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French Windows: Pros, Cons & Costs

French windows

Spotting French windows can be a tricky task. They’re often mistaken for casement windows and in some cases it’s possible to walk through them.

What are French Windows?

There’s plenty of confusion around what a French window actually looks like.

French windows are traditionally long and narrow and feature two panels that open outwards or inwards. Unlike casement windows, there’s no fixed post between the two panes when open which creates a spacious opening.

Difference between French windows and French doors

There’s very little difference between French windows and doors. Essentially, the difference comes down to how they’re used. They work in very much the same way but one is used as a window and the other as a door.

Traditionally, French windows reach down to the floor but are much narrower than French doors.

Benefits of French windows

French windows are a traditional and charming addition to any property that offer a number of benefits in addition to their appearance.

Natural light

French windows allow plenty of natural light into the property room when closed. Plus, more than other types of window when open thanks to there being no central diving point.

Can act as a door

Depending on where they’re installed, it’s possible for a French window to also act as a door (they’re still a window though).

Increased ventilation

A French window opens out nice and wide to create a large space to keep your property well ventilated.

Open inward or outward

You get some flexibility with French windows as you can choose to have the panes hinged so that they open either inwards or outwards.

Thermal properties

When closed, French windows will help prevent any heat from escaping. They’ll do the same when it comes to blocking outdoor noise from making its way into the home.


A reinforced frame design makes French windows very secure. You can even add to this security with double or triple glazing.

Emergency exit

Another benefit of there being no vertical crossbar is that they can be used as a wide emergency exit.

Low maintenance

Traditionally, French windows were made from timber – a high maintenance material. Nowadays, they can be made from uPVC or aluminium, both of which require far less maintenance.

French window considerations

As French windows are so long and resemble doors, it can be a challenge finding an appropriate place to have them installed. And if your property does have an ideal location then you may want to consider French doors so that you have a spacious walkway to the outside.

You also need to bear in mind that they swing open – either outwards or inwards. So ample space will be needed to allow them to open fully.

Materials for French windows

Your options when it comes to choosing a material for the frames of French windows, ultimately comes down to uPVC, timber and aluminium.


uPVC is now the most popular choice of material for window frames in the UK. Largely thanks to it being the most affordable option.

  • Relatively inexpensive
  • Available in a range of colours (can even replicate timber!)
  • Very easy to keep clean and maintain
  • A steel core makes them incredibly secure


If you’re looking to install French windows that boast a traditional charm then look no further than timber. Timber may be more expensive and need more maintenance than other materials but they do offer an appearance unmatched by other window frame materials.

  • Elegant design
  • Thermal efficiency
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Can potentially last twice as long as uPVC windows


Aluminium is a very sleek modern option for new windows. It’s so strong that, in some cases, you may barely notice there’s a window frame holding the glass at all.

  • Increased security
  • Low maintenance
  • Can last for decades
  • Thermal properties can help to lower heating bills

How much do French windows cost?

As with any type of window, French window costs will vary greatly depending on:

  • Material
  • Size
  • Type of glass
  • Rates charged by the installer

The most affordable French windows are made from uPVC and can be found for around £250. This can rise over the £1,000 depending on the size of the windows and if other materials are being used.

On top of the cost of the French windows you must also consider the installation. All window installers set their own rates so it’s a good idea to compare quotes.

Cost of French Windows
French Windows £250 – £2,500
Installation £250 – £2,000
Total £500 – £4,500

Get free window replacement quotes

If French windows sound like the perfect fit for your home then get free quotes from window installers based in your area today. Take a few moments to complete our simple online form and you’ll get free quotes from up to three French window installers.

Getting multiple quotes in this way will increase your chances of getting the most competitive price. Plus, there’s no-obligation to accept the quotes you receive.

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