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French Doors
Old 05-12-2008, 03:25 PM   #1
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French Doors

So DW and I have been lusting after replacing our old drafty 5-ft wide sliding glass doors with french doors. A few questions:

1. We've been told that while steel is the cheapest, it's dents easily. We don't want to deal with the maintenance of wood, so it looks like it's either vinyl or fiberglass. Insulation seems to be pretty good with either of these. Any other pros and cons?
The LBMM part me wanted to get steel initially since it's less than half the cost, but I think seeing the dents would really get to me.

2. We've just gotten quotes from Home Depot and Lowes. Any opinions on the doors that they sell? My FIL is going to install it so that means it's kinda hard to buy from a smaller shop that wants to give us a package deal (including the install). Any recommended or to be avoided vendors or manufacturers? We're in SoCal.

3. The doors range from $500 - $1500. The primary cost differences seems to be if we want to have a door that is unfinished versus finished ($300 cheaper for unfinished) and if we want two functioning door handles. Does this sound about the right price?


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Old 05-12-2008, 03:48 PM   #2
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I have no idea, but I just had to say WOW!! That's a lot of money for uninstalled doors. I just had two (non-French) exterior metal doors installed by a handyman, total fee $480 for both including installation. No dents and they look absolutely beautiful.

My house has five sets of French doors in it. I guess I am luckier than I realized.

(edited to add: my two exterior non-French metal doors were finished with a white enamel of some kind, so I didn't have to paint them. They were separate doors, not a pair of doors. I know that French doors cost more, but gee.... )

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Old 05-12-2008, 04:28 PM   #3
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I just spent almost $1200 on a set of French doors (exterior) at Home Depot. They were a special order, due to the size (we needed 48"). They are steel on the outside (and came painted - we got to choose the color) and are wood on the inside - which we stained to match the other wooden doors in the house. The doors came hung in a frame. We installed it ourselves. It was surprisingly easy...

I was initially surprised at the price, I somehow had $500-600 in my mind for the doors, so it was an awakening at the store to find that they STARTED around $1000.

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Old 05-12-2008, 04:29 PM   #4
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I have a few french doors, metal clad, have no problems with dents, they are over 3 yrs old. Don't think they dent that easy.
Reccently picked up a 6' wide Andersen, off Craigslist, in pretty good shape, no dents $175.--, transport may be a probelm. I hauled the frame on top my Suburban doors inside.
Home Depot, Lowes do installs even if not bought there. At least in my area, SW PA.
Don't know pricing, I do all of my work around house.
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Old 05-12-2008, 04:31 PM   #5
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I installed Pella sliding French doors. They are excellent and well worth the money. They have windowpane "inserts" that look great.
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Old 05-13-2008, 10:41 AM   #6
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We have Pella too. Excellent product. There is a security gizmo that can be added, rods that attach to the outside of the sliding door that go into the track. We have them in two locations so that we can secure them closed and slightly ajar if desired.
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Old 05-13-2008, 01:09 PM   #7
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When I built my home last year we bought all fiberglass french doors with one handle but both sides operable for ~ $1000 to put in the basement. We also bought a single wood interior fiberglass exterior Marvin door for $1000. It would have been $2000 for the wood/fiberglass double door. Both were full glass. The all fiberglass double door has blinds between the glass. The hardware came with the Marvin and it was supply your own for the fiberglass.

3. Your price quote seems about right to me.

2. I did not like the hardware included with the Marvin door. The locking mechanism is odd and requires too much brute force. The thin profile of the door likely means that any hardware would be non standard.

1. I like fiberglass conceptually better than vinyl. It can be easily painted where vinyl can't. It should also be stronger and more dent resistant. Though not a concern in southern CA fiberglass also expands and contracts with temperature change at the same rate as glass so if you have a glass pane in the door there would be less chance of flexing causing the glass seal to break.

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