How do I Choose a Patio Door?

Malcolm Tatum

Choosing a new patio door is a task that usually comes about due to home renovations or a need to replace worn or damaged doors. Making the right decision about a new patio door involves considering several key factors. If you are facing a decision of this type, here is what you need to keep in mind.

Woman with a flower
Woman with a flower

It is important to remember that your choice of a new patio door will involve addressing two key areas. First, you need to consider functionality and the energy-efficient properties of the doors you have in mind. The second key area has to do with the aesthetics of the door and how well the design fits into the look, color, and general d├ęcor of the space on both sides of the doorway. Depending on where you live, one area may be more important than the other.

In locations where the summers are hot and humid, and the winters are cold and harsh, it is very important to consider patio door designs that are energy-efficient. The idea is to make sure the doors do not lead to increased utility costs; in fact, your goal should be to select door designs that will increase the energy efficiency of the home. This can often be accomplished by choosing designs that include double pane glass, or at least thermally insulated panes. The weather stripping incorporated into the design of the doors should be high quality and capable of preventing air flow between the indoors and outdoors.

Another practical consideration has to do with space limitations. When there is room for the doors to swing inward or outward, designs such as French doors can work very well for a patio. However, tight spaces such as small patio on a garden home may be more suited for sliding doors. Going with sliding models in small spaces means it is still possible to utilize more of the available patio for plants and patio furniture.

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For areas where the weather is less of a consideration, the focus may be on the aesthetics of the patio door options. If this is the case, the only practical consideration is choosing a patio door design that is easy to open and close. That leaves options based on the personal preferences of the homeowner.

The doors can be as simple or elaborate as preferred, and may involve a wide range of materials. Attractive patio door sets may be created using wood, aluminum or vinyl in the design. The patio door may include a mesh screen as well as glass. The top profile may be arched or squared off. Any design the homeowner wants is available in prefabricated sets or can be custom designed.

Patio doors are a great way to enjoy simple access from the home to a back deck and the yard. The wide range of choices in look and design make it possible to enhance the beauty of the view of the backyard while in the home while also creating a welcoming point of access when in the yard. Evaluate your needs for energy efficiency and weigh them against your desires for a certain look to your patio area, then base your choices on what will work best for your situation. Taking your time and looking at the task from both a practical and an aesthetic angle will make all the difference in how happy you are with that final choice.

Discussion Comments


Sliding patio doors requires less floor space since they don't swing. We can save lots of space and can place furniture nearby. These well crafted doors make a beautiful entrance and are also a great source of natural light. Many window companies offer multiple lock point in patio doors for added level of security. It provides the easiest operation even in the toughest climates.

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