A door is a door is a door. Except maybe when it’s a set of custom exterior French doors or double front doors from ProVia, complemented with sidelites to the left and right and a handsome matching transom over top. Although a French entry door and double front door look similar, there are differences in their functionality.
A French door generally features one active door, with the second door fixed in place with a latch that can be lifted to open the door. Double doors are mirror image doors, both having the hardware to open them. Either can be used for entry doors or patio doors. (See our hinged patio doors).
A lot of decisions go into choosing a custom French or double entry or patio door, like color, number of panels and hardware style. But one of the most creative choices you have is the type of configuration.
Whether you choose to go with exterior French doors or double front doors, there are six main configurations available for each type:
- Just the door(s)
- The door(s) with a sidelite to the right or left
- The door(s) with a sidelite on each side
- Just the door(s) with a transom over top
- The door(s) with one sidelite and a transom
- The door(s) with a sidelite on each side and
Double or French entry and patio doors can be further customized via the style of sidelite (e.g., full-length glass, or a combination of panel and glass).
The availability of sidelite styles varies depending on the door type. In ProVia’s case, we have three brands of fiberglass exterior doors, Embarq, Signet and Heritage, and one brand of steel exterior doors, the Legacy series, all of which can be configured as double or French entry or patio doors. Each brand offers a range of sidelite styles.
Further expanding your customization choices for an exterior French door or double door are glass options ranging from no window to full glass, with everything in between, accompanied by panels that vary in size, shape and number.
The no-window option, whether for double or French entry doors, is popular with homeowners who place a premium on privacy. In these cases, sidelites and a transom outfitted with decorative glass can provide much needed interior light without compromising the homeowner’s concerns. On the flip side, double or French patio doors usually feature full glass to provide the best view of your outdoor living space.
Aside from privacy, another factor that needs to be considered during the selection of a double or French entry door or patio door is beauty, which itself comprises a whole range of decisions, such as the color of the paint or finish, as well decorative glass options and wood-textured vs. smooth surfaces. Adding a double front door or French entry door makes a grand design statement.
Factors you don’t have to worry about with ProVia doors are durability and energy efficiency. Virtually every possible combination of door style, glass, sidelite and transom are built to last a lifetime, and are ENERGY STAR® certified.
ProVia and its outstanding network of dealers also help ease the load for homeowners by providing expert assistance in working through every critical decision in the door customization process. We can help not only with technical decisions like energy efficiency but also with questions concerning the aesthetic compatibility of all the components of your double or French entry door.
Combined with appropriate glass, window style and hardware choices, any configuration of sidelites and transoms can be customized to create the right front door for your home, whether it’s a Craftsman bungalow, a three-story Victorian or a sleek, ultra-modern home.
Visit our Design Center to get ideas and to begin creating your French or double front door or patio door.
Product Manager - Entry & Storm Doors