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French Doors

When selecting or replacing your patio door, you have two primary options to choose from: a sliding patio door, and a French patio door. Both of these options come in a wide range of styles and configurations, but this is going to be your first and most important decision in the project.

Here’s our guide to identifying the perfect option for the needs of your home and patio.

Differences Between the Two

French patio doors are hinged, swinging double doors. They can either swing inward into your home or outward onto the patio and are usually constructed of a combination of wood and glass. These come in a more traditional aesthetic style. The sliding door, as the name would suggest, is two doors constructed primarily of glass that slide together to create an opening.


The first question of many homeowners will be the difference in expense between these two options. While the final expense of your patio door will vary depending on the specific option you go with, on average the sliding door will be a much cheaper option by a significant margin.


The most important thing to evaluate before selecting your door is the space of your home and patio. The worst thing that can happen is plotting out your perfect entrance, only to find that the door swings right into your couch. For a French door, you need to evaluate the swing radius and consider that space as now off-limits within your home. Does that take up too much valuable floor space? Then a sliding door is probably your best option. These compact options only take up the space of the wall. Your French door can also be configured to swing in and out.

You’ll also need to consider how you’ll be moving through the doors. With two doors that can open, the French door enables you to move objects, furniture, and people in and out of your home much easier.


After addressing these practical concerns, it’s time to think about how the door will complement the aesthetics of your home. French doors provide many more options for intricate designs and varied motifs, allowing you to easily tailor them to many styles. But overwhelmingly, they are associated with more traditional architecture. If your home is in a traditional style, a sliding door might stick out, so you should consider how prominent it will be before making your selection.

If carefully integrated into a contemporary design, a sliding door can feel sleek, almost like a seamless part of the wall. In addition, the sliding door allows in much more natural light.

Energy Efficiency and Climate

As with any door in your home, your patio door has a significant impact on the overall energy efficiency of your home. In this regard, French patio doors have a slight edge, as they can be designed with minimal glass and more secure materials.

If you live in an area with particularly volatile weather like heavy winds, blizzards, or rain, French doors are risky. If moisture clings to the material, it can cause cracks, warping, or other damage, and strong winds can suddenly damage or break your hinges.


Finally, it’s time to consider security. As a prominent entryway to your home, you want to ensure that your patio door is properly secured. For this, a French door is considered the stronger option, as it comes with more options for locks and security measures. But the sliding door comes with one counter-intuitive benefit; being mostly glass, the sliding door can be particularly noisy to break down if properly secured.

If you’re ready to install your patio door or need a consultation to make your final decision, we have the experience and expertise to help. Contact us today to begin revitalizing your patio.

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