12th Dec 2022 -

French doors can be a beautiful addition to a home, bringing in light while connecting interior and exterior spaces. In this guide from Building Materials Nationwide, we look at the benefits and drawbacks of French doors and examine the different types sold within the UK.

What are French Doors?

French doors are glass double doors that open outwards from a central seam, normally used as external doors leading to the outside area of a property. Internal French doors can also be found, though this is less common. French doors are a popular option for connecting houses to gardens or patios, as an alternative to standard or sliding doors. They can also be used for the entrance to a conservatory. French doors tend to share a similar design, but there will be a choice of framing material and designs with additional glass panels on either side. French windows are also available, offering a similar design.

The Benefits of French Doors

French doors are a stylish and practical option, popular with homeowners around the UK. Here are some of the key benefits they bring to a property:

  • Bringing Natural Light Into a Home: Built from two doors with large glass panels, French doors can fill a home with natural light. This can be a fantastic addition to a home all year round, keeping kitchens and living rooms light in summer and winter. If leading through to a conservatory, French doors can help light travel further into a property. They can make spaces feel bigger, which can be hugely important in smaller houses.
  • Usable Throughout a Home: While French doors are typically used as exterior doors connected to gardens or patios, they can also be used inside a house, helping to brighten a property while remaining stylish, durable, and easy to clean.
  • Attractive Look: Traditional French doors have a stylish look, working well within both historic and modern homes.
  • Strength and Security: French doors can come with double-glazing and toughened safety glass, helping to protect a home from intruders. You can also opt for a multi-point locking system or a secure espagnolette to increase door security.

There are some important drawbacks to keep in mind when considering French doors for a project:

  • Price: French doors, especially when double-glazed, will come with a high price tag compared to standard doors.
  • Space Requirements: While sliding doors will not intrude into a space, French doors will occupy a reasonable area when left open. If they are leading into a small garden or a cramped interior, they could occupy vital living space.
  • Professional Installation: French doors will likely require a professional installer, though this is often included when buying French doors.
  • Energy Efficiency Issues: While this is less of an issue in double-glazed French doors, some models will lose more heat than traditional solid doors.
Bedroom with French Door Balcony

Standard French Door Sizes in the UK

There won’t be a standard French door size in the UK, and most manufacturers will make doors in a range of sizes. The height will be around 2 meters, while the width can vary more widely, with additional glass panels included in larger French doors.

Exterior French Door Designs

Much like other types of exterior doors, French doors are produced with a range of materials, with uPVC, wood, composite, and aluminium options available.

  • UPVC: uPVC French doors will typically be the cheapest options available, but can still bring the many benefits of French doors to a property. While uPVC doors are sometimes considered to be less attractive than other materials, the uPVC in a French door is restricted to the frame, making this less of an issue.
  • Wood: For a more traditional look, wooden French doors will blend well within the outside walls or an older property. Timber French doors come with a higher price tag and require more maintenance over time.
  • Composite: Composite French doors will be made from a combination of materials to give strength with a great look. Composite French doors tend to have smaller glass panels than other material options, perhaps making them better suited for a commercial building or use as internal doors.
  • Aluminium: Offering great strength at a premium price tag, aluminium French doors will offer a sleek look for a home.

In terms of design, most of the options will have a similar design, with small frames surrounding large glass panes. The one area where some models differ is through the inclusion of additional non-moving glass panels on the right and left of the doors. This can let further light into a living space, and let the interior and exterior areas of a house feel more connected to each other.

The Price of French Doors

According to myjobquote.co.uk, the cost of a uPVC French door is between £700 and £900, with solid oak options costing around double, and Aluminium French doors sitting between those at around £1000. On top of this, the installation costs will be around £300. For the cheapest option, you’ll therefore be spending around £1000.

Doors for Every Need for Sale With UK Delivery

Building Materials Nationwide offers a wide range of doors and door accessories for sale. Whether you’re looking for internal or external doors, we can supply you with high-quality products that are perfect for a professional project. For customers in the industry, our trade accounts open up a world of convenience, with our dedicated account managers able to organise the exact supplies you need, doors and beyond, and deliver them to you across the UK at competitive trade prices.

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