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Sliding vs French Doors: what to choose?

Sliding vs French Doors: what to choose?

Wondering what doors to install that can beautifully connect your home's interior and exterior spaces? The choice often comes down to french doors vs sliding doors. But how do you choose between the two when you want to strike a balance between beauty, security, efficiency, and cost? Although the two are excellent options, they have advantages and disadvantages that will vary depending on your living space.

French Doors

Ideally, you would want a reputable exterior and interior door manufacturer like United Porte to assist you in making an informed decision. But to get you a bit closer to knowing what you would want, we have compiled some of the key differences and similarities between the two styles.

Comparison of Security Features

Doors are not just decorative fixtures of your home. Rather, their primary function is to serve as access points to the outside, as well as other rooms in the house, while protecting the entire house from intrusion. But how do French and sliding doors compare in terms of security?

Security of French Door

A French door, also known as a hinged door, is made up mostly of glass panels bounded by a hardwood frame. It opens and closes by swinging around a hinge located on one side of the door frame. One door is secured either into the frame and floor, to make a safer installation for the second door to be latched to as well. For outward swinging exterior doors, the hinges are located on the outside and require non-removable pins to increase the security of French door against burglars. An additional multi-lock system, as well as reinforced glass, can also be considered to enhance the safety of French doors against thieves willing to break glass to gain access to the house.

Security of Sliding Door

Sliding doors are identified as spotting two expansive glass panels. One panel is fixed in position, while the other slides horizontally along tracks on the door frame to open and close.

French Doors

Being mostly made up of large and transparent glass panels reduces the security of sliding doors by allowing thieves to see what is inside the house. Glass can also be broken effortlessly unless it is reinforced by adding a security film that keeps the glass from shattering into pieces easily. In the case of a burglar who doesn't want to create a scene by breaking the glass, one could certainly make quick work of the sliding door's weak pull-up and push-down locking system. This can be remedied by employing in-track blocks that make the slider immovable from the outside. The safety of slider doors can also be improved by attaching an inexpensive loop lock that holds the slider firmly to the door frame.

Energy Efficiency of French Doors vs Sliding Doors

Most homeowners want to reduce their monthly expenses through efficient home heating measures, and the right door choices can help achieve this.

Energy Efficiency of Sliding Door

Sliding doors are good at reducing airflow between a room and its external environment. They achieve this by creating a tight seal against the frame when they are closed. However, glass is a bad insulator of heat, and a single panel of glass will allow heat to be transferred between the room and its surroundings. Double or triple glazing will improve the thermal efficiency of sliding doors, but this will have an impact on the cost.

Energy Efficiency of French Door

Single French doors close against the frame, while double doors come together in the center, creating weak spots that allow for air infiltration. When used to connect to the outdoor spaces, French doors may also bend in due to strong winds, causing extra airflow between the house and the surroundings. Two things can be done to improve the energy efficiency of French door. Firstly, to block the passage of air, you can install weatherstrips where the double doors come together, or the single door meets the frame. Secondly, choose door material that can withstand strong winds.

Cost of French Doors vs Sliding Doors

Very little separates the cost of French doors vs sliding doors. The cost is determined by a variety of factors, such as the door size, glass type, frame material, style, and other additional features like locks. French doors are typically 10-20% more expensive than their sliding counterparts, starting at around $500 and going up to $4,000. In contrast, sliding doors start at a cheaper price point of about $300 and go up to $2,600. 

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