8 UPVC French Door Ideas
Fitting a set of patio doors to the back of the house is something many homeowners want to do.
With UPVC French patio door prices being very competitive, this may be the ideal time to “take the plunge”.
So, to start you off, here are 8 UPVC French door ideas that will, hopefully, help you choose the best design for your home.
1 Choice of material
There are a number of good reasons to have your French patio doors made from UPVC. apart from the fact that there are so many suppliers:
- It is very light & strong
- It does not take a great deal of looking after – just wash the frames & glass as required – no painting needed!
- UPVC lasts a long time. A decent quality uPVC French door can last for decades.
- UPVC is less expensive to use than hardwood or aluminium (and it’s just as recyclable).
- Good levels of door security.
A really nice design feature of a UPVC French Door, is that it can be manufactured to have both a glossy smooth finish or a textured finish.
This gives you the choice to have your door frames look like timber with a high gloss paint finish (that doesn’t flake off!) or look just like they are made from open grain timber.
Both of these surface finishes are bonded during manufacture. It’s not just some “stick-on” plastic film that comes off after a short while, it is designed to last the lifetime of the unit without fade, peel or cracking problems.
2 Bars or no bars
French Doors and windows are famous for their classic look, using dividers (sometimes referred to as Georgian bars) to create a series of smaller glass panes within the door frame.
These dividers, or Georgian bars, are not compulsory, so if you are a person that prefers a more minimalistic style, you can have full length glazed patio doors if you wish.
3 Patterned Glass
You can add further character to your French doors by modifying the glazing.
A feature that I like, but not seen so much these days, is to use a few “bullseye” glass panels within the door – sometimes this type of pane is called “crown glass“. This not only gives the doors a more rustic look, the bullseye also serves to add a little more privacy because you can’t see any detail through them (but they let in just as much light as a regular pane of glass).
Frosted panes can be used in much the same way as the bullseye panes.
If you like the full length glass French patio door style but don’t’ want just plain glass, you could opt for some” good old fashioned” leaded glass. Again this can give the door a real country cottage charm.
4 Colour Choice
The really great thing about a modern UPVC French door, is that you get to choose from around 20 different colours for foiled products (this is a heat treated bonded colour) and well over 100 for RAL colours (this is effectively a spray paint coating applied in the factory).
What that means to you, is that you can match or contrast virtually any type of property “theme”
Not only do you get a decent range of colours to choose from, you can also combine the colour with a woodgrain texture finish and create a really amazing finish to your patio doors.
If that was not enough, you could go one step further by having 2 colours in the same door. A very popular option is to have a timber grain (dark colour) exterior and then use brilliant white on the inside.
So, if you think about the possible combinations of colour and surface finish, then you are really spoilt for choice.
It’s always seemed a bit strange to me when thinking about a door having furniture, but actually it’s just the common term used to cover the ironmongery such as handles, hinges etc. There are loads of options again here.
Stainless steel door hinges are pretty standard, but if you want to change the colour there are a number to choose from.
Most visible, and probably the first thing you would think about, are the door handles. The shape and style of the handle can be varied to keep with the classic look or you can go ultra-modern with aggressive angles and straight lines.
On top of that, the handles can be different finishes, such as brass, chrome, silver, black or painted to suit your style.
You could also add a protective metal section to the bottom rail – as a horizontal “anti-kick” protector. You can see them very often fitted to high traffic doors to give them extra protection. This can be fitted inside, outside or both sides.
6 Side & Top Panels
The one drawback about using a UPVC French door for a patio entrance, is that you can only practically use them up to a certain width of opening (around 2000mm).
Frame extenders could add about another 50mm or so to that, but any significant oversized opening will mean that you are going to need side panels. The same will apply to a door height over 2200mm (approximately).
In the picture below, you will see that the side panels don’t extend the full height of the doors on the right hand image.
The owner has opted to use some solid walling at the lower level – I would (jokingly) call it a “T-shaped French Door”.
In the 1st & 2nd images on the left & centre, show full length glazed French doors, combined with 2 side panels that feature Georgian bar glazing inserts.
With reference to the previous section on door furniture, you may notice that the door set on the left has white matching door furniture, whereas the one on the right has gone for chrome handles with white door hinges.
The set of doors on the right may sometimes be thought of as “a set of French doors with windows on the side”.
The centre image shows that the owner has fitted a round door handle, unlike the lever handles in the others.
Let’s start with the assumption that you are definitely going to have your UPVC French door double glazed! This is the minimum standard that you should be looking at.
You can make some variations to the specifications of both the glass itself and the double glazed unit within which it is used.
A typical double glazed unit will comprise of an inner and outer pane of 4mm float glass separated by a gap of between 5mm to 20mm – giving an overall thickness of 13mm to 28mm including the glass itself.
The smaller the gap, usually the less expensive the unit. 20mm (12mm gap) is considered optimal for most of the UK.
A 20mm sealed unit is very energy efficient as it is, but you can boost the performance by filling the gap with an inert gas (Argon) and using microscopically thin metal coatings (low-e glass).
Of course you could opt for triple glazing, but there are many who think the extra cost is not really validated by the small levels of increased thermal efficiency (but do keep an eye out for installers offering “triple glazing for the price of double glazing!).
8 French Sliding Doors
We briefly touched on oversize opening in section 6, but one alternative to side panels is to use a set of “Sliding French Doors”.
As we know, classic French doors are those that work on side hinges, not rollers, so French sliding doors are not truly French doors, but they do open from the centre, and that is how they got their name.
Typically, this would be a set of 4 patio door panels with the 2 outer panels fixed into place wіth the 2 centre panels sliding away from each other towards the side.
So there you have it, 8 UPVC French door ideas, and just to recap:
- Material – smooth or textured?
- Bars or no bars – go classic or modern?
- Leaded & patterned – use glass to add character
- Colours – single or double, dark or light?
- Furniture – match or contrast?
- Side & top panels – to cope with big openings
- Solar glass – keep in the heat, keep out the cold
- French sliding doors – best of both worlds?
If you are on a mission to find cheap French doors or happen to be on a restricted budget, knowing that you can vary the diiferent elements of the installation can help you keep prices down, by opting for less expensive features.
Now if you want to know how much a new set of UPVC French patio doors cost, we can arrange for free quotations from a local installer near you, or even from the biggest names in Double Glazing in the UK.