9 Things You Should Know Before Buying Sliding Patio Doors

9 Things You Should Know Before Buying Sliding Patio Doors

Are you considering exterior sliding doors for your patio entry? Sliding doors are a popular space-saving design that can suit a variety of openings. It's a design element that you'll find in tiny homes, as well as grand-scale restaurants and residences.

Sliding patio doors are versatile and come in multiple sizes and configurations, allowing you to imagine them for your architecture needs. What makes them even more accessible is the variety of price points from cheap to luxury.

Sliding glass patio doors offer smooth operation and modern design without taking up space like hinged doors. In contrast, bifold doors collapse onto one another and allow for a grander exit way. Meanwhile, sliding doors are a safer option in homes with children due to their neat "packed away" feature.

We want to answer some of the most popular questions about purchasing sliding patio doors.

9 Things You Should Know Before Buying Sliding Patio Doors

If you're looking for the perfect door option for your patio opening and find yourself leaning toward slick gliding doors, here are a few Q&As that can help you with your decision.

Use the links below to skip ahead:

  1. Will the Size of My Sliding Door Affect the Cost?
  2. Can I Get Vinyl Patio Doors?
  3. Do I Need Tempered Glass in My Patio Doors?
  4. What's the Difference Between Sliding Doors and French Doors?
  5. Can I Choose My Door Hardware?
  6. Are Sliding Glass Doors Safe?
  7. What Type of Locks Do Sliding Doors Have?
  8. Can I Get Sliding Doors That Open From the Center?
  9. Are Sliding Patio Doors Energy Efficient?

1. Will the Size of My Sliding Door Affect the Cost?

Yes, sizing and configurations will affect the cost. Sliding doors allow for ease of movement from your tiny apartment kitchen to the outdoor area or as a grand opening in your modern home to your family-sized patio.

Before you order your sliding glass door, make sure your contractor has measured the space correctly.

2. Can I Get Vinyl Patio Doors?

Patio doors are available in a variety of panel frame materials. Many door manufacturers create solid and sturdy door systems with wood, vinyl, aluminum, or fiberglass exteriors. Each material has perks; speak to a door expert to find out what will work for you.

Vinyl is a popular choice for its low-maintenance reputation. The material is weather- hardy, creating a durable door that can withstand harsh climates. Vinyl is usually the most affordable material, making it the most appealing choice for cost-conservative buyers.

3. Do I Need Tempered Glass in My Patio Doors?

Definitely! Sliding glass doors must have safety glass. Tempered glass is strong and resists shattering. Instead, the unique glass will break into small, almost circular fragments. Similar to laminated glass, these safety glass types are required because they are less prone to inflicting bodily injury if they should break.

4. What's the Difference Between Sliding Doors and French Doors?

French doors are hinged doors that can be made to open fully, sometimes two together. French doors are often easier to install and maintain than sliding doors, but they do require floor space for opening.

Sliding patio doors open horizontally. They do not require floor space to open and close but only take up the horizontal installation space. This feature allows for a more flexible home design. Sliding doors are a safer option for high-traffic areas.

Sliding doors and french doors are both popular options; choose whichever best meets your needs and budget.

5. Can I Choose My Door Hardware?

Yes, hardware is usually a part of the product selection process. From locks, knobs, handles, and foot locks, you choose the color and style you like. The hardware choices for your door will depend on the door manufacturer. How so? Well, some manufacturers build doors to only work with certain types of hardware while others create no limitations which opens up your options.

6. Are Sliding Glass Doors Safe?

Sliding glass doors are not the most secure door option, but you can burglarproof the doors with a few hardware options. With foot locks, double point locking systems, or more advanced locking mechanisms than the standard options, sliding doors can be secured for your family's safety.

7. What Type of Locks Do Sliding Doors Have?

Some manufacturers offer different safety locking systems. These are popular options:

Exterior Keyed Lock - A six-pin key cylinder lock allows the door to be locked and unlocked from the exterior with a key.

Auxiliary Foot Lock - This lock provides an additional security measure. The lock hole can also be set a few inches from the closed position so that you can lock the door in a partially opened position to provide secure ventilation or a small pet exit.

Multi-point Lock - Multi-point locks are common on exterior hinged doors (front doors & French doors) but they are also available on some sliding doors. This system has additional locking hooks so that the door attaches to the jamb at multiple points instead of latching only at the door handle.

8. Can I Get Sliding Doors That Open From the Center?

Yes, you can. There are several configurations available depending on the manufacturer you choose. For a spacious living room or a kitchen that opens onto your foliage-filled patio, sliding doors that can extend from the center are elegant. With sliding glass doors that open from the center, you can have a seamless view, and wide opening, without the loss of any floor space. Do note that sliding door systems have at least one fixed panel and one active panel, so, for the doors to open from the center you'll need a four panel configuration.

9. Are Sliding Patio Doors Energy-Efficient?

Keeping energy bills to a minimum and keeping your family comfortable year-round is an important consideration when installing windows or doors. Since glass makes up the most prominent surface with sliding doors, it would be in your best interest to choose glass coatings that help regulate temperature.

Take a moment to learn how Low-E coatings help improve the energy efficiency of your home.

Sliding Patio Doors, Bottom Line

Sliding patio doors tick the boxes of versatility, space-saving, and modernity. They can be simple or tailored with all the bells and whistles for safety and energy efficiency.

Whatever your project or budget requirements, exterior sliding doors may be the door system for you.

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