French patio doors are a worthwhile investment for both the inside and outside of your home. French patio doors bring light into your inside rooms and give the outside of your home a more custom style.
French doors have the ultimate classic look and increase the connection between the indoors and the outdoors. Use them in areas where you want to place windows to create an open flow in all areas of your home.
Types of French Patio Doors
There are three main types of French patio door designs: single-hinged, double-hinged, and sliding patio French doors.
Single French patio doors can serve a dual purpose in areas where there is limited space. They bring in more light to create the sense of openness and take up less area within the room. Single French patio doors are available with out-swing and in-swing designs. Choose according to the purpose and design of the interior space.
Double-hinged French patio doors feature two hinged panels that meet in the middle and swing from the outside edges. You can find both in-swing and out-swing double French patio door styles as well as doors with various grille styles to highlight different design styles.
Sliding French patio doors have the look of classic French doors with the functionality of sliding doors. They operate by opening back and forth on a slider and do not open into the room. These patio door styles work well if your room is small and do not want hinged French patio doors that take up valuable floor space.
French Patio Door Materials
Patio French door options are popular for homes of every style. Manufacturers make doors in many materials to suit different budgets and designs.
Fiberglass French patio doors are a popular option because they are stable, energy efficient, and resistant to weather like rain and sunshine. In addition, you can paint fiberglass to customize the color to complement your home’s design.
Most manufacturers supply fiberglass doors with both smooth and an embossed finish that resembles wood grain.
Steel French patio doors, also called wrought iron, is a popular option for modern and contemporary style homes. Many of these doors feature slim steel frames and maximize the glass area.
Steel doors are durable and will not crack or warp with exposure to outdoor weather. Steel French patio doors are strong and provide an energy efficient barrier between your indoors and outdoors.
Aluminum French patio doors are similar to steel doors but feature a lighter metal. Aluminum is featured on many French sliding doors as it is light and sturdy. It is a long-lasting material for exterior doors as well as having good security and thermal properties.
Wood French doors are always a classic choice. Manufacturers feature genuine wood patio French doors and wood clad patio doors with enhanced durability. Wood doors exude warmth and texture that has a classic look. You must paint or stain wood exterior doors in order to preserve their integrity and weather resistance.
Many French patio doors feature wood clad options that combine the durability of other materials with the beauty of wood. These feature a weather resistant material like fiberglass, vinyl, or aluminum on the exterior with wood detailing on the inside.
Vinyl French patio doors are made with a plastic cladding over a stiff foam core. Quality vinyl doors are a durable option that are more cost-effective than options like fiberglass or steel. Vinyl doors feature an embossed skin that mimics the look of wood grain.
Cost of French Patio Doors
The cost of French doors for patio spaces range according to material. Certain types of wood and vinyl exterior French doors are the least expensive and steel, fiberglass, and premium wood doors the most expensive. Plan on spending at least $70-$120 per hour for professional installation.
- Fiberglass French patio doors – $800-$4,000
- Steel French patio doors – $700-$4,000
- Aluminum French patio doors- $650-$3,000
- Vinyl French patio doors – $500-$2,000
- Wood French patio doors – $500-$4,000
- Wood clad French patio doors – $2,500-$3,500
Optional Features for French Patios Doors
French patio doors offer many options for customizing for your space.
French Patio Doors with Screens
There are a couple options if you are looking for a patio French door with screens. You can buy a typical screen door to cover your exterior French door but it can be cumbersome to open both doors. There are also retractable screen options that are mounted on one side of your door that you can pull out as needed. This will give you a screen
French Patio Doors with Blinds
With the openness that French patio doors bring, it limits your privacy. You have the option of adding curtains or blinds to give you great functionality. Some manufacturers also provide French patio doors with blinds built into the glass. Look for features like “built-in blinds” or “internal blinds” if you are looking to customize your patio doors in this way.
There are many glass options for a French door for patio spaces. Glass options can help increase privacy, safety, and energy efficiency.
- Clear and Decorative Glass – There are both standard clear and decorative glass options for French patio doors. If you want to bring in light and still maintain privacy, opt for a decorative glass like pebbled or frosted. This will allow in the sun but limit visibility.
- Tempered Glass – Tempered glass has been modified to increase its strength. This makes it harder to break and increases the safety of window glass.
- Double and Triple Glazed – Double and triple-glazed glass windows decrease the transfer of heat and noise between the outside and inside.
Choose from among multiple French patio door designs to enhance your home’s unique style. Available options include colonial, Craftsman, modern, diamond, Gothic, and prairie just to name a few.
French Patio Doors in Home Design
We have rounded up some gorgeous ideas to help give you some inspiration for adding French patio door style to your home.
Use with a Transom Window
One way to increase the light and elegance of your patio French doors is to add a transom window above it. The designer in this room added elegant arched transom windows to give the doors a more distinctive style.
Contrast with Interior Color
Choose a paint color for your doors that will contrast with the interior space. The dark neutral of these French patio doors and transoms helps focus attention on the height and beauty of these doors.
Repeating the Design
This designer does not highlight the doors with a different color, but creates continuity by using the same color for the walls and door trim. Instead, they create the drama by using multiple French doors in the place of windows.
Pair with Sidelights
Increase your interior sunlight with sidelights if you don’t have space above the French doors for a transom. In this French country remodel, the designer used these contemporary French patio doors with complementing sidelights. They repeated the pattern with the same style windows to create continuity in their design.
Tall and Narrow French Doors
Make a statement with unique sized French patio doors like these tall and narrow black French patio doors in this kitchen. The contemporary style of these doors complements the clean but elegant style of the kitchen.
French Patio Doors Pros and Cons
French patio doors are a valuable asset in many spaces, but there are some drawbacks that you need to consider before you purchase them for your home.
- Beauty – French patio doors are one of the most beautiful types of exterior doors as they feature decorative glass designs and allow in light to brighten your interior.
- Light – French patio doors bring in ample natural light which makes your space brighter and appear larger.
- Variety – French patio doors are popular, so there are many options that you can choose and customize to fit your home and budget.
- Space – Hinged French patio doors take up floor space if they are in-swing. Choose French patio doors outswing or sliding French doors which do not take up interior space to open.
- Price – French patio doors are more expensive than other types of exterior doors.
- Energy Efficiency – As efficient as double and triple paned glass in French doors is, it is less energy efficient than solid exterior doors.
- Safety – Glass in doors decreases your privacy and it makes it easier for people to break into your home.