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Do you need to replace your old, foggy, sticking sliding patio door? Or perhaps you’re in the process of choosing a patio door for a house you’re building? A lot of us put time and planning into the impression the front door makes or we focus on specific window features. Yet, selecting the right patio door has an equally big impact on both the interior and exterior appearance of your home.
One of the first things homeowners think about when choosing a patio door is design. This is a major factor, given this door will most likely be a focal point — catching the eye of everyone who walks into the room for many years to come. Think about door functionality and accessibility restrictions — sliding, hinged and bi-parting patio doors all come with their own benefits. For example, sliding patio doors are great for condominiums or homes where there isn’t much space around the patio door, while hinged patio doors offer a traditional look by swinging in or out, but are more challenging in tight spaces. Bi-parting doors give a modern flare to a space while offering a large area of unobstructed glass, great for taking advantage of amazing views.
But, don’t stop with door type! There are a number of other design options to consider, such as grille patterns, grilles between the glass and simulated divided lites. You can also customize a patio door by selecting from a variety of colors, allowing you to coordinate with your windows, the interior room’s décor and the exterior design of an outdoor space.
What does your outdoor living space look like? For small patios or balconies, sliding patio doors or inswing hinged doors are a great choice. Steer clear of outswing hinged doors to save space on your balcony. Outswing doors are best when interior room space is at a premium and you have a roof overhang.
If you are fortunate enough to live in a single-family home with a great view out your back door, such as mountains, a swimming pool, or landscaped gardens, you might appreciate a bi-parting door, which has two operating door panels for an expanded opening. Bi-parting doors also allow a great deal of natural light into the home, brightening up the room and ultimately extending your living space. There is a current trend among homeowners toward larger patio doors with increased openings to the outdoors. What are your thoughts on this trend? Are you considering a larger patio door?
As it does when you’re shopping for windows, energy efficiency should play a large role in choosing a new patio door. When it comes to material, vinyl and wood patio doors offer a high level of energy efficiency, but deliver different benefits. For example, vinyl is known for its easy maintenance and vast array of colors, while wood requires more maintenance, but offers a more traditional style with added design flexibility. If you choose a wood patio door, consider installing an aluminum-clad product, which will deliver a more resilient exterior with a classic wood interior.
Pay close attention to the type of glass package you choose for your patio door. You’ll see terms like Low-E, ENERGY STAR rate, and inert gas-filled insulated glass. Don’t let these terms overwhelm you. Read ‘Are You Throwing Money Out the Window‘ for definitions and insight into how to pick energy efficient products for your home.