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Are French double doors a tighter sealed system than sliding glass doors (Marvin)?

EdSe | Posted in Energy Efficiency and Durability on

Researching windows and doors for new home. Are French double doors a tighter air sealed system than sliding glass doors (Marvin)?

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  1. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #1

    There are lots of variables. I suppose that a low-quality pair of hinged doors might leak more air than a high-quality sliding glass door. But in general, hinged doors are easier to seal against air leaks than sliding doors -- just as casement windows and awning windows are easier to seal against air leaks than sliders or double-hungs.

  2. charlie_sullivan | | #2

    What I'd suggest as a surer solution is to pair a fixed-pane window the size of a door and a single swinging door. The look can be as close as you'd like to the double door, and it's pretty rare to need the full double width opening.

  3. kevin_in_denver | | #3

    Cheap french doors leak badly and will have crappy locking pins at the top and bottom only on the one side that is rarely used. These are the type of pins that you engage one at a time with a finger.

    Good french doors have true "multi-point" or "triple point" locking on both sides. By lifting the lever handle on either side, the locks engage at the top and bottom, and the weather seals are compressed.

    Careful, the manufacturer may promise triple point locking, but you have to verify somehow that it's the high quality style.

  4. Expert Member

    As the designer, builder and occupant of a house with two french doors I have to agree with Charlie. The idea of throwing the doors wide and opening the interior to your outdoor space is enticing, but the reality is you seldom do, and then spend the next day getting rid of all the bugs that came in. That said, sliding patio doors offer a poor way to move outside too.

  5. LeePaladin | | #5

    Must agree with Mr. Taylor. So many bugs can fly into a room, especially in the evening with the lights on! I love both french doors and sliding doors, but for utility and space utilization, I'll choose sliding doors.

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