Choosing Patio Doors for your Home

replacement patio doors

Key Things to Know About Patio Door Replacement Options

Patio doors in your home allow for easy access to the outdoors in addition to providing attractive floor to ceiling views of the scenery outside.

Styles and Features:

  • Sliding Patio Doors
  • French Doors
  • Garden Doors
  • Wood Framed Doors
  • Steel Clad Wood Doors
  • Aluminum Framed Doors
  • Fiberglass or Vinyl

Outdated patio doors, however, not only compromise your family’s security, they can also increase your HVAC bills by leaking air and providing poor insulation. When its time to replace worn out patio doors, it pays to review your many different options before making a final selection in order to ensure you get the best value with features that make your home more beautiful.

Patio Doors Come In Four Major Styles

Sliding patio doors are among the most popular patio door options, both for their aesthetic appeal and their functionality. They allow for maximum entry of natural light into a room and are very easy to maintain. Sliding doors feature two or more panels, one of which is mounted on hidden rollers to effortlessly slide back and forth when opening the doors. Because the sliding motion is parallel to the wall, this style doesn’t obstruct walking paths or furniture placement.

French patio doors, also called hinged patio doors, consist of two door panels attached at the sides and then meeting at the center when closed. Each of the two hinged doors opens independently and can swing outwards into the patio or inwards toward the room when open. The multi-locking feature of French patio doors is great for homeowners who want added security, since this style of door can be sealed shut at the top, center and bottom.

Garden doors are similar looking to french doors. They can have 2 or more panels and typically, only one of the panels is an operating door. The other panel is fixed. Three panel garden doors might have the fixed panel in the middle and operating doors on either side.

Folding patio doors is another option, and consist of a series of door panels that can slide along an overhead track. This enables the door to fold into itself accordion-style in order to allow the widest area possible exposed to the outdoor patio. This style is suitable for a range of door widths, ranging from two to eight panels.

Patio Doors in Wood, Steel, Fiberglass Clad or Vinyl Clad

When choosing the type of material for patio door replacements, there are half a dozen options. Wood offers a warm appearance, is available from a variety of tree species but needs constant maintenance and is the most costly option. Vinyl is durable, affordable and rot resistant, while aluminum is another economical choice that is lightweight yet strong. Clad-wood provides a metal coating over door, providing the benefits of both for a low maintenance patio door. Fiberglass can mimic the appearance of wood with less maintenance and good for any climate.

Options and Special Features

Consider such special features as built-in internal blinds and the choice of hardware finish as well as options in the insulating double-glazed glass units with different SHGF (solar heat gain factor or coefficient) Low-E rating and visible light ratings.

Remember, just because you have a sliding door now does not mean you have to replace with another sliding door. You have options and may want to choose a different style for either aesthetics or pattern of use.