When looking for patio doors, whether you’re making your first purchase or have been thinking about it for years, you should take the time to research and find the right ones. By doing so, you can ensure that you get the best patio doors for your needs and budget.

For you to do this you need to consider several factors that include:

Size

Size

For a successful patio door purchase, choose the best size for your location. An overly large door will be difficult to open and close, causing annoyance in the future.

As a general rule, measure your existing doors, windows, and other openings to ensure the new door fits properly.

After taking the measurements, you should assess how much space you need on either side of the new door to swing fully open.

Style

The style of door you go for determines the aesthetics and functionality of the door. Thankfully, there are many door styles you can go for. The most common ones being:

Sliding patio doors

Sliding patio doors

Also known as bypass or gliding doors, they are immensely popular. They let in a lot of natural light and are simple to maintain. Slider doors are made up of two or more separate panels, at least one of which moves back and forth on hidden rollers.

Some manufacturers combine sliding panels with fixed panels to create strikingly large swaths of glass. The panels move parallel to the wall, so they do not interfere with furniture placement or walkways.   

Sliding doors are commonly used when space is restricted since they don’t need an area to swing inward or outward.

Swinging patio doors

Swinging patio doors

Also known as hinged doors, they operate similarly to normal outside doors. They are full-view glass panels that often hang in pairs. The doors are center-hung, hinged on each side of a central mullion, and open similarly to butterfly wings.

The most common type of swinging door is the French door. French doors are hinged at the side jambs to ensure the door panels meet when closed. The latching mechanism is housed on one of the doors in an astragal position. When French doors open, the entire space between the hinges becomes clear.

Folding patio doors

Folding patio doors

A folding patio door system provides access to a large amount of outside space. The system runs accordion-style, with each part sliding on an overhead track and neatly folding away for full access.

They are available in a variety of configurations, and it’s up to you to choose the best ones for you.

When looking for patio doors, it is wise that you visit a showroom to see the different options in person and feel them with your hands. This gives you a good idea of how each door will look in your home and how comfy it will be.

When it comes to your budget, here is a Patio door price guide that will help you budget for each door that you want.

Materials used

It’s important to consider the material used in making the patio door. The most common materials that you can go for include:

Vinyl

Vinyl

Vinyl patio doors are among the most popular options to consider. The beauty of the doors is that the robust plastic material can be customized to resemble more fashionable materials.

Colorful external frames can complement the design and style of your home. You can also use tinted glass. Customize even further with metallic inside handles.

Vinyl is long-lasting, requires little maintenance, and resists peeling, flaking, rotting, and corrosion. Vinyl patio doors are affordable, cost-effective, and highly energy-efficient.

While the doors are great, their downside is that extreme temperature changes may produce cracks in them. Second, vinyl may be more combustible than some other patio door materials.

Wood

Wood Patio door

Because of their unique design and polish, wood patio doors add an exquisite, traditional touch to your property. Scratches and other minor damage are easily repaired, saving you a lot of money.

The downside to the doors is that they are more expensive and energy-efficient than alternative materials. Because wood is a natural material, it requires frequent maintenance, which can be inconvenient.

Furthermore, moisture in the air can deform wood-based patio doors, and prolonged exposure to sunlight and heat can cause the wood to deteriorate.

Aluminum

Aluminum Patio Door

Aluminum patio doors exude a clean and modern aesthetic. They have tiny frames to allow for as much glass as possible.

Aluminum patio doors, like steel patio doors, are durable and low-maintenance. The downside is that aluminum doors are lighter than steel patio doors, making them more prone to denting.

Although aluminum patio doors are supposed to be corrosion-resistant, scratches, dents, or breaks in the protective layers can cause major issues.

Steel

Steel patio door

Steel is an affordable alternative that provides strength and durability while also being suitable for most climates. They may not be as beautiful as wood patio doors, but they are more energy-efficient and cost less.

Steel patio doors are low-maintenance and should not bow or warp if correctly built with quality materials.

Fiberglass

Fiberglass patio door

Fiberglass patio doors are designed to resist the extremes of any environment. They expand and compress little when the temperature changes in the weather, making them energy efficient.

They are incredibly sturdy, and can be manufactured to look like wood, making them an excellent alternative for homeowners who prefer the look of wooden patio doors but want a lower-maintenance solution.

Energy efficiency

In addition to aesthetics, choose a material that is energy efficient. Depending on your environment, the appropriate patio doors may pay for themselves in lower energy expenses.

For example, if you live in extremely cold areas, choose a patio door with a low U-factor that prevents excessive heat loss throughout the winter.

Some of the things to consider when finding an energy-efficient door include R-value, U-factor, Low-E glass, UV coatings, and other glass alternatives.

Parting shot

These are some of the things you should consider when buying a patio door.

If you have children or pets, make sure your new doors can handle the abuse they cause. As a rule of thumb, go for a high-quality door that lasts and features a warranty.

Charles Townsend
Author

Charles Townsend is an expert in Real Estate and Property Management, focusing on sustainable and innovative housing solutions. He graduated from the University of Leeds with an Urban Planning and Development degree. He began his career with a leading real estate firm in London, quickly rising through the ranks due to his keen insights and innovative approaches to property management. He is also a guest lecturer at several universities, sharing his knowledge with the next generation. During his leisure time, he enjoys gardening and working on his vintage car collection.

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