SAVE $100 Expand
Sign up for promos, new house
plans and building info!


Save $100 Off Any House Plan!

See terms opt out anytime

By voluntarily opting into The House Designers' text alerts, in addition to receiving information about our e-pubs, building information and special offers, you agree to receive automated marketing text messages to the phone number provided above inviting you to join The House Designers' mobile marketing alerts. You also agree to receive marketing emails to the email address you provided above. Number of messages received may vary. Text HELP for info. Text STOP to cancel. Consent is not a condition of purchase. Message and data rates may apply. For more details, review our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. If you do not wish to receive any marketing emails from The House Designers, you may unsubscribe at any time.



An email has been sent with details!
Chat   |   Email   |   866-214-2242
Please sign-in or register to save plans

The Best Patio Doors to Connect to the Outdoors

by Rachel Lyon, Editorial Director for The House Designers®

Whether it’s new architecture or a remodel, bigger and brighter window displays are dominating the design of today’s homes, and there’s no better way to make the most of natural lighting and views than with patio and scenic doors that actually connect outside. Advanced engineering, stronger materials, and a growing desire for seamless transitions have flooded the market with a variety of styles that go far beyond the standard two-panel sliding door. Are you searching for an open and modern look with traditional touches to match your home, or maybe a bold, whole-wall expanse of glass? Here are some different styles of doors that offer the best views around!

Integrity Wood-Ultrex Inswing French Doors

With rich pine interiors and durable fiberglass exteriors, these Wood-Ultrex Inswing French Doors from Integrity® Windows are a stunning addition to any home. They are paintable and stainable, and have plenty of design options to suit every architectural style.

Classic French Doors

French doors offer traditional ambiance both inside and out, and they’re a great way to open to a balcony or a refined patio. With hardware that highlights the finer qualities of this category and divided lites that imbue a range of vibes, French doors make a statement with their construction rather than their size. They do have a distinct structural advantage over sliding doors of the same dimensions, though, in that that both doors swing from the centerline for a broader, double-wide opening.

There are inswing and outswing models to consider, and each type has its advantages. In the past, many people favored inswing French doors because the hinges were inside—not in a position to be worn by the elements or to pose a security risk—but the quality of modern hardware has assuaged many of these concerns and now the choice is more often left up to style and functionality. Outswing doors have their fans because exterior clearance is typically more forgiving; walls and furniture are less likely to obstruct their motion, and they won’t take up any square footage in tight places. No matter your preference, there are plenty of features and options that will help you create a beautiful look for your home.

Marvin Ultimate Multi-Slide Door

The Marvin Ultimate Multi-Slide Door forms a glass wall when closed and practically disappears when opened—it doesn’t get much more expansive than that! This is a gorgeous option to take in panoramic views in a natural setting, and there are configurations with exceptional performance to suit various climates.

Next-Level Sliding Doors

Anybody who pictures a sliding patio door probably imagines the typical two-panel type, wherein one sash can be pulled alongside the other so there’s one open doorway and the other houses the two sashes, but what if you want something more expansive? Not only are homes being designed with so much glass that entire walls seem to disappear, but people want wider openings that really blur the line between interior and exterior. That means minimizing overlapped space or at least changing the geometry of the panels, and there are a number of ways to do it now.

Many people love French door style but can’t accommodate any swinging action, and that’s where sliding French doors come in. They can be two-panel, but a four-panel arrangement with center sashes that slide to the left and right creates a wider opening and lets in plenty of natural light. If you want more than a 1:1 ratio of open to doubled doorways, look into multi-slide or lift and slide patio doors. Multiple panels, which can span to around 50 feet, are all on the same track system and pull to one side, and in some cases you can have them part somewhere in-between and go in opposite directions. They stack neatly and efficiently to the width of a single panel to erase barriers, and if you really want to maximize the effect, opt for pocket construction that tucks the stack completely into the wall. These scenic doors are right at home in both modern and rustic designs, where they complement the aesthetic by being bright and seamless as well as taking in the surroundings to the highest degree.

Marvin Ultimate Bi-Fold Door

With configurations of up to 16 panels wide, spanning 55 feet with heights of up to 10 feet, the Marvin Ultimate Bi-Fold Door is a remarkable way to blend spaces. This new-for-2017 product has a swinging access panel door in the mix so you can conveniently step in and out without having to open the folding doors!

Elegant Folding Doors

With looks and operation somewhere between French and sliding, folding doors occupy their own category and definitely get noticed. Panels are hung at the top corners, travel along a track at the bottom, and fold outward. When opened to the fullest extent, the stacked sashes are perpendicular to the door frame, so while folding doors offer exceptional breadth, they are better suited to applications where you want them to also make a statement on their own rather than let the aperture speak for itself. Bright, clean, and with that extra architectural flair, this is another good choice for almost any kind of house and fills a design niche previously unanswered by other models.

No matter your preferences, be sure to explore the selection of patio doors available from Integrity® and Marvin®. You’ll find a number of different products that offer the style and durability you want with enough finishing options to truly customize the final look. Need extraordinary resilience for stormy coastal areas or energy efficiency to keep you comfortable in the setting of your choice? They can help you perfect your doors for your conditions. Check out a case study to see how amazing patio doors can transform a house, and find a local dealer to discuss the possibilities for your own home!