French doors often provide unfettered views of the outdoors of your home. Typically installed in rooms that are more formal in nature, they offer you the opportunity to customize your entrance to meet your unique needs. With the advent of French rail doors, though, you can enjoy the design and feel of French doors with the practicality of a sliding glass door. Which one is best for your needs? Keep the following tips in mind when making your choice. 

1. Your Space

French doors are simply breathtaking when they are opened onto a patio or balcony. Once swung open, however, they tend to take up a great deal of room due to their clearance. A French rail door provides the beauty of French doors without having to be concerned about them taking up lots of room once they are open. 

2. Customizing the Ventilation 

Being able to leave one part of a pair of French doors open allows you to customize the amount of ventilation that is experienced within a room. With French rail doors, you can more precisely do so because it is a sliding glass door. 

3. Sliding it of the Way

Even though French doors take up more space once you swing them open, they do offer a space advantage compared to French rail doors. French rail doors are on a track -- like traditional sliding glass doors -- so they can never be pushed fully open. Using French doors gives you more clearance when you need to move furniture in and out of your home, for example. 

4. Which is More Convenient? 

During a party or family gathering, which door will be more convenient to open for your guests and while carrying items from the house outdoors? Many people might find that simply twisting a knob on one portion of your French doors is easier. Other guests or family members might think that sliding a glass door is easiest, especially for those people are have limited mobility or who are younger. 

5. Casual or Formal

While French doors have traditionally been used for more formal spaces, these days there are lots of homeowners who use them to add a touch of class to their more casual rooms. French rail doors allow you to enjoy the beauty of French doors with the ease of sliding glass doors in areas such as your kitchen or dining room. 

Even given the above ideas, you might still find yourself having a difficult time making the choice. Your best bet is to talk to a professional who deals with these types of doors. Choose a Minnesota company that offers free estimates so that you can get their expertise firsthand. Being able to view your home and envision your lifestyle will enable these professionals to recommend the right door for your needs. 

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