Patio Door: How to Find the Right One
Last Updated on March 4, 2022 by Kravelv
Carefully selected patio doors can significantly improve the look of the entire home. They are not only proving an ease of access, but also contributing to the visual enlargement of the space by letting in ample amounts of light.
The old-era models were highly prone to leaks, heat loss, and provided minimal security. Thankfully, modern patio doors are showing substantial improvement in all aspects. The materials are more energy-savvy, the multi-point lock mechanisms are maximising the safety and the top notch flashing systems are ousting the possibility of leaks.
Still, there’s a question of preference, and that’s why we have compiled a selection of styles and materials to help you make an informed choice.
SELECTION OF STYLES
The patio door options boil down to the variations in terms of operational value and aesthetic appeal. Here are the three standard styles of patio doors and their main characteristics.
This type of patio doors is often called bypass doors of gliding doors and it’s probably one of the most popular kinds out there. They are a breeze to upkeep and they allow a lot of sunlight into the house. Sliding doors are composed out of several separate panels. At least one of them is fitted with rollers that enable it to slide. The sliding action doesn’t interfere with the walls as it is placed parallel to them.
These are also named the hinged patio doors, and they’re functioning much like the common front doors. Swinging doors often go in pairs and can have an inswing or outswing orientation. There are also so-called butterfly wing doors with a central mullion hinged on its sides, as well as French doors that are connected via side jambs at your disposal. The latching mechanism is a part of an astragal fixed on one of the wings.
Much like the designs above, folding doors are great at softening the line between the outside and the inside space by means of transparent glass sections and quick opening solution. Folding doors can be likened to the accordion as its panels slide into a fold and can be put conveniently aside. The configurations range from 2-8 leaves.
When choosing the material for your patio door, take note of the key traits each of these options offer:
- Aluminium is a sturdy, lightweight and affordable choice for patio doors. It is resistant to corrosion and, therefore, suitable for most climates. If you’re looking for an elegant and user friendly solution, go for quality aluminium sliding doors and you won’t make a mistake.
- Steel is also a durable and economically sound solution. It differs from the aluminium models only in the fact that it requires an anti-corrosion coat and a regular upkeep for the moist area residences.
- Fiberglass stands out with its wood-like look and feel, with all the cracks and knots replicated in great detail. Since this material is designed for all climates (hot and cold) and harsher weather conditions, the necessary maintenance is minimal.
- Vinyl is a type of plastic material that’s praised for its sturdiness, elements-resistant nature and energy efficiency. Vinyl might retain its original colour and surface quality forever.
- Wood is the least sustainable choice, unless it’s repurposed. Some regular options include the pine, fir, alder and mahogany. Its sap content, tint and grain undoubtedly create one-of-a-kind pieces. Its unique look also comes with a hefty price tag.
- If you haven’t heard about the clad-wood, we’ll tell you that this material is a combination of outer metal sheet and a wooden core. It scores high points for security and minimal maintenance. For instance, clad-wood doesn’t need the exterior coating.
What about energy efficiency?
With the rise of the green movement, it’s advisable to pick your patio doors with energy efficiency ratings in mind. Adjust your selection to the local climate and cut down the electricity costs. Pay attention to the U-factor, R-value, UV coatings and Low-E glass parameters when browsing the patio door offer.
Make sure the chosen material and design fit nicely into your living space. These combinations are sure to please even the toughest buyers.
I usually recommend either fiberglass or metal for patio doors and screens. Wood is prone to sagging, and is less durable overall than metal or fiberglass. I would only recommend wood doors for more decorative doors, rather than a sturdy patio door and screen