Sliding Glass Vs. French Doors: Which is Right for Your Home?

Nov 08, 2016

In a recent blog post, we provided some great tips for how to determine if your old sliding glass door needs replacing. As the cold weather settles in for the winter, it’s important to determine if your sliding door is difficult to open and close, causing a draft, or surrounded by rotting wood.

Once you’ve determined it is time to replace your old sliding glass door, you will need to figure out if you want to put in another sliding glass door, or in-swing or out-swing French doors. This may seem like an easy question to answer based on your particular decorating taste, but there’s actually much more involved in the decision.

The differences between sliding glass and French doors


Sliding glass doors are ideal for those with smaller rooms that can’t accommodate the floor space taken up by in-swing French doors. In-swinging French doors will eat up quite a bit of space in a smaller room. Consider furniture placement and the size of your room before purchasing French doors that swing into your home.


There’s a reason sliding glass doors are so popular. They fit well with both modern and traditional designs. French doors add style and elegance to just about any home, but fit best in traditional designs.

Opening size

Sliding glass doors can create an opening of up to 10 feet, while most standard French doors can only create a 6-foot opening. However, to get that 10-foot opening you’ll need to remove the stationary glass pane from the slider. French doors create a larger opening by simply opening both doors.


Sliding glass doors can start as low as $500, while French doors normally start at over $1,000.


You may not realize it, but when you install French doors that swing out, you may be inviting a rather easy break-in. Out-swinging doors will put the hinges to your doors on the outside of your home. Those hinges, and your door can be removed in a matter of seconds. Make sure to have your contractor install safety hinges that can be purchased at any big box home improvement store. Overall, French doors that swing into your home are the safest.

Energy efficiency

There’s always been a debate about which type of door is the most energy efficient. However, in recent years French door design has greatly improved and they now provide much better energy efficiency ratings. In addition to 1-inch thick double-paned glass, French doors do a better job of sealing all the way around. French doors are manufactured with a weatherstrip that tightly seals from outside air and water. Sliding glass doors offer no such weather-stripping and are often just metal on metal.

Whatever door you decide is right for your home, make sure to turn to Naperville sliding glass and French door contractor Carmody Construction for proper professional installation. Installing a door to the outside is not a DIY job and should be handled by an expert. We’ve installed hundreds of these doors across the Fox Valley, and know how to complete the job right the first time!

Contact Carmody today for a FREE sliding glass or French door consultation.