French Doors

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Forum topic by Betsy posted 12-02-2011 08:19 PM 1833 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Betsy's profile


3391 posts in 3922 days

12-02-2011 08:19 PM

Topic tags/keywords: french doors sunroom

I posted this on the home refurbishing site, but that site does not seem to get much traffic so I thought I’d put my questions out to my buddies here on Lumberjocks.

I’m getting ready to have a sunroom added to my house (no – I’m not building it – although I wish I could). I want to switch the patio door out for French doors. I have several questions.

I’ve looked at the different stores in my area and have tried the web, but I cannot find a French door with a solid bottom panel. I want a solid panel to allow the addition of a doggie door. Is there such an animal?

Secondly, most of the doors I’ve looked at seem to more than easy to break into. If I am thinking safety would I be better to think of a better quality patio door with a doggie insert?

Thanks in advance for any tips.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

7 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile


117120 posts in 3603 days

#1 posted 12-02-2011 08:31 PM

There are a couple ways to go #1 special order a door with a solid panel in the bottom,#2 make the door yourself #3 Have your pet door come through the wall instead of the door. I’ve seen pet doors with a lock that on locks with a transmitter that fits on your pets collar. All said an done I don’t believe that pet doors are secure unless you have a lock on them that can be locked when your away or at night.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View IrreverentJack's profile


727 posts in 2869 days

#2 posted 12-02-2011 08:56 PM

Can you put the dog door in a wall somewhere? The dogs won’t care and it might increase your design options.

View lew's profile


12102 posts in 3781 days

#3 posted 12-03-2011 12:15 AM

When I added our dining room to the back of the house, we were going to use a french door. The architect suggested we use an “Atrium” door instead. It looks like a french door- double door panel- but only one side opens and that hinges in the center. He said they are more secure and do a better job at sealing out the weather and drafts.

As for the dog door, we did as “IrreverentJack” suggested and put it in the wall near the corner of the room.

A word about dog doors- be certain to buy one from a company that’s been around for a while. Once you cut the hole, you’re stuck with that size door. Different companies have different dimensions and even the same company changes dimensions from time to time. The doors are almost all made of plastic and the sunlight will deteriorate the material after a while. So getting the exact replacement is critical. I buy 2 at a time just in case Quigley breaks one in the middle of winter.


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Bill1225's profile


125 posts in 2425 days

#4 posted 12-03-2011 12:48 AM

Norwood doors, I would also stay away from wood doors though and use a fiber glass or steel, if not you will have a bunch of problems with expansion and contraction with the a sun run and especially with a french door you reveals will be all over the place

View Bill1225's profile


125 posts in 2425 days

#5 posted 12-03-2011 12:52 AM

or you could just get 2 doors with opposite swings and just make a jamb and there you go

View Blackie_'s profile


4883 posts in 2539 days

#6 posted 12-03-2011 02:11 AM

Sounds like others have you on the right track Betsy, I was going to suggest putting the doggie door in the wall, that’s where mine is, only make sure you don’t put it under a window seal as you won’t be able to use the sliding hatch due to the seal being in the way. The one I purchased has a tented double flap, but I have a covered deck so the sun never hits it any way.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

View Betsy's profile


3391 posts in 3922 days

#7 posted 12-03-2011 02:11 AM

Thanks guys. First off – The wall that butts up against my current patio door is about six inch thick rock that surrounds the fireplace.

I’m going to look at atrium doors. I really, really want the french door style look – but I do want safe also.

Bill – I’ll also google Norwood.

Jim I’ve seen the doggie doors with the alarms. They look cool, but not sure I could get my babies to wear a collar – they are a bit spoiled in that regard.

Cr – you are right about the security thing – they can break into anything if they try hard enough or want it ba enough. My object for security is that I sleep better at night. I’ve got an old alarm system that I’m going to update as soon as the room is finished out.

Thanks again for all your help.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

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