There are thousands of patio door options on the market. For inexperienced homeowners, navigating through these options can be confusing. If you’re one of these homeowners, don’t worry. Here’s a comprehensive guide to assist you.
There are two patio door styles:
French doors — French doors feature two hinged sashes that meet in the middle. They look great on homes with traditional architectural styles and typically feature wood frames. French door sashes are hinged and, therefore, require room to swing open. One of the sashes may be fixed instead of hinged.
Sliding patio doors — Also known as “gliding” doors, sliding patio doors are equipped with sashes that slide along tracks, which are set in the bottom of the door frame. It’s the style typically seen in modern homes. Like sliding windows, sliding patio doors are space-savers, ideal for tight or unusually shaped spaces.
Elements of either door style can be combined depending on your home’s design requirements. For example, we at Renewal by Andersen® offer sliding French doors, which combine French door materials and aesthetics, but with sliding sashes.
There are various patio door material options to choose from, each with its own set of features:
Wood — Wood is the most traditional material still in use for building replacement windows and patio doors. Many other materials are made to look and feel like wood, but nothing comes close to the real thing. This is why many homeowners are willing to put up with its high-maintenance requirements, including painting or staining.
Aluminum — Aluminum is a lightweight and affordable option, but requires an insulated core for energy efficiency. Bare aluminum is susceptible to corrosion and, therefore, will always require an exterior coating.
Steel — Steel is more commonly used to build entry doors, but can also be used for patio doors. Like aluminum doors, steel requires a paint coating that requires reapplication if it gets peeled or scratched.
Vinyl — Vinyl is a low-cost and low-maintenance patio door option and typically comes in molded-in colors that does not require any kind of protective coating. Its limited structural strength allows for a small selection of patio door sizes. It can also be susceptible to the effects of extreme temperatures.
Composite — Composites are a combination of polymer and a reinforcing material. Fiberglass is perhaps the best known kind of composite and is favored by many for its low-maintenance features as well as its resistance to moisture and extreme temperatures. Renewal by Andersen replacement windows are built using Fibrex® material, an exclusive composite made of polymer and cellulose. It has proven to be such a superior material that structural components of our patio doors are made with it.
Patio doors are similar to windows in that they are mostly made of glass: a naturally conductive material. Instead of traditional single-pane glass – which allows for heat leaks that can raise your monthly energy consumption – choose double-pane glass. The airspace between the interior and exterior surfaces act as an insulating layer that slows down heat conduction, which helps make your home more energy-efficient. The airspace can be optionally filled with an insulating odorless, colorless and non-toxic gas like argon or krypton to enhance door insulation.
Grilles and Hardware
Once you have decided on the essential components, don’t forget to dress up your patio doors. Today’s patio doors are built with a single large piece of double-pane glass. The grilles can be set between the panes or as snap-on pieces that can be removed for easy cleaning. Grille styles can be manufactured to match the ones on your existing double hung windows.
Door hardware is also available in a variety of styles and finishes, which makes it easier to match the ones on your windows. Look for features like multi-point locking systems and solid brass hinges. Our sliding patio doors are equipped with adjustable, heavy-duty rollers that operate smoothly, yet support the weight of the sashes.
Renewal by Andersen of Nashville is your leading provider of patio doors and popular replacement window styles, including bay windows. Give us a call at (615) 238-9463, or fill out our contact form. We serve customers in Nashville and Murfreesboro, TN.