French Doors – Exteriors and Outdoor Design (3) : Design trends for exterior spaces and four-season rooms

French doors are considered by many homeowners to be a wise investment, both aesthetically and functionally. They’re right! French doors offer a stylish, classic look that adds charm to a home while creating a generous opening for natural light, air and foot traffic to pass through.

The French door consists of a frame around on or more transparent or translucent panels (called lights or lites) that may be installed insgly, in matching pairs, or even as series.

The frame typically requires a weather strip at floor level and where the doors meet to prevent water ingress. An espagnolette bolt may allow the head and foot of each door to be secured in one movement.

The slender window joinery maximizes light into the room and minimizes the visual impact of the doorway joinery when considered externally. The doors of a French window often open outward onto a balcony, porch, or terrace and they may provide an entrance to a garden or pool area.


French doors can serve as both entry doors and as views to the outside.  They are also ideal to create a smooth flow of pedestrian traffic between the outdoors and indoors. French swing doors using tempered glass can provide panoramic views to the outdoors from inside any home or building and the tempered glass helps to insulate and thus save energy.

French doors are available with standard hinges or pivot hardware.  As the panels are high-capacity in terms of weight and endurance there is an opportunity for a large swing door that may exceed 70 square feet in a single panel.

French doors operate by swinging out or by rotating on standard hinges.  An optional multi-point locking mechanism allows the door panel to operate easily even when the panel is over-sized and heavy. These systems are chosen often for a stunning curb appeal as main entry doors to residences but may also be used in virtually any other application that calls for a large pivot or French door.

We hope you gleaned some valuable information from the third installment of our educational series and we also hope you tune in for the next installment focused on Folding Door systems.  Glass folding doors provide an opportunity to gain open views to the outdoors while maximizing the opening in situations where there is insufficient space for wider swing doors.

Thank you again for going through our educational series titled:
This material is based on our AIA accredited CEU course offered both online and in live sessions during our lunch and learn presentations. If you would like to schedule a live CEU AIA accredited Lunch and Learn Course for your office simply email and indicate your interest in a specific date and we will contact you right away.

Learning Objectives – After this course, you should be able to:

Discuss the key sustainability criteria (LEED and SITES) that apply to the design of exterior spaces and outdoor rooms.
Describe some of the various product systems that are available for designing exterior spaces and outdoor rooms, and understand each system’s compliance with sustainability criteria.
List design options for exterior deck spaces regarding railings and safety.
Explain the ways in which exterior spaces and outdoor rooms can help to meet LEED and SITES requirements of human health and well-being.

If you would like to take the official course for actual CEU learning credits CLICK HERE


  • 1.5 AIA LU/HSW
  • 0.1 IACET CEU
  • AAA 1 Learning Hour
  • OAA 1 Learning Hour
  • May qualify for 1 AANB Learning Hour
  • SAA 1 Learning Hour
  • MAA 1 Learning Hour
  • AAPEI 1 Learning Hour
  • May qualify for 1 NSAA Learning Hour
  • AIBC 1 Learning Hour
  • NLAA 1 Learning Hour
  • NWTAA 1 Learning Hour