- Home Performance
We’re Your Guide To Adding The Elegance Of New French Doors To Your Bay Area Home.
All patio doors open up rooms and extend interior living spaces. Rooms that tend to be dark and small suddenly become roomy, bright and airy. French patio doors add a special note of elegance to a home and quickly become the focal point of any room. However, knocking out a wall and adding French doors is a big decision. We’d like to make it easier for you to decide if a French door is right for your home and how to choose the right door for you.
The Key To French Doors Is Quality Construction
When choosing a French door, you will want a solid, durable frame that looks like it will last a century. Traditionally, French patio doors were hewn from wood, but even if you do not care for an old world look, traditional craftsmanship can still marry modern ingenuity. Today, quality manufacturers are making doors that are real wood on the interior side, featuring the classic woodworking technique of mortise-and-tenon joints, while the exterior is made of strong composite materials with finishes that withstand the weather, are maintenance-free and never lose their looks. With an array of glass, grid, grille and hardware styles to choose from, you can then achieve your preferred look.
Consider the following elements when choosing a French door:
Threshold - Look for a well-designed threshold that will keep water away from the door and outside the house, where it belongs. You will also want to see good weatherstripping so that your new doors close snugly, keeping out drafts and outside noise.
Hinge - True French doors are hinged, so you can actually choose between outswing or inswing styles. Regardless, ask if the hinges are adjustable, because the doors will settle over time and you will appreciate that feature at some point in the future. The beauty of French doors depends on their symmetry, so there would be nothing worse than off-kilter French doors.
Space - Did you know that you can have gliding Frenchwood patio doors? If you don’t really have the space for doors that swing out or swing in, you can still have a quality Frenchwood patio door in a sliding model.
Look for Security
There’s a lot of concern about the safety of French patio doors, but if you choose French doors with a multi-point locking system, you are buying a safe exterior French door. A multi-point locking system means just that — the door is not relying on one single lock. Usually this involves a deadbolt and two other locks strategically placed near the top and at the bottom of the door controlled by the main deadbolt. This makes it harder for someone to jimmy the door or kick it in. Tempered glass would be another safety feature to consider, because tempered safety glass is four times stronger than regular glass.
Consider Energy-Efficient Glass
With all that glass, the potential for energy loss through patio doors is quite high, but not if you choose the glass wisely. You’ll want to keep the heat out in the summer and the warm air in during the winter, so look for the best energy-efficient glass on the market. Quality manufacturers have some extraordinary glass performance options these days that not only meet but exceed the government’s accepted standards. You can get truly high-performance glass to suit your climate — glass that achieves the highest efficiency ratings in cooler climates and is exceptional for warmer climates where solar heat gain can lead to excessive air conditioning costs.
Look for the Energy Star label and check the data on the NFRC label. You’ll be looking for two very important numbers:
U-Factor. High-performance glass has a U-factor of 0.30 or lower, that’s because the lower the U-factor, the greater resistance to heat flow and the better its insulating properties.
SHGC. SHGC, or Solar Heat Gain Coefficient, is expressed as a number between 0 and 1. The lower a window’s solar heat gain coefficient, the less solar heat it transmits.
A little too sunny? You can also choose glass with a tinted coating that reduces the amount of visible light and sunlight, so that you won’t have to close the drapes or roll down the blinds, effectively hiding your beautiful doors from sight.