Patio Doors

Enhance outdoor living areas with beautiful patio doors

Patio Doors - Patio Doors

Patio doors can dramatically change the atmosphere of a room by letting in more light, improving air circulation, and establishing an inviting path to outdoor decks and patios. In addition, patio doors provide an attractive architectural accent and can increase the value of your home through enhanced appearance, long-lasting warranties, and energy savings.

This guide will walk you through the different types of patio doors so you can be sure you’re finding the right design and material to match your needs.

Door Types

There are two types of patio doors: French and sliding. Choose which type works best for you based on space available and amount of ventilation desired.

Hinged doors, also known as French doors, are characterized by their classic elegant lines and typically consist of one or more panels. The panels are usually made of glass and constructed so that at least one of the panels can swing in or out.

  • Hinged doors offer decorative options like grilles of simple to complex patterns and arched tops.
  • They are ideal in areas where there are high winds because the harder the wind blows against them, the tighter the seal they make when pressed against the jamb.
  • They can consist of one or two doors that both open, or one of the doors can be fixed in place, providing added flexibility for the amount of ventilation and light you prefer.


Gliding or sliding doors require less space and offer straight, simple lines that lend a room a contemporary look. They maximize the area available for access and light and facilitate movement of large volumes of air through a room since they don’t require space for the door to swing in or out.

Door Materials

You have a choice of doors made from a variety of materials, each of which offers a combination of unique benefits. These include wood, aluminum, vinyl, steel and fiberglass.

At one time, wood doors were the preference for hinged patio doors, and aluminum or steel construction for gliding doors. Today’s doors offer the benefits of both materials with the elegance of wood on the interior side and the weather-resistant strength of vinyl, aluminum or steel on the exterior side.

Wood

  • Variety of options
  • Allows for decorative glass options
  • Offers architectural appeal
  • Easily customizable

Vinyl

  • Energy efficient
  • Low upkeep
  • Allows for decorative glass options
  • Long-lasting

Aluminum

  • Resists rust and mildew
  • Ideal for moderate climates
  • Durable against the elements
  • Allows for decorative glass options

Steel

  • Offers strength and durability
  • Resists rotting, warping and shrinkage
  • Insulation bonds to surface
  • Ideal for added security
  • Available in wood grain finishes

Fiberglass

  • Resists dents, warping, and peeling
  • Very low maintenance
  • Available in a variety of textures
  • Can be painted or stained

Door Designs

When picking out your patio doors, consider options such as weather stripping, security and decorative hardware.

Frame and Fit

The materials your door is made of can affect heat loss. Although most patio doors have large sections of glass, and glass is a poor insulator, the type of frame around the glass can help reduce heat loss.

  • The most efficient doors are made of metal, fiberglass, or wood cladding.
  • Correct fit can also have a positive effect on energy savings.
  • Be sure the door seals tightly to all areas of the jamb. If not, check for bends in the door and replace it, if necessary.


Weather Stripping

Air leakage can account for as much as 30 percent to 40 percent of a home’s energy loss. Weather stripping seals gaps around doors and reduces the escape of heat and air conditioning from a home.

  • A variety of weather stripping materials are available to seal gaps around doors, including sponge, foam, felt, vinyl and magnetic.
  • Damaged weather stripping can greatly increase energy loss around a door.
  • Check the weather stripping annually and replace it as necessary.


Security

Because patio doors are typically on the back side of a home or a side with less exposure to the street, improved security should be considered by ensuring that hinged and gliding doors have dual locking hardware.

  • Gliding doors, which can be lifted off their tracks, can be further secured by installing bolts through the door or applying a security bar with a locking device.


Hardware

Hardware comes in a variety of finishes, including brass, chrome, bronze, nickel and white to match your décor.