French Doors

French Doors are generally light doors with transperant or glazed panels that extend the full length of the door. In reality however many "French Doors" consist of a number of panels.

Whether the doors consist of one or more panels and the glazing included is usually the decision of the manufacturer or the customer in "made to order" situations.

Like all well made doors, "French Doors" should be properly jointed using the mortise and tenon joint. This joint is among the strongest as it literally "brings the pieces of timber together" as one. The "mortise" is a square hole cut into one timber into which the "tenon" is then inserted and fixed in place. Naturally the "tenon" is a projection at the end of the other timber shaped to fit snugly into the "mortise"

Another factor to consider when deciding upon your doors is the style of your property. Will your choice of door style blend well with the existing structure or other alterations being made?

Bifold Doors

Generally only used as interior doors, Bifold doors are simply ones that are able to be folded together. Usually consisting of two or more parts the doors are literally a number of doors hinged together.

As with other doors, Bifold Doors can be a solid panel, or number of panels. However we would not use solid timber for the panel(s) as this could make the doors to heavy to open. The panels can of course be glazed.

Safety First

These are really basic, yet it is surprising how many people are injured each year through ignoring these basic "Safe Practices."

Ensure that all your tools are working properly, and work safely.

  • Keep chisles, and saws sharp and out of reach of children.
  • Check that electric cables are not frayed or broken.
  • Always wear safety glasses when using power saws, drills and sanders.
  • Wear a breathing mask when using a power sander.
  • Do not stain timbers or doors in an enclosed space.

Use Safety Glass

Your glazed door panels should be "safety glass".

Safety glass is able to withstand harder bumps and knocks and is designed to shatter into many thousands of small "relatively harmless" pieces if broken. This lessens the chance of children and others being killed or maimed when falling into or through glass panels.

Yes, you can still be hurt by broken "safety glass" but the chances of impaling a limb, or your kneck on a sheet of broken glass that remains in the panel is greatly lessened.


There are two important measurements that need to be taken accurately, to determine the size required to fit the area.

The Horizontal Measurement

This horizontal measurement is taken from stud to stud, measuring from the inside or between the studs.


The Vertical Measurement

This may seem a little more complicated, but is also realatively easy when you know how.

This measurement is from the top of the floor joist, to the bottom of the beam.


Measuring Doors Measure the Entire frame.

To get a truely accurate measurement of second-hand doors take the measurements from the bottom edge of the sill, to the outside top of the frame, and from over the entire width of the frame from outer edge to outer edge. Allowing for 20mm on either side of the frame (horizontally), and 30mm vertically.

This will ensure that the doors will then fit within the allotted area.


If you need further information please E-mail Me

I can supply installation information for the DIY handyman.

Some good places to find French and Bifold Doors are, and enter the keywords french doors or bifold doors.

French Doors

About Me

My name is Richard, I am an artist which gives me a keen eye for details, concepts and style as you can see from my artworks. My artistic temperament has enabled me to incorporate good design that flows with your specific style of house. French doors should not only be practical but make a statement and add value to your house.

I have over eight years experience in building industry, should you need further advise feel free to E-mail Me


I am a fine art painter, working in oils on canvas, and exhibit my works in fine art galleries. My paintings are of scenic places from New Zealand.

Some photographs of my art can be found at picasa

NZ Art


While every reasonable effort has been taken to make sure the information provided here is as accurate as possible, I take no responsibility or liability for actions that result in the use of this information.

The information provided is only general guideless. Building specifications, the RMA, and Local Authority bylaws vary greatly across New Zealand to which all carpentry work is subject - including industry standards. Therefore it is highly recommend that you approach your local authority before beginning any major restoration or renovation work on your property.

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