Replacing Sliding Glass Doors? Ask Yourself These 5 Questions

August 16, 2010

You know you want to replace your sliding glass doors--maybe they're old and outdated, or they cause a draft in the winter--but what can you replace them with? French doors, center-swing patio doors, and sliding patio doors are all possible choices for replacing sliding glass doors. If you like the look of your doors but feel they lack the energy efficiency you need, you can give them a facelift with new, insulated glass. Ask yourself the following questions to discover the best new doors for your home.

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How soon do you want to begin this project?

  1. How much natural light do you want? If your biggest priority is an unobstructed view and plenty of sunlight, a sliding glass door is hard to beat. Just make sure you're replacing sliding glass doors with an energy-efficient glass (look for a high R-value, which measures glass's ability to resist heat transfer).
  2. What is the overall style of your home? More traditional homes lend themselves to the classic look of wood-framed windows and doors. In this case, a sliding glass door can be replaced by French doors or center-swing patio doors with defined borders and glass panels. On the other hand, the sleek look of a sliding glass door works well in modern homes.
  3. How much space do you have? While French and traditional patio doors swing open, sliding doors glide along rails and don't intrude into your interior or exterior space. If space is a concern but you like the look of French doors, consider sliding patio doors that combine the aesthetics of wood-framed doors with the convenience of a slider.
  4. How's the weather? If you live in a climate with extreme high or low temperatures, insulation is especially important. Replacing sliding glass doors with energy-efficient glass can reduce the transfer of heat while still allowing plenty of natural light.
  5. How big is your budget? In general, sliding glass doors are the least expensive option, beginning at about $1,000 (not including door installation). French doors are often the most expensive--exact prices depend on the manufacturer, but basic versions usually start around $1,800.

When you understand your options, contact a door installation expert and build the new doors that are right for you.


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