How to Install French Doors

Installing Exterior French Doors

Installing ­exterior French doors isn't much more difficult than installing interior French doors -- if you already have the opening.

To install exterior French doors, you can follow similar instructions to those on the previous page for installing interior French doors, though you have to remember to seal your opening carefully to protect the interior of your home from the elements. You should begin by framing the opening, and then sealing it. Same as with interior French doors, you should see if the doors fit properly, adjusting shims as necessary. Once you have hung the doors, seal the doors to protect against nature.

­If you have to cut the opening for your doors, be sure to contact a professional. Cutting out an exterior wall of your house is a major job -- something not to be undertaken lightly. You don't want part of the house to collapse because you've cut away support, or lose a valuable utility because you accidently cut some wires running through the walls. If your house has siding, you'll also have to cut the siding so that it fits with your new door's molding [source: Vandervort].

Though installing French doors isn't a job for a do-it-yourself beginner, it can certainly be done with a lot of careful measuring and patience. The key to this job is persistence - you may have to adjust those shims repeatedly. If you've worked hard enough to install these doors, you want to make sure you've done it right so you can enjoy your French doors for years to come.

For more information on related home improvement topics, visit the links below.

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  • Carter, Tim. "French Doors." Ask the Builder. (Accessed 12/13/08),,DIY_13798_2276314,00.html
  • Dixieline Pro Build. "Installing French and Patio Doors. (Accessed 12/13/08)
  • DIY Network. "French Doors: Setting the New Door in Place and Finishing Touches."
  • Fleming, Kelly. "Installing French Doors." Associated Content. March 12, 2007. (Accessed 12/13/08)­
  • HGTV. "Install French Doors." (Accessed 12/13/08) (Accessed 12/13/08)
  • Vandervort, Don. "How to Install a Patio Door." Home Tips. (Accessed 12/13/08)