Exterior French Doors
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Exterior French Doors

Exterior French patio doors in San Diego offer style and functionality. The French patio doors outswing make them ideal for transitions into outdoor living spaces.

Exterior French Patio Doors - San Diego

Enhance the beauty and space of your San Diego home with exterior French patio doors. Bring more natural light into your inside environment and add brightness. Ever since the Renaissance, French doors in San Diego have been a staple of classical architecture, celebrated for the open feel they provide to a room, both due to how they expand the space when they are opened and due to the amount of extra light they allow into the home. They lend a truly classic look to any San Diego home and make for a more homey and inviting atmosphere.

What Are Some of the Benefits of Having French Patio Doors?

French patio doors are an excellent choice for your home to extend your living space into the outdoors and expand your view to encompass more of the landscape. French patio doors also come in a variety of styles that each have a lot of things to offer, to make the most of the best parts of your home and to strengthen and tie together other, weaker or disparate aspects that might not be quite ideal. For instance, in-swing French patio doors add Southern charm to your home and generally make for a more inviting atmosphere. Out-swing patio doors make your outdoor area seem more inviting to you and provide added security and structural strength to withstand severe weather and high winds. Whatever kind of French patio door style you choose, it will allow more light into your home and give you a broader view of your surrounding area, providing a freer and more open feeling overall.

Construction and Design

A French door is generally considered to be any set of glazed double doors. A glazed door being a door with either some small glass panels set into wood frames across the door itself or having a single panel of glass in each door with a wooden trim in a grid pattern over the glass panels to create the illusion of many small panes of glass set into frames. In the early days of their use, glasswork was far less developed than it is today, and a glassblower would create each small panel individually by blowing a molten glass bubble and flattening it. The glassblower would make a number of these panels and they would then be set into wooden frames. All this would be done by hand on a small batch basis. This is the reason why any home over 150 years old will often have windows with concentric, circular ripples in them instead of being flat and smooth like modern window panes.

In modern times, a different method is used where molten glass is floated over the surface of molten metal with a lower melting point than sand (from which glass is primarily made). Usually, this molten metal will be tin, but lead or some other metal alloy with a low melting point can also be used. This is called “float glass” and accomplishes a few different things that the old (today often termed “artisanal”) method was not able to accomplish.  This method makes it easier to make more of it at once, and it is possible to easily make much larger panes of glass with uniform thickness and smoothness instead of an inconsistent and wavy product. This makes for a far less expensive and more efficient production process of superior quality. For this reason, many French doors are made from a single pane of glass and trim is laid over the top in a grid pattern so that it will have the classic look of a historical French door without an unnecessarily high cost of production, which value is then passed on to the customer. Besides, as previously mentioned, the customer can then enjoy a product of higher “artisanal” quality without having to pay a higher “artisanal” price.

In-Swing vs Out-Swing

Classic style French patio doors come in one of two options: in-swing and out-swing. As the names suggest, in-swing doors open to the inside of the house and out-swing doors open to the outside of the house. Both have their benefits and their drawbacks, but either way, it’s hard to go wrong as they both have a lot of charm about them. What are the notable differences in these two opening directions?

Inward-Opening Patio Doors

Imagine welcoming your guests with an inviting body language that is inherent in the gesture of pulling the doors toward you as you open them. You open the doors to find yourself in the ideal posture to welcome them into an affectionate embrace. What could be a better, warmer way for a host to set the tone for a party, family get-together, or whatever show of hospitality you have planned in your coastal San Diego home? These doors would be best suited to a living area that has plenty of space to spare. The doors open inward, so if you have a lot of space, it shouldn’t be an issue. And if you want to leave the doors open to allow the warm sea breeze to flow through your home, you don’t have to be concerned about the wind picking up, catching your doors and risking damage to them. Regardless of your reasons for or against, there is simply no mistaking the elegance and charm of this classic style of patio doors.

Outward-Opening Patio Doors

If you live in a coastal region, or in any other region prone to severe weather conditions and high winds, it is better to choose a set of out-swing patio doors. Doors that open outward are inherently more suitable to handle intense winds and, for that matter, are better for home security in general. It’s harder to kick a locked door in when it doesn’t open that way in the first place. As for body language, just imagine waking up late one lazy Sunday to walk out on your patio or balcony. You unlatch your patio doors and open them outward as  the outdoors look so inviting and you just can’t resist going out and being a part of it all. Where you might invite others in with your in-swing doors, with these doors you are the one accepting the invitation. If you aren’t willing to sacrifice much space inside, the out-swing variant is a better choice.

inward opening patio door


French doors can be made out of many materials, but the primary one which is glass does not change. Glass is  the primary material used to provide the doors with their characteristic open feel that lets in shafts of light illuminate the living space in which they are set. The material you choose for the frames and trim of your French patio doors to be made from makes several notable differences in the function of your doors. Depending on the material chosen, your doors will either be more or less energy-efficient. Additionally, certain materials require a bit more upkeep than some others, having to be more intently and frequently cleaned, painted or even replaced. Most manufacturers will tend to shy away from using inefficient materials like wood and will instead opt to use vinyl, fiberglass or aluminum.

Milgard primarily uses vinyl for the construction of doors and windows, sometimes fiberglass, and (less frequently) aluminum. All of the materials are chosen carefully for their overall efficiency, high performance and low cost. The material you choose depends almost entirely on what you want your doors to accomplish practically. Whatever material you choose, you  certainly won’t have to worry much about the aesthetic effect, as all executions of these materials in Milgard products are expertly crafted to look as aesthetically pleasing as possible. With that said, at US Window & Door we have a good variety of options for you to choose from so that you can make the best decision for your home and have as much of a custom look as you like, with as little cost to you as possible. Below are the several style series we offer for our French patio doors, with the benefits of each.

Tuscany Series

If you want the classic look of a wooden French patio door, but don’t want to deal with the inevitable and easily avoidable upkeep that comes with it, the Tuscany Series is the perfect choice for you. The broad frame lends a more traditional symmetry to your doors and Milgard’s vinyl formula is weatherproof, resists general wear and tear, and is a far superior material to wood. Vinyl doesn’t need to be painted, so these doors won’t incur additional yearly costs of upkeep. Being a poor conductor of heat and cold, vinyl gives an energy-efficient kick to your doors,. Vinyl insulates more effectively than wood or aluminum, and as a result, can help save you money on your heating and cooling bills. All in all, you can’t go wrong with this choice.

Ultra Series

Fiberglass is made primarily from glass fibers and resin and is one of the sturdier materials you can choose for the construction of many things. Fiberglass is used in a wide range of applications across industries. It is most commonly known to be used as insulation for attics and crawl spaces, but its fibers can be rearranged and woven into fabrics or, as in this case, used as the framework of an elegant and substantial set of French patio doors. Fiberglass is an excellent, inexpensive and weather-resistant option for the construction of your patio doors. Just like vinyl, it’s low-maintenance, stands up well to weather, has no need to be repainted, and has good insulating properties, making it another excellent energy-efficient choice for your San Diego home.

Hopefully, this information helps you on the path to choosing a truly beautiful set of French patio doors for your home. US Window & Door is ready to help you with a choice that will keep you satisfied for decades to come. Since every installation is custom, we’re happy to provide a quote. Call us today for a free in-home estimate for your arch and radius windows in San Diego.