Opening up your house to the outside is a great way of letting in more light and creating indoor-outdoor flow – and French doors can be the perfect choice for your home. But what do you need to consider when installing French doors, and how much does it cost?
Adding character and style to your home, French doors are an ideal choice for older houses especially if they are custom-made to fit your space and sized to maximise the available opening. For the removal of old doors and the installation of an entry-level, basic set of aluminium French doors, you should plan on spending from around $10,000.
There are many ways to customise your doors for a perfect fit, and that will have an impact on the overall cost of your project. Size is an obvious consideration. Jim Gleeson from Refresh Renovations in Auckland says: “The larger your French doors, the more they will cost. As the glass panes start getting bigger and heavier, this also means that the hinges need to be stronger to ensure the doors are structurally sound.” Other considerations include the type of glass you use, as well as locks and latches.
What can I get for a basic budget?
Standard-sized French doors made from aluminium with either single glazing or double glazing are a solid entry-level option. In addition to the cost of materials alone, you will need to factor in the cost of removing old doors and installing the new doors. A budget of around $10,000+ will cover this. It is worth setting aside a contingency budget of around 15 per cent to cover any unforeseen issues that may arise, for example where walls and door frames need to be strengthened or repaired.
Aluminium joinery is typically hardwearing and low maintenance. There are many different colours available, but generally speaking white, silver or dark brown/black tend to be the most popular. Aluminium joinery for French doors can be made to measure and to match the rest of your joinery for a seamless look.
In terms of size, larger doors will cost more. Traditionally, two opening doors would normally cover a width of around 1.2 to 1.5 metres. But the trend is to make doors bigger and wider to create a better indoor-outdoor flow. French doors can be made to measure up to 1.8 metres across two doors. Jim says: “A popular way of creating a large opening is to add extra panes of glass on either side of the French doors. This lets in even more light, while staying true to the character and design style, however, it requires extra thought in terms of engineering and ensuring the weight is catered for.” A large pane of glass can weigh between 20 and 30 kilograms, so the hinges, latches and other hardware have to be designed for this, otherwise, over time, the door will sag and bind.
Cost of basic French doors
From $10,000+, includes installation.
What is a mid-range budget for French doors?
With a budget of between $10,000 and $20,000 you can opt for custom-made wooden French doors, plus cover the labour costs for the removal of old doors and the installation of your new French doors. While laminated pine is the most cost-effective material to work with, there are also different types of hardwood to choose from. Using hardwood will generally mean that your project will be closer to the higher end of the budget spectrum.
Custom-made wooden French doors are usually the best option when you are renovating your home, as they can be designed to perfectly fit your house. Many older homes boast wooden joinery and the ideal approach is to match that joinery when you install new French doors.
French doors can be made to fit the many different architectural styles we come across in New Zealand, such as bungalows, villas or art deco buildings. It’s also becoming more common to see French doors inside the home to divide off living areas and hallways.
Cost of custom-made French doors
$10,000 - $20,000,
What can I achieve with a high-end budget?
The bigger your budget, the larger and more intricate your French door design can be. Custom-made doors made from hardwood with luxury hardware start anywhere from approximately $20,000+. This can include trims and locks, carved details as well as specially coated glass and added security features.
While we often don’t immediately think of hardware when selecting French doors, it is one of their defining features. Hardware includes the hinges, latches, handles and locks of a French door, and it’s important to consider locks and security features to ensure your set of doors doesn’t just look the part but protects the house as well.
Locks can be partially inset into the door, with drop bolts at the top and bottom for added security. When the doors are open, there are different ways to secure them to bolts via different types of latches including magnetic latched that hold the door open conveniently with the added advantage of being visually unobtrusive.
With a bit of extra money to spare, you can consider revamping your living spaces to include a large glass frontage with a combination of French doors and floor to ceiling windows that match the style. Another possibility is to place two or three sets of French doors next to each other, for example leading out to an Italian or French-inspired garden style patio. In recent years, pivoting or stacking French style doors have become increasingly popular, as they offer a modern twist on the classic French door.
Cost of high-end French doors
From $20,000, includes installation.
No matter what type or style of French door you go for, it’s crucial that the doors are properly engineered and manufactured, and installed by experienced builders. If you are installing new French doors as part of a larger home renovation, it’s worth consulting an architectural designer and specialist renovation company to make the most of your property and ensure compliance with all relevant council rules and regulations.
If you would like to discuss options and ideas for renovation project, please use the enquiry form on this page to provide us with your contact details. We will get in touch with you at a time that suits you to discuss your project. If you would like to provide us with more information about your project, we have a more comprehensive enquiry form on our "Get in touch" page too.