French doors are a classic means of dividing the interior of a house while still maintaining that all-important sense of space. They come in pairs, and usually feature large glass panels which let a considerable amount of light pass from one room to another. If you’re in search of a means of dividing your property while maintaining a sense of space, you should consider installing interior French doors.
In order to get the best out of a set of French doors, you’ll need to ensure they’re properly installed. Bar a few special circumstances, which we’ll touch upon later, this is a job that you can do yourself without too much trouble. While the vast majority of the doors we sell here at Aspire come with their own fitting instructions, these are general points that should be considered before installing any sort of French door. Let’s run through them in our easy-to-follow internal French door installation guide.
Where Might I Install French doors?
Before considering how to install internal doors, it’s worth first considering where in the house they might be most effective. Of course, this consideration will be influenced by the layout of your home.
While a living room might be said to benefit from the impression of extra space more than, say, a bathroom, it’s also worth bearing in mind how the door will look from the other side – since, after all, a door will have a visual impact on two rooms rather than just one. If you’re hanging internal French doors in the doorway of a room where privacy is crucial, then you’ll want to choose doors with frosted or semi-opaque glass, or no glass at all.
Tools for Installing French doors
Before setting out to install your doors, you’ll need to gather a few tools. These will typically include:
As we’ve mentioned, you’ll receive installation instructions with your doors, along with a complete list of required tools – but the above items are overwhelmingly likely to feature.
Internal French Door Installation: a Step-by-Step Guide
Before you can install your new French door, you’ll need to remove the old one – including the frame.
Pry the elements of the frame away one by one – being careful that you don’t damage the trim in the process.
Next we come to a step that many are tempted to skip.
Using a tape measure and spirit level, ensure that your opening is as square as possible. If it isn’t, you might need to make adjustments to the door itself in order to ensure a proper fit. Armed with this knowledge, installation will be much easier.
Don’t be tempted to skip this step – as it only takes a little bit of time and effort, and can potentially save you a lot of both (i.e. time and effort) in the long run.
Now you’re ready to install a new frame.
Use shims to hold the frame in place.
Once you’ve tested the new doors to see whether they’ll fit into the frame, screw the frame into place and remove the shims. This may take several attempts, but it’s worth it to get every angle perfect. A door that isn’t quite level might work adequately when you first get it into place, but this state of affairs is unlikely to last for very long – especially after the door has been exposed to a few winters. The stately beauty of a set of French doors is likely to be undermined if they grind against the floor every time they’re opened – so be sure to get this bit exactly right.
Once you’ve finished, you should be looking at an almost-completed door – but you’re not done yet. You still need to install your accessories. You’ll find lever-style handles and doorknobs in a range of shapes and sizes amongst our catalogue – pick out the ones that fit best.
How to Install French Doors In a Concrete Wall
If you’re planning on installing a French door into a wall where there isn’t already a suitable hole, then you’ll need to first establish whether or not it’s load-bearing.
The last thing you want while installing a new door is for the ceiling to collapse – as repairing that damage will cost significantly more than hiring a professional to carry out the installation in the first place. You should consult a professional for this if you are in any doubt whatsoever.
If you’re cutting through a load-bearing wall, you’ll need to use of temporary props and cripple studs. Cripple studs are wooden blocks placed at the top of the door frame, in order to help it hold the ceiling up, and reinforce this potential weak-point.
While it’s possible to create a small opening (of less than around 3’) without the aid of temporary supports, it’s best to err on the side of caution. However large the opening, you’ll need to install a header. In most cases, this will be made from concrete or metal – though the precise strength and size of the header will depend on the wall it’s being installed into. Before proceeding, it’s wise to seek the advice of a structural engineer.
By the same token, unless you have considerable expertise and experience to draw upon, you’ll need to enlist the aid of a professional to install your door into a concrete wall. This will drastically reduce the likelihood of something going wrong, as well as reducing the stress involved if it does.
How Much Does it Cost to Install Interior French Doors in the UK?
If you don’t feel up to the task of fitting French doors yourself, you can hire a tradesperson to do it for you.
The cost of any work like this will depend in part on your location. You can expect to pay more for labor costs in London for example, than say, Derbyshire.
However as a general rule, the average cost to install internal French doors (assuming there are no complications involved) should be around £100 – £150. You’ll pay extra if you want old doors removing, and extra again if you want them disposed of.
Needless to say, these costs are for installing French doors in an existing opening. Costs will increase significantly if you require an opening to be created.
Now you know how to hang internal French doors. Remember, you may want to seek help from a professional, particularly when opting for a tricky install. If you need any buying advice to find the perfect door for you, please contact us today.