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How do you choose a suitable patio door for your home?

Updated on:
July 11, 2024
patio door

Image Source: Oknoplast

If you want to buy a patio door, there are several things to consider. For example, it is important that the patio door fits your house and blends into the design. Also, you should pay attention to the quality of the door.

Buying a patio door for your home initially seems simple, until you want to buy one yourself. After all, this is a task that most of us do not often do. You will find that there are a lot of points to consider, after all, you are buying a patio door for many years. In this post, we're here to answer many of your questions about patio doors.

What function should the patio door fulfill?

The patio door is as important for the back of the house as the front door is for the front of the house. A good front door gives the house character, enhances its attractiveness, and creates a grand entrance.

The patio door sets the tone for the back of the house and serves several functions, such as:

  • serves as an entrance and exit
  • floods a room with natural light
  • provides a view to the outside
  • contributes to the style of a house
  • increases energy efficiency
  • creates a focal point

There are so many different types of patio doors that everyone can find a suitable one that fits their style and character. The large selection helps people create a welcoming entrance and the right visual impression.

What to consider when buying a patio door

The occasion for buying a new patio door varies from household to household. The door can be part of a remodel or a general upgrade in appearance and quality.

It could also be that the door simply needs to be replaced. It could be jamming or malfunctioning for other reasons. It could have suffered severe damage, such as from a quick ball or an accident with a heavy object. The effects of time take their toll in the form of dents, scratches, and fading. From minor to major problems, there are a variety of other reasons why it's simply time for a new patio door.

But how can you narrow down your selection when you want to buy a new patio door?

Tip No. 1: Define your wishes and your style

When you decide to buy a new door, you should first ask yourself questions about your final vision of the finished project:

  • What is the main goal of the patio door project?
  • What are the approximate dimensions of the space the door is to fill?
  • How much space is or can be on both sides of the door?
  • Should the door or part of it be screened off?
  • What do you envision in terms of color, finish, glass pattern, and hardware?
  • Which door style best suits your interior and exterior decor?
  • How often will you use the door? For example, year-round or only in the summer, constantly or only occasionally?
  • What are the extreme temperatures in your region?
  • What is your budget for the door project?
  • Do you have a deadline for completing your door project?

If you're having the door installed by a professional, these are some of the questions he might ask you before starting the project. Therefore, you should inform yourself beforehand about what is needed so that you do not waste time choosing a completely wrong door.

Perhaps you have an existing decor or theme that the patio door should match, or you want to use the patio door to create a new look. There are patio doors to fit a range of needs, and it makes sense to think a bit about what kind of style your space has or what you want to achieve with it.

Last but not least, you should also consider the color of the patio door. There are a variety of different colors, so you can find exactly the patio door that fits your home.

Image Source: Oknoplast

Tip No. 2: Choose the right type of patio door

Basic patio door configurations are usually categorized in various ways. It's helpful to know a little bit about how patio doors are constructed and what purpose the different types serve:

Patio lift and slide door (HST):

A patio sliding door or lift and slide door flushes with the wall, and two door-sized glass panels sit side by side on a track in the door. 

One panel is slid in front of the other to create the space for the open door. This is also referred to as a bypass or sliding door. Some of them have an additional, fixed glass panel on both sides of the door to expand the view.

They are ideal anywhere there is a shortage of space, e.g., when there is no room for a conventional swing door. Sliding doors are often a good solution for condos, weekend homes, or cramped situations like a small balcony.

Double-leaf patio door:

Window doors are often a class of their own and work well as patio doors in the garden area. A French door is an elegant choice for doors leading outside, as well as for doors separating rooms from each other.

Tip No. 3: The view on the glass

After you have decided on a patio door, you should also consider what features you need. Some patio doors, for example, have lockable handles, insect screens, or roller shutters. There are also intelligent glazing systems with integrated thermal and sound insulation.

When choosing the glass for a patio door, you should consider the following points:

  • Do you want clear glass or something for privacy, e.g., decorative or frosted glass?
  • What pattern should the window panes of the patio door have?
  • How energy-efficient should the door be?
  • Do you live in a coastal area or another region where you need glass that can withstand strong storms?
  • What are the extreme temperatures in your region?
  • Does the patio door need to absorb, block, or let through sunlight?

When choosing a patio door, it's easy to get overwhelmed, especially when it comes to energy efficiency and the performance features of glass. There are many different types of glass that can be glazed to achieve project-specific goals, such as letting in sunlight or keeping it out.

The U-factor indicates how much non-solar heat flow the glass allows. The lower the U-factor, the better the energy efficiency.

Most importantly, it is a measure of three main factors of glass quality:

  • Direct heat conduction
  • Air leaks through and around the door
  • Visible permeability and the light-to-solar gain

The light transmittance is the proportion of the visible sunlight spectrum that is let through by the glazing of the glass and is weighted according to the sensitivity of the human eye. The scale ranges from 0 to 10, with higher numbers indicating higher light transmittance.

You should consider all these things when making your purchase decision to find the best patio door for your home.

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