Everything You Need to Know About French Doors

French-style hinged replacement patio doors are a beautiful complement to many Long Island homes – especially those homes with symmetrical elements, such as the Colonial, Cape and Ranch. Both Renewal by Andersen of Long Island French-style sliding patio doors and the traditional hinged version offer a Renaissance-influenced feature known for balance that brings in more natural light, uniformity and proportion than solid single swing entrance doors.

While some people call all double doors French doors there are some unique characteristics that differentiate a true French door from a solid single swing door. Here’s a bit of history to explain.

Early French Doors

The original French doors – the precursor to replacement French door styles – appeared in the 16th or 17th century during the Renaissance period following the war between France and Italy. As victors, the French brought some of their art and architectural designs and ideas to Italy, including the intricate detailing and attention to light that distinguished the Renaissance period.

Remember, homes were not furnished with modern conveniences like electricity during this era, so it made sense to convert solid doors to a window-like fixture to provide natural light for beauty and function.

The glass portion of the door typically filled the full length and width of the door, with a thick frame to support the weight of the heavy glass. Intricate iron-work decorated the door, adding an elegant design element that allowed ample illumination throughout the day.

Modern Replacement French-Style Patio Doors

Over the past few centuries technology and construction materials have evolved. Virtually all homes in America have access to electricity today, so we no longer depend on sunlight to illuminate the dim interior. Natural light; however is still very important for our health, comfort and mood.

The French patio door style perfectly complements traditional homes designed with symmetrical architectural features, no matter which material is used to build the frame. We recommend our patented Fibrex composite over wood because this choice eliminates problems with mold, mildew, and rot caused by water damage. And, Fibrex does not require standard maintenance – patching, repainting, etc. – because it does not peel, flake, fade or blister.

Homeowners who ask us to help them update their homes, and who want to mimic the original wrought-iron detailing, typically choose window grilles (or door grilles in this case) for their modern, energy-efficient replacement French-style patio doors today. Like Fibrex frames, they never need extensive maintenance to stay beautiful year after year.

Whether you prefer a sliding or swing-out patio door, French-style replacement doors using the grille pattern and layout will likely be an important step during the design process.

To learn more about grille patterns and layouts, visit our inspiration gallery or read our recent post What You Need to Know About Replacement Window Grilles for Long Island.

Renewal by Andersen French-Style Replacement Patio Doors for Long Island Homes

We live in a different world today than the people in Europe who designed and built the original French-style doors. We have on-demand electricity 24/7, glass is much clearer and more energy efficient, and technology allows us to enjoy maintenance-free doors with diverse construction materials.

The beauty and intrigue of French-style patio door design features still creates an aesthetic unmatched by other entrance doors. This door style enhances natural illumination while adding balance and conformity throughout the home.

Naturally, designing your new patio door is about more than aesthetics. To get the highest value for your investment, modern replacement windows and patio doors should have the proper glass type, frame material and superior construction.

Fill in the short form on this page to request a brochure or call (866) 609-5033 to schedule a private, in-home consultation with a Renewal by Andersen of Long Island professional to learn more.

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