How to Replace Your Garage Door with French Doors

How to Replace Your Garage Door with French Doors

Are you tired of your traditional garage door? Do you want to know how to replace your garage door with french doors which will add a touch of elegance to your home while creating a more functional space? Replacing your garage door with French doors and sidelites could be the perfect solution. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the entire process, demonstrating step-by-step “how to replace your garage door with French doors and sidelites,” and provide valuable insights to ensure a successful transformation of your garage.

Why Replace Your Garage Door with French Doors?

Your garage door serves a practical purpose, but it can be limiting, especially if you want to utilize your garage for more than just parking your car. If you find yourself using your garage for storage, as a home office, or even a workshop, you’re not alone. Many homeowners seek to maximize the potential of this space. Here are some compelling reasons to replace your garage door with French doors and sidelites:

  • Increased Natural Light: Traditional garage doors are often lacking in windows, leaving your garage dimly lit during the day. French doors with sidelites allow an abundance of natural light to flood the space, creating a brighter and more inviting atmosphere.
  • Improved Ventilation: If you use your garage for hobbies or as a workspace, proper ventilation is crucial. French doors can be easily opened to allow fresh air to circulate, making the environment more comfortable.
  • Enhanced Curb Appeal: French doors are synonymous with elegance and sophistication. By replacing your garage door with French doors, you can significantly improve the exterior aesthetics of your home, adding to its curb appeal.
  • Additional Space: French doors, when opened, provide a wide and unobstructed entryway. This added space can be advantageous if you need to move larger items in and out of your garage.

Choosing the Right French Doors and Sidelites

Before embarking on your garage transformation journey, you’ll need to consider a few key factors when selecting the right French doors and sidelites:

    • Door Material: French doors and sidelites are available in various materials, including wood, fiberglass, and steel. Each material has its advantages:
      • Wood: Offers a classic and timeless look but requires regular maintenance to protect against weathering.
      • Fiberglass: Low-maintenance and highly durable, making it an excellent choice for longevity.
      • Steel: Extremely durable and secure, but may be pricier than other options.

Your choice of material should align with your budget and maintenance preferences.

  • Size of the Garage Opening: Measure the width and height of your garage door opening accurately. Consider any necessary clearances to ensure a seamless fit for your French doors and sidelites.
  • Sidelites or No Sidelites: Determine whether you want to include sidelites with your French doors. Sidelites are especially useful if your garage door opening is wider than standard door sizes, as they fill the additional space with natural light.
  • Glass Options: Choose glass panes that match other windows in your home for a cohesive look. Additionally, consider the level of privacy and energy efficiency you desire. For example, you might opt for double-paned or low-E glass to improve insulation and reduce energy costs.
  • Customization: Some manufacturers offer customization options, allowing you to tailor the appearance of your French doors to your liking. This includes choosing finishes, hardware, and other design elements.

Calculating the Size for French Doors and Sidelites

Accurate measurements are crucial when calculating the size of French doors and sidelites needed to replace your garage door. Follow these steps:

  1. Measure the Width: Measure the width of your garage door opening. Then, subtract the width of the framing from the width of the opening to determine the clear opening width.
  2. Determine Door Width: Divide the clear opening width by two to determine the width of each French door. If the clear opening width is an odd number, you can choose to have one door slightly wider than the other or add a narrow sidelight on one side.
  3. Measure the Height: Measure the height of the garage door opening and subtract the height of the threshold. By carefully following these steps, you’ll be able to order French doors and sidelites that fit your garage opening perfectly.

Cost Considerations

The cost of replacing your garage door with French doors and sidelites can vary significantly depending on several factors:

  1. Door Material: The choice of material for your French doors will greatly impact the cost. Wood and steel doors tend to be more expensive than fiberglass.
  2. Customization: If you opt for custom designs, finishes, or hardware, expect to pay a premium for these personalized features.
  3. Installation: Professional installation is recommended for a project of this nature. Labor costs can vary, so it’s essential to obtain quotes from reputable contractors.
  4. Extras: Consider additional expenses such as permits, security features, and weatherproofing. In general, you can expect to pay between $2,500 and $3,500 for a basic installation of French doors and sidelites. However, for custom-made doors and high-end materials, the cost can increase significantly.

Replacing Your Garage Door with French Doors: Step-by-Step

Now that you have chosen the perfect French doors and sidelites for your garage, let’s outline the step-by-step process for replacing your existing garage door with this elegant upgrade, adhering to “how to replace your garage door with French doors and sidelites”:

  1. Measure the Opening: Double-check your measurements to ensure accuracy. This is a critical step to ensure your new doors fit perfectly as you follow the process of “how to replace your garage door with French doors.”
  2. Remove the Garage Door and Tracks: Removing the old garage door is a two-person job. Disconnect the door from the opener and remove the tracks carefully, a vital part of understanding “how to replace your garage door with French doors.” Once the garage door and tracks are removed, you’ll be amazed at how open and spacious the area becomes.
  3. Prepare the Opening: Depending on your specific needs, this step may involve framing the opening, adding a threshold, or installing weather stripping. Proper preparation ensures a seamless installation, an integral part of “how to replace your garage door with French doors.”
  4. Install the French Doors and Sidelites: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions precisely to install the doors and sidelites, an essential step in the process of “how to replace your garage door with French doors.” Ensure that the doors are level and plumb by using shims. Proper installation is crucial for both functionality and aesthetics.
  5. Add Finishing Touches: To complete the transformation, add finishing touches such as painting or staining the doors, installing hardware, and adding trim. These details enhance the overall look and seal any gaps, preventing drafts, completing your “how to replace your garage door with French doors” project.

DIY vs. Professional Installation

While the prospect of a DIY project can be appealing, replacing a garage door with French doors and sidelites is a complex endeavor. It involves precise measurements, heavy lifting, and structural adjustments. Unless you possess advanced carpentry skills, it’s advisable to hire a professional contractor. Their expertise ensures a seamless installation that adheres to all safety standards and building codes.

Maintaining Your French Doors

To preserve the beauty and functionality of your newly installed French doors and sidelites, follow these maintenance tips:

  1. Regular Cleaning: Wipe down the doors and glass with a mild, soapy solution to remove dirt and grime. Clean the hardware with a non-abrasive cleaner.
  2. Lubrication: Periodically lubricate the hinges, handles, and locks to prevent rust and ensure smooth operation.
  3. Inspect Weather Stripping: Check the weather stripping for wear and tear. Replace it as needed to maintain energy efficiency.
  4. Exterior Maintenance: Repaint or restain the doors as required to protect the wood or other materials from the elements.


Replacing your garage door with French doors and sidelites can transform your garage into a versatile and aesthetically pleasing space. It’s a project that requires careful planning, accurate measurements, and professional installation to ensure success.

By following the steps outlined in this guide on “how to replace your garage door with French doors and sidelites,” you can enhance your home’s curb appeal, increase natural light and ventilation, and create a more inviting and functional space. Whether you’re looking for a stylish home office, a well-ventilated workshop, or a unique entertainment area, French doors can be the gateway to achieving your goals.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top