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Buying Guide

Best Patio Doors for Your Home

Patio Door Types
A patio door with a black frame.

There are three primary patio door styles: French, sliding and folding. Choose which type works best for you based on the space available and the amount of ventilation desired.

French Doors
A French patio door with a dark frame.

Hinged doors, also known as French patio 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.


When ordering a hinged patio door, you'll need to know the "handedness" of the door. An easy way to do this is to simply open the door, then stand in the doorframe with your back along the hinges. If the hand by the doorknob is your right, it's a right-handed door. If it's by your left, you have a left-handed door.


When planning for a new patio door, the same concept applies. Also, keep in mind that exterior doors usually swing out of the room.

Sliding Doors
Sliding patio doors leading out to a deck.

Gliding or sliding patio 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 the movement of large volumes of air through a room, since they don't require space for the door to swing in or out. There are many different types of sliding doors to choose from, making it easy to find the best sliding doors for your home.

Folding Doors
A folding patio door on a patio with wood and brick trim.

Achieve an incredible transition between your indoor and outdoor space. These folding patio doors feature a sliding track that allows them to fold back out of the way, creating the ultimate pathway between a living area and a patio space.

Patio Door Materials
A dual image of a wood patio door and a steel patio door.

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, including pine
  • 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
Patio Door Designs
Patio doors with white trim.

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

Frame and Fit
Patio doors with gray trim.

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.


Patio doors can range in size according to type. If you're replacing an existing patio door, make sure to take careful measurements before shopping for your new door. Some of the most common patio door sizes are:

72 inches x 80 inches

60 inches x 80 inches

72 inches x 96 inches

96 inches x 81 inches

Weather Stripping
A fiberglass patio door with white trim.

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
A gliding patio door leading to a deck.

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.


For added security and privacy, choose from our wide selection of blinds. Whether you like vertical blinds, panel track blinds or blinds between the glass, The Home Depot has it all.

Patio Door Hardware
A patio door with bronze hardware.

Hardware comes in a variety of finishes, including brass, chrome, bronze, nickel and white to match your decor. Consider coordinating your door hardware with the metallic finishes featured on your home lighting and the existing hardware throughout the space.

As you make your final selections for your patio door, make sure to take a few key factors into consideration. Make sure to take note of any architectural or decorative obstructions in the way of the door opening. If you aren't going to be able to open doors that swing open, a sliding door makes a more appropriate choice. If you have any questions, the professionals at The Home Depot are always willing to guide you toward the best patio doors for your home.


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