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What are French doors?

Also called French windows, these are a smart option when installing replacement doors and windows.
French doors are outside doors where solid panel lights are replaced with glass.
The significant advantage of French doors is that they combine an attractive appearance with lots of light.
French windows can also be opened wide to help extend your home into the garden or patio.
French doors are different from patio doors as they open outwards on hinges. Patio doors, however, don't open out but slide sideways along a track.
Patio doors are usually preferred in modern properties, while French doors are preferred in period homes. But either can look attractive in any setting, new or old.
Modern French doors come in contemporary and traditional designs and are manufactured in various materials.
You can now design your own French door online and get a free quote for delivery and installation using our online door designer.

The origin of French doors

The origin of French doors goes back to the early 17th century when French architects adopted and developed the Italian Renaissance style. The art and architecture of Italy swept through France as style-setters adopted Renaissance ideas of symmetry and proportion. Tall, slim doors in the Renaissance style opened out onto garden patios or balconies. French architects realised that a window-style door with glass panes replacing door panels enhanced elegance while improving illumination. Glass panels allow light and heat to flood into rooms and hallways.

French doors for UK homeowners

In the 18th century, the French door revolution crossed the channel and became popular with English architects, who began incorporating the novel glass-panelled doors into their designs. French doors allowed extra light into British homes even through the darker days of winter and provided an innovative way to circulate fresh air throughout the house in the summer months. In modern times, French doors remain a firm favourite with homeowners, adding character to rooms and revitalising the threshold between indoors and outdoors.

The practicality of French door design

French doors not only look elegant and tasteful, but they are also extremely practical. They can offer panoramic views over the garden to the patio and are ideal when holding a garden party as guests can circulate easily both inside and out. In days gone by, French doors were usually made from timber and wrought iron, with limited options in teens of style. These days, there is a plethora of door styles to choose from. It is easy to find a perfect fit for any home, modern or traditional. Materials such as uPVC and aluminium are more common as homeowners appreciate the thermal advantages and durability of contemporary designs.

French door styles from manufacturers

For those that prefer traditional solutions, options include the specially designed 48mm solid timer core French doors from firms like Comp Door. Their doors are not only highly durable but also incredibly stylish. French doors come with a colour palette of more than 20 options, allowing you to buy French doors to suit you and your home. You can choose to have different colours inside and out. Select Window Systems has an online door designer tool that allows you to design replacement French doors from the comfort of your home. You can change styles, colours and door accessories to create the perfect timber core French doors for your home. Click through to our online door designer page and select French doors from the range of menu options.

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