Exterior French Doors

Exterior French Door Buying Guide

Exterior patio image featuring a 2-panel open Infinity Inswing French Door with Prairie 9-Lite Simulated Divided Lites in Pebble Gray exterior finish with Brushed Chrome hardware and a Beige sill.

Types of exterior French doors 

Exterior French doors are patio doors that can come as single hinged, double hinged, or as a space-saving sliding door. 

Single-hinged exterior French doors 

Single-hinged exterior French doors work well in areas with limited space, like kitchens and bedrooms. Marvin® Replacement offers a single-hinged Inswing French door that can lighten a darker area well.  

Double-hinged exterior French doors

Double-hinged exterior French doors fit best in bigger spaces, like a living room that opens to a patio. They can also open inwards or outwards. Depending upon the configuration, one door can be fixed or both doors can open. The additional door adds more natural light. Marvin Replacement Inswing French doors come in single hinged, 2, or 3 panel varieties. 

Sliding French door 

If you like the design of a French door but are tight on space for a door to open and close, a sliding French door provides the perfect solution Marvin Replacement’s Sliding French door is available with 2, 3 or 4-panel configurations and can span up to 16-feet wide for brighter views. 

Exterior French door materials 

Manufacturers build exterior French doors with vinyl, wood, fiberglass or aluminum.  


Available in a variety of colors, vinyl French doors appeal to homeowners because of their affordability and versatility, however, vinyl doors can warp over time because vinyl can expand and contract as the seasons change.


Homeowners like to choose wood for its classic look and the ability to paint it to match the rest of the home. Wood patio doors require regular maintenance to prevent any potential wood rot, mold, or mildew issues.  


Fiberglass sliding French doors offer the perfect mix of style and durability. Marvin Replacement’s Ultrex® fiberglass is 8x stronger than vinyl and has an acrylic finish that is 3x thicker than the competition, so it is virtually maintenance-free. Plus, Ultrex can be painted to match a home. 

Exterior French door pros and cons 

French door pros 

Adds more natural light 

Allows fresh air in 

Add design appeal 

Sliding French doors offer space-saving operation 

Hinged (in-swing) French doors maximize outdoor living spaces 

Exterior French door cons 

Hinged doors need room to open and close 

Things to consider


A one-panel French door can look amazing in narrow spaces, however, it still needs room to swing in or out.  


When you add more natural light with an exterior French door, you must consider the type of glass used in the door. Marvin Replacement has four glass coating options: Low E1, Low E2, Low E3, and Low E3/ERS.  


A hinged screen can need additional floor space and a sliding French door will need a track for the screen. Marvin Replacement Sliding French Doors feature top-hung screens that move smoothly in the sill track.  

See how our Sliding French doors and Inswing French doors can transform your home. 

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