We’re still hard at it on our backyard home office renovation, which has slowly but surely been coming together, but the exterior is done and we’re SO excited to start sharing this space with you in the coming weeks! With the help of my parents we replaced all of the office siding, restored the old wood side door, added a new exterior light and finally installed new exterior wood French doors on the front. Which is the topic at hand – our new exterior wood French doors that I’m totally smitten with!
Little did I know when I was younger than new doors would be so exciting. But here I am, ooohing and aaahing over our gorgeous new wood French doors and staring at them with all the wonder of a 4-year-old at Paw Patrol Live. I can’t help it, though! After having to stare at the beat up interior double doors that were, inexplicably, used on our outdoor office for who knows how long before we moved into this house, I’m beyond thrilled to finally have functional, beautiful exterior French doors in this space that fill our office with the most inviting natural light thanks to those lites on the doors and of course, are much more secure. When they showed up I kind of wanted to hug them. They’re better than I ever dreamed they would be… and I dreamed of having doors like these in this space for a long, long time.
Exterior Wood French Doors
Now I think I should start by saying that this is in no way sponsored, and the reason I’m talking about US Door n More and our experience buying wood doors from them in this post is because searching for and finding the kind of exterior wood French doors we were looking for for this space was a long and winding road, and we were so pleasantly surprised by what a great experience it was to buy online from US Door n More. So I wanted to share that experience for all of you out there who may be looking for the perfect exterior wood doors (of all kinds), but have had trouble finding great options at a reasonable price point that suit your needs. I also know that they’ve become a pretty popular place to purchase “custom” doors online, so I thought it might be helpful to give you guys the inside scoop on what it was like to order from their site. Hopefully it helps!
We actually had a couple of local contractors/companies come out to the house and give us quotes for fabricating and installing these doors, and those quotes were about a thousand (or more) dollars higher than what we ordered from US Door n More. My dad helped us measure and order these since he’s more familiar with doors and door installation than we were. He also got on the phone with US Door n More before we actually ordered them to go over the quote they provided and walk through all of the specs for the doors with someone on their team before the order was finalized, and he said that the man he spoke with was extremely helpful and knowledgeable. Understandably, there are a lot of (important) choices you have to make and specs you have to provide when you’re ordering custom doors online, so for those of us who are less experienced on the door front, it’s so nice to know that you don’t have to order blindly and just hope for the best – that you can get someone on the phone to walk you through it and make sure you know what you’re choosing, and making the right choices for your space. Once we placed the order we kind of waited with bated breath to see if these doors would work out or if ordering French doors online was one of our more questionable home improvement decisions, and much to our relief, when they arrived they were even better than we’d hoped! The ordering and delivery process was seamless, they arrived in perfect condition, the wood was so beautiful, and all of the door frame components were included, ready for installation and very high quality to boot. The fabrication and delivery time took about 6 weeks from the time we ordered, but it was SO worth the wait.
We opted to order unfinished doors because we thought we would love the natural wood tone and wouldn’t need to stain them (even if we had needed or wanted to stain them, we probably would have opted to do it ourselves since the cost to have US Door n More stain them is pretty significant), so that just left sealing them so they’d be protected from the elements, which we knew we could do really easily ourselves. We sealed them with a super tough exterior version of my favorite polyurethane that I use on all of our interior furniture projects because it doesn’t alter the tone of the wood or paint and is so easy to apply – Varathane Clear Satin Water-Based Outdoor Spar Urethane. When the doors arrived and before we had them installed, we laid 4 coats of spar urethane onto the doors with our 3″ sponge brushes, and it worked like a charm! I think some people may have used a flat finish product for this instead of a satin, but I love and trust this product so much and knew that their satin finish isn’t really glossy at all, and they don’t make this product in a flat finish. But they look awesome – not shiny at all and beautifully protected.
Since we live in a pretty small space, I have this weird thing about keeping all of our hardware, paint, trim and other little details the same (or relatively so) from space to space, so the hardware we chose for the door is from the same line of matte black Schlage hardware we have throughout our home (linked it all below), which suits me just fine! It’s also been so durable and functional, so we thought, “Why mess with a good thing?” I love switching up the decor from space to space and having a lot of fun making each space unique, but I also really love that if you stripped away all of the decor, the house would feel like it belongs together. Especially since we’re such avid DIYers… I feel like if we didn’t have a some guardrails on the design front it would get a little crazy, which just for my personality would be slightly stressful. I need structure, with some creative freedom within that structure. So in case you’re ordering exterior French doors online and trying to figure out what kind of hardware you’ll need for them, here’s the hardware we have on our French doors:
Matte Black Single Cylinder Keyed Entry Door Lever Set (for the door on the right)
Matte Black Deadbolt (also for the door on the right)
Matte Black Left Handed Dummy Handle (for the fixed door on the left – exterior side of door)
Matte Black Right Handed Dummy Handle (for the fixed door on the left – interior side of door)
When you go through the process of ordering custom doors online or in our case, exterior wood French doors, you’ll have to provide quite a bit of detail on the specs front so they know how to make your doors perfectly for your space. Things like size of your opening and other important specs are vital to making the whole “ordering custom doors online” thing work for you. But have no fear! It’s not as scary as it sounds, and like I said my dad just jumped on the phone with the US Door N More people to go over all of the specs to make sure we had everything right. So I thought it might be helpful to just copy and paste the specs for our doors, directly from our US Door n More order form below, and then explain what each spec means so you guys know what you’ll need to measure or think about when making those choices. Hope it’s helpful! Just remember, your specs will be different from ours depending on the space where your doors are going and the type of door you’re installing. But as always, feel free to email us or DM us on Instagram if you have questions and need help. We’re always around to dive into your project and see if we can offer any useful insight!
Our Exterior Wood Door Specs When Ordering Online From US Door n More
Note: Your door specs will be different based on style and size of your opening, but just to help kind of guide you along or give you something to compare your choices to if you’re using US Door N More, here are the specs for our specific doors that you see in the pictures:
Each Door Width
- Measure your space to get the right measurement for your doors.
- Measure your space to get the right measurement for your doors.
Door Glass Type
- basically, insulated glass is the most effective way to reduce air-to-air heat transfer through the glazing. If you’re going to all the trouble to order these doors, it’s smart to choose insulated glass.
Door Glass Options
- This just depends on the kind of privacy you’re looking for in your glass. We didn’t need a ton of privacy on these, but down the road we can always put shades up on the inside of the doors for privacy and flexibility.
Door System Kit
Exterior Prehung Kit (requires assembly)
- A prehung door comes with everything you’d need to install your door, basically. So it can come with a full door unit with the door hinged, jamb, frame, threshold nd basically everything else listed below. If you didn’t order your door prehung, you’d just be getting a door and that’s it.
Door Handing (Viewed from outside)
Right Hand Outswing
- For the outswing, if you’re looking at your door or doors from the outside of your space, which in our case is actually outside in the backyard, think about how do you want the door to swing open. We wanted our doors to swing out towards us or toward the backyard when opening from the outside, and for the door that’s not the fixed door to open to the right. Hence, right hand outswing. The fixed door is the door you see on the left in the pictures, and it does open, but it also has deadbolts that can be extended into the head and the threshold to keep it locked/fixed in place.
Adjustable Door Sill (Threshold)
- The sill or the threshold is a long durable metal piece that lays on the floor in the doorway. Their bronze is a dark brown/black.
- These are the door’s hinges. Their bronze is a dark bronze which is basically a dark brown/black.
- The vertical frame parts that maintain the door in position on both sides. Choosing paint grade basically meant that this part of the frame is made with primed wood, which we painted the same color as the trim once we installed the door.
4 5/8 ” Width
- Every door’s jamb size will be different, so you’ll need to measure your space so you know what you need for the width.
No Casing Needed
- This is the interior trim around the door, which we didn’t need them to fabricate for us because we used and installed our own trim that matched the trim inside the rest of the office. No biggie to do this yourself.
No Brickmould Needed
- This is basically exterior wood trim that’s applied on the exterior of the door unit to cover the connection point between the door frame and the wall stud where the door unit is installed. We just put on our own trim that matched the rest of the trim on the outside of the office when we had it installed, so we didn’t need them to fabricate it for us. No biggie to do this yourself.
- This means we didn’t have them stain the doors. They arrived unfinished for us to stain and seal ourselves.
Lock & Handle
Double Bore on active door only
- This means we only had holes drilled for the hardware for the door on the right. The left side doors which is a stationary door and locks at the top and bottom just have dummy handles on them that we screwed into the wood, so we didn’t need prefabricated holes for those handles.
Like I said, your specs will be different based on your space and the door you’re ordering, but feel free to reach out if you have questions! All in all, we couldn’t be happier with our doors and are loving looking at the before and after of our office’s exterior. It’s come a long way in the last year and we’re so excited to share the rest of this project with you guys!
Do you like exterior wood french doors? What kind of front door do you have? Let me know in a comment below!