Every house needs doors, and when you’re thinking about how you want to design yours, there are two options that come to mind more than any others: sliding glass and French doors. For those unfamiliar, French doors are double doors that open on a hinge. They offer a massive entryway with swinging doors. So, which of the two types is better? Let’s take a look and see.
Pros of French Doors
French doors are popular and considered a classy option. There are reasons for that. One of the biggest reasons is the stylized door designs many people choose when installing French doors. Any exterior door has styling options. You can use wood or alternative materials. You can get intricate designs for window framing, and you can use creative color combinations. The sheer size of French doors allows you to push all of these elements further, and that leads to greater options in design and style.
In addition to this aesthetic opportunity, the size of French doors makes it much easier to get things in and out of a house. In fact, French doors offer the largest door frames of any standard style, and that can be convenient in many scenarios. One easy example is airflow. If you want a blast of fresh air, you’ll get more from your French doors than anything else.
The last pro of French doors is simple. They have a low threshold, especially when compared to sliding doors.
Cons of French Doors
When you choose French doors, you get some great advantages, but there are drawbacks too. All of that extra space in your door frame comes at a cost, and the costs manifest in a few important ways.
First, and most obviously, French doors take up a lot of space when they open. If they open to the interior, they limit furniture configurations because you can’t have anything near the large doors. If they open to the exterior, they limit what plants, outdoor furniture or other things you could place in their vicinity. If you don’t have an abundance of space, this will prove frustrating at times.
The second major con is that large doors allow for a lot of air flow. That’s great when the weather is beautiful and you want fresh air, but in Texas, days get hot more often than not. French doors are known for leaking air, and they’ll drive your air-conditioning bill up. It won’t be devastating, but they are less efficient than sliding glass.
The last major con is security. Traditionally, French doors do not have a center post. That means the joint between the two doors is a weak point. You can add extra locks or fasteners, but this may mess up the aesthetic of the French door design. Ultimately, this is the great weakness of French doors. This isn’t to say that French doors are an invitation to burglars, but if safety concerts impact your peace of mind, French doors might not be the best choice.
Pros of Sliding Doors
Sliding doors almost perfectly invert the pros and cons of French doors. On average, sliding doors cost less. Both doors come in plenty of varieties, and costs will change to reflect that, but there are opportunities to save money with sliding glass.
Sliding glass also saves space. It doesn’t swing at all, so it’s not preventing you from placing anything around the door, as long as there’s space to get in and out.
Another big pro is screens. It is much easier to install a functioning screen door with sliding glass than with French doors. In fact, French door screens are uncommon. If you like fresh air but don’t want bugs, sliding glass holds a real edge here.
Lastly, sliding glass is better for viewing. It’s all glass, so you can see the views outside of the house quite easily. The large area of glass also lets in tons of natural light. If the door isn’t the focal point of a room, sliding glass is usually better than French doors.
Cons of Sliding Glass
The cons of sliding glass doors are predictable. The first is that customization is limited. No matter what creativity you have in mind, you’re still putting a large pane of glass on a track. There’s not much that can change.
Further limiting aesthetic options is security. You can definitely secure sliding glass, and glass is stronger than most people assume, but extra security features will be overt and are often unsightly.
The last major concern with sliding glass is repair and maintenance. Wood and wood alternatives that make up French doors are easy to maintain and repair. Glass requires more cleaning, and if it does get chipped, fixing it can be a challenge.
When you do need to get your glass fixed, it’s always best to bring in the pros. You can call Advanced Auto Glass to explore your repair options.