French Windows

What are French windows?

French window is just another term used for French Doors. These windows/doors are similar to patio doors in that they are made up of a single, large pane of glass that spans from top to bottom. The difference being that while patio doors open with a sliding motion, French windows swing open instead and resemble a giant casement window.

French windows have been around for hundreds of years, originally seen in Italy where they are known as ‘portefinestra’, then brought over to France by soldiers during times of war between the two countries. Their simple design allows for a lot of light to enter the room which was in contrast to the carved wooden doors that the French were using previously and this made them very popular.

Fast forward a few centuries to the present day and French windows are still a great option for those of you who are looking for something that will give their home a little more elegance or ‘je ne sais quoi’. Let’s take a look at this style of window and the prices you can expect to pay for them.

French Windows
French Windows

Where should I install French windows?

At the end of the day, as long as your home is up to it structurally, you could have French windows fitted anywhere you like. However, to make the most out of them, they are usually placed so that they link a room to an outside area.

They can be a great addition to a bedroom if you have a balcony, or you can have them on the ground floor so that they act as a grand entrance way to a patio, terrace or decked area in the garden.

A good thing about French windows is that because they swing open, they give you a large opening that makes it easy to bring furniture in and out of the home, and also allows more than one person to walk through at a time. This is perfect for busy family barbecues or garden parties where there could be a lot of foot traffic on the thoroughfare between inside and out.

What are the benefits of French windows and the glazing spec?

The most obvious benefit of having French windows installed is that they can make even the most boring room look fantastic. Especially if there is a nice garden or view to look out onto. They can give your home the pleasant and relaxing effect of having a connection between the outside and the interior.

It doesn’t matter if French windows are open or fully closed, their design means that the room they are fitted into will always be bathed in beautiful natural light during the daytime. Aside from the aesthetic qualities, French windows are also quite practical. Not only for the reasons we mentioned in the paragraph above, but also for something that is on most people’s minds these days- energy efficiency. You can get double glazed or triple glazed French windows, much the same as with any exterior glazing protection.

French windows allow for a lot of light to enter your home, bringing along with it heat that can save you money on heating bills during the cold winter months. They are also better at trapping heat in than patio doors and will provide more ventilation when fully opened.

Finally, adding French windows to your property could increase its value as, if they are installed correctly, they will be something that stands out amongst the crowd. Bear in mind these aren’t cheap plastic windows, these are windows that are designed to make your house special.

Imagine yourself viewing possible houses to buy. Wouldn’t a property with large French windows be something that would catch both your eye and imagination?

Things to be aware of when buying French windows

When you are buying French windows there are one or two things that you need to ask your supplier about to make sure you are getting good quality units. The first thing is to ask them about the locking mechanisms on the windows. Ideally, you want French windows that have five point locks for maximum security, but three point locks are also sufficient.

French Windows
French Windows

French windows have a lot of glass surface area, even if you choose to go with a ‘sash’ style segmented design, so you want to have top quality glass for both security and protection against accidents. If you are going to have full length panes of glass, I would recommend choosing laminated or toughened glass, especially if you have children playing in the house.

Also ask your supplier about the frame’s resistance to strong winds. You want to know specifically about whether or not the French windows they supply have opening restrictors that will prevent them getting flung open by strong gusts or gales.

How much do French windows cost?

With any window there is going to be some variation in price due to things like material, size, and glass type. For example, wooden framed French windows are going to be considerably more expensive than either uPVC or aluminium windows. Tempered glass, or lamented glass, will also cost you more than if you opt to go with standard glass.

This is true for all windows and French windows are no exception, but for the sake of giving you an idea about what to expect price-wise when it comes to French windows, let’s say you want to replace an existing window in your home with a uPVC French window.

To have this done by a reputable company will probably cost somewhere in the region of £1500, much like double glazing costs, this is a right bargain. If you needed to have a new opening made for the window or some other extra work in order to install the French window, your costs would increase.

French window less than 1.2m wide and less than 2.2m high
French Window Material Colour Double Glazed Triple Glazed
uPVC White £625 – £825 £725 – £925
uPVC Anthracite Grey £725 – £925 £825 – £1025
Aluminium White £875 – £1025 £925 – £1200
Hardwood White £3000 – £4000 £3500 – £4500

Saving money on French windows

To save money on your French windows, you should go for uPVC frames as they are cheapest if you’re on a budget. Without question, the hardwood look the best but then they come with a hefty price tag. Much depends on the style and era of your property and if you go for wooden French doors then you’ll probably want wooden windows too.

You should also shop around and negotiate a better price with either local or national window companies. Most companies will quote you slightly higher to begin with in the expectation that you will haggle, so don’t be afraid to try to get the price down.

By getting quotes from more than one company you will be giving yourself the best chance of getting a better deal on your French windows.