What is a French door?

What are French Doors?

There are many types, sizes, and materials of French doors, which are a popular choice to access a patio or garden. Find out how they are different to patio doors and where they get their name.

What is a French door

A french door is a door of light construction which has glass panes extending for most of its length. They are usually fitted as a pair instead of a single door and french doors are sometimes refered to as French windows.

Why is it called French door?

French doors are called as such because they originated in France during the 16th to 17th centuries. The French found that a window-like door that has glass panes extending for most of its length was perfect for introducing a sense of regularity, proportion and illumination. These characteristics were in keeping with the Renaissance architectural ideas that were popular in France at the time.

Why choose French doors?

Available in either uPVC, timber or aluminium, there are plenty of great reasons why people choose French doors for their home, such as:

  • With their wide-opening capacity, you can easily transition from your home to the garden, bringing the outside in on those warm summer days.
  • As they come equipped with draught-resistant seals, Low-E glass, warm-edge spacer bars, and Argon filled glazed units, they retain plenty of heat in the home, which has a hugely positive impact on your home's energy efficiency.
  • French doors open outwards, allowing you full use of your indoor space whilst flooding your home with light and air.
  • Because of their classic design, they will dramatically improve the aesthetics of any room in the house that they're fitted.

What is the standard size for French doors?

Standard sizes for pairs of French doors are:

  • 120cm, 150cm or 180cm wide
  • 300cm with sidelights
  • 2100mm tall

Are French doors easy to break into?

French doors are not easy to break into.

French doors are loaded with excellent security features so they will keep your home incredibly secure. Everest doors have been tested to PAS 24 security standards and come fitted with multi-point, rust-free locks, securing the doors at multiple areas of the framework. The locking cylinders we use are also resistant to picking, drilling and bumping.

What's the difference between patio and French doors?

The main way that patio doors and French doors differ is in the way that they both open. Whilst French doors are operated via a hinge and open outwards, patio doors are slid to one side. In terms of design, French doors have a more traditional appearance, however, patio doors have a more modern design.

Which is best French or patio doors?

This will depend on your individual requirements. However, to help you find which is best for you, we've compared the two options in various aspects:


Generally speaking, French doors tend to be a little bit more expensive. This is because the hardware, mechanisms and manufacturing methods associated with patio doors are a little bit more cost-effective.


The framework on French doors is slightly wider than it is on patio doors. Therefore, patio doors allow slightly more natural light into the home. However, the difference in real terms between a set of patio doors and French doors of the same size is negligible.


As previously mentioned, the design of French doors is more traditional, which means they suit period homes and other properties of that ilk. However, the more modern appearance of sliding patio doors makes them a great choice for contemporary homes. With that said, either option can be adapted to suit a range of architectural styles.


By sliding to one side, patio doors are a great way to maximise the use of your internal space. However, only half of the space that they take up can be open at one time. French doors, on the other hand, open outwards so they are restricted by their frames and nearby walls. Once open, however, you will have full access to the gap between the frames.


We can fit patio doors that are up to 480cm wide, essentially creating a glass wall in your home. The wider the doors, the bigger the opening space too. However, French doors are considerably smaller. As mentioned earlier, they can be installed up to 180cm wide but if they have sidelights in their design, they can be as wide as 300cm.

French DoorsPatio Doors
FramesFramework is wider to make the doors a featureSlim profiles allow more natural light into the home.
DesignMore traditional, suited to period homesModern styling suited to contemporary homes
OpeningOpen outwards for a full aperture openingSlide sideways, half the aperture is open
SizeUp to 180cm wide,  300cm sidelightsUp to 480cm wide

Energy-efficient, ultra-secure French and patio doors from Everest

Whether you prefer sliding patio doors or French doors, either option is an excellent way to brighten up a room and move easily between the inside and outside of your home.

If you like the full opening capacity of French doors but you'd also like a wider set of doors, bi-fold doors could be just what you're looking for. Opened by folding them to one side to leave a completely open space, they can be built with up to 7 door panels and 480cm wide.

Are you dreaming of elegant French Doors?

We have a selection of uPVC, timber and Aluminium french doors.