What are French Doors

Also known as French windows, A French door is normally a two-section door with glass panes spanning most of its length. They are light in weight and commonly have window style panes. These doors provide great natural light, can open up space in homes and often are made of energy efficient materials.

Defining French doors

French doors date back to the 16th century, where during the war between Italy and France, the French were intrigued by the Italian renaissance style. This led to the innovation and creation of, what is modernly known as the French door. They are often compared to patio doors but differ in their width and lower rails, which are generally wider than standard patio doors. They come in various styles and are best known for how they open up spaces and conjoin areas to create better flow.

Why choose a French door?

If you are a new homeowner or are looking to amp up your living space, you have probably been considering many factors such as paint, furniture, appliances, and of course, doors. When choosing a door, there are a variety of different types, styles, and space considerations to make. Choosing the right door for your home will elevate your living space. To make your decisions easier, we have compiled information about French doors and their pro’s and con’s to help you.

Pro’s and Con’s


• They’re pretty. The bottom line is these doors are aesthetically pleasing, and you can never go wrong with the look
• They open up your space and can bring more natural light and flow from the inside to the outside.
• They are energy-efficient as they have less space for leaking and have better climate control, so you can better control the temperature within your house and save on heating costs.
• They allow for increased ventilation due to their wider frame.
• There are a lot of options as they come in many styles, colors, materials, and sizes.


• Due to their open windows, your privacy has the risk of being compromised. To avoid this, we recommend installing curtains or drapes.
• In older homes, you may have to get custom fitting for the door to fit, compared to newer homes that most likely have standardized sizing already. North Shore Door offers custom fitting for French Doors. Click here to learn more about our installation services.


There are three different styles of French doors; the inswing, outswing, and sliding. They can have just a glass pain or have a window pattern, the options are endless. Before purchasing a French door, the most important consideration is space.

When planning to install and choosing what type of style you want, make sure to include the door swing into your measurements. This is often something over-looked, so you want to ensure you have enough room for it, as they require more space than other standard doors. Use the width of your door, and the pivot point to measure how much space you need for the door to have a functional swing. You will also want to consider the Jamb depth. The Door jamb is the vertical piece, on your door frame that secures your door. Your Jamb depth is the width of the frame from front to back (horizontal) that is connected to the wall.

(Mcfarland, 2014) 

French doors offer you style, fit and functionality that can elevate your home. You can check out our French Door selection on our French Door page. We are happy to answer any more questions about style and sizing at our showroom or on the phone. Happy home renovating!

Contact Us For More Information




Experienced Trusted Advisors
Superior Selection & Options