Slider Or?? Is French really Nicer?

oakesamesFebruary 13, 2013

Hello to all. I'm asking for design input from fellow members who maybe have done this type of remodeling.

There was a door leading to the patio where the X is pictured on the wall. Door was closed up to make room for new kitchen. The width between the arrows is 9 feet. Window is being removed because I would like to have a door where the existing window is. On the left of the picture you can see the new counter which will have counter height stools.

Options that I can see are:

  1. 8 ft slider which will fit into existing width
  2. French doors with sidelights- fits in existing width
  3. French doors - 6ft wide- no sidelights. One door would have to be opened for ventilation.
  4. French doors with one tall 60" casement next to them for nice ventilation. The casement would be the same width as each of the doors for a balanced look.

I realize my decision boils down purely to what I like. However when it comes to form over function or is it function over form? any help would be greatly appreciated.


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Generally speaking, hinged is more form, and sliding is more function. Your cheapest option will be sliding, and it's largest advantage is that you do not need the clearance either inside or outside for a door to swing open.
Hinged does however offer the flexibility of being able to open both panels to move large items in and out.
You could also do a 9' , three paneled door that would eliminate the need for framing/drywall/siding to patch in. That could be done in sliding or hinged, and would probably be the way that I'd go. :)

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 4:35PM
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Homesealed, thanks for your response. I really like your idea of a three paneled unit. Do you happen to know which panel or panels would operate on a hinged door or sliding door? The existing window is only 8' wide. The header continues over the closed up door portion of the wall so it wouldn't need a longer header although about 1' of the wall would have to come out. Has anyone else seen or maybe had installed in their house a 3 panel unit or have had a similar similar layout with any ideas?

Regards to all,

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 8:54PM
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These photos may help. These are Marvin Integrity Wood/Ultrex. They come in multiple sizes. The French outswing have 2.5' panels - roughly 10' wide.
The sliders have 3' panels - roughly 9' wide. In in this slider, the center panel slides although you can order to have any panel slide.

Interior View - French Outswing with Fixed panels

Exterior View - Same French

Exterior View 3 panel slider

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 2:28PM
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+1. Some manufacturers have more flexibilty than others, but you should generally be able to choose whichever panel you would like as the operator.... Nice pics ^^^ :)

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 3:13PM
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Thanks, should have added, the french doors,were near $4k and the slider was $1800 uninstalled. These are 8' tall which increases cost. Cost was the bigest factor in using slider vs french in some places.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 4:44PM
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Windows on Washington Ltd

Every time that I see more pictures of that home, the more that I like it.

Really nice choices.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 10:56AM
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Thanks WOW, Maybe I will update with some post construction pics. I hope the pro's on this board (you guys know who you are) don't get tired of my posting these pics. When we were going through the design process (I designed the house), the windows absolutely drove me crazy (size, brand, configuration etc.) I found this board and it was a world of help. I try and add a little when I can to help out others that might be in a similar situation.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 11:28AM
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I do not believe any pro's mind at all as your the reason why we post. We all enjoy when our advice is taken and used as it was designed. It is not that often that we hear back from people that have taken the advice and then take the time to share the end results. It is your doing what your doing that really is why we do it. Not that any of us need the finished results posts but it certainly makes us (speaking for myself) feel good about giving the advice.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 12:31PM
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Windows on Washington Ltd


Love to see customers get the right stuff for their home and make informed decisions.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 1:51PM
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Thanks IKBUM for the great pictures. I like a hinged door style best. I realize a slider can be kept open for ventilation and can be locked in a secured open position. What about a hinged door? Since I would no longer have the window for ventilation how easy would it be to live with a hinged door that needs to be open in order to get air in the room? Does anyone have that setup and do you like it?

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 2:24PM
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That's a really good question. There are all kinds of stops.... See link below...
I use a scrap cedar block from a beam that I sit in front of the open door.
My doors are otuswing. Definitley have a pro install these as they have a low tolerance for being installed incorrectly and will not swing or close correctly if
they are slightly out of plumb.. Another thing to consider is screens. The dealer I used uses retractable screens. Very nice, but pricey. About $1k per door installed.

Here is a link that might be useful: Link to door stops

This post was edited by lkbum on Mon, Feb 18, 13 at 16:07

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 4:05PM
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Those are nice stops IKBUM. I think I will go with a three panel as HomeSealed recommended. A three panel would look good to me also in a 9' wide opening. I'd like hinged- two of the panels open out (french doors) and the third end panel an operable casement with a screen. That way the doors won't have to be left open for ventilation. I'll start checking with door and window dealers on that configuration. Has anyone seen that layout?

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 7:49PM
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I'm no pro, but wouldn't it be easier/better to install a door and window? Maybe a 5' outswing french and a Tall (5' or so) 3' wide casement? Or for better balance, a 5' french with a 2' wide casement on each side?

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 7:55AM
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It probably would be easier/better Ikbum. Thanks for your ideas they are helping alot ! Don't you think though that your thought of having one 3' wide casement next to 5' french doors would look "less busy" than 5' french with casements on each side especially on that wall which isn't that big? I understand what you mean by balance but would the 2 doors and 1 casement also appear balanced also?

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 11:40AM
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When I designed our current house, I drew the window configurations 30 to 40 times before I decided the final confiuration and still lost sleep on it until they were in. I also used a fiarly low cost design program that allowed you to view things in 3d and place furniture (Broderbund 3d Home Design) to "see" how the rooms looked. I also looked at how the exterior of the house looked with various window configurations. Lastly, I tried to account for how various window coverings, (drapes, blinds and shutters) would impact how they looked. What I found was that the windows usually got a little smaller than I orginally planned. In summary, look at all aspects of the windows, inside, outside, access, window coverings, furniture placement and view before you decide. Hope this helps, but it probably doesn't. Since people have been so complimentary of the windows in our house, here's a couple more pics.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 1:52PM
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It does help Ikbum! Thanks so much for sharing. Your house is beautiful. I went to a Marvin dealer yesterday to look at the Integrity Ultrex which I like. The fiberglass clad would be good for me because the wall in question is south facing and the house is in southern California. The sun is much harsher here than in New England where I grew up so most of our exteriors were painted wood which I actually prefer. The wood looks beautiful on the inside. I need to decide and I will post pictures when I do. Thanks again to you for your kind help and and also to Homesealed.


    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 10:13AM
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Windows on Washington Ltd

Awesome pics. I need to close my computer before my wife sees that kitchen.

You should put a tag on those pictures when they are NSFW (Not Safe For Wives)!!!!


    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 8:40AM
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