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I received an email from a DIY Ally client with the subject line: “Exterior elevations. Front door entrance, steel French doors and windows.” The message read: “Alla, I am thrilled to find your website and would appreciate your help. I am in the midst of remodeling my 1930 home and having difficulty determining the appropriate look of French doors, windows as well as the front/back door.”

She wrote: “The existing exterior windows and doors are 7 feet tall. I am buying steel windows and doors with the lowest profile of “divider lines” for a clean look.”

Her question: The width of the window opening that she is converting to doors in the living area, library, and dining room (all the same) is 8’9″ (and 7′ tall). Thus, how does she best divide this space with doors and keep it uniform? She doesn’t want inconsistency — a French door(s) in center with narrower side panels. She wants them all the same size, and that’s great!

  • Two sets of French doors with or without a brick divider?
  • One French door in center with equal spacing on each side?
  • Fixed panel in center with a door on either side?

My thoughts on the subject: I’d like to avoid anything fixed in the center. With two pairs of doors you end-up having something solid in the middle of the opening, even if you do away with a brick post. On the other hand, if you do a pair so that the opening is positioned in the center and then place a door on either side, it will feel more welcoming and balanced.

Alternatively, instead of doing a pair of French doors, an 8’9” opening can be divided in three equal parts with fixed windows on either side of a door.

Seems pretty obvious, but simple solutions are not that simple to arrive at. I was happy to help. We ironed the concerns regarding the French doors and the front door out on the phone. Subsequently, I rushed to address the issue of consistency in the exterior elevations in my current project. I was able to arrive at just a few types and organize all of the windows into a schedule. Plus, I contacted the manufacturer my DIY Ally client is using; I think they are excellent!

French doors, windows


  • Mia S Kazovsky
    February 9, 2018

    This client is so lucky to have found you. You are the queen of expansive windows and gorgeous glass doors!

    • Alla DIY Ally
      February 12, 2018

      Mia, you always have something nice to say! See you soon. Can’t wait!!

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