Solving Your Home's Problems With Exterior French Doors

Construction & Contractors Blog

Sometimes you don't need a big renovation to make an impact in your home's appearance or solve pesky problems. Changing your doors can be a great way to resolve multiple issues and improve your home's curb appeal. Here are five problems you can solve with a classic design element, the French door.

1. Your interior is too dark.

If the inside of your house is feeling a bit like a cave, changing your doors can let in more light, especially if you select French doors that double the regular door space. To really let the sun in, select doors with a maximum glass area, and for even more light, install glass panels or floor-to-ceiling windows on either side of the doors, with a transom above.

Solid glass French doors are ideal if you have a wonderful vista on the other side of the home, like an ocean view, so you can see all the way through. If you're concerned about privacy, purchase French doors with blinds built into them.

2. Your home's outer appearance doesn't match your interior style.

French doors come in such a variety of styles that they are a perfect way to change the outer appearance of your home to better match your interior style. Say, for example, you have a cookie cutter house that was built in the 1970s, but the interior of your home is decorated in French provincial style. Traditional French doors with more detail than your current door might make your house look more like a representation of your personal style. Conversely, adding black metal French doors with minimal trim around the frame can give an older stone or brick home a more modern, industrial feel.

Related elements you can use to help change the style include:

  • number of panes used
  • length-width proportion of the door
  • door material choice (wood, metal, etc.)
  • paint color
  • hardware, such as handles, hinges, and knockers
  • use of shutters to frame the door
  • inclusion of a solid kick plate at the bottom of the door

Check out websites like http://www.shopthedoorstore.com/ ​for more info about the different options for French doors.

3. The current door swing patterns are inconvenient.

Perhaps your current doors are always bumping into plants and light fixtures when you swing them open, or a member of your household is disabled and struggling with swinging doors. French doors now come in sliding models that glide on tracks. While they operate much the same way, they are far more attractive than the conventional mid-century patio sliders.

4. You want a seamless indoor/outdoor space but can't tear down a wall.

Seamless indoor/outdoor living is all the rage now, but it may not be possible for you to tear down a wall to open up your home's living space to the outside. A sophisticated way to accomplish this is by installing a row of French doors with pillars or supporting wall segments in between.

As discussed above, French doors come in so many styles that there's bound to be one that matches your home, and they are more pleasing to look at than basic sliding doors. To keep bugs out with swinging French doors, purchase retractable screen doors.

5. Your home is blah, with no curb appeal.

French doors add a note of elegance and sophistication to any home, so they are perfect if your home is lacking in curb appeal. To up the ante, try French doors with an arched frame, leaded glass, stained glass, or patterned wrought iron over the glass. You could even use reclaimed antique French doors to create a focal point for your entrance or French garage doors if your garage takes over the facade of your home.

Don't forget that whatever you do to the front of your home, you may be also able to do to the rear, and vice versa. You may like your French doors so much that you decide to use them on all your doorways, inside and out. 

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