Types of Exterior French Doors


Exterior French doors are available in metal, wood and vinyl. They can be purchased as either pre-hung single doors, sets of two doors or as a non-hung door. Exterior French doors are available in many standard sizes and may be custom made for non-standard sizes and styles such as arched tops.

Construction Materials

  • Metal and vinyl doors are available in many colors, such as shades of white, brown, green, gray and blue. Merchants sell wooden exterior French doors with construction out of hardwoods such as mahogany, Spanish cedar and white oak to provide weather resistance. You may purchase the wood doors already stained or as raw wood you can stain or paint to match your home.

Pre-hung Doors

  • French doors for the exterior of your home can be either pre-hung or not pre-hung. A pre-hung door is already in the door casing, leveled and ready to install. A non-hung door requires the homeowner to build a door casing to hang the door in, which is more labor intensive. Pre-hung French doors are available in the single-door and double-door styles.


  • French doors have several panes of glass, which are called lites. Construction of a true divided lite (TDL) French door contains individual panes of glass with wood, metal or vinyl surrounding each to hold them in place. Imitation French doors have one large pane of glass with the construction material glued in place on both the inside and outside so it appears to have separate lites. The number of lites per door varies between manufacturers, but usually it is between nine and 16.


  • There are several sizes of French exterior doors from which to choose. Most manufacturers offer a minimum door width from 16 inches and a minimum door height of 60 inches. Most exterior French doors are a standard thickness of 1 3/8 inch to 1 3/4 inch.


  • French doors can be a standalone entryway to your home or they can have accents with transoms over the top and sidelights on either side. Some manufacturers and specialty woodworkers offer arched exterior French doors in many sizes.

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