Patio doors present appropriate access with added advantages over standard entry doors. These doors are entirely glazed to expand the view and pouring the interior with natural light. As old-style patio doors were notorious for heat loss and poor security, modern doors offer significant improvements. The frames and glazing are more energy-efficient, incorporate multi-point locking mechanisms for enhanced security, and sophisticated flashing packages to prevent leakage.
The basic types of patio doors are sliding and hinged, offering distinct feature sets. Sliding patio doors are best for maximizing views and admitting daylight. They contain two or more individual panels; at least one is able to slide back and forth on concealed rollers. Sliding panels can be united with fixed panels to make dramatically wide expanses of glazing. Panels will slide parallel to the wall so they don’t obstruct furniture placement or walking areas outdoors or in indoors.
Whereas hinged patio doors operate in much the same way as standard entry doors, but they are completely glazed and frequently hang in pairs. In one pattern, the doors are center hung and open much as butterfly wings. On the other hand French doors are hinged at the side jambs that the door panels meet when it is closed. The latching mechanism is enclosed in an astragal that is mounted to one of the doors.
When these doors are open, the whole area between the hinges is apparent. Choosing a patio door comes down to a subject of aesthetics versus energy-efficiency. Swinging doors can be weather-stripped more efficiently than a sliding door, but individual panels are narrow and more visually obstructive. Sliding doors are more space efficient and lend itself to larger openings, but the huge expanse of glass is complicated in regard to heat loss and also solar heat gain.
The two major elements of a patio door are the border and the glazing, and depending on which part of the country the door will be used, either one of these things may be the deciding factor. The metal-frame doors are characteristically less luxurious and less energy-efficient than the fiberglass or wood doors, but they are offering the advantage of a less obtrusive casing. The main disadvantage of a wooden frame is the amount of maintenance that it requires. Clad goods try to offer the best of both the worlds, and have the energy-efficiency of a wood casing with low-maintenance of vinyl or aluminum cladding.
Taking the case of clad wood patio doors, manufacturers offer a selection of wood for the core surfaces of the frame, normally a veneer. Try to choose wood such as pine if the inner surface will be painted. Other woods, such as Mahogany, Douglas fir, alder and maple are more suitable for stained or apparent finishes. The glazing of a patio doors have a considerable impact on its energy efficiency and its cost. These doors, particularly the sliding models, offer wide expanses of glazing to arrest views and admit daylight, but that same expanse is a major source of heat gain in the summer and also heat loss in the winter. Manufacturers are offering a number of glazing options to lessen heat loss and heat gain.