Installing French doors

French doors are frequently used on decks, patios, and other exterior openings. For the do-it-yourselves, both novice and experienced, it can take only a few hours to install.

Installing and hanging doors
Gary Katz.
Newtown, CT : Taunton ; [Berkeley, CA] : [distributed by Publisher's Group West], c2002.
Providing carpenters and do-it-yourselfers of all levels with the information they need to get a perfect fit every time, this book covers door selection, hardware, and more. A final chapter explains several professional techniques for making doors weather-tight.
The complete guide to windows & doors : step-by-step projects for adding, replacing & repairing all types of windows & doors.
Chanhassen, Minn. : Creative Pub. International, c2002.
-- All you need to know about choosing, repairing, replacing and installing doors and windows.-- Step-by-step instructions accompanied by 450+ color photos.
Windows and doors
Scott McBride.
Newtown, CT : Taunton Press : Distributed by Publishers Group West, c2002.
A frequent contributor to Fine Homebuilding magazine, Scott McBride offers this comprehensive guide covering all aspects of an often daunting task. Step-by-step instructions take the homeowner through each process, including prepping and adjusting basic and specialized types of doors and windows. Lavishly illustrated with 225 color photos and 114 color illustrations, the book features tips, shortcuts, and advice on solving common challenges cut even difficult jobs down to manageable size.

Selecting your door, often a pre-hung unit, is the first step of installing a new French door. French doors are made up of wood and glass panels. It is recommended that there should be no glass closer than 6” to the lock locations.  Do so will make it harder for burglars to break into your home. Purchase a pre-hung door set that is 1 inch smaller in width and height than the rough opening.

The jambs of the door frame should be the same thickness as the existing wall so that they can be butt flush against it to create a smooth line.  Adjust your rough opening, as necessary, to frame out the door you will install.

A French door can be a way to bring more natural light into your home. They are also known as French windows because the doors have multiple small windows, called lights, set into the full length of the door.

Slide your new French door unit into the opening bottom first. Make sure the doors swing open the way you want. Add a few nails into each jamb to hold the door unit in place.

Next, place wooden shims under the legs of the jamb as needed. Fit any remaining gaps along the head and jambs with batt insulation. Carefully read the manufacturer’s instructions. Check to see that your door unit is level before proceeding.

Finishing touches to your new doors often includes filling nail holes with wood putty plus a coat of paint. Add your doorknob and lock set that matches your décor to finish off this installation.

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff