Trying to decide if you should choose a sliding door or a swinging door for your patio? At All-Weather Window, Doors & Siding, we know it can be confusing. We want you to end up with the patio door that best fits your needs. So we looked at both types to see which features and benefits would matter. Read on to help make the right choice.
One quick point before we get started is to remember that a door is going to last a long time, so make sure you don’t make the mistake of buying a cheap door to save money. Cheap doors will not last, will not provide good insulation, and may not provide the security you need. Do your research before choosing just any brand of patio door.
Swinging Patio Doors Vs. Sliding Patio Doors
When it comes to exterior doors, you basically have two choices:
Hinged Doors – one or two solid panels joined to the wall by hinges. If there are two panels, they meet in the middle. Hinged double doors are usually referred to as French doors. These doors will either open inward or outward.
Sliding Doors – a door consisting of two glass panels that slide on a single track. These doors do not open inward or outward. Some slide from a track at the top of the frame and some roll along a track at the bottom of the frame.
5 Considerations When Choosing Patio Doors
One of the easiest ways to decide which type of exterior door is right for you is to look at how the door will be used in the space you are installing it. Consider these five things when weighing sliding doors against hinged doors:
Sliding glass doors used to be simple, basic, and more affordable, but manufacturers today make high-end, high-quality sliding doors that look beautiful anywhere. They can create a more contemporary look whereas hinged doors impart a more traditional vibe. So aesthetics may help you decide which type fits your home and style.
Both doors are easy to open, but sliding doors don’t require space on either side for the door to swing open. If you need space on either side of the door for semi-permanent furniture, large planters, barbecue pits, etc. sliding doors may give you more floor space to work with. On the other hand, sliding doors usually have one side that is stationary only allowing one side to open vs. double doors that allow both sides to swing open. If you need a larger opening for moving big items (like furniture) in or out of the room, double swinging doors may provide a wider opening.
Sliding doors are nearly all glass and therefore typically allow more light into the room. Depending on the direction your door faces and the amount of light that is desirable, sliding or swinging doors may make a difference. Window treatments may be required with either type. Many manufacturers of both types offer internal blinds that can be operated from outside the door. Besides convenience, this feature offers a great way to protect the blinds from getting damaged by children or pets.
Sliding door tracks may need to be vacuumed or cleaned occasionally to keep dirt from accumulating and interfering with the gliding motion.
Don’t forget to look at the energy efficiency of the doors you’re considering. Most quality doors provide good insulation, but make sure you compare.
Go to a Showroom
If you really want to know how your door will look and perform, our best advice is to visit a showroom where you can see and touch the doors. It will give you a much better idea of how the door is made and how it operates. Additionally, you’ll learn a lot about different types of doors and door manufacturers from people who have an incredible amount of knowledge about the industry. At All-Weather, we carry a wide selection of entry doors by Andersen, Wincore, and ThermaTru. All-Weather is an experienced Andersen door installer, and we are Kansas City’s only Therma Tru entry door design center! We can help decide which style is best for you and your budget.
Beware the Big Box Store
And before you buy your door from a big box store, make sure you know the questions to ask beforehand. At All-Weather, we include many things in our price that they don’t. Here are 11 things you’ll get at All-Weather that you won’t get at the big box stores. From wood to fiberglass to steel to glass doors, we have a wide selection of quality doors to choose from. We even offer custom iron doors. We can also install your door with the Jamb Brace for added security.