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Picture of a French door

While French doors are considered part of the exterior doors family, patio doors is the name given to another door family. Patio doors encompass garden doors and sliding glass doors which are frequently referred to as patio sliding doors. However, french doors and garden doors are both excellent options for creating an attractive alternative to patio doors for access to your deck or garden. Unlike traditional sliding patio doors, garden doors and french doors give your space added visual interest. Knowing the features of each can help you choose the best door for your home.


Sliding patio doors, slide open and closed on a track rather than swinging open. They’re an economical solution and require no clearance space for opening and closing. With minimal framing material, they allow maximum light into your home. You can also customize your patio doors with energy-efficient features.


French doors consist of two internal glass panes that extend most of the doors’ length. The doors open from the centre and can swing open inwards or outwards. French doors close and lock against each other without a bulky post or beam. Manufacturers make French doors out of wood, composite, aluminum or vinyl.

French doors have the following benefits:

  • Ventilation. The glass panes of French doors provide a stylish look while allowing light into your home. Your home will feel more spacious with an expansive view of the outdoors. Having two operable doors means more fresh air can enter your home than with narrower doors.

  • Better access. French doors allow wider access than other options, letting you move large objects into and out of your home. Plus, the large opening is perfect for entertaining large groups of people.

  • Timeless appeal. French doors have stood the test of time and compliment any home decor. When choosing French doors, you know your entryway will never go out of style.


Garden doors typically consist of one stationary door-like panel and one door that opens, both with internal glass panes. There’s usually a sturdy support beam between the two. The fixed panel gives garden doors symmetry.

Garden doors offer these added benefits:

  • A sturdy frame. A garden door is your best bet if you need something sturdy. The central beam provides solid support.

  • You’ll have more control. Families with pets and children should consider garden doors because they provide more control over how the door opens and closes. They also come with a screen on the exterior to allow for ventilation without allowing bugs inside the house.

  • You need less space. Because only one door opens, you may be able to install a garden door where French doors mightn’t fit.


At Canadian Comfort Windows & Doors, we can help you choose the best doors for your home. We carry energy-efficient, durable sliding, garden and French doors from industry-leading manufacturers. Contact us today in Ottawa to request a quote on your new patio doors.


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