Patio Door Basics: Styles and Customization Options to Consider

Patio Door Basics: Styles and Customization Options to Consider – Part 1: Sliding Glass Patio Doors

Part 1: Sliding Glass Patio Doors

Taking notes from the sliding Shoji and Fusuma panel doors in traditional Japanese architecture, this patio door style has become a staple in modern homes across the United States. Sliding glass patio doors operate via tracks and feature panels with expansive glass areas. They typically don’t include grilles, resulting in uninterrupted views of the outdoors. Sliding glass patio doors usually come with two panel sections, but are counted as a single unit. You may opt for the type that:

  • Has one fixed panel and one operable you can slide open or close.

  • Has two operable panels you can slide in opposite directions, like a double door.

Why Sliding Glass Doors May Be Your Best Option

Choosing sliding glass patio doors makes perfect sense when you need:

  • Increased Square Footage. You no longer have to worry about furniture placement, orientation and room layout when investing in sliding patio doors. Their space-saving benefits make them an attractive home feature. Because they don’t swing, these doors don’t get in the way of any furniture or item you may have on your patio or deck, allowing for a smoother flow of movement.

  • Smoother Door Operation. How easily you can open and close your sliding glass patio doors will depend on the brand you choose. Premier door manufacturers use dual-ball bearing rollers and self-contained leveling adjusters in their door units. This results in easier adjustment and even smoother operation, limiting sticking and jamming.

  • Improved Curb Appeal. Sliding glass patio doors feature clean lines, minimal framing, sleek design and expansive glass. They work particularly well in modern homes because of their streamlined appearance, which you can complement with neutral interior/exterior colors and hardware in metallic finishes. Dividing the glass with grilles or just leaving it bare is your prerogative.

  • Greater Indoor-Outdoor Connection. When it comes to linking your interior and outdoor living spaces, sliding glass patio doors can deliver. Their uninterrupted glass helps with this, maximizing your home’s viewing area while allowing the beauty of the outdoors inside, even when the doors are closed.

  • Increased Energy Efficiency. With their large glass area, sliding patio doors allow a large amount of natural light to enter your home. Aside from brightening and opening up your home, this also helps lower your energy bill as it reduces dependence on artificial lighting during the day. Just make sure your doors come with low-e glass, which helps reduce heat transfer. This way, you can enjoy a cooler, more comfortable home, minus the high energy costs.

Part 2: Hinged French Patio Doors

Patio Door Basics: Styles and Customization Options to Consider – Part 2: Hinged French Patio Doors

Hinged French doors are still the golden standard for both new and upgraded homes. This door style originates as far back as 17th century Europe, recognizable by the glass panes that extend along most of its length. The rise of Renaissance art and architecture put heavy emphasis on symmetry and light, resulting in the use of glass panes that define the modern French door. Today, this option remains a popular choice for homes because of its functionality and timeless good looks.

Why Hinged French Patio Doors May Be Your Best Option

This door style combines style and functionality to their best effect, making it a worthy investment. In fact, French doors:

  • Add to Your Curb Appeal. The door’s classic design instantly adds a touch of elegance to your home. French doors can serve as instant focal point in any room, available in single and double-door formats and can be customized with your choice of colors, hardware and grilles. French doors usually grace vintage-style homes, but they’re quickly gaining traction in other residential architecture.
  • Create a Seamless Indoor-Outdoor Connection. Like sliding patio doors, French units produce a wide opening that blurs the line between your home’s interior and outdoor living spaces. This makes entertaining a breeze because the opening allows for smoother foot traffic. The expansive glass panes French doors have also increase the sense of space even when they’re closed.
  • Maximize your Home’s Viewing Area. Slim frames and expansive glass (even when divided by grilles) allow hinged French doors to provide a panoramic view of the outdoors.  If you’re particularly proud of your back garden or swimming pool area, for instance, you can use French doors as the perfect frame for this lovely view.
  • Help Save Energy. French doors let in considerable natural light via their large glass panes, resulting in a brighter and more open-looking home while helping minimize lighting bills. Make sure your doors use advanced, energy-efficient glass to block the accompanying heat. When opene hinged French units offer access to healthier, fresher air, improving indoor air quality. Because your home is cooled naturally, you’ll rely less on your air conditioning, leading to significant energy savings.

Part 3: Other Considerations – Customization Options

Patio Door Basics: Styles and Customization Options to Consider – Part 3: Other Considerations – Customization Options

When you’ve already decided which patio door style to install, the next step is hiring a premier door company that not only carries high-quality replacements but offers extensive customization as well. After all, you’ll want a patio door that sets off your home’s architecture and exterior palette, which in turn, helps it make a bigger impression from the curb.

Here are the five essentials you should consider when designing your perfect patio door:

  1. Interior and Exterior Colors/Finishes. Matching your new patio units perfectly with your home’s style should be fun! . For example, you can choose classic white and canvas to accentuate your Colonial, Tudor or Contemporary home. For Cottage and Cabin-style homes, go for doors that mimic wood-stained finishes to highlight their warm, rustic charm. Pro tip: Make sure the colors are durable and fade-resistant to ensure maintenance-free performance.
  2. Door Trim. You can further enhance the look of your new patio door with the right trim color. This may range from classic wood to bold yellow, although to make it work, you’ll need to take door style and your home’s interior color into account. Choose bright white for white doors and cream interior walls, for instance, to achieve that clean, airy look. You can use wood trim for French doors and contemporary white interiors to add architectural interest.
  3. Stylish Hardware. Don’t overlook the finer details when customizing your new patio doors. Make sure they come with safe and reliable hardware. Some door companies offer a specific range of levers, cranks and locking systems for a particular door style. This doesn’t just ensure style, but smoother operation, as well.
  4. Hardware Finishes. Considering the color of your hardware is also crucial because this adds to the overall look of your new door unit. While uniform finishes in white, stone, or canvas will do the job, why not choose metallic ones instead? Hardware in metallic finishes, whether they’re nickel, brass, chrome or bronze, can provide that glossy, elegant look to your new patio door.
  5. Grille Options. Both French and sliding glass doors can be enhanced with your choice of grille. This may range from Colonial and Prairie, to Tall and Short Fractional options. These ensure your new doors help your home stay true to its style.

Patio door replacement is an investment that will be used on a daily basis, so it’s important to make the right choice. Take into account door styles and customization options, and you’re sure to find a new unit that will meet your home’s functional and aesthetic needs. To make the most of your investment, make sure you only work with a reliable door contractor in your area.

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