What are French windows?

5 June 2023
Updated 12 July 2023

With all of the different window styles available on the market, you might be wondering what the difference is between them. Today, we’ll be taking a look at French windows, as the French window style often raises some eyebrows.

Despite what you may assume, French windows did not actually originate from France. In fact, French windows came to be in Italy, during the Italian renaissance era. In France, however, these windows are known as “door-sized windows” or “windowed doors”. The reason for this is that French windows can be tall enough to walk through, and often used for floor-to-ceiling windows.

With the background out of the way, we will now take a look at the best places to install French windows, some colour options, as well as how much French windows cost on average. So, if you’ve been wondering what a French window is, keep reading to find out.

Which rooms are most suitable for French windows?

French windows have a variety of uses and placements in the home. Whilst they can be used in practically any room or setting, they’re especially well suited to properties with Juliette balconies, as the windows create an elegant feel alongside the balcony, whilst flooding the room with natural light.

But as previously mentioned, French windows can be used like doors in some situations, and this makes them ideal for use in spaces where the size of a traditional door is not suitable, and instead, a French window can be an appropriate alternative, especially for allowing access to a garden.

That said, due to the unobstructed views and the amount of natural light that French windows offer, they are perfectly placed to complement a living or dining room area, where you’ll no doubt entertain guests and want to allow plenty of light in.

Popular colours for uPVC French Windows

Whilst French windows are available in a raft of different colours, often it’s the classic colours that take the top spot. Common French window colours include Anthracite Grey, black, or white.

The colour you choose for your windows should reflect your local area, your house’s character, and your personal style. Here’s just a handful of other colours that you could choose to have your French windows foiled in:

  • Chartwell Green
  • Dark blue
  • Rosewood
  • Golden Oak
  • Dark red

To see a full list of French window colours, take a look at our window frame colour options.

Which material type should I choose?

French windows are available in a few different materials. Traditionally, French windows would have been constructed out of timber, but as time has gone on, so too has the type of materials on offer.

You’ll be able to choose from uPVC, timber, and aluminium.

French Windows Prices

To help you see which options fit within your budget, we’ve taken some average prices for different types of French windows. Please note, these are rough costs and there are many factors that impact the price. We always recommend getting a quote or having a local installer assess your requirements.

uPVC French windows cost

For those looking for low-maintenance, easy-clean, customisable, long-wearing, and budget-friendly French windows, then uPVC is the recommended option. uPVC French windows offer a wallet-friendly option to replacing the windows in your home, whilst offering a large number of the aforementioned benefits as well.

For a double glazed uPVC French window, you should expect to see a cost of around £700 – £1,200, depending on the exact specification, quality of materials, your chosen installer, and your local area.

If you wanted to enhance your energy efficiency further, you could opt for a triple glazed French window, in which case you would be looking at a cost of around £1,500 – £1,700.

Wooden French windows cost

Wooden (or timber) French windows are ideal in conservation areas where the original look and feel needs to be maintained, however, they typically aren’t as hard-wearing and, in some cases, can’t match the energy efficiency levels achieved by uPVC or aluminium. Nonetheless, timber French windows provide a traditional look that blends neatly into countryside and village surroundings.

French windows will typically cost around £1,200 – £1,800, depending on the type of wood used.

Aluminium French windows cost

For a modern, premium look and feel, aluminium French windows are an option. As it’s a more expensive material, it’s not as commonplace as uPVC, and often can’t be used in conservation areas, however, aluminium offers high levels of durability and can set your house apart from others in the area.

Aluminium windows could cost anywhere from £700 to £1,000 or more.

With all of this mind, you should be able to make an informed decision on whether French windows are right for you and your property, where you could place them, how you could customise them, and which options fit within your budget.