How to Install Double-Hung French Doors

french doors with glass windows in sunny room
  • 5-15 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 500-5,000
What You'll Need
Screws
Screwdriver
Caulking
Insulation
Tape measure
French window kit
What You'll Need
Screws
Screwdriver
Caulking
Insulation
Tape measure
French window kit

Installing french doors is a common home improvement, but double-hung french doors are much rarer. These doors combine the movement of french doors with the appealing sash capacity of windows, making them perfect for those who want versatility in their rooms, but have little space. Installing french doors with double-hung features can seem like a rather daunting prospect, but by following a few simple steps, it should be possible to put in your new doors without too much difficulty.

Step 1 - Preparing the Frame

As with every door installation, before you buy any door kit, you will need to carefully measure the opening where you plan to have the doors. If you are planning to enlarge the doorway, you will need to do this before installing. Check that the doors you have bought will fit into the opening you have, remembering to allow room for the framing.

Clean down the opening, and make sure that everything is smooth and firm before continuing. Put caulking around the edge of the floor where the door sill should be, and leave to dry. Once the opening is ready, remove all of the packaging from the french doors while keeping any clips or bindings on the doors intact. Add the sliding rails to each side of the frame.

Step 2 - Fitting the Frame

Remove the frame of the door from the kit, and lay it down near the opening. Fit the bottom first, nailing it down firmly until the screw cannot go any further into the hole. Screw in each of the sides next, and then fit the top. You may need assistance for the latter until you have a screw in place on both edges. Screw in tightly. Add caulking around the edges of the frame. 100% silicone is best, as it will prevent water from seeping under the frame.

Step 3 - Installing the Doors

Place your doors so that they are centered in the frame. Allow it to settle so that it is in direct alignment with the inside wall, and then check that the door you fit first is level at the top and bottom—screw in any wheel pieces or rail connections that are needed. Next, screw in one of the hinge pieces with a temporary nail to be loosely fixed to the wall.

Taking the other hinge, screw in all of the screws so that the hinge is pressed tightly against the frame. Make sure that the top and bottom are still level. Place the next piece of the french window against this, and then slide the wheels onto the rail. Unclip or unhook the doors from the packaging connection, and then ensure that both windows operate.

Step 4 - Finishing

Once the doors are fully fitted, add a fiberglass insulation material to any gaps between the frame and the doors, and add any molding which came with the kit. Next, add caulking to the exterior gaps to stop leaks or water ingress; then, if you wish, paint the doors in colors that match the room.