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Morristown TN Real Estate For Sale~What Are French Doors & Are They Really Frenc


What Are French Doors—and Are They Even Really French?

What are French doors? They may sound like something you'd spot at a Parisian bistro, but these days, these double doors with glass panes are popping up in homes all over the good old U.S. of A.

So many questions, though: Did they really come from France? And what makes them such a great addition when you're renovating your home? Read on for the answers, plus the cost and resale value of adding French doors to your home.


What are French doors?

If you head to your local home improvement store and ask for a French door, what you're actually going to walk away with are two doors. That's because French doors are two adjoining doors with glass panes from top to bottom. "These doors are hinged at opposite sides of a doorway so that they meet in the middle," explains Nikki James, studio manager at Ashton Woods, a homebuilder in Dallas.

That also means that typically, the door handles are in the center spot, where the two doors meet, and that the doors open away from one another. Some sliding-glass-door makers have created a twist on the old classic, creating glass doors that meet in the middle as French doors do, but that open by sliding away from each other.

While many doors are solid or have just a few panes of glass, blocking most of the light that would enter through the doorway, the largely glass makeup of French doors allows plenty of light to pour into the room.

Where did French doors come from?

Unlike French fries, which actually originated in Belgium, French doors really are French in name and in their history. The first French doors are said to have been designed in the 17th century, during the French Renaissance period.

Because electricity had yet to be invented, the doors were a significant innovation to allow more light into a home. And since glass was expensive back then, they served as a sign of the homeowner's wealth, says designer Pablo Solomon of Austin, TX.

Should you install French doors?

Like most design choices, installing French doors comes down to personal aesthetics and the overall design of a home.

"The door itself is very reminiscent of the Renaissance architecture style, which boasted an emphasis on symmetry, proportion, and geometry which are much like the five principles of design that we use today—rhythm, harmony, balance, scale, and proportion," James notes. "For example, the French door provides a consistent visual experience—that's rhythm—as the design imitates that of the mullions on a window."

As for their benefits, the windows of the French doors can turn a small, dim space into one that's significantly brighter. Adding French doors that lead to a backyard or patio can trick the eye, making a small space seem larger than it is. French doors are also an obvious choice for anyone hoping to bring more of the outdoors inside their home.

Where to install French doors

As an exterior door: Whether they lead to a balcony or to your backyard, French doors can open up an exterior wall and give the sense in a room that you've extended the space outward. Likewise, they can make a home look more inviting from the outdoors.

And you can't beat the easy access, or the views they provide onto gardens and the backyard.


Photo by ClearOvations 

As an office door: "French doors are very popular as [home] office doors, giving you the peace and quiet in your home that you desire while trying to get work done, but still providing you a view outside of your home office," James suggests.

Not sure you have the room? Try a sliding "barn door." It's not a traditional French door, but James says it's a modern-day twist on the classic.

"With all glass options and glass/wood options, they allow for the same benefits as French doors—with a modern twist," she explains.

Photo by Christian Gladu Design 

Between bedroom and living space: Adding French doors that separate the master bedroom from living or dining areas is a great feature and one that will wow potential home buyers, Solomon says.

"French doors are one of my favorite ways to create a harmonious flow between interior and exterior living," he notes. Just don't forget the curtains for a little bedroom privacy!

Photo by Dyer Grimes Architecture 

Cost of French doors—and resale value

Like most design features, door prices vary based on size and materials. But you can expect to pay about $500 on the low end for a new prehung set of French doors, Solomon says, with the price rising from there for custom fits and requests. All in all, they're a good investment in your home, since they don't cost much but add significant resale value, so they almost pay for themselves.

Whichever doors you get, make sure they're properly hung and fitted to install a tight seal, Solomon warns, since doors that aren't a good fit can be a major source of heating and cooling losses.

The Elkins Home Selling Team with Elite Realty Group provides services with Morristown TN Real Estate For Sale and Morristown TN Homes For Sale to home buyers and home sellers in Morristown Tennessee, Whitesburg, Talbott, Russellville, Sevierville, Bean Station, Dandridge, Pigeon Forgeand surrounding communities.

We specialize in working with Home Sellers in getting their homes listed and sold. We utilize the latest and most up to date marketing materials in assuring the job gets done quickly and with the least amount of hassle. Our homes are listed on over 32 different Real Estate web sites including,, and many others. Each office independently owned and operated.

Elite Realty Group is a full service real estate company serving Morristown TN Real Estate For Sale, Jefferson City TN Real Estate For Sale, Talbott TN Real Estate For Sale, Russellville TN Real Estate For Sale, Grainger Co TN Real Estate For Sale, Dandridge TN Homes For Sale, Cherokee Lake TN Homes For Sale and Douglas Lake TN Homes For Sale.

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The Elkins Team
Dave, Norma, Mitchell and Siobhan Elkins
Licensed in TN
Equal Housing Opportunity
(423) 307-8566
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