Many homeowners install fiberglass patio doors at openings around patios, balconies and other outdoor spaces. These doors serve as an alternative to traditional wooden or steel models, and offer a number of advantages over these materials. Many fiberglass patio doors feature glass panels to bring natural light into the home. They also allow the occupants of the home to enjoy exterior views of the garden or patio.
Fiberglass patio doors are made from fine glass fibers mixed with epoxy resins. This mixture is molded to form the desired shape, then pressed together at high levels of heat and pressure to create a dense, durable structure. Design options are virtually unlimited with these doors. Some are styled to resemble French doors, with multiple glass panels separated by thin fiberglass beams. Others feature full glass panels for maximum light and views.
Like other patio door models, fiberglass units are available in hinged or sliding varieties. Hinged patio doors typically come in pairs, and may swing into or out of the home. Sliding units are available in two- or four-section models, and may slide open at both ends, or just along one side of the opening. Fiberglass patio doors often come with built-in screens so users can bring fresh air into the home. Some even include blinds that fit between multiple panes of glass for safety and easy maintenance.
Homeowners can choose from many different fiberglass door finishes and textures. Some models are designed to mimic the look and feel of hardwood, while others have a smooth finish. Fiberglass doors accept most types of paint or stain, and some can even be pre-finished at the factory for a long-lasting finish.
Fiberglass patio doors are known for their strength and durability. Unlike wood, they will not rot, warp, or swell when exposed to rain and other elements. While steel patio doors may rust or corrode, fiberglass is impervious to water, and suffers no ill effects due to the weather. These doors require very little maintenance, and often offer much better insulation than wood or steel units.
One of the primary drawbacks of a fiberglass door is its high price tag. These doors cost more than steel or wood on average, though they also last longer than either of these materials. Some users may not like the faux-wood finish of some fiberglass patio doors, especially when it comes to lower-quality models. Finally, fiberglass doors tend to fade over time due to sun exposure, and may require refinishing to restore their appearance.