French doors are instantly recognizable and remain the top patio door style for homeowners who want a traditional look for their homes. We often get asked why French doors are called French doors. As your local residential windows and patio door provider, Renewal by Andersen® of Kansas City shares a look at how this classic door style got its name.
A Brief History of French Doors
French doors came into popular use in 17th-century France. Symmetrical design is one of the elements that defined the Renaissance, which informs French doors as we know it today. French architects refer to it as porte-fenêtre (“window door”) and they were used merely as oversized windows.
The equally symmetrical grille style, which is today referred to as “Colonial,” divides the sash into smaller glass panels. This is due to the glassmaking limitations of the time. Clear and flat glass panels are commonplace at the time, but glassmakers can only make small pieces. The bigger glass areas were intended to maximize natural lighting as indoor lighting was limited to candles, lamps and furnaces.
Neighboring countries were quick to adopt this design, giving credit to the French Renaissance by calling it, quite simply, “French doors”. Today, French doors are to patio doors what double-hung windows are to windows in terms of popularity and association with traditional design.
Modern French Doors
French doors, as we know them today, are not so different from their traditional counterparts in terms of design. Modern manufacturing techniques have benefited French doors, with precision cutting, use of alternative materials such as composite and improved door hardware.
Renewal by Andersen offers Frenchwood® patio doors, manufactured by our parent company, Andersen Corporation. Using modern crafting methods and materials, we provide a classic look that you know and love and balance it with features such as energy efficiency and resistance against the elements. Instead of individual glass panels, our Frenchwood patio doors are equipped with High-Performance™ Low-E4® glass packages; the grilles are installed on or between glass panels. Frenchwood patio doors are beautiful energy-efficient, and easy to clean and maintain.
Renewal by Andersen of Kansas City is your leading provider of patio doors and popular window styles, such as sliding windows. Give us a call at (913) 956-0887 or fill out our contact form. We serve customers in Olathe and Independence, MO.