What are the top 5 reasons to choose UPVC French Doors?
When it comes to installing a set of larger sized set of external doors for your home, a French door is an excellent option.
French doors have been around for a very long time. So what is it about them that keeps them popular and, in particular, why are uPVC French doors regarded as such a good choice?
In this article we will take a look at the top 5 reasons to choose uPVC French Doors for your home:
- UPVC Vs Wood Vs Aluminium
- Energy Efficiency & Security
- Price (2018 French Doors Prices Guide).
UPVC French Doors Prices 2018, Designs and Features
External French doors, especially those with mullioned glass panes, are practically timeless in appearance. Unchanged by “what’s in fashion at the time” the French door design of today remains true to its’ roots.
The arrangement of the glass panes is most often seen as 3 panes wide x 5 panes high or, for narrower doors, 2 panes wide x 5 panes high.
For a UPVC French Door, there are 2 alternate ways to create the mullioned or Astragal bar window effect.
- Inserts: this is where a uPVC “grid” is inserted inside the gap within the double glazed sealed units. As a cosmetic device, it is the lowest cost option.
- Or, an Astragal bar design is fitted to the surface of the glass providing a 3-dimensional surface finish to the glazed area. Also non-structural.
However, this does not mean that the design is stuck in the past because todays’ French door designs have all the latest features that people have come to expect from a modern external door. However, should you prefer, the mullioned panes can be swapped for a full length glass design, giving you an alternative to the classic look.
There is a good variation of visual appearance in terms of colour and texture for uPVC French doors.
In terms of surface finish you can go for smooth high gloss or timber grain. For timber grain uPVC, the surface is created during the manufacturing process where a textured skin or foil is wrapped around the frame profiles. This foil is then subjected to heat and pressure so that it bonds chemically with the uPVC itself and so eliminates cracking of the surface or peeling.
The coloured profiles for uPVC profiles (frames) is created in the same manner – you will often find coloured finishes referred to as “foiled uPVC”.
In general, there are about 20 colours in the range, but not all suppliers may have all the colours available in their product range, so it’s best to check around a few different sources.
In terms of size, a set of UPVC French doors can be fitted to openings of around 1400mm to 1700mm, with each door being around 700mm to 840mm wide. If you have a bigger opening, you can use frame extenders to +/- 50mm on each side. So, as a rough guide, think of 2000mm as the practical limit in terms of width.
For door height, a typical overall height is around 2200mm including the door frame. Over these dimensions it is common to fit side panels or top panels.
What attracts many homeowners to French doors is the way they open. Effectively, you have a double door (2 single doors fitted side by side) that can be set to open inwards or outwards.
When you just need to go in or out of the house, simply open one in the same way as a regular front or back door. When you want to open up the house to the outside, both doors can be opened together giving an unobstructed exit or entryway. Unlike a sliding patio door which can sometimes get in the way.
The doors are operated easily by a regular handle on each door, one for the left & one for the right. You can choose which is the “master door” – in other words, which one opens first.
Points to note: If you decide to go for inward opening doors, remember that if it has been raining outside and the doors are not yet dry, the wet doors can drip water all over your floor or carpets. Inward opening doors also take up space in the house and need to have an obstruction free opening arc.
3UPVC French Doors Vs Timber French Doors Vs Aluminium French Doors
There are significant differences in the 3 types of material used for French door manufacture each one having its own particular attributes and features.
Timber: The main issue with using wooden external French doors is that, if not properly sealed, timber will saturate or dry out. This “instability” is what causes timber French doors to deform. They can develop draughts from gaps surrounding the door when the wood shrinks as it dries out, or stick & jam when the wood swells as it absorbs water.
Really well maintained hardwood French doors, however, can last 40, 50 years or more.
Aluminium: Aluminium French doors are a really good option, being very light and strong. However, also being made from metal, they are cold to the touch.
The metallic structure of the frame necessitates a thermal break between the inside and outside surfaces. If this thermal break is not made well, then the frames will transmit heat, cold and even develop condensation on the inner surfaces. Don’t buy a cheap set of aluminium doors.
UPVC: This material has such a lot of things going for it. Light, strong, cost efficient and a natural insulator, UPVC frames used for French doors offer the best features of all the other material combined.
You can expect a life span that runs into decades matched with a great choice of colours, ease of use and high levels of security.
4Energy Efficiency & Security: 2 very important aspects of any modern external door.
UPVC French patio doors benefit from a number of energy saving and security features.
To make the doors as energy efficient as possible, a standard UPVC French door is fitted with double glazed sealed units. To further enhance the performance, the sealed units can be filled with Argon gas and low-emissivity glass can be substituted for standard glass.
The UPVC frames themselves are multi chambered (much like a honeycomb), which also benefits the overall energy efficiency of the door set.
The security of French doors has, in the past, been subject to question. With many feeling that they were less secure than other door designs. Modern French door designs have addressed all of the previous criticisms and can now incorporate security features such as:
- Multi-point locks that engage at the top, bottom and sides of the frame.
- Dead bolts that secure the doors to the top & bottom of the outer frame.
- 5 lever mortice key locks on each door leaf.
- Pinless hinges. 3 sets per door.
- Internally operated thumb-turn locks (cannot be operated from the outside).
- Internally glazed & beaded so the glass cannot be removed from the outside.
- Toughened, tempered safety glass.
There are also some very clever after-market security devices that can be bought such as the Patlock, see more here: https://www.patlock.co.uk/
5UPVC French Doors Prices 2018
The answer to the question of how much do UPVC French doors cost is going to mostly depend upon the size and style of the door you choose. For example, coloured UPVC or wood-grain surfaces will be costlier than white.Other elements can have a price influence, such as the energy rating of the door, low level threshold versions or adding triple glazing.
But as a general guide, you could expect to find average French door prices as follows:
How much do fully fitted UPVC French Doors Cost in 2018?
|Door Specification||Approx Size in Millimetres||Price Guide|
|White uPVC||2000 x 2100||From £1,200|
|Grey Wood- grain finish||2000 x 2100||From £1,500|
|White uPVC + side panels||3000 x 2100||From £1,800|
|Grey Wood-grain finish + side panels||3000 x 2100||From £2,300|
In terms of buying new French doors for your home and having them fitted, we recommend that you work with companies that are accredited by FENSA or CERTASS.
If you would like to know how much a new set of UPVC French doors costs for your home, then let us help you. We can swiftly arrange free written quotes from a Nationwide panel of installers, all you need to do is tell us a little bit about your project and how to get in touch with you using our simple online quote form here:Compare Prices