how to install french doors

How to Install French Doors
Tools Needed
1 Hole saw
2 Hammer
3 Chisel
4 Nail punch
5 Pry bars
6 Levels (long and torpedo)
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Materials Needed
1 Tape Measure
2 Hammer
3 Corded drill
4 Screwdriver
5 Flathead
6 Marking Pencil
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Total Cost
$50-$100
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Estimated Time
1-2 Hours
Skill Level: Advanced
The total cost and duration may vary when hiring a handyman!

Project Overview

How to Install French Doors

Installing interior French doors is no different from installing a single door. You’re just doing the same thing in double. However, they can be tricky because you constantly have to make sure that everything is level, if you want a professionally installed appearance. On that note, if you do get that appearance, French doors obviously can really improve the look of a room. In addition, they can really help bring in natural light to your home, particularly for a room that’s dark and drab. This helps a lot if you want to add more light and the atmosphere of space, but still want to keep two spaces separated.

It’s not a project for beginners, but if you’re an experienced do-it-yourselfer, it can be worth taking the time to do it yourself.

Step-By-Step Instructions

1

Measure The Door Frame Space In Three Places

How to Install French Doors

As with all door installations, whether garage doors, slab doors, or your new French doors, you want to measure the area in which your new doors will hang in three places. You do this to get the most accurate measurement, which will be the widest of the three. To find the widest measurement, measure across the door space toward the top, then across the middle, and then across the bottom. Then you can pick out a French door kit with matching width measurements. There are standardized door measurements, but if your space doesn’t fit, there are manufacturers who will make custom sizes.

You will also need to measure the jamb depth of the opening, so you can pick out a door that will fit within that depth. Again, standard French doors should fit, especially if you have a newer home, but if not, you can install a new jamb to fit the doors you want.

You can, of course, hang any French doors you want, but it’s really worth considering purchasing a pre-hung kit. Pre-hung doors eliminate a lot of the headaches involved in installing French doors. As with all kits, follow the manufacturers’ guidelines above any others.

2

Consider The Space Around The Door

How to Install French Doors

Determine whether the door will open out or in. French doors require more space than other doors, so make sure your desired doors have enough space to open as they should. You can do this by measuring the width of each French door and then measuring the radius out from it that it will need to open. There are also styles, particularly for exterior French doors, where only one door opens, so that’s an option if you want only the look of French doors and don’t necessarily need or want both to open.

3

Remove The Old Frame

How to Install French Doors

Using your hammer and pry bars, carefully remove the old frame and trim. Be sure to label the pieces of trim as you take them down, because you don’t want to add solving a puzzle to what can already be a challenging task.

4

Check Your Levels

How to Install French Doors

Once the frame is removed, use your carpenter’s square and long level to make sure there are no surprises with the opening for your French doors. Is everything level and square? If so, you’re almost in business.

5

Begin Installing The New Frame

Put in the new frame, using the shims to hold it up. Drill pilot holes in the frame and the shims, then use nails to hold the frame in place. You need the nails only temporarily, so don’t drive them in all the way—just enough to hold the frame.

6

Size Up Your New French Doors

Test each new French door in the frame to make sure that each fits and can open all the way. You may need to make adjustments. Once you’re sure that they fit properly, move on to the next step.

7

Finish Installing The New Frame

Once the doors fit and you’re sure that everything is plumb, it’s time to finish installing the frame. Screw in the new frame, removing the nails as you go.

8

Hang The Doors

When you’ve got your frame secure, it’s time to hang your new French doors. You should follow the manufacturer’s instructions for this step, as well as the manufacturer’s instructions for your chosen hardware (latches, door knobs, etc.)

Conclusion

French doors can be a beautiful addition to your home. They can also be a bear to install on your own. Cut down on any hassles by using a pre-hung French door kit and if you need it, grab some extra help. Home tasks always go easier when you’ve got an extra set of hands.

How To Install French Doors

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  1. ArmabyTek Series Traditional Single wood French Door in a Cherry Color Measuring 60 in. by 80 in. with Double Bore Prepview
    ArmabyTek Series Traditional Single wood French Door in a Cherry Color Measuring 60 in. by 80 in. with Double Bore Prep
    FocusPoint Systems French Door is a hinged, inswinging patio door with the highest-quality materials and strong tempered glass. A variety of designs are available to match the layout of your home and patio, including art glass options, exterior frame colors, and interior hardware finishes like stone, brass, or oak. All wood panels are coated with high-durability finishes, ensuring you a maintenance-free, permanent addition to your home.This door is not only beautiful, it will increase the energy efficiency of your home with energy star-rated construction and weatherstripping for a seal that will help control both heating and cooling costs. The gorgeous frame has a wood core and fiberglass exterior for maximum durability and aesthetic appeal. Hinged inswing double-pane glass door with adjustable hardware fits any standard opening, and customization is available in 1/8” increments.
    Estimated Price: $299.00+
  2. ArmabyTek Series Rustic Double wood French Door in a Fir Color Measuring 71 in. by 80 in. with any Bore Prepview
    ArmabyTek Series Rustic Double wood French Door in a Fir Color Measuring 71 in. by 80 in. with any Bore Prep
    FocusPoint Systems French Door is a hinged, inswinging patio door with the highest-quality materials and strong tempered glass. A variety of designs are available to match the layout of your home and patio, including art glass options, exterior frame colors, and interior hardware finishes like stone, brass, or oak. All wood panels are coated with high-durability finishes, ensuring you a maintenance-free, permanent addition to your home.This door is not only beautiful, it will increase the energy efficiency of your home with energy star-rated construction and weatherstripping for a seal that will help control both heating and cooling costs. The gorgeous frame has a wood core and fiberglass exterior for maximum durability and aesthetic appeal. Hinged inswing double-pane glass door with adjustable hardware fits any standard opening, and customization is available in 1/8” increments.
    Estimated Price: $299.00+
  3. ArmabyTek Series Modern Double Composite French Door in a Cedar Color Measuring 72 in. by 80 in. with Double Bore Prepview
    ArmabyTek Series Modern Double Composite French Door in a Cedar Color Measuring 72 in. by 80 in. with Double Bore Prep
    FocusPoint Systems French Door is a hinged, inswinging patio door with the highest-quality materials and strong tempered glass. A variety of designs are available to match the layout of your home and patio, including art glass options, exterior frame colors, and interior hardware finishes like stone, brass, or oak. All wood panels are coated with high-durability finishes, ensuring you a maintenance-free, permanent addition to your home.This door is not only beautiful, it will increase the energy efficiency of your home with energy star-rated construction and weatherstripping for a seal that will help control both heating and cooling costs. The gorgeous frame has a wood core and fiberglass exterior for maximum durability and aesthetic appeal. Hinged inswing double-pane glass door with adjustable hardware fits any standard opening, and customization is available in 1/8” increments.
    Estimated Price: $299.00+
  4. ArmabyTek Series Traditional Double wood French Door in a Oak Color Measuring 71 in. by 80 in. with Single Bore Prepview
    ArmabyTek Series Traditional Double wood French Door in a Oak Color Measuring 71 in. by 80 in. with Single Bore Prep
    FocusPoint Systems French Door is a hinged, inswinging patio door with the highest-quality materials and strong tempered glass. A variety of designs are available to match the layout of your home and patio, including art glass options, exterior frame colors, and interior hardware finishes like stone, brass, or oak. All wood panels are coated with high-durability finishes, ensuring you a maintenance-free, permanent addition to your home.This door is not only beautiful, it will increase the energy efficiency of your home with energy star-rated construction and weatherstripping for a seal that will help control both heating and cooling costs. The gorgeous frame has a wood core and fiberglass exterior for maximum durability and aesthetic appeal. Hinged inswing double-pane glass door with adjustable hardware fits any standard opening, and customization is available in 1/8” increments.
    Estimated Price: $299.00+
  5. ArmabyTek Series Contemporary Double wood French Door in a Cherry Color Measuring 72 in. by 80 in. with Double Bore Prepview
    ArmabyTek Series Contemporary Double wood French Door in a Cherry Color Measuring 72 in. by 80 in. with Double Bore Prep
    FocusPoint Systems French Door is a hinged, inswinging patio door with the highest-quality materials and strong tempered glass. A variety of designs are available to match the layout of your home and patio, including art glass options, exterior frame colors, and interior hardware finishes like stone, brass, or oak. All wood panels are coated with high-durability finishes, ensuring you a maintenance-free, permanent addition to your home.This door is not only beautiful, it will increase the energy efficiency of your home with energy star-rated construction and weatherstripping for a seal that will help control both heating and cooling costs. The gorgeous frame has a wood core and fiberglass exterior for maximum durability and aesthetic appeal. Hinged inswing double-pane glass door with adjustable hardware fits any standard opening, and customization is available in 1/8” increments.
    Estimated Price: $299.00+
  6. ArmabyTek Series Modern Double wood French Door in a Mahogany Color Measuring 59 in. by 80 in. with any Bore Prepview
    ArmabyTek Series Modern Double wood French Door in a Mahogany Color Measuring 59 in. by 80 in. with any Bore Prep
    FocusPoint Systems French Door is a hinged, inswinging patio door with the highest-quality materials and strong tempered glass. A variety of designs are available to match the layout of your home and patio, including art glass options, exterior frame colors, and interior hardware finishes like stone, brass, or oak. All wood panels are coated with high-durability finishes, ensuring you a maintenance-free, permanent addition to your home.This door is not only beautiful, it will increase the energy efficiency of your home with energy star-rated construction and weatherstripping for a seal that will help control both heating and cooling costs. The gorgeous frame has a wood core and fiberglass exterior for maximum durability and aesthetic appeal. Hinged inswing double-pane glass door with adjustable hardware fits any standard opening, and customization is available in 1/8” increments.
    Estimated Price: $299.00+
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  8. ArmabyTek Series Rustic Double wood French Door in a white Color Measuring 59 in. by 96 in. with Single Bore Prepview
    ArmabyTek Series Rustic Double wood French Door in a white Color Measuring 59 in. by 96 in. with Single Bore Prep
    FocusPoint Systems French Door is a hinged, inswinging patio door with the highest-quality materials and strong tempered glass. A variety of designs are available to match the layout of your home and patio, including art glass options, exterior frame colors, and interior hardware finishes like stone, brass, or oak. All wood panels are coated with high-durability finishes, ensuring you a maintenance-free, permanent addition to your home.This door is not only beautiful, it will increase the energy efficiency of your home with energy star-rated construction and weatherstripping for a seal that will help control both heating and cooling costs. The gorgeous frame has a wood core and fiberglass exterior for maximum durability and aesthetic appeal. Hinged inswing double-pane glass door with adjustable hardware fits any standard opening, and customization is available in 1/8” increments.
    Estimated Price: $299.00+
  9. ArmabyTek Series Rustic Double Composite French Door in a Cedar Color Measuring 71 in. by 80 in. with Single Bore Prepview
    ArmabyTek Series Rustic Double Composite French Door in a Cedar Color Measuring 71 in. by 80 in. with Single Bore Prep
    FocusPoint Systems French Door is a hinged, inswinging patio door with the highest-quality materials and strong tempered glass. A variety of designs are available to match the layout of your home and patio, including art glass options, exterior frame colors, and interior hardware finishes like stone, brass, or oak. All wood panels are coated with high-durability finishes, ensuring you a maintenance-free, permanent addition to your home.This door is not only beautiful, it will increase the energy efficiency of your home with energy star-rated construction and weatherstripping for a seal that will help control both heating and cooling costs. The gorgeous frame has a wood core and fiberglass exterior for maximum durability and aesthetic appeal. Hinged inswing double-pane glass door with adjustable hardware fits any standard opening, and customization is available in 1/8” increments.
    Estimated Price: $299.00+
  10. ArmabyTek Series Modern Double Composite French Door in a Cherry Color Measuring 71 in. by 96 in. with Double Bore Prepview
    ArmabyTek Series Modern Double Composite French Door in a Cherry Color Measuring 71 in. by 96 in. with Double Bore Prep
    FocusPoint Systems French Door is a hinged, inswinging patio door with the highest-quality materials and strong tempered glass. A variety of designs are available to match the layout of your home and patio, including art glass options, exterior frame colors, and interior hardware finishes like stone, brass, or oak. All wood panels are coated with high-durability finishes, ensuring you a maintenance-free, permanent addition to your home.This door is not only beautiful, it will increase the energy efficiency of your home with energy star-rated construction and weatherstripping for a seal that will help control both heating and cooling costs. The gorgeous frame has a wood core and fiberglass exterior for maximum durability and aesthetic appeal. Hinged inswing double-pane glass door with adjustable hardware fits any standard opening, and customization is available in 1/8” increments.
    Estimated Price: $299.00+
  11. ArmabyTek Series Rustic Double Composite French Door in a Mahogany Color Measuring 72 in. by 80 in. with any Bore Prepview
    ArmabyTek Series Rustic Double Composite French Door in a Mahogany Color Measuring 72 in. by 80 in. with any Bore Prep
    FocusPoint Systems French Door is a hinged, inswinging patio door with the highest-quality materials and strong tempered glass. A variety of designs are available to match the layout of your home and patio, including art glass options, exterior frame colors, and interior hardware finishes like stone, brass, or oak. All wood panels are coated with high-durability finishes, ensuring you a maintenance-free, permanent addition to your home.This door is not only beautiful, it will increase the energy efficiency of your home with energy star-rated construction and weatherstripping for a seal that will help control both heating and cooling costs. The gorgeous frame has a wood core and fiberglass exterior for maximum durability and aesthetic appeal. Hinged inswing double-pane glass door with adjustable hardware fits any standard opening, and customization is available in 1/8” increments.
    Estimated Price: $299.00+
  12. ArmabyTek Series Classic Double Composite French Door in a Cedar Color Measuring 72 in. by 80 in. with Single Bore Prepview
    ArmabyTek Series Classic Double Composite French Door in a Cedar Color Measuring 72 in. by 80 in. with Single Bore Prep
    FocusPoint Systems French Door is a hinged, inswinging patio door with the highest-quality materials and strong tempered glass. A variety of designs are available to match the layout of your home and patio, including art glass options, exterior frame colors, and interior hardware finishes like stone, brass, or oak. All wood panels are coated with high-durability finishes, ensuring you a maintenance-free, permanent addition to your home.This door is not only beautiful, it will increase the energy efficiency of your home with energy star-rated construction and weatherstripping for a seal that will help control both heating and cooling costs. The gorgeous frame has a wood core and fiberglass exterior for maximum durability and aesthetic appeal. Hinged inswing double-pane glass door with adjustable hardware fits any standard opening, and customization is available in 1/8” increments.
    Estimated Price: $299.00+
  13. ArmabyTek Series Traditional Double Composite French Door in a white Color Measuring 72 in. by 80 in. with Single Bore Prepview
    ArmabyTek Series Traditional Double Composite French Door in a white Color Measuring 72 in. by 80 in. with Single Bore Prep
    FocusPoint Systems French Door is a hinged, inswinging patio door with the highest-quality materials and strong tempered glass. A variety of designs are available to match the layout of your home and patio, including art glass options, exterior frame colors, and interior hardware finishes like stone, brass, or oak. All wood panels are coated with high-durability finishes, ensuring you a maintenance-free, permanent addition to your home.This door is not only beautiful, it will increase the energy efficiency of your home with energy star-rated construction and weatherstripping for a seal that will help control both heating and cooling costs. The gorgeous frame has a wood core and fiberglass exterior for maximum durability and aesthetic appeal. Hinged inswing double-pane glass door with adjustable hardware fits any standard opening, and customization is available in 1/8” increments.
    Estimated Price: $299.00+
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Questions And Answers

What is the difference between a French door and a patio door?

There are some differences between French doors and Patio doors. The main difference is how these doors open. A French door will open outward, such as conventional doors do. However, a patio door slides along a track and then opens at the side. Both doors provide you with excellent ventilation.

How do you measure for a French door?

Measure the height and width of your current door, round the number up. For example, you wud round 81.5 up to 82. Now, measure the width of the jamb. To do this, measure the back of the trim on the interior to the back of the exterior trim.

Why is it called a French door?

When French doors orignated was during the 17th Century. When they first came about they were actually not doors at all, but rather large windows to allow more light for homes to be lit longer than before. These windows eventually turned into doors, thus the French door came into play.

How much does it cost to replace a sliding glass door with French doors?

The price will vary greatly. You will need to have the frame installed where the gap used to be for the sliding door to slide into the wall. After that, the only cost that you will have is the cost and installation of the door that French doors you choose.

How much does it cost to put in a French door?

On the low side, you cant expect to have to spend about $500. This price can range upwards of this depending on where you live and the size of the doors that are being installed. You will also have the cost of the door. Installing yourself will save you money.

Do French doors open out or in?

There are many types of French doors. You can get them that swing inwards or you can get the ones that swing outwards. There are various brands and benefits of each type.

How do you install French patio doors?

You want to install French patio doors. You will take the current door off, clean debris away, measure the door and frame it, put the bottom in first, add in new door frame and assembly, trim shims and add door and trim detailing.

What is considered a French door?

A French door is usually defined as one pair of doors that have glass panes which extend throughout the length of the doors. The amount of glass could vary, however.

Can you replace a sliding glass door with French doors?

There are many people who want to replace their sliding glass doors with French doors. This can be done and it can make your entryway more beautiful as well.

Can you replace a sliding glass door with French doors?

There are many people who want to replace their sliding glass doors with French doors. This can be done and it can make your entryway more beautiful as well.

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INTERESTING RESOURCES

fiberglass French Doors

Composite French Doors

While previously available only in uPVC, now you can take full advantage of the several benefits associated with composite French doors. Moreover, you may choose from a variety of our current composite doors styles and designs to be tailor-made into a French door for your house, along with the extensive choice of stunning colors, both inside and out. Our composite French doors are available with inward or outward opening options. The key thing to know about composite French doors is they are made of multiple materials to ensure better durability, strength, and appearance. A composite door has a core that often contains insulating materials, wood, and other layers which are usually protected by a durable weather-resistant exterior skin. We also offer a composite French door service and can incorporate side panels and top lights into the door frame. This will ensure your composite French door not only looks aesthetically-pleasing but is also extremely secure and long lasting. All composite doors come with regular lever-operated handles that encompass adjustable, high security and multi-point locking systems. You can also enhance your composite French door with an extensive choice of related accessories such as knockers, door handles and letter plates available in various finishes like chrome, bronze, and copper. These are some of the advantages of installing a composite French door in your home. Along with beauty and security, many options are available for you to choose from, so be sure to check them all out and find the one that best meets your taste because your investment will be with you for years to come. read more

Sturdy and Secure

Composite French Doors

Variety of Designs and Colors

composite patio doors

Thermal Efficiency and Low Maintenance

vinyl french doors
french doors with screens

French Doors With Screens

French doors in general are a popular choice for homeowners for both exterior and interior doors. They can give your home a dose of drama or style that can improve your home’s inside décor or add curb appeal to the outside. When used on the outside of the home, you have the ability to open onto a space that allows for more space to be used. Inside the home, you can separate two rooms, but when it’s time to party, open up and let everyone dine together. Adding French doors with screens can make these already versatile doors even more useful. Installing French doors with screens is not much trickier than installing a standard door with a screen. Typically, French doors with screens simply have two screen panels installed. With retractable screens, for example, you would mount screens on each side of the door frame. A magnetic screen often slides into place and lock together in the middle using magnets. Another option is a relatively newer option of a retractable screen which rolls the screen into a smaller mechanism on the side of the doorway and can be nearly invisible when not in use. read more

Screen Test

french doors with screens built in

Weathering the Weather

exterior french doors with screens

Space to Move

french doors with screens and blinds
Double Exterior French doors

Double Exterior French Doors

Though sometimes used at the entrance of a home, exterior French doors commonly serve as the patio door. The aesthetic appeal of the French door is the usual reason that it is selected over other door choices. Versatility is in the bag with the French door, and homeowners will find them in assorted textures, styles, and materials, and with various design elements that let in the natural light. Made in a two-panel design of either solid material or glass, exterior French doors include a frame to support the glass enclosure. This frame will need a little maintenance from time to time but in general it’s just a little oil on the hinges, so the doors swing open freely. If you purchase a wood door, you’ll need to ensure it is sealed or painted regularly to keep it from warping or rotting. read more

Appeal

Double Exterior French doors

Energy-Efficiency

exterior french doors with sidelights

Measurements

steel exterior french doors
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