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External French Door FAQ

External French doors are an incredible addition to any home. They provide natural light, bring the outdoors in, and offer brilliant installation.

We’ve covered a lot of topics on our External French doors page, but there are a few commonly asked questions that need to be answered. In this article, we’re answering all the frequently asked questions from our customers to ensure that you’re completely in-the-know before making your purchase.

Do French doors leak?

There is a common misconception with external French doors that they’re prone to leaking, but this isn’t the case. If fitted improperly and not treated correctly, any form of external door or window will leak.

If you have purchased a decent set of French doors, and they have been installed correctly (and treated correctly if they’re made from timber) then they won’t leak.

Purchase your external French doors with a 3-point locking system to decrease any chances of the door leaking; the tighter the door is to the frame, the less likely it’ll be that the doors allow rain inside your home.

Why are they called French doors?

French doors got their name from where they originated from; France. It’s that simple.

After the Renaissance, French architectures started to incorporate more glass into their designs. French doors first started out as large glass windows. When they later turned the windows into doors, this type of external door became known as French doors.

How long does it take to install French doors?

This is one of the more difficult questions to answer. Installation depends on many factors: 

  • Do you already have the opening for your doors? 
  • Are you fitting the doors yourself or hiring a professional?
  • If you’re doing it on your own, will you have anyone to help you?

Typically, if you’re installing French doors without a professional’s help, you have someone to help you hold the doors, and you already have the opening in your wall, you can install the French doors in 1 day.

To find out how to install French doors, take a look at our article, How to Install External French Doors.

Do I need a lintel for French doors?

Under current Building Regulations, all windows and doors must have a lintel installed above them.

A lintel is a beam that is fitted above all windows and doors; the lintel will be slightly longer than the width of your window and door, on both sides.

Lintels are designed to carry the wall’s weight that sits above and around the opening and prevents the wall from moving or falling down.

Do you need planning permission to install French doors?

The general consensus for installing French doors is that it doesn’t require planning permission; even if you’re changing from a window to a door. However, it’s always a good idea to check the original planning permission of the building to ensure that conditions aren’t laid out that will require you to obtain planning permission.

Do French doors swing in or out?

Although the standard way to open external French doors is outwards, it’s all personal preference.

If you want to keep your internal floor space, purchase French doors that open outwards.

If your garden space is limited, you should consider French doors that open inwards.

The general consensus for French doors is that the internal space is needed more than the external space, and so the majority of external French doors open outwards.


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