Home Improvement: Installing Interior French Doors

So, you’re ready to tackle a new Home Improvement task this weekend? French Doors you Say? Well, adding French Doors to the interior of any home will add a drastic touch of style and class to any interior design. Choosing the right French Doors will depend on the style that you are trying to accomplish, but you can find a French door to suit just about any situation. I began installing French Doors in the early nineties and I know a thing or two about proper installation. I currently have a pair of French Doors in my home and they look absolutely stunning. Certainly this project will take a few hours to complete, but you will be very pleased with the end result. In this article I’ll discuss a no nonsense tutorial for Interior French door installation.

How to purchase Interior French doors:

Purchasing interior French doors should be done with some consideration to your interior settings. Choose a door that will transition with your current interior design scheme, and take some measurements of your current door opening size so that you can get a French door that will fit with minimal effort on your part. Don’t be afraid to ask store associates for assistance, you will want to know what materials the French door is made of and it is equally important to get a French door with a reputable warranty. Oak French doors are some of the best that you can purchase, and they will last for years with constant care. You should shop around because no two French doors are the exact same. Companies like Pella Windows and Viking make a wonderful selection of French doors and windows. Speaking of windows, it is also very important to choose a door that matches your current selection of windows. So, lesson in point? Oak is the best bet for finding a quality interior French door.

Choosing a Door which fits properly:

When choosing an interior French door you will want to make sure that the door jamb matches the conditions in your home. Measure the width of your current door jamb; undoubtedly you will need to make sure that your current door jamb is the same width of the one that comes with the French doors. When you are measuring the door jamb it is important for it to extent about 1/16th inches past the interior wall surface. Upon special request you can also have the door manufacturer make the exact sized jamb that you require, which is an ideal solution for most home owners.

Creating the Rough opening in the wall:

Of course the second step of installation is to creating a rough opening in the wall. This is the spot in which the door will actually be installed into. The rough opening that you creating for the French Doors should only be about an inch wider then the actual door. This is to leave room for weather striping and appearance items such as molding. Using the proper measurements make sure that the door is installed precisely to ensure that the French door can operate smoothly.

Finishing Touches for your new French door:

Now that you have the door physically in place you can begin the final touches of installation. First you will need to add a flashing pan; these are the devices that stop water from actually entering the door. When there is water running down the door, a flashing pan allows the water to roll into it; this is similar to the gutter system that is used on home construction. You will also want to install the molding around the door by using professional grade wood screws, and I would also recommend using a top grade wood glue to ensure a long life cycle for the door moldings. Choose door fixtures that will match the overall character of your home, and avoid skimping on a proper locking system.


There you have it, within a few short hours you should have installed a beautiful new set of French doors. These are the perfect solution for a home that lacks character or for someone who wants to add some pizzazz to an otherwise dull patio. Installing French doors might seem daunting for a do-it-yourselfer but it can actually be done with relative ease. I wish you the best of luck with your door installation endeavors.

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