Popular materials to build them out of include wood, smooth fiberglass, textured fiberglass, aluminum or vinyl clad wood doors and of course, steel.
Smooth Fiberglass is probably the most popular product. Fiberglass is 4 times more energy efficient than wood and with the durability of fiberglass these can last for decades. Our primary provider for these is ThermaTru but all doors are not alike, not even all ThermaTru Doors.
ThermaTru offers steel french doors, smooth fiberglass and textured (wood grained) fiberglass. They also offer amazing factory painting and staining but those can seem a little pricey and cost prohibitive. ThermaTru is very proud of their factory finishing. It's expensive to the tune of about a thousand dollars a door. Usually a local painter will come in at $250 to $350 so you can see why the factory stain or paint isn't as popular as one would think. That being said, they look amazing like a piece of furniture and the finish should last for decades. It's a truly upscale look with no rivals as far as looks go.
All doors can have grids or no grids. Grids can be between the glass or what's called simulated divided lite grids which protrude from the surface of the glass.A link to our Window Gallery
We're very proud to have lots of window and door manufacturers to choose from and more options than anyone in Dallas for amazing French Doors.
Warranties will vary from ten to twenty years on the majority of these types of doors. Sometimes I'll see a lifetime warranty but it's usually provided by the vendor not the manufacturer themselves which may or may not be a good thing over time. Warranties are only as good as the company standing behind it. This is why we use ThermaTru and Pro Via primarily. They have the best warranties out there.Contact Us Today!
Flush glazed means there is no plastic frame used to hold the glass in place. Its glass is inside the door itself and it's a much better look.
Glass size is a couple of inches wider and several inches taller than a plastic framed type french door.
To be more specific, Sliding doors have exposed glass at around 33 1/2" X 74 1/2"; Plastic Framed french door glass 23 X 64; Flush Glazed Door Glass 26 X 68. Sometimes it's helpful if you have a sliding door to put tape on the glass to see how much smaller it will become if you move towards a french door.
A close comparison of doors will show you the difference.
The framed ones are fine and are quite typical but don't really have the longevity of the flush glazed. The flush glazed are also a bit more costly than the framed ones but well worth it from a visual standpoint.
This one has grids but they are optional in all doors and windows across the board.
The most upscale type french doors will be the wood clad ones.
These are built from structurally assembled wood (glued and laminated wood panels to prevent warping) and are covered with a real wood veneer to get a one of a kind classic look.
Let's talk about the term french door for a minute. French doors always hinge on the outside jambs and close in the middle with both sides operating. This is a little different from a center hinged or Atrium Style door. If it hinges in the middle it's not really a french door.
This one has a standard dead bolt and doorknob but there is some other hardware available as well called three point locking hardware. It's a little pricey but it's the top of the line for sealing and locking up from a security standpoint.
For the most part we have you pick out the hinge color (shiny gold, brushed satin nickel or oil rubbed bronze) and the threshold color (silver, gold or bronze) and have the door built. We recommend that you pick the actual handle and deadbolt so you get exactly what you want.
This is a good time to plug Schlage and Kwikset. They are both great for security and I've never seen one fail a security test. The expensive ones like Baldwin have too many small parts and can be very finicky as to how they work. A good $60 set is just fine.
A great door is only as good as the installation itself. Retrofit installation is considerably more challenging than is new construction because you have a finished look to maintain inside and out. This takes real skill in installation.
Getting the trim to cover to the paint line inside and getting a great finished look on the outside takes years of experience and lots of options in thought and materials.
We're proud to put the best material and workmanship on every jobsite so you have a home improvement that lasts for years and looks great. When you sell the house, we want it to be worth more money too.
All doors like this will have Low E Glass with Argon Gas filled insulated glass. All will be Energy Star Rated and Approved and in many cases there are Federal Tax Rebates as well as rebates and incentives from electric providers and municipalities.
This was a scene from our project for The Learning Channel where we cut a 16 foot hole in the back of a house for a french door with two sidelites. It was a great project and it was fun to be on the small screen for a season.
Wood grained doors can come ready to paint or stain, or they can come with a factory paint or stain. Both factory options are expensive whereas the unfinished is quite affordable.
When you hear about five and six thousand door systems, this is usually part of that equation. That being said, if you can paint or hire a painter that is often a much more affordable approach.
If you have deeper pockets, you can get a finish like this one and have your fiberglass door really look like a flawless piece of furniture that is durable and almost indestructable..
This cut away also illustrates the flush glazed door verses the framed one at the big box stores. That plastic frame just never does look good for very long and this will always look great. It's a stark difference.
It's important to note that the factory finish applies to the door slab itself and not to the jambs and trim. Those have to be painted and attended to after the installation as there are nail and screw holes to cover.
When replacing a sliding door many times we'll have a spacing issue for the dining room table. Outswinging french doors may be the answer.
With this one we see a stationary panel and two operating door panels. Standard hardware and a dummy handle on the secondary operating door.
There are pin locks on the inside at the top and the bottom of the secondary door to release the panel. Obviously the primary operating door works with the doorknob and deadbolt.
This picture also shows how much glass is in some types of doors. This is really important because even ones like this have a lot less glass than we saw in the sliding doors that were there when the home was built.
Sometimes this one comes up too. This french door with sidelite has grids. All doors can be with or without grids. Grids are not what make it a french door, the way it operates makes it a french door.
If it hinges on the outside edges and closes in the middle, with both doors operating, then we have a french door. In this case, an outswinging french door.
One interesting sidenote is that the threshold is quite a bit different on an outswinging door so they are actually much shorter than a typical door. Normal doors will come in at 81 1/2" tall or 79 1/2" tall as a standard height but outswings come in at 78 3/4" tall.
This gets a good paragraph or two as well. Three point locking hardware is a very expensive add on, but here's why.
With three point you can walk up to the door and pull both levers down to release both doors without messing with door pins as we would in the case of a standard deadbolt and doorknob or lever lock and drop pins.
You can also just open the one live door by pushing down on the handle.
When you close the doors at that point you can raise the lever and have the secondary pins drop and rise into place. With the Primary door raising the handle will engage two hooks at the top and the bottom of the door slab as well as a deadbolt will throw in the middle.
Needless to say it's very secure and pretty cool. This is the hardware you buy when you want to walk up to a french door and open both doors while looking cool with as little effort as possible.
Overkill? Perhaps. Awesome? Yes without a doubt.
These are made by some big names like Marvin, Jeldwen, Andersen and Pella. .
The overall idea is a wood door that has a specially extruded aluminum covering over the exterior.
They provide the beauty of wood while still having a maintenence free exterior for a no paint, no maintence drama free life on the outside.
These can be pretty pricey. You need to budget for at least $4500 and they can run up to $6500 for a tall, eight foot unit..
These can use regular door knob and deadbolt configurations as pictured here or can be a three point locking hardware.
The three point is required on the tall ones and adds about $800 to the cost of a typical door. Needless to say they are not for the budget minded remodel but they are for sure the top of the line French Door Product.
This one is a center hinged door. They are mistakenly called French Doors but French Doors have the handles in the middles and hinges on the outside edges.
The real advantage to a Center Hinged Door is that it can have a track for a sliding screen which is not usually found on a regular French Door.
French doors don't usually have a track for screens as the screens would have to be bypassing and would cover at least one side of the french door at all times..
This eliminates the ablity to walk through both sides.
In most cases you move to a Center Hinged Door if you want a sliding screen to ventilate.
This is a tall, eight foot Center Hinged Door. Note the five hinges.
The screen is sitting over the stationary door and can be slid over to the operating door when it's time to get some fresh air.
In this case the manufacturer is using a standard dead bolt and door knob but in many cases the manufacturer will require a three point locking hardware to prevent warping and give us a more secure French or Center Hinged Door.
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