French and garden doors are types of exterior patio doors. They are often compared to sliding patio doors but, although they serve the same function, they are really quite different. Sliding doors are more like large sliding windows, while French and garden doors are true doors.
These doors are a more elegant solution, enhancing the feel of any room. They can be customized to blend in with virtually any traditional or contemporary architectural home style, with many unique glass and metal design options that aren’t available with sliding doors.
The advantages of sliding doors over French doors and garden doors are that they provide more glass area for more light, and they are typically less expensive.
In most situations, if your budget allows, we recommend French doors or garden doors over sliding doors for their aesthetic appeal.
What’s the Difference Between French Doors and Garden Doors?
Although they may look the same, there is one notable difference. Typically, garden doors have one opening door and one fixed door. French doors have two opening doors to provide a larger opening, greater ventilation, and more room for passage if you happen to do a lot of entertaining.
But there are a couple of downsides. French doors are less secure, due to the lack of a solid centre support, and the use of weaker footbolts instead of stronger and more durable locking mechanisms. They are also more prone to reliability issues and failure with regular, sustained use.
Although the most common configuration is two doors, there are a number of other possible customizations. For added light and ventilation, either style of patio door can incorporate additional doors as well as casement or fixed window panels. Anything is possible—the only limit is your imagination.
If you’re not a fan of decorated glass, the doors can also be customized with built-in blinds, an option that’s been very popular with our customers.