How Do I Choose the Best Custom French Doors? (with picture)

Judith Smith Sullivan
Judith Smith Sullivan
French doors are made up of panes or panels of glass.
French doors are made up of panes or panels of glass.

The best custom French doors will be appropriate for your space and fit into your budget. There are several types available, but one basic design difference is the opening mechanism, which can be sliding or hinged. Choosing the right type depends entirely on the shape of the doorway, the surrounding space, and foot traffic through the area. In order to decide what is right, you need to assess your space first.

Begin by measuring the door opening to determine if it is a standard size, and note any unique features. Some doorways are arched, unusually tall or short, or have architectural details that must be preserved. These characteristics will affect how your custom French doors are built.

Next, consider the traffic and surrounding area to decide what type of opening works best. If the doorway is interior and frequently used, the doors will probably need to stay open for convenience. This requires ample space around the door. Alternatively, sliding custom French doors can be left open without using additional space in the room, which is a good option if there isn't a great deal of extra space around the doors.

Exterior doors will probably remain closed for the majority most of the time. If space is not an issue, hinged French doors are the best choice. As exterior doors are heavier than interior doors, it is very difficult to find a sliding exterior door that is not difficult to open and that is not prone to sticking.

Finally, look through home decorating books, Web sites, and architectural magazines to find inspiration for your doors. They are custom doors, so you'll be able to choose the size of the panes, the construction material, and the style of the door itself. Whether you're working directly with a carpenter or with a company that produces custom made French doors, they will appreciate seeing an image of what you have in mind. You can work with them to make the necessary changes to fit your space's needs.

Consider your budget carefully. Purchasing custom French doors can be expensive as they are unique and made to your specifications. If you're on a tight budget, ask the company or contractor who is building your custom French doors for several options. If there is a style that you like, but that is out of your budget, ask if there are ways to reduce costs by changing materials or adapting it to a less labor intensive design.

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    • French doors are made up of panes or panels of glass.
      French doors are made up of panes or panels of glass.