French door security vs. sliding glass doors

frank58March 18, 2008

My wife and I want to replace the original sliding glass doors in our 1950's ranch house. We would like to replace them with two french doors, but the question of how secure they would be vs. a sliding door concerns us. Are french doors less secure than sliding glass doors? Most manufacturer's we've looked into have a dead bolt and additional bolting at the top and bottom of the active door. I'm considering getting them as out-swinging doors because I thought those would be more difficult to break into.

I've also seen a few posts that mentiont that Pella's quality is not what it used to be. Would Anderson or Jeld-Wen be preferrable over Pella?

Thanks for any input.

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Imo, you should just get the door that is astetically pleasing to you because bottom line, if they want in bad enough, they will ,especially w/ glass doors of any type.

If you are concerned, i would put the money into a decent security system along w/ door choice. Thieves are lazy as a rule and will go for the easiest target, so doing what you can to slow them down lessens the chance for a hit, but if they want in bad enough, they will.

For outswing doors, you can get locking hinge pin hinges that make it harder, but a flat bar makes pretty quick work of any hinge especially if it isn't fastened into the framing members.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2008 at 3:45PM
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We have a security system. I was wondering if french doors were more vulnerable than sliding glass doors.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2008 at 5:33PM
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Any window in your house can be opened faster then a can of corn, don't worry about the doors.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2008 at 7:03PM
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We have a double-French door as our front door, and it really seems secure. It is an Andersen, and has 3 point locking. When the door is locked the doors are locked into the frame at the top and bottom, and locked together as well. Seems very solid. Also, the locking mechanism pulls the doors closed tightly against the weather stripping, which keeps out drafts pretty effectively.

Very nice system. I haven't seen how the Pella works. The sliding French door that is onto our second story balcony seems not quite so secure. It is made by Eagle, and has about the same locking device as the Andersen sliding French doors that we've also had. They feel secure, but not as much as the swinging French door.


    Bookmark   March 18, 2008 at 9:14PM
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Electric chain saw and 2 minutes and I can cut a new doorway so make sure your outside outlets are all turned off.

Could use a gas model but they are noisy.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2008 at 11:09PM
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I have the Pella (aluminum clad) french door unit leading out to my deck. Except for the glass it feels more solid and secure than my front entry which is an all wood unit.

I haven't heard about Pella's quality being different lately. I do know people say they find a difference in the doors sold by HD, but my doors were purchased thru a dealer. Their service and repair on a window unit with condensation problems was excellent.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 11:54AM
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Ron, I had to laugh. When I was carrying on about locksets for the front door, My DH said almost exactly the same thing.


    Bookmark   March 22, 2008 at 2:39PM
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Red, my Dad used to say, "Locks were for honest people".

    Bookmark   March 22, 2008 at 11:09PM
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Well, I live in Florida and the sliding doors are very common here. I don't know about the newer sliding doors, but the sliding doors on my 1981 vintage house can be removed simply enough: Put a lever under the door and remove it from the frame. IMO, French doors have GOT to be more secure.

We're about to go with impact glass all the way around the house - 11 windows, three exterior doors and three sets of sliding glass doors that will be converted to French doors.


    Bookmark   May 3, 2008 at 9:36PM
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If you haven't heard of a bump key, that will unlock any door :-)

    Bookmark   December 10, 2010 at 11:52AM
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