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The Ultimate Guide to Exterior French Doors

It can be tricky to select the best-fitting door that will complement the overall appearance of your home. Size, layout, colour scheme, and budget are all elements that can influence your decision.

Exterior French doors are a fantastic option for creating a classy entrance into your home. This post will discuss the various features of this exterior door, its advantages and disadvantages, and some installation advice you should be aware of before purchasing one for your home.


Before we dive into this exterior door's different pros and cons, we should first become aware of its notable features. 

  1. Material: French doors come in a variety of styles and materials. One of the most popular is vinyl, which exhibits the appearance of painted wood. If you want a more traditional style, you can go with clad wood. Fibreglass is another good option for those who want a highly durable and damage-resistant surface.
  2. Glass panes: Today, a French door generally refers to a glass-encased patio door. Furthermore, an external French door is a pair of doors with glass panes covering most of the surface. Some have grid patterns, whereas others do not.
  3. In-swing or outswing: French doors are offered in two main layouts, namely inswing and outswing. In essence, an inswing door swings forward and away from you and toward the interior of the room you are facing. Meanwhile, an outswing door turns away from the room and towards you.


Now that you have gained some fundamental insight into what french doors are, we can now move on to their different advantages and disadvantages. 

Pros of exterior french doors

  1. Energy-efficient: French patio doors allow for an abundance of natural light to enter your living space. Natural lighting will help to limit the growth of potentially dangerous bacteria and organisms in any home. Not only that, but this benefit will help you save a lot of electricity costs because you will not have to turn on as many lights anymore. Also, the light these doors bring in is more refreshing and calming compared to the illumination we install inside our homes. 
  2. Aesthetics: French doors are stunning both inside and out, and they can easily have a dramatic effect on the look of your home. Their aesthetics essentially make them a timeless choice for any home. Also, by adding this style of door, you can boost your property’s market value. 
  3. Seamless transition to the outside: Since these doors exhibit a lot of glass windows, they can bring the outdoors inside the home. When you install them on your patio, they can serve as a seamless transition to your outdoor space.

Cons of exterior french doors 

One of the primary disadvantages of this exterior door is that it requires additional space due to its hinges. Thus, it may not be the best placement next to a table, sofa, or other pieces of furniture. Another drawback of outside French doors is their high cost. Overall, the final price will vary according to the materials used and the size of the door. 


Installing French doors is a little more complex than standard exterior doors. To ensure that everything is in order and secure, it is advisable to obtain professional help. 

  1. Proper measurement: The most critical step in installing a French door is determining the swing radius. This is to avoid damage to other nearby furniture. You should also take three measurements inside the door frame: top, middle, and bottom. The widest dimension determines the width of the door. 
  2. Gather all the needed tools and equipment: For the installation, you'll need a carpenter's square, a power drill, screwdrivers, saws, hammers, screws, and nails, shims, a chisel, a tape measure, and a level.
  3. Apply adequate sealant: Applying proper door sealing is a step that you should never disregard. Correctly sealing your doors with quality sealant assists in extending the longevity of your property, but it will also help keep the elements outside. Furthermore, the sealant must be applied to all six sides of the doors, specifically the inside, exterior, top, bottom, and sides. Remember that you will need to do this regardless of the finish on your door.
  4. Adjust the shims: Door shims are essentially tapered slices of wood used to help a door open and close properly. For improved appearance and functionality, you may need to re-adjust those shims a couple of times. Moreover, the door's weight will pull the top of the frame away if the shims are not correctly positioned to hold it.
  5. Level the door frame: Failure to properly level the door frame may result in leaks and other damage to your door. Thus, it is vital to establish a door frame that is level and plumb for the door to function correctly. The hinge side jamb should be levelled first when levelling a door frame. The next step is to level the door frame's header. Finally, level the opposite jamb of the door frame without the use of a level.


Exterior French doors can effortlessly add magnificent elegance to your home. You can also use them to light up your living space even when the sun is not out. To get the most out of this architectural feature, you'll need the best French doors in St Albans. Rock Solid Doors exclusively install high-quality composite doors built in the United Kingdom. Furthermore, our professionals will ensure that your St. Albans doors will be carefully accurately fitted to your home


Huge improvement on the temperature inside the house

I just wanted to say a Huge thank you from my family for the installation of the Front and Rear doors at our property in Burcot. The craftsmanship was far better than I expected and I cannot recommend your service enough to others. The doors have already made a huge improvement on the temperature inside the house. I can’t believe we didn’t do this years ago. Our property now stands out for the right reasons while being very warm inside. Thank you from a very happy customer.
Nico Van Der Merwe
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Rock Solid Doors Ltd
Creighton Ave, St Albans, AL1 2LG
0800 540 4366
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Rock Solid Doors
Rock Solid Doors
63 Google reviews
Graham Kidd
Graham Kidd
2 November 2023
100% recommend Paul and Harry a great father and son team! I'm so pleased that we used them to supply and fit our new front door. Straightforward to deal with from start to finish and communication throughout was excellent. They are extremely knowledgeable and were able to offer advice and suggestions when we were choosing the door we wanted. Nothing was rushed during the installation with great attention to detail. They took away our old door and frame and left everything clean and tidy at the end of the job. Thank you, Harry, for taking the time to go through everything with us at the end of the job, much appreciated. I would not hesitate in using Paul and Harry again. Thank you both so much, we are so pleased!
Andrew Brant
Andrew Brant
30 October 2023
Had a door fitted today. Extremely happy with the quality of the finish, attention to detail. Left site clean and tidy. Very impressed. Would highly recommend
Daniel Ashworth
Daniel Ashworth
6 October 2023
Had a door fitted by these very friendly chaps about 18 months ago. We're very happy with it. When an issue arose with the mechanism, they came out and fixed it in about 5 minutes and it's as it if is brand new again. Very pleased, would highly recommend.
L Edwards
L Edwards
2 October 2023
Communication with Paul was faultless throughout. He was polite, knowledgeable and efficient. Harry and Paul installed our new door, problem solving along the way. The finish was neat and tidy and they offered us excellent after sales service aswell. Would highly recommend.
22 September 2023
Highly recommend. We had our front door fitted by this lovely team. They were friendly, helpful, willing to listen to me debate options and provided helpful advice for choosing the right door for us. When he had a slight issue (no fault of their own) they came out to us the very next day and sorted it. Such a good supplier to work with!
Ed Barkham
Ed Barkham
21 September 2023
Brilliant service. No hidden costs or fees and no heavy sales tactics. Very open and clear from the start, and they worked really hard to fit a great new door in our thinner than average doorway! Great value and great result. Will be recommending to all.
fiona richards
fiona richards
10 September 2023
Highly recommend Rock Solid doors. We have used this friendly family company several times and have recommended them to others who have been equally impressed with the high standard of work and the product. We have received quick service and found them to be very reliable knowledgeable with no hard sell. The installations have been carried out professionally and they go the extra mile to ensure you are happy with everything. The external doors are robust and we are impressed with the quality of the product.
James Cooper
James Cooper
24 July 2023
Faultless customer service from a fantastic company to do business with. From start to finish it’s been a pleasure buying composite doors from Rock Solid Doors – in fact, we were so impressed with the front door and installation service they provided (we opted for a Solidor Ludlow 2 with 2 x fully glazed side lights) that we got them back to supply our utility door (Windsor Solidor – fully glazed) shortly afterwards. Paul dealt with our initial queries promptly, came to measure on site and provided a competitive quote very efficiently. These guys are first-rate craftsmen and know their stuff: evidenced by working around a couple of quirky construction issues without any problem – leaving us really impressed with the end product. It’s great to come across a local business that takes pride in what they do, going the extra mile for customer satisfaction – we cannot recommend Rock Solid Doors highly enough! Thank you Paul and Harry!
Simon Gould
Simon Gould
25 June 2023
Brilliant service from Paul at Rock Solid; our letter box seal had gone causing a slight leak - he responded immediately, attended this week and fixed with a new gasket. Would highly recommend the product and the service.
Lidia Duncan
Lidia Duncan
16 June 2023
I ordered my Vogue Rock door with the Ocean glass from Rock Solid Doors at the end of 2021. I had a number of criteria when searching for my new entrance door. It’s ability to insulate had to be A rated. I also wanted it to have a good quality locking mechanism that is smooth in action. My new door needed to be modern with a pane that lets plenty of light in and thus goes lower than the half line on the door, while leaving sufficient height for the letter box, so it is sufficiently high to be comfortably reached by our postman. The Vogue Rock door provided all that and more. I love sailing and the Ocean glass design evokes the lines of a sail in a beautifully minimalistic fashion. It also makes the door look unique, which is always a bonus. During my search for the perfect door I had lots of technical questions too. Only Paul and his colleague from Rock Solid Doors were able to answer all my questions and provide a door that offered what I was looking for. They supplied and fitted my new door in early 2022. My heating bill has gone down noticeably, as a result. With the golden oak wood grain on the outside, my door looks beautiful and elegant. Everyone who comes to the house for the first-time comment on it. The multi-locking mechanism has a smooth action and it is easy to use. The white wood grain on the inside finishes off the hallway like a designer window and door in one. Paul and his colleague went out of their way to make sure that I have the door and the finish just, as I wanted and that it worked seamlessly there on. We could not be happier. Thank You!