Patios are a terrific way to expand your living space. As the warmer weather approaches, people look forward to sometime in the sun, even if it is just from one’s own patio. Time spent outdoors serves as a welcome respite after suffering through the chill of winter.
If you’re in the market to install a new patio or update your existing one this coming spring or summer, then you’re also in the market for the perfect set of patio doors. You may ask; what kind of patio doors are the best for my home? For starters, there are a couple of key considerations to keep in mind:
- Homeowners are always on the lookout for savings, and I’ll bet you’re no different. As a builder, I’d say one sure way to increase your savings is by looking for energy-efficient properties and functionality in your door selection.
- Another aspect you’re sure to care about is how the door looks, and how it fits in with your home’s design.
With these considerations in mind, draw up a list of questions to ask yourself. These questions should help you decide which type of patio door will suit you best. Ask yourself:
Do I live in an area where the seasons are marked?
If so, look for doors that won’t boost your energy costs, but instead energy efficiency in the home. Use double pane glass, or thermally insulated panes, at the very least. Better yet, opt for High Performance™ Low-E4® SmartSun™ glass, available through top-ranked door and window manufacturers. This glass is 70% more energy efficient in summer and 45% more energy efficient in winter as compared to ordinary dual panel glass. Also, go for high-quality weather stripping that can prevent airflow between the indoors and outdoors.
How much room do I have for the sliding door?
With limited wall space, a sliding door may not be a possibility for you. A more practical choice would be doors that swing inward or outward. However, you will have to sacrifice some patio or indoor space if you use swinging doors. If you have enough room in the wall, the sliding door option is the best choice, as it will maximize your patio and indoor space.
What do I gain from a wider door opening?
Sliding doors take up twice the wall space, but because they allow for a wider wall opening, they can also considerably improve airflow and allow in more natural light.
What’s the downside to a sliding door?
Insulation can be a bit of a problem with the wider wall openings required by sliding doors. To maintain comfortable temperatures in the home year-round, look for energy-efficient glass panes. Also, keep in mind that professionally installed fabricated or custom-fit doors are the way to go if you want to keep things airtight.
Will my sliding door last?
Wood has a lot to offer aesthetically, but requires constant and regular upkeep to retain its stunning appearance. Fiberglass is a great alternative, but Fibrex®, a patented composite material that combines the beauty of wood with the ease of maintenance for vinyl, is the top choice. Fibrex® performs superbly and lasts longer than most other materials will.
The only thing now left to consider is your personal preferences in design. Your patio doors need to enhance both the beauty of your home and the beauty of your outdoors. At the same time, don’t forget that you need to strike the best balance between your energy efficiency needs and your personal aesthetics and style.
Making the right choice can make all the difference in how happy you are with your final choice of patio doors.
Samuel Carter is an operations manager at Renewal by Andersen of Northern Virginia and DC, where his customer-centric, hands-on approach makes him a favorite among customers. Apart from writing blogs, Samuel loves to dabble in creative pursuits such as painting and music in his leisure time.