Aside from the fresh air and unobstructed view, there are other reasons why a patio door makes a good investment for the home. Designers, engineers, and architects alike consider outdoor living spaces like decks, balconies, and patios among others as very aesthetically and functionally valuable for a home.
If you want to spruce up your patios for whatever purpose, we feature here the eight major types of patio doors for every budget and aesthetic that you may want to consider.
8 Main Types of Patio Doors
For the record, there are more than eight types of patio doors out there in the market. However, in so far as structure, design, and function are concerned, the following are considered as the main types of patio doors.
1. Sliding patio doors
This is considered as the most common patio door type out there. As the name suggests, it is mounted and moves on a track and is composed of two glass door panels.
The traditional type features only one sliding panel while the other one is stationary. Modern sliding patio doors now offer more outdoor view since both panels now slide on the track. On the upside, it is affordable, easy to install, and very space-efficient. On the downside, the tracks need regular maintenance.
2. French patio doors
Unlike sliding patio doors, both sides of the French patio door can open fully. They are installed in the door frame through hinges and offers a large opening for people and for a full outdoor view.
On the upside, French patio doors may be customized, easy to install, and fairly secure. On the downside, it may not be as space-efficient as sliding patio doors since both door panels open outwards.
3. Bi-fold patio doors
Bifold doors are also called accordion doors because it is composed of at least four door panels or frames that goes on a folding motion when you open it. Its glass panels, however, breaks in multiple frames, breaking up the outdoor view when it is closed.
Although highly aesthetic and decorative, it is not space-efficient and it gives obstructed view through the segmented glass frames. It is also not viable for DIY installation due to its complex design.
4. Pivot patio doors
As the name implies, pivot patio doors rotate on pivot when open or closed. This is made possible by its hinges that are attached at the top and bottom of the door instead of the side like usual doors.
Pivot patio doors can open and close at the center or off-center. Thus, it can give you both an unobstructed indoor and outdoor access. On the downside, pivot patio doors are complex to install and may be more expensive. On the upside, they are very unique, decorative, and gives you a hotel vibe.
5. Corner patio doors
The first thing that you must consider with this type of patio door is the complexity of installation. This is so because they almost always require the installation of a supporting pillar for it to work.
Corner patio doors may come as sliding, single, or bifold. They can also be customized for a full outdoor view, in terms of materials, and other unique styles that would make a statement patio door. Overall, it is worth considering although quite expensive and harder to install.
6. Guillotine cavity patio doors
If you want a theater like view of the outdoors with doors that would fade up and down in the ceiling and floor pockets when opened, choose the guillotine cavity patio door. It operates on a motor system and is composed of two glass mobile panels.
This is a very high-end choice, hence, on the downside, it is expensive and needs professional installation and regular maintenance. On the upside, it is very luxurious, motorized, hence, convenient to use, and offers a perfect, unobstructed view.
7. Garage style patio doors
This one is also called as the vertical folding patio door. If you want to incorporate a highly industrial feel to your home, this is a good choice for you to consider. As the name implies, it operates on a machine or motor system for the door panels to be opened and moved up.
On the downside, they are very expensive and must be consulted with professionals as they cause structural changes when installed. They are also high-maintenance. Nevertheless, if you want a high-appeal patio door, this is a formidable choice for a patio door.
8. Dutch patio doors
This one is akin to French patio doors because it is also composed of two hinged panels. The main difference, however, is that French doors part vertically while Dutch doors part horizontally. Hence, you can get an unobstructed top or bottom view at a time or get a full one once you swing both panels open.
Since also called as the farm-style door, you can aesthetically incorporate this type of patio door in farmhouse style homes, rustic interiors, and industrial style homes. On the downside, they can look outdated and are not very space-efficient. Nevertheless, they are affordable, low maintenance and easy to install.
5 Material Types of Patio Doors to Consider
Since we have already listed the main types of patio doors, what then are the most common material types used in the manufacture of these doors? Here are the types of materials mainly used for patio doors.
This is perhaps one of the most durable and affordable materials for patio doors. It is energy-efficient, does not expand, warp nor fade, and is a very good insulator for heat and cold.
More so, it does not dent, peel, corrode nor rust. It may also be customized to shape or look like wood or metal. With all things considered, it could easily fit any style you want for your patio door.
This material has all the good qualities of vinyl. On the upside, it is the most durable material in this list. On the downside, it comes expensive. Its solid yet lightweight form make it a commendable material for motorized patio doors, among others.
Like vinyl, fiberglass is a very flexible material. It can also be shaped like metal or wood and can be customized to come in various finishes.
Although wood remains to be a very popular material, you have to understand that it could be quite expensive but not as durable as vinyl or fiberglass. Nevertheless, if you want a noise and vibration reductive material, wood is a perfect choice for you.
In so far as patio doors are concerned, wood as a material remains to be the go-to choice for French doors especially when it comes to the frame and exterior siding. Also a popular technique nowadays is adding a layer of vinyl or aluminum to the wood exterior siding for weather-proofing.
If you are looking for a cheap material that can very well do the trick, you may opt for aluminum material. However, its major downside is that it is not a good insulator. It gets extremely hot or cold depending on the weather. As a result, the interior may take on the door’s temperature.
This one is both durable and affordable. Compared to aluminum, this comes as a better choice, insulation-wise. It is designed to withstand harsh outdoor elements so it would do well as a patio door material. Also, it has low upfront cost so you can easily think of customized designs to have them with.
Frequently Asked Questions
Aside from what we have already covered, there are also some FAQs that might come in handy afterwards. Thus, in this section, we look at some patio door FAQs that you should be aware of before installing one.
What Are Patio Doors?
Basically, patio doors refer to sliding doors that are installed as the opening of patios, decks, and other outdoor spaces. Traditionally, there are two major types of patio doors: the sliding and the hinged. Patio doors in general, are not just for functional and practical use. They are also installed for their aesthetic value and their capacity to up-end the value of a home.
Pros and Cons of Patio Doors
Patio doors are not always perfect and depending on the material used and the design taken to build them, patio doors deal with their fair share of pros and cons. The most prominent of these would be the following.
- Adds a modern touch to the home.
- Good ventilation.
- Controlled insulation and may come with UV filtering.
- Some are harder to install or needs professional installation.
- Fixed and may not be space-efficient.
- Depending on material, may be less secure.
Patio Window Sizes
While there are many types of materials and patio door types, as per rule of thumb, sizing depends on sliding patio doors. As is the case, there are three standard sizes when it comes to patio doors: 80, 82 and 96 inches.
Although you can find manufacturers who can customize your patio doors for you, in general, they all so adhere with these standard sizes.
Types of Patio Doors
As have been mentioned, traditionally, patio doors are only said to come in two types: sliding and hinged. But as time passed, a third addition was considered and this would be the bifold patio doors. For each type, there are numerous subtypes. Hence, if you want to explore more options, you should check on the different subtypes of the types of patio doors.
Patio Door Glass
In so far as the outdoor nature of patio door is concerned, the best glass to be used for patio door would still be fiberglass. The insulating character of this material makes it the best patio door glass. Aside from this, it is very durable and virtually does not dent or break. Security-wise, it is also commendable for patio doors.
Patio Door Customization
The good thing about patio doors is that they can be customized too. Be it in terms of color, build, material, open and close operation, and others, you can have them custom fitted depending on your need or preference. For this, you need to find a reputable manufacturer with commendable customization service.
How Much Do Patio Doors Cost?
Patio door quotations are also based on prevailing sliding door costing. Hence, the average cost of patio doors with materials and labor would range from $300-2000. Hinged patio doors on the other hand would range from $400-6000.
How do I Choose a Patio Door?
Aside from the type of patio door to consider, there are also some key factors to consider before finalizing your patio door design. The key things to think about when choosing a patio door are:
- Function: For this, choose the patio door with the most appropriate opening method for the size and style of entrance space that you have. If you want space-saving patio doors, go for sliding type. If you want a more traditional one, go for the hinged. If you have enough space and want to go unique, go for the bifold.
- Style: The style has something to do with coming up with a clean and polished transition space for your outdoor and indoor view. As is the case, go for the patio door which could give you the best unobstructed view but at the same time is energy-efficient, offers insulation, and ventilation, among others.
- Budget: Most importantly, consider your budget. You can go for unique, customized and statement patio doors without breaking the bank. If you want to save for installation, you may opt for patio door designs that can be done and installed DIY. But if you have some extra bucks to spend, might as well go out and go for more up-end ones.
How to Find a Professional Patio Doors Manufacturer Online
When it comes to finding a professional patio door manufacture online, consider three things: experience, collaboration, and accessibility.
As to experience, always carefully check company profiles. The length of years that they have been on the market, the wideness of their customer following and transparency in their pages speak for their quality and reputation.
As to collaboration, note the number and location of the brands they have worked with and the projects they have finished. The more, the better. Their international reach is also a major plus when it comes to professionality.
As to accessibility, consider those with responsive customer service, those with good web interface, those with easily navigable pages and good logistics response. If they have all of these, you have found a professional patio door manufacturer.
Types of Patio Doors : The Conclusion
To end, patio doors are significant not just aesthetically but also in terms of practicality and functionality. More than the outdoor view, patio doors provide insulation, better ventilation, and good air flow transitioning from the outdoors to the indoors and vice-versa. As is the case, you have to choose your patio door well. With everything that we have mentioned here, we are confident that you will make the better choice.
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