock one side of the setup in place if you want to. Additionally, we also offer Schlage keypad locks for an added security measure.
French doors work great in exterior settings. You can use French doors to create a semi-open plan space in your home, to provide balcony access or to make a room in your home more accessible. French doors also work well as main entrances: they’re grand, wide and welcoming, and they’re as secure as regular front doors.
If you’re ready to install French doors in your home, or if you’d like to find out more about our French doors, call Thompson Creek at 888 696 7105. Alternatively, get in touch with us or request a free estimate online today.
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