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A Complete Guide To French Doors


French doors are a common sight in traditional and heritage homes. They’re comprised of two panels with large glazing areas and usually feature a divided lite pattern. You can use French doors as internal or external-facing installations, and they’re an effective way of letting extra sunlight into the home.

But why are they called French doors? It's because they originated during the renaissance period in seventeenth-century France. The idea wasn’t wholly original though, and the Italians could also make a convincing claim for inventing them. Tall, dual-panel windows with rectangular shapes had become popular in Italy, and following the French-Italian wars, French architects were inspired to design similar windows. These gradually became popular throughout northern Europe and evolved into full-length doors. Because the style was popularised in France, the name stuck.

French doors remained popular into the modern day. There’s an elegant but straightforward sophistication about them, and they are frequently used on balconies or facing gardens and patios. Here at Alufold Direct, we’ve taken the traditional French door and given it a contemporary spin. Our French doors are made with robust but lightweight aluminium rather than timber. We’ve maintained the classic aesthetic, but they’re less prone to weather damage or rot and are far more energy efficient. If you want a classic-looking door that performs like a modern one, look no further. Read on to find out more in our complete guide to aluminium French doors.

Installation & Fitting

Naturally, the first thing to ask is where you want to install your French doors. They’d look out of place at the front of a house but make a terrific addition to balconies, sunrooms, orangeries or conservatories. We recommend placing them anywhere that requires additional light or somewhere you want to bring closer to nature. For example, a set of white French doors leading to a garden filled with daffodils will have a charming springtime vibe.

It’s also worth asking which direction you want the doors to open. Most French doors are hinged at the sides and open either inwards or outwards (although it is possible to find sliding variants). If they open inwards, you’ll save room on your patio or balcony, there’s less chance of them being blown shut by the wind, and they generally tend to be cheaper. On the other hand, outswing doors will save space inside the house and are marginally better at resisting forced entry.

French doors are available in different sizes too, so if you’ve got a broader entranceway to fill, there’s a very good chance we can help. Our doors are made to measure, so taller or wider variants aren’t a problem. The metal frames are built to last and won’t need repainting; we’re so confident in them that they come with a 10-year guarantee.

Fitting French doors isn’t too problematic, and you may be tempted to try it yourself. Unless you’re a DIY expert or work in the trade though, we’d recommend against it. You might save on the upfront costs, but you’re more likely to suffer accidental damage, and it can be very time-consuming. We recommend hiring a professional, especially if the existing entranceway needs to be enlarged. We’ve been called out to more than one job where an over-confident homeowner has needed help salvaging their new doors.

If you'd like to know more about installing them yourself, you can read How To Install French Doors: Step By Step.

Maintenance & Adjustment

Like all doors, French doors require maintenance if they’re to keep performing to your required standard. As ours are made with aluminium, they don’t warp or suffer water damage easily, but basic care is necessary if you want them to look their best.

The glazing will be the area that needs the most attention. French doors have lots of glass, and they’ll require cleaning from time-to-time. Luckily, this is no harder than any other type of window cleaning; a quick once-over with a sponge, warm soapy water and a squeegee should do the trick.

The frames will require cleaning too, but again it’s relatively simple. Give it a wipe-down to remove grime or bird mess, and use white vinegar on any stubborn stains. Aluminium is incredibly tough, and you’ll have to scrub vigorously to do any damage, but we’d recommend against using chemical cleaning sprays unless you’ve checked they’re safe first.

Cleaning aside, the only real maintenance issue you should be aware of is wear and tear to the mechanisms. Regularly lubricate the hinges and locks, and you should avoid this problem. It’ll stop the parts from grinding against each other and reduce long-term damage. You may need to adjust your French doors sometimes, but this should be rare.


Our aluminium French doors are highly customisable and can be made to your exact preferences. For example, we can offer them in any colour from RAL or the British Standard Colour Chart. Whether you want to make a bold statement with a vibrant splash of red or yellow, keep things subdued with a light blue or go for a classic white, we can help. As our doors are all powder coated, the colours won’t fade in the sunlight and will be just as attractive 10 years from now. We can even discuss dual colours if you wish, and your doors can have a different finish on either side. You can find out more about choosing the best colour in this article.

We have several options available if you have a particular aesthetic. Your doors can be fitted with inset Georgian bars for a traditional look, and the glass can be tinted, textured or given a satin finish. They can also be fitted with sidelights.


We’re often asked about the security level of our French doors. There is a misconception that they’re not as safe as other door types and that the wide glazing area makes them more vulnerable. We can confirm this is not the case.

Our aluminium doors are reliably tough, and as they come with double glazing as standard, they will resist unwanted break-ins. We can upgrade the glass to triple glazing for greater security, and the multi-point locking systems add extra protection. We use only the best quality aluminium, and all our doors are designed to Secured By Design standards.

You can read more in this article and this one.

Installation Costs & Prices

The cost of French doors varies from house to house. The chosen design, location of the property, and installation fees will all affect the final price. According to My Job Quote, you can expect the average price to fall somewhere in the region of £1300 to £1500, however this will be higher if your home requires structural work before the door can be fitted (for example, widening the opening).

For a more personalised estimate, we recommend an online quote, or you can contact us for additional information. We can be reached on 01706 260700, or by emailing us at

You can also read more in this article.

Delivery Information

Our state-of-the-art facilities not only allow us to help you in every stage of the process from design to installation, but also gives us the opportunity to hold large amounts of stock. This guarantees fast delivery of our aluminium windows, so that you can impress your customers and get the job done quickly.

Here at AluFold Direct, our turnarounds are some of the fastest in the industry, meaning your windows can be delivered to suit your project’s schedule, helping you stick to deadlines, saving time and money for everyone involved. Check the latest lead times here.

We deliver nationwide, all across the UK from Inverness to the Channel Islands, direct to site in an unmarked van for an uninterrupted installation process. Alternatively, if you’re near to our Blackburn base, you can collect your aluminium windows or doors direct from our factory.

French Doors Guarantee

For complete peace of mind, all AluFold Direct windows and doors are covered with a limited 10-year guarantee.

Please visit our guarantee page to learn more.