Selecting Patio Doors

March 01, 2010

Your patio slider is dented, scratched, and the glass may be scratched, cracked or nearly impossible to clean. New patio doors are available in a variety of styles and material options that can enhance your home inside and out while contributing to energy efficiency.

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Patio Doors: Sliders, French Doors, and More

Durability is an important consideration when installing exterior doors. Exposure to the elements can damage and discolor window frame materials, and can eventually compromise the durability and utility of exterior doors. Newer materials, including vinyl and fiberglass resist such damage and are available in colors and styles suited to your home's architecture and interior decor.

  • Sliding patio doors: Sliders provide an advantage in situations where space is tight. Available frame materials include wood, vinyl and fiberglass.
  • Hinged patio doors: These include "French" doors and individual doors. Custom styles also include hinged "accordion" style doors that can open an entire wall to the outdoors. Whether replacing an existing patio door or including new patio doors in a home renovation project, working with window and door sales personnel, contractors and installers can help you identify the best exterior doors for your project.
  • Energy efficient exterior doors: Like windows, multi layered glass helps insulate your home and conserve energy. Ask suppliers about energy star rated exterior doors; these may be eligible for a federal tax credit or local energy company rebates.

Exterior Doors: Durability and Style

Vinyl is least expensive and easy to maintain. Vinyl cannot be refinished or painted so it's important to choose a neutral color that you can live with.Fiberglass is durable and light weight, and can be refinished. Wood provides durability and traditional styling, but requires more maintenance to protect it from environmental damage.

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