Choosing the right patio door for your home can be a difficult decision. With an almost overwhelming number of options available, it can be hard to know where to start looking and what considerations you should make while making your choice. The perfect patio door will be functional and aesthetically pleasing as well as matching both your interior and exterior décor.
There are many types of patio doors that can be used depending on the amount of clearance space you have available around the entrance way. French doors off the largest amount of design options including various door styles, accessories, and glass options but they require room to swing open making them impractical for smaller spaces. Sliding doors are easy to operate, require less room to operate than swinging doors, and can be quite appealing due to a range modern, simplistic designs.
Whether you decide on French doors or sliding doors, the next important decision you make should be about the materials it is made of. Some materials are easier to maintain than others with vinyl, fiberglass, aluminum, and clad-wood being the most popular and best-lasting options.
Fiberglass: Featuring the look of wood – right down to the knots and cracks – fiberglass require much less upkeep and is made to withstand the rigors of any climate whether it is hot, cold, wet, or dry.
Aluminum: Lightweight and strong, this materials is a cost-effective alternative to wood. It is also corrosion-resistant and performs well in most climates.
Steel: Another economic option, steel offers strength and durability with superior rust-resistance. A good choice for most climates, steel doors will require minimal maintenance.
Vinyl: A strong, plastic-based material, vinyl is commonly used for its durability, energy efficiency, and ability to stand up to the elements. Vinyl doors will never fade in colour, flake, peel, rust, or rot.
Wood: Made from a variety of different tree species, wood doors are as different as the trees they come from. Some of the most popular options include fir, pine, mahogany, and alder and each has its own unique characteristics such as grain, color, sap content, and unique appearance.
Clad-wood: Cladding refers to a strong layer of metal over wood and offers extra protection, low maintenance, and no need for exterior painting.
Depending on your climate, energy efficiency should be a main consideration in choosing your patio door. The reduced energy costs after installation should pay for them within a few years by making your home easier to keep warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Important factors to consider include R-value, U-factor, Low E-glass, and UV coatings.