Graphical Construction Glossary >> Doors. >> Door types >> Double Doors

Double Doors
A pair of doors hung in the one door frame.
A semicircular window over a doorway. Sometimes they are semi-elliptical.
Side Lights
Glass panels to the sides of door frames.
Transom Lights
Glass panels to the tops of door frame. More often just described as transoms.
Active Leaf
In a door frame containing more than one door, the separate parts are named Leaves. The active leaf is the one that is opened first. It has the handles and the locks.
Fixed Leaf
In a door frame containing more than one door, the separate parts are named Leaves. The fixed leaf or leaves is or are the one(s) that is (are) opened last . It is bolted to the frame, usually top and bottom.

Double doors with fanlight
Fanlight: A pair of double doors with a fanlight over.

Above is a pair of old doors that have been renovated with new hardware and it would be safe to say that the door will last maybe another 100 years or so, all being well.

The Active Leaf is on the left.

They open outwards on standard butt hinges. The threshold is masonry and the bottoms of the doors have modern propriety weather seals on the bottom. Another detail that I like is the large drip edge to the door frame head to stop weather getting in over the top.

The Fanlight above the door is a fairly standard feature of doors of this vintage. The fanlight and door frame are built as one. I guess that the name comes from radial glazing bars that mimic the appearance of ladies' hand held fans.

The purpose of the fanlight apart from decoration, and some of them are really fancy, is of course to add daylight to the space behind the door and often they are hinged to provide ventilation also.

aluminium and glass double doors
Aluminium double doors with Side Lights and Transom Lights

In the case of the doors above it is the right hand door that is the Active Leaf. Of course using doors like this that have sprung pivot hinges that return the doors to closed after use, then both the doors are unlocked at the same time and used equally.

This whole door and frame set is made using standard basic commercial aluminium extrusions and glass. Basic but it gets the job done fairly cheaply, The whole method of using standard extrusions makes it very easy to build frames like this that contain not only the doors, but the Side Lights and the Transom Lights as well. The combined frame would probably cost less than a door frame only with walls at the side and above.

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Adam Smith 1723-1790

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