Hinged French Door vs. Sliders

caviewFebruary 24, 2008

Would greatly appreciate your chiming in and helping us to make the decision on what kind of patio doors to choose!

We love the look of the hinged french doors but are concerned with the ease of operation (these doors will be frequently used to go into the back yard) and the reliability of the retractable screen doors!

Can you please your thoughts and experience?

Thank you!


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It will be as easy to operate as the front door of your house. I don't know why you're associating hinged doors with retractable screens as if there are no other options. I put in double hinged French doors by Andersen. They have double hinged screens.
The usual issue with French doors is the space they take up in operating. If that's not a problem, the choice is purely personal.
As a contractor I've put in dozens of sliders. I never liked them. When I put the kitchen addition on, I designed the space so hinged doors would not be an issue.
Just a personal observation.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2008 at 11:22PM
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I am so thankful to you for the information!

We are going with Anderson and I had no idea the option of double hinged screens exists!

It sounds so much better than retractable!

I'll try to find a picture on how they look...

Much appreciated!

    Bookmark   February 24, 2008 at 11:59PM
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I assume that the screens pivot the opposite direction of the doors. Can see how they would go the same way. Is that correct?

    Bookmark   February 25, 2008 at 8:36AM
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The french doors open in and the screens open out, just like a regular door setup.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2008 at 11:32PM
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I have both styles of doors but whether the retractable or hinged screen works best for you will depend on your weather and if you like opening a screen door, in addition to the french door, every time you go out. A retractable screen will allow you the option of either closed or open, as will a sliding screen on a Slider.

In my area there are few days of the year where we have the slider open and the screen closed since it's either too hot and we have the AC on, or it's too cool. Thus, my screen tends to be left in the open position and I only have the slider to open and close when using the door.

BTW, my slider gives the illusion of a french door since it has muttons.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2008 at 11:29AM
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There are some good and relaible retractable screen outfits out there if that is what is keeping you from considering french doubles. If you have the room for the inswing of the doors, you cant beat the authenticity of them. If you lack that space, go slider for convienence. They also make outswing double doors.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2008 at 7:07PM
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Thank you so much everyone!

We are going with in-swing for the doors with the outswing for the screens! Love the idea!

And yes, we'll use the screens all the time -- we are in Northern California...

Best regards,

    Bookmark   February 26, 2008 at 11:45PM
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Depending on local conditions, you may find the 'curtain' type screen doors to be a worthwhile option.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2008 at 2:45AM
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So Ron, We've been talking about replacing our slider (25 years old) with either a better slider or French doors. We've gone to Home Depot, back to Lowes, looked online, and still have decided nothing, even though this question has been an issue for almost 2 years now. There is a space issue, with a recliner that needs to be pretty near the slider, but a French could work. Each time I've talked to the box store guys, they have told me that my screen options with the French door were the retractables only. I must have a screen door. So we were right down to the wire to get a slider this Spring. But now you've raised the spector of French again. So, where do I get these? Will they be a DIY option for a pretty handy husband? (He's a machinist.) And will they cost an armful?


Glad I popped in to this forum.


    Bookmark   March 3, 2008 at 9:03PM
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Red,just go to the Andersen web site and see what's available. If space is an issue ,you can get a double door with one unit stationary. It opens onto itself with the hinges in the middle, not on the side like a traditional door. Andersen is sold all over. Big boxes, lumber yards, window specialty stores, etc. The Andesen web site has a local directory based on your zipcode. Price point acceptance is up to you.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 5:37PM
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I surfed the Anderson website and they definitely have some good options. Now I need to think about the budget and maybe head back in to one of the box stores to see what they can order for me. One side stationary would be the best option for me I agree.

I do have one question for you. Your comment that you've installed dozens of sliders, but prefer the French door style caught my attention. Is your preference more for the 'look' of the doors or the operation of each style? I doubt that anyone could quibble the point that the doors have a more elegant look, but having never owned any, we've wondered if they would be a preferable choice for daily use or not. And from your pro point of view, are they a bear to install or no more so than the slider?


    Bookmark   March 5, 2008 at 11:59AM
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And here is a link to my old slider area, where you can see the chair issue. Furniture has been moved around in this living room to the point where it all started screaming, so my furniture moving options are finito.


Here is a link that might be useful: Photo of slider to small patio

    Bookmark   March 5, 2008 at 12:06PM
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I have both in my house, 2 french doors with hinged screens and a slider int he kitchen. All are Anderson. I LOVE my french doors, and the screens ... I remove the screens on my family room in the Fall since I use that door to bring firewood in the house all winter. The screens are really easy to remove.

I just replaced the slider in the kitchen with another slider, didn't have the space to open the french door fully in the kitchen, so the slider works.

I love the french doors since int he summer I can open both doors wide and capture the breeze .. I also prefer the way they look.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2008 at 1:43PM
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Hi, I have a wide opening (~9 feet), currently with a slider and two side windows.

I would like to install french doors (~3 wide) that can open, then slide over on a rail to the side.

Does anyone know of something like this?


    Bookmark   May 9, 2011 at 1:30AM
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