Outswing French Doors

Save Space with this Classic Patio Door Option

French doors are a classic part of most homes whether on patios, balconies or both. But they aren't just functional elements of your home, but an important part of its overall appearance and style. The classic patio door option, they are favoured by homeowners around the world. Depending on where you live, either inswing or outswing may be standard. However, the interior and exterior layout of your patio or entryway will typically dictate the best option based on space considerations. Perhaps surprisingly, your local weather will also play a role. 

Inswing vs. Outswing Doors and Windows

Have you noticed that commercial buildings nearly always have outswing doors? This is a safety code feature that prevents a large group of people trying to exit the building from blocking the exit in the event of an emergency. In Scandinavia and other snow prone areas, windows and doors often swing outwards for two reasons. Firstly, it allows the wind to push the door into the frame for a better seal. Secondly, it ensures that snow and ice aren't brought inside every time the door or window is opened. Areas in hurricane zones such as the south-eastern United States and Caribbean often use outswing doors to prevent high speed winds from forcing an inswing door open during the storm. 

The Outswing French Door

Smaller rooms benefit most from outward opening French doors as well as areas where furniture may get in the way. With leafs that swing out, vital interior room is saved without the need to keep the surrounding area free. Ideal in small to medium sized spaces, French doors may also feature double sidelights. If so, your choice is usually more open as the sidelights would not have furniture in front of them anyway while outdoor areas may have planters for example. Transoms and glazing bars (muntins) can also be configured to match your existing facade and architectural style. 

Due to their difference in design, outswing models are often easier to operate too as they lack the sweep gasket and friction of inswing doors. 

Additional considerations include bug screens and curtains. If you live in a warmer climate and plan to frequently leave your patio doors open, it is important to ensure that you choose a window screen that does not block the direction of opening. The same is true for curtains and blinds. 

Material Options for the Frame

We offer two main materials, timber and uPVC as either standalone options or with aluminium cladding.

UPVC is well suited to those on a budget while still offering many of the customisation options. Its thermal performance and security can easily be upgraded as required. Timber on the other hand, boasts excellent natural insulation and strength. It provides a traditional and natural look for any home while requiring a tad more upkeep than synthetic materials. We offer a wide selection of wood including oak, cherry, larch, meranti and more.

Aluminium cladding represents the best of both worlds. For those on a stricter budget, aluclad uPVC provides solid security, durability, insulation and aesthetics at a great price. For the ultimate bespoke solution, aluminium clad timber frames are second to none. They feature a sleek modern look outside and robust weather resistance. This means minimal upkeep over time while retaining the cosy look of wood indoors.

In the past, basic hinges were a security concern and outwards opening doors meant they were exposed on the exterior. This may have been a concern many years ago, but technology has long made this a moot point. Modern security fittings and multi-point locking means burglars cannot simply pop the pins out of the hinge and open a door. 

Modern security features include a variety of measures including concealed hinges, special threaded pins and hinge bolts that prevent this old-fashioned attack. Finally, outswing doors are nearly impossible to kick in in contrast to inswing models. 

Glazing Options & Special Glass

French doors typically feature large glass surfaces to provide the most natural light possible and the best views. Since most of the total surface area is glass, your glazing choice plays a major role in overall energy efficiency, U-values and security.

With external doors, it is important to ensure that energy is not lost, whether that be cool air in summer or warm air in winter. Choosing double or triple glazing will go a long way towards having a French door that can insulate well as will optional non-conductive warm edge spacers and argon filling between panes. Low-e glass coatings can also be chosen to either maximise or minimise solar heat gain based on your local climate. 

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