What Types of Patio Doors Are Available?

Patio DoorsIf you are in the market for doors to enhance your patio, there are many types of patio doors to choose from. Patio doors revitalize your entryway and provide a pleasing view to the outdoors, while also protecting your home from extreme weather conditions.

Sliding Patio Doors

A sliding patio door consists of at least two panels, which may be made of glass or screens. One panel is immobile while the other opens and closes by sliding on tracks or rollers. Because sliding patio doors open by sliding into the wall, they don’t get in the way. Sliding doors provide the least obstructive view of the outdoors, allowing more sunlight to filter in.

Folding Patio Doors

Folding patio doors are also called bi-fold doors. They consist of two or more panels that open and close in accordion-like fashion. They slide on tracks and can easily be opened from the center, from the left or from the right. When the doors are open, they are folded away out of sight.

Swinging Patio Doors

Swinging patio doors operate on hinges, and there are two types. A regular swinging patio door consists of two panels that hang on centered hinges, allowing the doors to swing open in an outward direction on each side. French swinging patio doors consist of two panels that have hinges on the extreme left and right sides. The panels meet in the center when shut, so that both doors can be opened together, creating a wide entryway.

Other Options

In addition to options for different types of patio doors, you have your choice of different materials. These include glass, wood, fiberglass, steel, aluminum and vinyl. Options for the panes themselves include tint and other special glass options. The coating you choose matters as well. According to the Department of Energy, various coatings are good for energy efficiency, which can help you save on your electricity bill. Options include the following:

  • Low E1, which is popular in the North. It takes advantage of the sun’s heat and prevents heat from escaping outside.
  • Low E2, which is great for all types of climates. It reflects heat into the room in the winter and blocks heat in the summer.
  • Low E3, which is popular in the South, where it minimizes sun exposure and cuts down on cooling costs.
  • UV, which protects against harmful sun rays that emit through the door. UV coating is particularly useful if you don’t want to hang curtains.
  • R-value, which refers to the ability to insulate heat. The higher the R-value, the more heat can be insulated.
  • U-factor, which refers to the ability to transmit heat from the outside to the inside. The lower the U-factor, the less heat it transmits.

Related Resource: Engineered Siding

Your patio is as much a part of your home as the interior, which makes the choice of patio door a vital connection point between the two. The variety available in the types of patio doors provides more than enough diversity for you to make your patio entryway stand out in a way that complements your personality and your home.