The Cost Of Installing French Doors

All you need to know about the installing French doors, including costs of installation, materials, labour and time frames.

The Cost Of Installing French Doors

What the job entails

When it comes to improving the rear of your property, new patio or French doors can be a key feature. Not only do they provide light and convenient access, they open up the room to the garden and offer great security. The term "patio doors" is often used for any kind of door that opens onto a patio, though traditionally it referred exclusively to sliding patio doors, but now it is used for bi-folding of French doors too. French doors are best used with smaller openings and their design typically opens outwards into the garden. French doors also work well in the UK as in bad weather you have the option to open just a single door for access, but when the sun is shining, both doors can be opened out wide to great effect.

French doors are most commonly uPVC in the UK, though other materials such as aluminum and hardwood are also available, but at an increased cost. The security of modern French doors is of a very high standard thanks to multi-lock systems and many manufacturers offer doors which have passed the PAS024 security testing. French doors are great for providing a traditional option of garden doors, but they are also popular when used inside the home to separate two rooms.

French windows and French doors are exactly the same thing other than the way they are used. Some people refer to them as a door and others call it a window. French door costs are difficult to say as they are manufactured to precise measurements in a variety of styles all of which differ in price. The final cost will depend on the size of the doors and how difficult the job is. French doors can be installed in a variety of openings but are most often fitted to replace a window or existing patio doors. You can of course make a completely new opening for French doors, although this will obviously be more expensive. Many choose to replace their old patio doors with a set of period French doors, but this really depends just on your personal preference and budget.

If you buy French doors from a double-glazing company or joinery they will usually take care of all measurements. While if you are ordering online you will have to take measurements yourself and they will need to be exact and to the manufacturers specification to avoid getting doors which do not fit and cannot be returned. Simply measuring the gap that the doors will fit in is not enough for the manufacturer because the style and function options can affect the measurements. It is vital you understand exactly how to take measurements when ordering French doors online as the doors are made to your exact measurements and if you make a mistake when measuring you will end up paying twice for the same doors.

French doors are perceived as being less weatherproof than patio doors, but this is a misconception. If French doors are secured and sealed properly, you shouldn't have any problems. When fitting you do need to make sure the gaps are sealed correctly though. If you find the seal is not tight enough you can adjust the door or caulk any gaps. If the gaps are too large for caulk, you can install a foam backer rod or weather then caulk both edges to completely seal off any gaps. But if having made to measure doors professionally fitted you can reasonably expect all gaps to be minimal and once the doors are hung and adjusted they should be completely weather and draughtproof.

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The Cost Of Installing French Doors

The cost of the doors themselves will vary depending on the size and materials predominantly. For an example of sized pricing, 1.2m (without sidepanels) of Double Glazed White UPVC may be around £400, while 3m (with side panels) may be around £950. Meanwhile, for the difference of material choice, a typical front entrance; uPVC (White) would cost around £500 as fitted (£250 as supply-only), while for Composite material would cost around £550 as fitted (£350 as supply-only).

Usually a tradesperson will cost around £150 to £200 per day, but this may vary depending on; the complexity of the work itself or any additional costs if the work requires an additional tradesperson to assist with heavy lifting, etc. In some cases where there may be a requirement for a load-bearing lintel (if modifying/creating an opening for the doors to be installed), this is additional work which should be discussed beforehand to ensure if it is being completed as part of the tradesperson's quote for the work. If not, this could be an additional cost and could even require a consultation from a structural engineer to ensure the lintel is correctly installed.

Below are some estimated costs of installing French doors.

Job Description Avg. Cost Duration
Replacing old French doors with new uPVC doors £900 1 Day
Converting a window to fit new uPVC French doors £1500 1 Day
Creating a new opening and fitting uPVC French doors £2000 1-2 Days


Cost Breakdown

Individual costs of installing uPVC French doors (with new opening and fitting) - Total Cost: £2000

65%

Materials
£1300

35%

Tradesmen
£700

0%

Waste Removal
£0

FAQ's

The main difference is how each door opens. French doors open outwards on a hinge, but patio doors slide along a track and open sideways. Patio doors are generally more modern and are best suited to a modern property, whereas French doors look great in period and heritage properties.
French doors can create the impression of a bigger space as the panes are made completely of glass and they let lots of natural light in. However, they require more space for opening and closing and are often more expensive and harder to install than basic solid doors. French doors suit older properties but sliding patio or bifold doors tend to look better in contemporary homes.
French doors can be made in almost any type of timber, but the common ones include Oak, Mahogany and Pine. European Oak is very hard and durable, Meranti Mahogany has a more uniform pattern than Oak and is cheaper. Pine is much cheaper being a softwood, but can mark or damage more easily but can last just as long as hardwood if they are maintained properly. You can also choose Aluminium which is coated and looks much like uPVC but has thinner frames thanks to the extra strength.
Modern French doors are fitted with either shoot bolts top and bottom or a multipoint locking system, which operates by lifting the handle. Most insurance companies recommend multipoint locking for extra security. In addition, all French doors are internally beaded for extra resistance to forced entry and they use toughened glass which is difficult to break through.
A solid timber construction door is made from solid sections of timber whereas engineered construction doors use a mixture of materials including laminated Timber, MDF or Particleboard, along with a real wood veneer to give the door a quality appearance. Engineered doors may sound cheap, but they can actually be better than solid wood doors as they are more resistant to warping and are more rigid.