Lighter. Airier. Better connected to the outside world. Those are just some of the ways to describe homes fitted with exterior French doors. Commonly compared to giant windows, they bridge the gap between the indoors and the outdoors, bringing beauty, natural light, and warmth, wherever they're found.
But is it worth going through the time and cost of French door installation? Can your home truly be transformed with a new set of patio doors? Well, this guide will aim to answer those questions, exploring the diverse, distinct benefits of French patio doors, as well as revealing some other interesting info.
What Are French Patio Doors?
French doors date back to the days of the Renaissance. And, like so many other French things, these stylish doors soon caught on in other countries, spreading across the globe. Typically sold in pairs, they're installed on the outside of the home, most commonly leading out to a patio, deck, or garden space.
Swinging open the French doors provides easy access to the backyard. Homeowners can stroll straight from kitchens or living rooms onto patios and decks. In this way, outdoor areas feel more like part of the home. The doors also offer magical views of the outside world, like great glass works of art, with pretty pictures etched across each pane.
Naturally, there are many styles, colors, and materials to pick from when choosing a sliding patio door. Glass is the main material, making up a large part of the overall structure. That's why French doors are so often compared to windows. But for the frame itself, other materials may be selected, from timeless and rustic wood to affordable vinyl, pretty fiberglass, or bold, unyielding steel.
The Unique Benefits of Hinged Patio Doors
Many people mistakenly think of doors as nothing but functional items. They swing them open to enter a home or room, lock them shut to stay safe, and rarely pay them a passing glance in between. French doors are different. Bold and beautiful, they simply demand attention and admiration.
And these doors have much more to offer than simple, base functionality. Yes, they can be opened and closed, just like any other doors, to allow passage from one space to the next. But they offer infinitely more than that, transforming rooms and homes with their very presence, and lighting the lives of all who are around to enjoy them.
Let There Be Light
Ever found yourself in a dark room, with only the smallest windows? It's depressing. Such rooms feel dank and barren, lacking the life and color a living space should have. People need light. That soothing glow. Those rejuvenating rays. Light livens us up. It brightens our days. And it makes our homes and interior spaces much happier, pleasanter places to be.
Adding windows is one way to bring more natural light into a property. But installing French patio doors is the next step up. They're so much larger than the average window. It's almost like having three, four, or more windows all bunched up together, with a vast stream of sunshine flowing through into the home.
Previously dark spaces will glow like never before. Living rooms and all of their furnishings will feel fresh and illuminated. Kitchens will radiate with light and color. The difference is astounding, and even if all that light sometimes seems like "too much," you can easily install shades or curtains across your French doors to control the flow.
Bigger than Before
Here's a little secret about French patio doors: they're magic. No, that's not a lie. French patio doors have a truly magical ability. They can make rooms feel bigger. And not just a little bigger. Much, much bigger! In fact, were you to compare a room before and after sliding patio door installation, the difference might just blow your mind.
Countless homeowners have seen and felt this magical benefit for themselves. Little living rooms, kitchens, and dining areas suddenly seem to double in size once patio doors have been fitted into the outside wall. Rooms that once seemed a little on the small side suddenly feel wider and longer, making them much nicer spaces to spend time in.
It's similar to how a big mirror can make a room feel larger, creating the optical illusion that the space is much vaster than it really is. Except, with French doors, you don't just have a reflection to admire. Instead, you get a wonderful, ever-evolving view of the natural world, with all of its colorful seasons and shifting weather patterns.
Indoors, Meet Outdoors
Indoors and outdoors. Two separate spaces. So often divided. Separated from one another with big brick barriers. But why? Why should the beauty of nature be cut-off from the calming haven of your home's interior spaces? Is there not a better way of blending the outdoors with the indoors, creating a more seamless living environment?
That very question has been a source of architectural interest and innovation for decades. Many of the world's greatest designers have sought out ways to bridge the gap between external nature and home interiors. But you don't need a fancy, one-of-a-kind home to feel more in tune with the outdoors. A simple set of French doors can suffice.
With a pair of hinged patio doors, the beauty of nature actually feels like part of the home, rather than some separate or foreign space. In effect, the doors forge a seamless link between inside and outside. Living spaces flow into grass and greenery. Nature feels like part of the decor. It's the perfect fusion.
French doors aren't just a beautiful addition. To go along with their countless cosmetic benefits, they also provide true functional value, especially in terms of thermal efficiency. They can work wonders at trapping heat inside the home, maintaining a pleasant level of warmth and optimizing your home's heating system.
That may seem odd. After all, surely a big brick wall seems like it'd do a better job of insulating a home compared to a pair of patio doors, mostly made of glass. However, in reality, a high-quality French door installation provides outstanding insulation, with the latest glazing technology and sturdy steel, fiberglass, or wood frames working to keep heat in.
This is so important in the modern world, where energy efficiency is on almost every homeowner's mind. Many people want to find ways to get better value out of their home's heating. With patio doors, you can make savings on energy bills and keep your home toasty on those worrisome winter nights.
Keeping warm in winter is one thing. But how about cooling off in summer? It can be tricky to find ways to stay fresh when the mercury starts to rise. Fortunately, a French patio door installation is, once again, the solution to what ails you. These doors hold miraculous cooling potential for living rooms and other spaces throughout your house.
When the sun beats down, all you have to do is swing open your French patio door. It's like opening an entire wall of your house. Cool, fresh air will come flowing in, making all the difference to the interior temperature. Best of all, it's a totally free cooling system, a far cry from costly, energy-guzzling AC units.
Here's a bonus tip: after opening your French patio door, open a window at the other end of the room. This should create a through-draft, promoting the fast flow of air across the entire living space. It's one of the fastest ways to cool your home down, perfect for those intensely hot summers in places like California.
A New Access Point
Front door. Back door. Those are the two main access points to your home. A garage door might also provide access in and out of the property. And a French patio door can also give you a new way to get into your home, or leave it, whenever you feel the need.
Having an extra access point has a few knock-on advantages. Firstly, if your home is a busy place with a big family or plenty of regular visitors, it makes things easier when people are coming and going. Since French doors tend to be quite large, they can also be useful for moving large items in or out of the living areas, like sofas and tables.
Homes with patio door points of access can often be safer, too. It's not nice to think about, but if ever there was a fire or other emergency, and you needed to leave the house, a patio door gives you one extra option, along with the usual front and back doors.
Patio door installation isn't cheap. In fact, it can be quite a big investment, as space for the door will need to be made and prices of glass windows and wood or steel frames rapidly add up. They are usually much pricier than interior doors, for example. However, when it comes to long-term value, a sliding or hinged patio door is a superb addition to any property.
We've already discussed the heating and cooling benefits. They can save you a small fortune on utility bills. But that's not all. Homes with French doors also tend to raise higher prices on the property market. Real estate data backs this up, with stats also showing that patio door homes often sell faster, too. Therefore, if you make the choice to move to a new city, you should be able to demand a higher price for your home.
Yes, you'll have to spend money to have sliding patio door fitted. But unlike many frivolous home additions, this one can pay for itself. In the long run, French doors give you your money back, and then some.
Plus, for as long as you live in the home, you'll be able to savor the unique experiences these doors provide, from their cooling breezes on July afternoons to the happy and peaceful views they provide each morning.
A Fantastic Focal Point
Can a door be a work of art? At PINKYS, we certainly think so. And when you've seen a truly fabulous set of hinged patio doors installed in an exterior wall, we're sure you'll agree. Indeed, the best French doors don't just serve as gateways to the outside, they create entirely new focal points for the whole room.
In the same way that big bay windows can draw the eye, French doors attract your attention, every time you're near them. They give both inhabitants and visitors to the home something to look at. They invite discussion. They set the mood. In short, they're almost like paintings or pictures on the wall.
But, in a way, they're even better, as the view through French doors isn't fixed or set in stone. Instead, it's always changing. One day, you might admire the way the sun's light bounces off your deck. The next, you might watch as splashes of rain fall to the patio floor.
Some days, you'll see birds. Other days, you'll admire the flowers. Your French doors are the gift that keeps on giving, with new views and experiences, every day and night.
So Many Styles and Designs
Contemporary. Traditional. Minimalist. Rustic. So many styles. Such a broad range of inspiration and ideas. We all have our preferences. Some enjoy all things modern and chic, all straight lines and right angles. Others are more aligned with the detailed and decorative, preferring twisting, turning shapes, and unpredictable curves.
No matter which style speaks to you the most, you'll be able to find a set of French doors to match. They vary wildly, from traditional vinyl and rustic wood variants to more contemporary fiberglass and steel frames. The options are almost endless, with countless colors to choose from, too.
Plus, even after you've picked the precise style and type of doors to complement your home, the potential for customization isn't over! You can personalize each French door with a variety of decorative elements.
Just like windows, you can position curtains or blinds around each door, using them to control your levels of light and privacy. Alternatively, you can hang artworks and decorative elements beside the doors to make them even more of a focal point for your home.
The Downsides of French Doors
Of course, nothing in this world is perfect. Not even the unique beauty of a pair of French doors.
Cost is the most commonly-cited disadvantage of French door installation. Price tags for these products can be quite hefty, often many times higher than simple interior doors. Indeed, while a wooden, white interior door can be purchased quite cheaply, it's not really possible to find French doors for those same low prices.
This is particularly true for those who have more refined taste, preferring more modern and sturdy steel or fiberglass sliding doors, rather than cheaper, more traditional models.
A big chunk of the cost isn't even the doors themselves, it's the installation. This process can involve knocking through parts of the exterior wall, expanding the opening around a window or door frame to make way for the French doors. Depending on the layout and age of your home, this might cost a lot.
That's on top of the price of the doors themselves, with wood, steel, and fiberglass models sometimes being relatively expensive. If you want custom colors, a specific style, or special glazing on the windows, the final cost will grow even bigger.
Loss of Space
Since they're often installed in pairs, French doors take up a lot of room. They not only extend several feet up your external wall, but also spread across it. This leads to a loss of wall space, which can affect the layout of your interiors. Furniture may need to be moved around to complement the new addition, for instance.
If you opt for hinged doors over sliders, you also need to consider floor space. The doors will take up room as they open inward. Again, this can impact furnishings. The arrangement of large items, like tables, chairs, and sofas, may need some adjusting to avoid any damages or obstructions. On the plus side, it could help you discover a better new way to arrange your space.
Choose Fabulous French Doors in the Ideal Style
Despite a couple of disadvantages, French doors are far and away one of the finest additions to any family home. They bolster your connection with nature, encourage you to step outside more often, and provide something beautiful and ever-changing to admire while sipping your morning coffee or nestling down in the evenings.
For premium French doors with strong steel frames, choose PINKYS. Since 1978, we've led the way. Strength and beauty come together as one in our carefully and lovingly crafted doors. A pair of PINKYS patio doors will last a lifetime, providing years of joy to all who pass between them.