French doors or in other words double doors are commonly seen on many front entry ways of many homes now. We get asked quite a bit what type of hardware do you need to order for a set of double exterior doors? Exterior meaning you will want the door to have a keyed lock for security, but what else? Lets break it down to be little more simple.
French doors will have a fixed door and an operable door. It’s important to know which door is the active door and which door is fixed door, in other words is the active door on the left or on the right? This is important, because some levers and some handlesets require handing of the door. Here is a chart to help you figure out if your door is left hand or right hand.
If you want both french doors to open you can order either a few flush bolts (which are the most common) or surface bolts (which are more decorative) that are installed at the top and bottom of the fixed door to lock the door in place and then you can simply unlatch it when you want the fixed door to open.
The most obvious piece of door hardware you may think to order is a keyed lock set. That being a keyed door knob, a keyed lever or a keyed handleset. If you decide to go with a keyed door knob or lever, you will also want to purchase a deadbolt to go above the door knob or lever. Any of these you decide to go with will be installed on your active door. Handlesets are nice because the deadbolt is already included and they look super nice on exterior doors, but these are a little more expensive.
For the fixed door, remember your flush bolt or surface bolt liked I mentioned earlier. If you check out your french doors, the operable door should have a hole bored for the keyed lock set you chose to go with and the fixed door may not have a hole at all. You can choose whether you want to order a dummy set – a dummy door knob, dummy door lever handle, or a dummy handleset. Some people don’t order anything for the fixed door and it looks just fine, but then others like both doors to look symmetrical. It’s up to you!
*NOTE: Make sure that if you are ordering a dummy it is a set, because some dummy door knobs or levers are shipped with only one for one side of the door, in this case you will need to order 2 dummies for the fixed door.