French Doors – stylish, stunning and oh-so-versatile

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July 26, 2013

They may date back a few centuries, but French doors are alive and well in 21st century Ontario.

By comparison, very few other aspects of your home can be singled out for providing such adaptability, versatility and unmatched beauty. Not only do they add style and dimension to any room, but French doors are also an ideal solution for allowing extra light, warmth and fresh air to come in. And with our southern Ontario weather – where we can go from blazing heat to refreshing rain in the blink of an eye – it’s no wonder that there’s a high prevalence of French doors in this part of the country.

As any owner of a heritage home can tell you, early French doors were made from wood and wrought iron. Combined, these materials meant heavy doors that required regular upkeep. With the advent of PVC and steel insulated door products, newer homes with French doors are often made with either of these materials because they are lightweight yet durable. They are also available in a wide palette of colours and styles to match any décor.

There are six different types of French doors – interior, exterior, pocket, bi-fold, multi-fold and sliding.

  • Interior – as the name implies, these are designed for indoor use and connect one room to another.
  • Exterior – able to withstand various weather conditions and temperature changes, these French doors let you bring in light and warmth from outside.
  • Pocket – unique space savers that slide into a wall when not in use
  • Bi-fold – with two to four sections, these French doors fold into pairs and can open from either side.
  • Multi-fold – designed to cover off an area where’s there more space than what is usually found in a home.
  • Sliding – sliding open and closed on a track, these are ideal for patios and balconies, where there is usually limited space available.

More so than elsewhere in North America, there has been a growing trend in Ontario towards the beauty and convenience of exterior French doors, both in newly built homes as well as during renovations.  A wonderful advantage of choosing double French doors is the opportunity to allow fresh air in through both sides of the doorway, as opposed to half that area with most other solutions.

For those homeowners with exterior French doors, consider making them even more versatile and energy-efficient by installing retractable screens. Phantom’s retractable screens for doors and large openings are perfect for letting in more light while providing excellent ventilation and insect protection. And, during the summer, if you open up even more screens in your home, you’re actually creating a cross-ventilation system, which can cut down on your home’s need for A/C and can help lower your energy costs, too.

Any way you look at them, French doors are a beautiful yet practical feature of your home – ideal for helping you make the most of your living space.

Looking for double doors for your home? Here are a few starting points for you.

Ridley: http://www.ridley-windows.com/
Loewen: http://www.loewen.com/
Marvin: http://www.marvin.com/
Pella: http://www.pella.com/home/default.aspx

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