Installing shutters for patio doors: All you need to know

9:49AM 31 October 2018

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Customer shot, before shutters were fitted to their large windows & French door

Inherited or installed French doors in your home? They can pose a real problem to dress. Options can feel limited, and the tendency is usually to opt for patio door curtains but they aren’t ideal.

You want something that will bring privacy but not block the light. You’ve considered leaving them bare but during the night that big expanse of dark glass can look cold and uninviting. You don’t want to spend a huge amount but with it being a big space to cover, often with measurements that exceed the standard 228cm drop of ready made curtains, you’re worried you might have to pay over the odds. Well the good news is that installing shutters to patio doors is the answer to all these issues and more…

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Customer shot, after shutters were fitted. 1 frame opening in bifold formation left and right. Full height shutters with a mid rail.

Why shutters are a better option for patio doors than curtains

Shutters are the ideal solution for your French doors for many reasons:

  • They’re affordable

More affordable than you think! It’s a common misunderstanding that shutters are expensive, but this isn’t true. Costs for shutters are substantially higher when purchasing with other full service, measure and fit companies but when purchasing with The Shutter Store we provide easy to follow guides to measure and fit your shutters yourself, saving on installation costs by up to 40%. That means you make a saving of up to 40% for shutters that are still made to measure for your home, just by fitting yourself. It’s easy. And when we say ‘easy’, we mean it. If you can put together flat pack furniture, you can measure and fit shutters. A lot of our customers compare the costs of getting bespoke curtains vs shutters made for their French doors. On many occasions, the cost of made to measure shutters are similar to made to measure curtains (fabric depending) if not cheaper. The best way to get a ballpark cost for your French door shutters is to enter your measurements to our online calculator.

  • They offer privacy and light control 

In a way that patio door curtains can't. Many of our customers can be reluctant to cover their French doors simply because they like the light they let in during the day, but for reasons like privacy, and cosiness during evenings, having no window dressing is sometimes not an option. Shutters are the only window dressing that accentuates, rather than blocks light. With their adjustable slats that can be positioned fully or partially open, shutters give you better privacy and light control. Curtains on the other hand, can only be open or closed.

  • Shutters are made to measure

It’s often a struggle to find affordable window dressing for French doors, especially when measurements exceed the industry standard measurements on ready made blinds and curtains. With shutters, you needn’t worry about large or irregular measurements of your patio doors. All our shutters are made to measure, securely fitting the opening of your doors and/or side windows.

hiding french door handles with shutters

  • Shutters can disguise unsightly door handles

If you’re unhappy with the look of your French door frame or handles, shutters are a great solution to hide them away while bringing character to your home. We supply shutters with an optional mid rail that can be positioned at any height you require. Mid rails are useful for adding separation to shutters allowing you to split the function of slats, closing one set while the other stays open for example, but also can be positioned in the specific location of your handles to sit neatly behind. Every door and window is different, that’s why we ask customers to specify exact measurements for where their handles or frames sit, and build made to measure shutters to suit.

  • Shutters for doors are easy to fit yourself

At The Shutter Store we pride ourselves in empowering our customers to DIY. The hardest part is measuring accurately, the rest is easy. But with our easy to follow guides and expert customer service over the phone, you’ll get the perfect measure and fit every time. You can call our team or email us photos of your windows and doors for support and advice. Once you’ve measured and measured again, our team will call you to confirm all details, and come installation day, it will be a doddle. If you’ve put together flat pack furniture or hung a shelf, you’ll have no problem installing shutters to your French doors.

  • They offer an extra layer of insulation

If your French doors are prone to draughts, installing shutters provides an extra layer of insulation, reducing the amount of heat loss through windows and doors and ultimately saving you money on your energy bills.

  • They prevent pets and children going outside

Installing shutters to French doors is a great idea for pet owners or parents with young children. In hotter months, if you want to leave the door open for ventilation, but don’t want your house cat or young child running outside, shutters are a good barrier to exit. We recommend installing your own latch system high up the shutter stiles to prevent animals or toddlers opening them.

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So now you're sold on shutters for patio doors, what are the design options?


Shutters for French doors can be designed in a variety of ways depending on your preference. There are two popular options when choosing shutters for French doors. The first is full height louvred shutters, built as a 3 sided frame that commonly features a mid rail to hide handles. This style lets in the most light and provides a good level of light control.

Shutters for patio doors - The Shutter Store
Customer pic showing full height shutters with mid rail across centre to disguise door and window handles. Fixed with a 3 sided frame. 

The second option (shown below) is a part solid part louvred shutters built with a 3 sided frame containing a solid shutter on the bottom half of the door, with slats on the top half. The benefits of this style is that the lower solid section is easy to wipe down, especially when traffic enters and exits the doorway bringing dust and particles from outdoors. The part solid, part louvred shutters have a more traditional look and help to break up the overall shutter design, great if you are covering patio doors that have shorter side windows and want to make a feature of it. 

shutters for conservatory doors - The Shutter Store
Customer pic showing part solid, part slat shutters on French doors and windows

Are you ready to install shutters to your French doors? Get in touch with one of our shutter experts today to discuss options for your doors and windows.