“Sliding, swinging, French, and bi-fold patio doors are just a few selections available today, allowing you to create a truly custom design that complements your home’s architectural style and helps define your outdoor living space,” said Christopher Wittmann, CR, exterior product specialist with Callen Construction in Muskego. “There is an array of new options for homeowners to choose from, such as low-maintenance fiberglass that mimics the look of wood, architectural inspired-styles, decorative glass, custom colors and designs and energy efficient systems,” he added. Ultimately, the type of patio door you choose should depend on your home’s design, your lifestyle, and convenience. The following is a list of five design tips to help you choose the right patio door for your home.
“First, you will want to consider furniture and wall placement before determining which opening method works best for the space,” Christopher said. For instance, swinging and French doors need room to open. Conversely, if space is tight, consider using a stationary panel with a single swinging door or sliding doors that will fit well in any sized space.
Next, choose a design that has a wide doorway to provide greater access and stronger connection to your outdoor living space. Look for folding patio door systems to integrate multiple French and swing doors into your design.
Third, you’ll want to select the right type of glass with the most benefits and efficiency, since glass is a major component of patio doors. “Low-E glass helps lower energy bills all year and protect against UV fading,” he said. In addition, decorative tempered glass provides privacy and added style, all while letting in natural light. Options like internal blinds and grills allow you to control the light and views.
Afterwards, choose a durable material with low maintenance, especially if you plan on using your patio door as a main entrance to your home. Fiberglass, vinyl, aluminum, and clad-wood patio doors weather well and never need painting.
Finally, be sure the quality and style of your patio door complements your home. Just like your home’s exterior siding, the material of your patio door is equally important to your home’s overall look. “For instance, if your home is cedar, you’ll want to use a solid wood or high-end fiberglass patio door rather than a vinyl siding door,” Christopher said. French siding doors offer the most design flexibility, because you can hand select the door style, accessories and glass. If you want your patio door to match the architectural style and feel of your front entry and garage doors, then you’ll want a hinged or French door, rather than a sliding patio door, which is mostly comprised of glass.