10:37PM | 08/13/05
Member Since: 08/13/05
2 lifetime posts
I recently bought four sets of exterior fiberglass French doors from ********** and had a contractor specializing in door installation install all of them.

After they were installed, I noticed that they all allowed daylight to filter through at the bottom where the two doors meet in the center. My installer said that this is a manufacturer's defect in how they were designed. ********** said that all French doors allow daylight to seep through at this location and that this is perfectly normal. Who is right? Thanks for any information.


05:26PM | 08/14/05
Member Since: 07/01/05
91 lifetime posts
I totally disagree with your installer's opinion that because the door is ill made, you should accept it as such.

Look up the 800 line of the manufacturer. They will send out a rep (eventually) to determine if there is a manufacturing flaw, & what corrective measures are needed.

I have gone through the process, & they will stand behind their product if you bug them enough.

That said, I think most French Doors are inherently sloppy in both design & quality of manufacture.

I was quite disappointed in the last one that I installed. It was manufactured by perhaps the best known window & door company in the USA. The company would be alphabetically at the top of the list.

Bear in mind too that these units are difficult to install perfectly. One does not realize that a correction is needed until the unit is 99% installed. A great deal of work is needed to remove the unit & make a correction to the opening. This complication is often encountered in a replacement installation where the existing opening is less than perfect.


08:29AM | 09/10/05
Member Since: 09/09/05
21 lifetime posts
I agree on the sloppy design and manufacture. French doors by design do have weaknesses in air infiltration regular doors don't because of the astrigal on the semi-stationary door. Anywhere there is a seam, there is a chance for air infiltration.

One thing most people don't know about most French doors is that they are very easy to break in to. Armed with a simple straight screwdriver, I can open a set of French Doors faster than most people can get out their keys and open the lock.

The semi-stationary door on a set of French doors usually has a slide on the edge of the doors that slides up into the header and down into the sill. By pushing in the bottom of the door with a foot, all it takes is to reach in with a screwdriver and lift up on the slide, repeat the process by pushing in at the top of the door with a hand, and then push inward. The deadbolt comes right out of the keeper when you swing the doors inward.

I have shocked many customers when I have shown them a demonstration of this. Adding well installed slide bolts on the inside of the doors will help on this security issue.

Some manufactures are addressing this security problem by using a multi-point locking system. These locks use a slide bar that locks the doors together at several places up and down the door. It makes it impossible to open the doors as I have described.


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