When choosing a patio door, there is only one thing to keep in mind: It is not just a door. So it is important that you make the right choice. As to the question of what the right choice is, it depends on your definition of “right.” In other words, the whole exercise has everything to do with your personal preference.
You have a variety of patio door styles and sizes to choose from. And each one of them have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. From French to sliding glass doors to patio doors ranging in width from five to over twelve feet – it’s your choice that matters.
But to nudge you in the right direction, here is a list of choices you have when looking for the right door for your patio:
* Sliding Doors
Think of them as huge picture windows that you can walk through. The panes of glass are usually mounted in a frame that comes equipped with rollers. And that’s why they slide when you open them.
Sliding patio doors come in a variety of materials. Aluminum is, by far, the most common and also the least expensive. Because aluminum does not rust, sliding patio doors made of this material are only practical.
Another option you have for your sliding doors is vinyl. Characterized as low maintenance but energy efficient, vinyl doors have tough frames that are easily maintained. In fact, with regular maintenance, sliding patio doors made from vinyl could look new for years.
Wood, of course, will always be an option for sliding patio doors. They are the highest quality and offer the same natural aesthetic qualities as traditional wood doors. The only difference is that wood sliding doors offer a full view because of the large glass panes. But, as to be expected from high quality material, wood doors are also the most expensive of patio doors.
A somewhat less expensive alternative you have to wood doors is wood clad doors. These patio doors are wooden doors and frames with a coating on its exterior surface. The coating could be made from vinyl, fiberglass, or aluminum, depending on the type of wood clad door. The result is a patio door that is protected from adverse weather conditions outside but still have the look and feel of real wood on the inside.
* French Doors
French doors come in the same materials as sliding patio doors. But in addition to vinyl, wood, and aluminum, French doors may also be available in steel and fiberglass.
French doors are set on frames and share the same characteristics of traditional entry doors. Some of them have either left or right handed in-swing or out-swing. However, you can also find French doors that swing both ways.