French doors can add a touch of elegance and style to any home, whether for interior or exterior use. Follow this comprehensive step-by-step guide to successfully install French doors without the need for center support, providing better access and a more aesthetically pleasing look.
French Doors Are Versatile
Before embarking on the installation, consider the location of the door, potential obstructions, the type of glass, and the screen options for exterior doors. Check the available space around the doorway to ensure sufficient room for the new French doors to open and close comfortably. If installing in a new doorway, assess the best spot for access, sunlight exposure, and views. Additionally, decide on the type of glass that suits your privacy preferences, whether it’s clear, textured, or frosted panels. Magnetic or retractable screen doors are recommended while leaving the space open is also an option.
Measure the Doorway Begin by measuring the height and width of the current doorway accurately. Remove the door trim to get precise measurements. Purchase a French door kit that fits the measured dimensions, ensuring there is a small gap of about 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch between the frame and the doors. If necessary, consider ordering custom-made French doors for a perfect fit.
Cut the Sill Pan (for Exterior Doors) When it comes to exterior doors, measure the width of the frame and cut the sill pan to size using a hacksaw. The sill pan helps keep rain, snow, and sleet out of your home.
Consider the Location of the Door
Apply Waterproof Caulk Apply three rows of waterproof adhesive caulk at the base of the door frame using a caulking gun. The adhesive caulk will secure the sill pan in place without the need for screws and prevent moisture from entering your home.
Install the Sill Pan Slide the sill pan into position over the base of the door frame, pressing it down onto the caulk evenly along the entire length. Use a roller or similar object to flatten the sill pan further if needed.
Install the Door Frame For exterior French doors, apply waterproof adhesive caulk along the perimeter of the sill pan and seat the door frame into it. If needed, enlist the help of another person to handle the width and weight of the door frame. For interior French doors, tilt the door frame up and into position with assistance, sliding the sides against the bare edge of the doorway as closely as possible.
Mount the French Doors
Depending on the French door kit, the doors may come pre-hung on the frames or separately. If not pre-hung, use the provided hinges and hardware to hang each door, ensuring the base of the door is adequately supported during installation to avoid tearing out screws. Use a level to confirm proper door alignment.
Install Strike Plates Close the doors and mark the location where the shoot bolt would hit at the top and bottom. Install the four strike plates according to these measurements, securing them to the top and bottom of the door frame. For interior French doors, decide whether to install the bottom set of strike plates, considering they may need to be secured to the floor.
Seal the Door Frame Seal the door frame on the top and sides with waterproof caulk both inside and outside to prevent moisture and air infiltration.
Install the Doorknobs and Lock Install the doorknobs and lock according to the manufacturer’s instructions for each door.
The East Coast is known for the stunning views that its coastal roads reveal to people who enjoy road trips. Roads like that include Maine’s Bold Coast Scenic Byway and it reveals the coast’s many beaches, culture, history, wildlife, and recreational opportunities. On top of that, the interior roads can be just as majestic.
People Can Have Wonderful Road Trips All Along the East Coast
From North Carolina’s iconic Blue Ridge Parkway to South Jersey’s forests and wetlands, here are some of the beautiful East coast routes.
The Bold Coast Scenic Byway Offers Great Opportunities for Road Trips
Maine’s Bold Coast is an authentic Down East country where people still make an honest living from the sea and blueberries can be seen growing in abundance in the wilds. Along the byway, there are classic waterfront villages like Gouldsboro, Jonesport, and Winter Harbor where people can see locals bring in their catch, including clams, lobsters, scallops, mussels, and haddock. There are some 27 lighthouses that make for great photo ops, including the candy-striped West Quoddy Head Light. Places like Cutler Coast Public Reserved Land also offer a great view to people who love road trips and have cobble beaches and headlands with pine forests, blueberry barrens, and peatlands.
The Freshwater Coast Is Just as Enticing for Road Trips
The Great Lakes Seaway Trail of Pennsylvania and New York spans some 518 miles, starting in the northwest corner of Pennsylvania. It proceeds to follow hundreds of miles of New York’s freshwater coast beside Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, the Niagara River, and the Saint Lawrence River. It goes by headline sites like Niagara Falls and New York’s Thousand Islands. Just as compelling are the little harbor towns, farmlands, and the many lighthouses along the way. There are also 30 state parks along the trail for people who want to camp, swim, or hike. There are farm stands everywhere, where berries, peaches, apples, cherries, corn, and tomatoes can be bought.
The Hallowed Ground Byway of Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia
The routes connecting Gettysburg to Madison’s Montpelier and Jefferson’s Monticello are deeply rooted in history and that alone makes them worth one’s while. There’s also beauty as a bonus, and the two factors go together. There are woodsy parks like Gambrill State Park and Bull Run Mountains Nature Preserve, to be seen. Warrenton, Virginia, alone offers some 300 historical sites to visitors and the pumpkin fritters at Farnsworth House in Gettysburg are great.
The Pine Barrens Byway Is Perfect for People Who Like Long Road Trips
The focus of this byway is Pinelands National Reserve with 1.1 million acres of Jersey’s forests, farmland, and wetlands. It’s one of the largest open space swaths on the mid-Atlantic seaboard and the route links the reserve’s wildlife refuges and state forests, which contain a great variety of habitats. There’s the Atlantic white cedar swamp, pygmy pine forest, saltwater marsh, oak-hickory forest, and the eerie pine-barrens ghost towns. There are hike, bike, and camp opportunities for anyone who enjoys road trips.
The Blue Ridge Parkway of North Carolina, Virginia Is 116 Miles Long
The Blue Ridge Parkway doesn’t have commercial trucks, billboards, or development but is rich in forest views and hundreds of miles of mountains. It winds slowly and smoothly between the Great Smoky Mountains and Shenandoah National Parks. There are many opportunities to hike, bask in the glory of local waterfalls, and camp in one of the eight campgrounds. The road was built for scenic touring, has many picnic areas, and overlooks strategically placed for the viewer’s inspiration.