French Door Prices
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French door installation can add both architectural appeal and functionality to almost any room in the home. The versatility and classic appeal of a French door provides an appeal unlike any other. Of course, this updated design does not come without a cost.
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Table of Contents
- Cost Of French Doors
- French Door Cost Considerations
- French Door Repair Costs
- French Door Materials
- Design Considerations For French Doors
- Advantages Of French Doors
- Disadvantages Of French Doors
- Best Places To Use French Doors
- DIY Or Hire A Pro?
- How To Install French Doors
- Find A Pro
Cost Of French Doors
- Minimum Average Cost: $350
- Maximum Average Cost: $4,000
As you can see, the average cost of French doors can vary significantly. Fortunately, that’s because there’s a variety available in terms of materials and design. Furthermore, door installation is a job many DIYers can handle without a professional.
French Door Cost Considerations
The cost to install French doors largely depends on the material and labor. Basic French doors with wood or clad construction start out at approximately $350 for the material with additional costs for labor. These are usually fashioned out of a basic whitewood or clad vinyl. Architectural French doors that are developed for curved moldings and transoms can cost up to $10,000 for custom models and approximately $4,000 for pre-designed custom doors. The most popular French door material is fiberglass. The higher costs are usually associated with architectural moldings added to the French door assembly later on.
French door prices are relative to the style, function and material used for construction. When it comes to function, the least expensive French doors are interior doors for bedrooms and closets. Many use a basic wooden base with shatterproof glass in the panes.
Patio doors fall in the middle range of pricing French doors. There are several options to choose from and usually are the most available in terms of selection. The most expensive French doors are architectural doors that match the period style of the home. An older Victorian home may require a new transom and 14-lite French door to a room. The molding will need to match the rest of the home in addition to the previous door. This will require master craftsmanship and a custom product to fit the home.
Besides material, labor will play a big role in your final French door cost. Most door contractors charge per door. Prices range from $75 to as high as $180 per French door. Of course, the larger or heavier the door, the more they will charge. More work always comes with a higher cost.
French Door Repair Costs
Despite a higher price point, French doors are like all others in that they will require repairs once in a while. Fortunately, repairs do not cost nearly as much replacement, with the average door repair cost coming in between $276 and $392.
Some of the problems you may see include swelling, sticking and sagging. More often than not, replacing the hinges or sanding the bottom of the door should do the trick. If you don’t feel comfortable doing yourself, get in touch with your door installer. They may offer a deal to come and repair the door they installed.
French Door Materials
Solid wooden doors range in price substantially. This is particularly true for front doors with heavy-loaded glass panes. Wooden doors are fairly easy to repair and can offer a warm aesthetic feel to the room with the real wood grain.
Wooden doors are not without their limitations. Painting and prepping is the most important process of maintenance with a wooden French door. The patina of the wood can peel or fade if it's an exterior product that faces the sun on a daily basis. It can also be damaged by moisture. Wooden doors will need extra maintenance in preserving the wood base as well as creating a waterproof surface to resist warping.
Steel French doors are heavier and offer a solid fit into door frames that require a measured level of security. Steel French doors are better equipped to resist break-ins or similar damage to the structure. Steel doors may also include a combination of materials for aesthetic or tactile strength.
Many of the qualities of rust prevention will need to be addressed for untreated doors. Paint prep is a factor similar to wooden doors. The steel French door will need to be purchased pre-painted or have adequate priming and curing to prevent the flaking of paint in the future.
Aluminum offers similar benefits to steel with a reduced weight load and cost. Many sliding glass patio doors have an aluminum core to increase the long-term strength and durability of sliding open daily. Aluminum also has an insulating capacity with the addition of thermal blocking in the panes. The doors are tough and low maintenance.
Aluminum doors may require additional maintenance to maintain an exterior look as well as reducing the potential for rust.
Fiberglass French doors have become increasingly common in recent years. Fiberglass has tactile flexibility to fit more obscure openings. Full modification of a door frame may not need to be done, and the frame can often be shimmed to fit a new door. Fiberglass doors may be more expensive than aluminum, but offer the additional benefit of reduced wear from warping, scratches and environmental weathering. Fiberglass can also match the finish of wooden doors or other textures for a realistic faux look. They also offer up to five times the insulating ability of wooden doors.
Clad doors are coated with additional materials over a wood surface. Vinyl and aluminum clad doors are the most commonly found doors in big box stores and supply stores. The offer pleasing aesthetics with the additional wear and tear strength of vinyl and aluminum. The difference is that the core base of the door is made of wood. Special distinction needs to be made when choosing doors based on the type of wood application. A poplar core may be excellent for an interior door, but lacks the weather strength found in cedar or redwood.
Design Considerations For French Doors
Beyond the actual material, there a few design considerations you’ll want to review before purchasing a new French door. First off, there are two standard types of French doors: Those that swing in and those that swing out. The final choice really depends on the room in question and your personal preference.
Now, you can focus on the actual design. Most French doors come with grills and simulated divided lites. These dividers provide an enhanced look. More often than not, homeowners choose this style for interior French doors. For exterior French doors, most homeowners go with no grills so it doesn’t impede the view outside. These are very common for backyard doors.
Finally, you’ll need to know the exact size of the door. While this 100% depends on your current door frame, just know that French door widths start at 1 foot 6 inches and go up to 3 feet wide. French door heights starts at 6 feet 8 inches and go as high as you want. Beware, once you get above 8 feet, you enter the custom category and that will of course drive up the total French door cost.
Advantages Of French Doors
Before a French door is installed, it is particularly important to realize the advantages and limitations. One of the major advantages of a French door is the ability to open up a room or expose exterior light into a room without sacrificing insulation quality. Light also has the ability to filter through glass-paned French doors, unilke bifold doors, to make rooms feel brighter and less closed-in. The French door also has the ability to close a room off for a more intimate setting. Dining rooms and home dens benefit from this extensively.
For more benefits, please see Why French Doors Are Perfect Additions To Your Home.
Disadvantages Of French Doors
French doors offer some unique challenges to homeowners as well. Security may be an issue for French doors leading into the home due to glass panes that can be easily shattered. Heavy-duty framing and glass will need to be considered. Architectural French doors may also prove to be much more time consuming and costly than standard doors or room dividers. Transoms may have to be installed or additional framing to support the added weight of the door.
Best Places To Use French Doors
While you realistically place a French door anywhere you want, there are certain areas of the home where French doors make more sense. As always, don’t let these popular spots limit your creativity. If you want French doors between your garage and mudroom, go for it.
More often that not, homeowners install French doors leading to their patio or backyards to let in all that natural light. Whether you want a grand entrance leading outside or plenty of sun to shine through into your kitchen and living room, French doors make perfect sense for the back of the home. Nonetheless, just know that French doors provide less privacy than standard doors. As such, if you have nosey neighbors or your backyard faces a popular street, you may want to consider an alternative door type.
Taking a scene from Romeo & Juliet, French doors work tremendously as balcony doors. They are certainly an add-on when it comes to balconies, but if you have the money to spend, go for it. However, staying true to form, privacy is still a concern. Since balcony doors lead to bedrooms, we highly recommend installing drapes, curtains or valences.
Moving inside, the bedroom is certainly a grand spot for French doors. Privacy aside, it not only looks great and sets the tone for any upscale bedroom design, but it also increases the value of your home. Many potential buyers know the value of French doors and as such, can mean the difference between a sale and failed open house.
Dining Or Living Room
While open concepts are becoming the norm rather than the exception, some homeowners still prefer separation from room to room. As such, instead of a standard door, many homeowners install French doors between their dining or living rooms. Other than the upgraded design, they also act noise barriers. If someone is watching the game in the living room, you can peacefully read in the room next door.
DIY Or Hire A Pro?
Door installation is not a complex job like masonry or electrical projects. With precision and accuracy, active DIYers can replace their current door or install a brand new French door. As long as the framing is in place, replacement shouldn’t take longer than a few hours.
However, doors need to be straight, flat and properly secured to the wall. If not, issues and repairs are bound to happen. Therefore, to ensure the best possible solution, most homeowners hire professional door contractors to install French doors.
How To Install French Doors
If you’re adventurous enough to install your own French doors, you’ve come to the right place. Below is a basic step-by-step process to add patio French doors. If you are visual learner, please watch the video below instructions.
- Remove the old frame. Do not damage the frame or the trim since you’ll have to add them back after the door is in place.
- Measure. Make sure the new opening is level and the exact width and height of your new French doors.
- Install new frame and shims. Drill pilot holes and hold the new door up into the frame. Make sure all is straight before making final drills. Make sure door opens and closes correctly.
- Secure frame with nails. Make sure all is level.
- Install doors. Add hardware and you’re finished.
Find A Pro
If any of the process above sounds daunting, you’re not alone. Like we said earlier, most homeowners hire the pros despite the additional labor cost. Fortunately, if you fall into this group, ImproveNet can connect you with up to four local door contractors free of charge.
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Last updated on Feb 8, 2017