French patio door or double doors?

emjay74June 18, 2012

Hello- we are putting on an family room/kitchen addition so thought this would be the best place for my question.

We want french doors off our family room that swing open onto the screen porch. They will be 6 feet wide. Has anyone here ever used 2 regular doors rather than patio doors? My contractor says this can save us a ton of money, which would be nice at this stage. He says the size of the door and the windows are the same. It just has a different feel than a patio door. Has anyone else ever done this? Or not? Or have an opinion? I've done some searches and I can't find any info on this topic. Thanks so much.

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Two door with one frame or two separate frames? Are you going to get a 6 foot wide opening doing it the way he is suggesting?

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 5:52PM
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Two doors with separate frames. Two frames. Yes we're going with a six foot opening. Thanks for any advice you may have.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 8:37PM
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I guess I can't understand how you will get a six foot clear opening if there are two frames.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 8:57PM
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2 doors with separate frames = 2 separate doorways mulled together. This does not equal a 6' opening, except during the rough framing stage. You will have 2 separate completely framed openings side by side by the description given.

I have seen the setup I think you're talking about (2 doors in 1 single frame to mimic the look of the patio doors). They took 2 doors and put a working latch & deadbolt on one and the receptor on the other. The receptor door also had a non-functioning handle and a slide bolt on the top & bottom for stability/security when the door was in the closed & locked position. You might be able to have a 3 point locking mechanism installed--check with your builder on this.

The big thing that stands out to me when you do this is that it is hard to get the same look of the patio doors. Patio doors like you get from Pella, Jeld-wen, Andersen, Marvin, etc all have a more sleek look because the glass sits in a low profile frame. Most imitators have a bulky plastic frame that holds the glass in place. In my experience, the plastic yellows (even with a coat of paint on it) and the plugs for the screw holes never line up properly. The closest I have been able to find to a door that looks like the real patio doors from the manufacturers mentioned above is the Plastpro flush glazed door. You may want to check them out. If you want to see photos, just ask--we used the Plastpro doors on our house.

Here is a link that might be useful: Plastpro Flush Glazed Doors

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 9:13PM
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Hi- thanks so much for all the info. I believe I was wrong when I answered. There will be one 6 ft frame with two doors. Don't know what I was thinking...not getting much sleep with all the decisions we've been making!

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 10:23PM
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If I were you, I'd just use Reliabilt 6 ft. patio doors from Lowes rather than do this. They are $378 and you aren't going to get much cheaper than that. We just replaced sliders to our sunroom in our FL vacation house w/ these and other than the fact they have a metal threshold (which we're replacing), they don't seem all that different to me than the Anderson doors in my "real" house.

Reliabilt here

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 12:39AM
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One 6 ft frame with two regular doors - I'm not sure how you would get a tight seal between the doors if they aren't intended to be installed that way.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 11:49AM
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I have a question about safety of patio doors? Does anyone know related to the original posters question, the safety of having a slider, vs. french doors, vs. doors like she is having that will have no frame in between them (like many people do for their front entry)? Would these to be easy to kick in as a burglar? I want the safest doors possible with the best look?

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 12:04AM
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Purchase a quality brand double door with multipoint hardware as this would be the best hardware for your application.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 10:07AM
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