A patio door can really add beauty and ease to a home. They can provide a wider entrance into your home for furniture, easy access to your backyard, a big beautiful view through full length glass panes, and plenty of natural light. There are plenty of reasons to install or update your patio door, like wanting a wider entrance or more aesthetic door, but the aspects to consider before taking on the project are the same. From the type of door you install to the hardware you put on it, you’ll want to make sure that you’re ready to tackle the project before you ever even buy a bracket.
Energy efficiency should be a priority when it comes to choosing the right door and installer. Every detail of the patio door is important to consider when deciding what you want to install for energy efficiency purposes. Certain materials will fare better in certain climates, the fit of the frame will be extremely important to avoiding draft, and maintaining the weather stripping will save you 30-40% of your energy each year.
When it comes to installing your patio door, you should consider if you want to do it yourself or hire a professional. There are many things to consider when deciding if you want to install the door yourself, but if you’ve never installed a door yourself, you’ll get the most energy efficiency by hiring a professional who knows how to securely install the door with minimal draft. Precision has over 38 years of experience installing doors and windows, so consider giving us a call to take on your patio door installation project.
There are many types of weather stripping to choose from, including sponge, foam, felt, vinyl and magnetic. You’ll want to check your weather stripping annually to make sure that it is holding up against the elements and ensure maximum air efficiency.
One of the most important aspects that you’re going to want to consider with your patio door is security. Patio doors are made out of primarily glass panels, which allow for beautiful views and a lot of natural light, but can also leave your home vulnerable to Peeping Toms, intruders, and other dangers. You’ll want to make sure that you have blinds to cover your new doors when they are installed and some sort of locking system in place. If you are having sliding doors installed, you’ll want to either get a bar with a lock installed or a series of bolts on the door to keep it secure.
Frame & Fit
While patio doors are beautiful, the full glass pane makes the door a poor insulator. This makes choosing a frame material that much more important. The frame will help increase the energy efficiency of the door both because of the material and because of the air tight installation. If you use the wrong material for where you live or install the door incorrectly or poorly, you will lose more energy, costing you more in the long run. Make sure that the door seals tightly to the jamb and a proper material is chosen for max energy efficiency.
Types of Doors
There are three different types of doors to choose from: the swinging or french door, the sliding door, and the folding door.
Swinging patio doors, also known as hinged patio doors, function just like a typical exterior door. The door panel is on a hinge that allows the door to swing open and shut. The French door is a type of swinging door that is hinged at the jamb to allow the door to close completely in the middle. French doors, also referred to as French windows, are fully glass paneled, unlike swinging patio doors.
Sliding doors, also referred to as gliding or bypass doors, consist of two panels. One panel sits on rollers, which allows the door to slide open and closed. These doors are extremely popular because they allow you to place furniture more freely. The fact that the door stays parallel to the wall means that you do not have to worry about leaving room for the door to swing open. Sliding doors are also very easy to maintain in comparison to the other two door types.
Folding doors allow for the most room when opened because of the way they are made. The door is made up of two to eight leaves and operates accordion style, the leaves folding into one another.
Wood is very customizable and is easy to repair dents and scratches. However, wood is the most expensive, least energy efficient option. Rain can warp the wood and the sun can fade it, making this a material that requires constant upkeep. Still, wood supports ornate glass and is ornamental itself, so you’re guaranteed a beautiful, traditional look.
Aluminum is the opposite of wood, with a sleek modern look and requiring minimal upkeep. This sturdy material does dent easily, so you have to be more careful with it. Scratches and dents not only look bad, but can compromise the material itself, making it susceptible to decay. Aluminum is also not energy efficient. However, aluminum resists rust and mildew well and supports ornate glass, making it a pretty option in its own right.
Vinyl is the most popular option for many reasons. It’s very durable, can mimic other materials, and is low maintenance. This inexpensive option allows you to color coordinate with your home and also supports ornate glass, making it the most customizable option. Vinyl is also very energy efficient, making it a great choice for the home. However, this is not a good option for places with extreme weather, as vinyl will crack under extreme conditions. It is also flammable, making it a more dangerous option for particularly hot climates. However, if you live in a temperate place, vinyl is a great option that will last you a very long time.
Steel may not be as stylish as the other options, but it is durable, fireproof, and energy efficient. This material works in most climates because it can withstand inclimate weather, but it may warp in moist conditions. While less expensive than wood, it can still be a pretty pricey option, but the low maintenance material is available in wood grain finishes, making it a great alternative to wood. Insulation bonds to the surface and the strength of steel gives the home added security. Steel may not be popular, but it is worth considering.
If you live somewhere with extreme weather, fiberglass may be your best option. Fiberglass is energy efficient, extremely strong, resists rotting and is very low maintenance. It can be painted or stained and is available in a variety of textures. It can even mimic wood, making it a great alternative. This is a great option for anyone who needs a durable material but would like the beauty of a wood finish.
The last aspect to consider when planning your new patio door is the hardware: what do you want your new door to look like? You have many options for hardware, such as brass, chrome, bronze, nickel, and white, but you’ll want to consider a hardware that matches the rest of the hardware in your home or in the particular room that your patio door resides.
There are a lot of aspects to consider when installing new patio doors, but the main aspect that should be on your mind is energy efficiency. Energy efficiency will help the environment and save you money over time. You’ll also want to consider the space you’ll have for the door to open when choosing a door type and the weather in your area for the door material. Precision can help you come up with a solution that is right for you and your home’s aesthetic. You can have beautiful, energy efficient patio doors in no time with Precision.
About Precision Siding & Windows
Window technology has vastly improved over the years, with advances in frames, glasses and window operation. Precision Siding and Windows carries a wide range of window products for every price point. We can point you in the right direction and guide you to making a value-based decision. Ready to replace your home’s windows? Call today at 816-524-8999 to set up a free, no-pressure estimate or visit our showroom in Lee’s Summit to see the products for yourself.