French Style Patio Doors San Diego - French Doors

Are French Doors the Same as Patio Doors?

For the area between the patio and the inside of the home, most buyers choose between sliding and French doors. If a homeowner hasn’t yet decided on the right type, it may help to do an in-depth comparison that weighs factors such as safety, cost, aesthetics, and space requirements. While both door types create a gateway between the outdoors and the inside of the home, they do so differently. Read on to learn how French doors and patio doors are alike and how they differ so that you’re not asking, “Are French Doors the Same as Patio Doors”? 


Prices for both door types vary widely. For instance, a top-quality sliding door with a vinyl frame and a screen will cost substantially less than a model with an aluminum frame. These doors usually come pre-assembled but will require installation. Depending on where the homeowner makes the purchase, installation might be included. 

Wooden French doors often come in mahogany, oak, or pine, with the first option being the costliest. The better the quality of a French door, the more it will cost, and it’s not at all uncommon to pay more than $1000 for a well-crafted French door. Call today for guidance and pricing information. 


In most applications, French doors are safer than their sliding counterparts. The increased safety is due mostly to the fact that French doors are more visually evident. A wooden frame surrounding window panes, when closed, is almost impossible to mistake for being open. Before tempered glass was commonplace, however, a person could be severely injured or killed if they inadvertently walked or fell into a sliding glass door. Safety glass makes that less of an issue, but people are still likely to walk into a closed sliding glass door that’s assumed to be open. Sliding glass doors may spontaneously shatter due to direct exposure to sunlight, weather, and humidity, although it’s rare. 


Patio doors have somewhat of a reputation for attracting burglars. This may be for several reasons: they’re often at the back of the property, so they’re less visible. They’re made almost entirely of glass, which offers would-be invaders a chance to peek inside, and they’re easy to dismantle, especially if the hinges are exposed. 

Deciding whether a sliding door or a French door is more vulnerable is tricky. While a sliding door may be lifted from its tracks, modern examples eliminate such problems. At the same time, French doors come with security hinges that lock together when the door closes, which prevents door disassembly. When these doors are fitted with locks at various points, they’re instantly made more secure. 

Glass is one feature that French and sliding doors share, and there’s nothing stopping a burglar from smashing it. While it’s not outside the realm of possibility, it’s less common than many assume. First, breaking glass creates a substantial amount of noise that increases the likelihood of detection. Second, there’s a risk of severe injury, which burglars prefer to avoid. By installing a rugged, modern door, homeowners will create a burglar deterrent, regardless of which type of door they choose. 


Depending on the style of the home, either door type may be more suitable. French doors possess timeless elegance, and it’s easy to paint or stain them in almost any shade imaginable. They may be installed with luxurious window designs and pane layouts as well. By comparison, sliding doors are more modern looking and sleek. Screens are another important factor; while sliding doors often come with them, French doors don’t. It’s a practical consideration, but it’s a matter of the homeowner’s tastes, too. 

Space Requirements 

Finally, space must be considered. Sliding doors don’t take up as much space because the opening and fixed sections converge. Conversely, French doors often open inward, and need plenty of room to do so. Before choosing sliding or French doors, consider their aesthetic and practical concerns. If budgetary and safety concerns are equivalent, it’s simply a matter of what works with the home’s style and the amount of space that’s available. 

Which Type of Patio Doors Should a Homeowner Choose? 

In the end, deciding between sliding glass and French doors comes down to the buyer’s preferences. However, no matter which style of doors a homeowner chooses, ensuring that they’re warm and fully insulated is crucial, as is locking them tightly for energy efficiency, security, and safety. When the above factors are put first, it becomes easier to find high-quality, great-looking sliding or French doors for any home. Call a local dealer for more information or to request an estimate for patio door installation.