French Doors vs Sliding Glass Doors: The Pros and Cons of Each

French Doors vs Sliding Glass Doors

Choosing a new patio door shouldn’t have to be a difficult process. It actually depends on your personal preference and the amount of space you have available. Even still, there are a few other things to think about when deciding on a new patio door for your home.

Depending on the style of your home may be one deciding factor for the type of door you choose. A more contemporary home, for example, may have more aesthetic value with a sliding glass door. Traditional homes such as cabins and farmhouses often display French doors as a backdrop to an open room.

If you’ve been trying to figure out the pros and cons of French doors vs sliding glass doors, then you’re in the right place. Here, we’re covering all the reasons why you should, or maybe shouldn’t install a sliding door versus a french door. Keep reading to learn more.

French Doors vs Sliding Glass Doors

Making a final decision on French vs sliding patio doors depends on how your home operates. Your location serves to make a difference in your choice, too. Here’s an outline of some things that you should ask yourself before choosing one over the other in order to avoid regretting your decision.

Operability

The easier a door is to operate, the better. This is true not only for emergencies but also for times when you have company and generally speaking, doors should be swift to open without hassle. Depending on your space and how you’ll use your doors may make a difference in your decision.

French Doors

French doors operate such as a common exterior door. Two doors connect at the middle and either swing in or out depending on your preference at installation. Typically, people more commonly use one of the two doors as an entryway.

Pros

French doors are light and easy to open. The operation method is recognizable as they hang on hinges and swing such as a standard door.

Cons

Hinges must be maintained or they may become stiff and noisy and difficult to operate. Also, beware of the wind with outward opening French doors. The wind can pull the user and cause injury and damage.

Sliding Glass Doors

Sliding glass doors are on tracks and open in a back and forth position. The opening for a sliding glass door is just larger than a standard entryway.

Pros

Sliding glass doors are very light which makes them a good choice for people with weak arm strength. They are easy to operate on their tracks and typically cause little to no hassle for the user.

Cons

Tracks may become filled with dirt or debris which can cause the doors to be very difficult to open and close. Regular cleaning and maintenance are essential to keep your doors functioning properly at all times.

Cost

The cost of French doors vs sliding doors is comparable. This is just another reason why it boils down to your personal preference when deciding between one or the other. Of course, there are added costs for different features that you may choose which will factor into your final overall cost.

French Doors

You can contact your contractor for exact prices. A standard French door set includes two doors with a hinged installation. The windows will have double glazing and there are no optional extras

Sliding Glass Doors

The most important thing to remember with sliding glass doors is that the more panels you want, the higher the price will be. A standard, base model, two-panel sliding glass door runs about $100 more than a standard French door installation.

Security

Of course, you should and will be concerned about the security of different types of doors for your patio as this will be an entryway to your home. Both sliding glass doors and French doors have their own pros and cons for safety.

French Doors

French doors lock into the frame and the floor so you can rest assured that they won’t be easily broken into. You can also choose from a variety of locking mechanisms for the main door handle to further secure your residence.

Sliding Glass Doors

Sliding glass doors can be locked and secured from the inside so that intruders simply cannot open them. The only drawback to sliding glass doors is whether or not they’re shatter proof. Triple glazing will help this effect.

Design

The aesthetics of the doors you choose will make a difference in how you use the doors and how much you enjoy them. Durability and security are important, but if things don’t look right, it’s all wrong. Certain types of homes do better to display French doors or sliding glass doors depending on the location, major uses of the home, and the preference of the homeowner.

French Doors

French doors are often incorporated into more traditional home designs such as townhomes, country homes, and those homes with more heritage aesthetics. They are considered a timeless installation that contributes to an organized space.

Sliding Glass Doors

Sliding glass doors fit best in contemporary designs. They are modern and chic creating a streamlined look to your home’s facade. These doors are best suited in homes without children or pets.

Final Thoughts

One last factor to weigh in on when considering French doors vs sliding glass doors is how the doors will perform in terms of energy efficiency for your home. Many homeowners believe French doors to be more energy efficient with smaller glass panels set into wider frames. However, they may allow air to escape in and out at the center where they meet to close.

If you want sliding glass doors, you can opt for double or even triple glazing to increase energy efficiency. Of course, it will cost you more up front for this option.

Whether you’ve made your decision and you’re ready to install new doors or you have questions about French doors vs sliding doors, feel free to contact us! We’ve been serving Carlsbad and San Diego for over thirty years.