Whether they swing or slide, you'll want to make sure that your patio doors complement your home's décor, provide open views of the outdoors and allow for plenty of natural light inside. Today's patio doors are beautiful, durable and provide added safety — a major concern with older designs.
There are two main types of patio doors: hinged (swinging) or sliding. Which one you choose depends on your home's design and style and how you plan to use the door.
Hinged patio doors offer classic French door elegance and generally fit nicely in a kitchen connecting to a patio or a family room that leads to the deck. If interior space is limited, you might want to consider a hinged patio door that swings out. This type of door is ideal if you live in a climate with high wind and inclement weather, since winds simply push the door against the jamb, ensuring a tighter seal.
If you plan on using your patio door as the main entrance to your home, you'll want to choose a material that can withstand high traffic and still look good. Fiberglass offers the ideal blend of beauty and durability. Patio doors constructed of fiberglass won't ding, dent or rust like steel doors, nor will the patio doors swell, rot, crack or warp like wood doors.
Most patio door systems are now available in 8-foot systems; 48 ft. wide folding systems, have options for center-hinged, jamb-hung or French door configurations; standard Low-E insulated glass and weather stripping to ensure energy-efficiency (look for ENERGY STAR® rated patio doors) and a wide range of custom colors and designs.