What are French doors?
French doors represent two matching doors that mirror one another with glass panes extending for most of their length. They typically have one entry with a handle, lock, and other moving hardware for everyday use. Most French doors’ hallmarks use multiple glass panels that allow natural light to fill your home.
Why are they called french doors?
How did French doors get their name?
The origins of french doors can be traced back to the French Renaissance. French began incorporating glass into more areas of their architecture because of the Renaissance concept of “bring light into the building.” Over time, these large opening windows became known as French doors.
We tend to come across doors every day, but we rarely pay attention to them. Whether made from wood or any other material, doors are also a part of a technological progression that rendered hinges, the ergonomic aspect of manufacturing a door handle, and the elegant carving and perfection with which the door was used. Architects and interior designers consider a variety of aspects before making doors and windows. This includes materials, shapes, sizes, and the overall refinement with which it will be invented. The choice of suitable doors and windows will be decided on the financial plan, the amount of light required, the extreme need for privacy, sound insulation, and the budget. Different types of houses provide more opportunities for the kinds of doors and windows depending on the overall structure and style of the entire house. In addition to that, some owners consider weather, security, and inviting arrangements harmonizing the house look. Metal and wood doors are standard; however, glass and fiberglass doors are also favored.
French doors, which are also stylish in design, separate two different spaces in a house. They are also referred to as windows as they consist of a single pair comprising glass windowpanes enveloping the entire length of the door. They are either used as a patio door for entrance and exit purposes or as proper interior doors. French glass doors are popular as they do not completely isolate the space and grant a visual link between the two areas. It has French roots as, during the Renaissance period, an increased quantity of glass was added to windows and doors. The French began incorporating glass into most of their architecture, and long windows thus became ideal in replacing traditional doors and elongated windows. In various designs and styles, French doors are perfect for any corner in the house, but they are mainly used to access balconies and open areas. Nowadays, homeowners use different kinds of wood and panel numbers to adorn French doors; however, it can also pose a security threat, particularly if improperly attached. They typically work with the exact quality locking mechanisms as standard doors, but the precise installation can somewhat contain the risk.
The safety of patio windows and French doors is often debatable as their reputation is tainted. They are often subjugated to criticism and known to be unguarded therefore allowing break-ins and robberies. However, this was extensively prevalent in historical times as modern technology has rendered these doors secure and firm by enhancing the locking mechanisms and the door frames. As long as they are properly installed, there is no need to worry about safety. If you have conventional French doors, it is better to revamp or remodel them by adding more hinges and a tight frame. If you have recently installed a new one, you still need to pay extra to receive maximum security. However, in both scenarios, there is no need to worry. Homeowners who take up the task of installing the French doors themselves might end up creating more risk for potential break-ins. If professionally fitted, these doors are more reliable and sturdier than a poor installation done by owners. Professional carpenters are aware of the doors’ accurate measurements and meticulous mechanism, making them unreachable to thieves. A slight mistake in measurements can lead to a gap; consequently, the doors would not hold firmly and seal as tightly as they should.
How to secure french doors?
To secure french doors, you can:
- Install a protective screw that prevents the unlocking of the passive door, or
- Install special security film to protect the glass from being broken out, or
- Install new locks that can join both sides of the door together, not separated by swinging both sides open simultaneously.
The exterior door that opens outward is more vulnerable to force attacks than an inward opening one, so:
How to secure french doors that open out?
To secure french doors that open out, you need:
- Secure the Hinges to Prevent Your Door From Removing
- Install a Latch Guard to Prevent Forced Entries
- Use a Door Lock Barricade Designed for Outward Swinging Doors
- Install an Outswing Door Security Bar
- Use Patlock for French Doors
Some homeowners also believe that the French doors’ glass panels can easily accommodate the intruders entering the premises by breaking them. Although glass panels are the most attractive French doors features as the entire beauty revolves around the panes, safety is not linked to the door’s material. Home security can be enhanced if the glass panels are double glazed and reinforced, making them trickier to break. Intruders often look for a weak spot, such as the gap between the doors and fragile locks, and would not risk entering the house by creating loud noises. However, it should be highlighted that single glass panels are more likely to be exposed than double-coated ones. The doors’ glass panels can also be protected with an extra layer of plastic for added security, making it completely laminated as it provides defense during hurricanes and extreme weather conditions. Overall, the French doors’ security depends on the wood used, window glazing, and locks. The locks can be secured if installed by handymen as they will also make sure that there is no space between the door and the threshold, making it tight.
Use double-cylinder deadbolts.
The locks and handles of the door should be installed at least 36 inches from any glass openings. This prevents break-ins through glass breaking, and if the locks are very near to opening, the thieves may be able to disengage the door. However, this is not possible in French doors because of a large glass area. Try replacing the glass with non-acrylic material or laminate them to make them shatter-resistant. A double cylinder deadbolt would require opening and securing the doors with a key from both sides.
Change the direction
If the French doors swing out, there is an increased likelihood of break-ins as the hinges become accessible. They can easily remove the hinges and enter the premises. Change the direction to the inside where the hinges swing in as this way hinges are protected and not reachable to the thieves. You can also replace the hinges with units that come with non-removable pins or add pinned hinges.
Secure the inactive door
Try adding a lock-in between the inactive doors. Try to add slides and barrels to the top and bottom of the doors. The bolts should be more than one inch but need drilling a hole on the floor to accommodate the new locks.
Typically, the weak points of a sliding door are the glass, door frames, and hinges. However, if they are properly looked after, especially installing a three-point lock system, the patio doors become safe. French doors are made from wood but for added security, make sure the wood is thick, which can be an added expensive but worth it. Other than that, you can try installing security cameras, video doorbells, and a digital alarm system to boost security. French doors are appealing in design, but security can be enhanced if made from good quality wood. Some owners adore French doors because of their appealing designs and sophisticated characteristics. It also invites tons of sunlight, but as striking they may appear, some believe they might be a safety hazard for the family members. However, you can make them sturdy by following the protocols and guidelines as they exhibit a traditionalist classic touch and are easy to operate around the house.