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What to Look for When Buying New Patio Doors

Happy family on cozy patio area with sliding doors.Patio doors may not be front and center when it comes to your home’s exterior, but that doesn’t mean they don’t play a vital role in its beauty and functionality. Outdated, dingy, and poorly operating patio doors can be more than just nuisances and eyesores. They can be a barrier to accessing and fully enjoying your backyard, deck, or patio. Thankfully, an experienced company can replace patio doors quickly—usually in just a few hours—and with minimal disruption to your home. With installation being relatively straightforward, the key to a successful remodel is choosing the right kind of patio doors for your home. Here are four things to consider when buying new ones.    


Let’s start with the most basic question: what type of patio doors should you go with? Just because your current doors are one style, it doesn’t mean you can’t switch things up with their replacements.


The most common style of patio door is sliding, and for two big reasons. First, since the doors don’t sweep outward or inward, they do not require a lot of floor space to operate. Second, with their large glass doors, they let in plenty of light and offer great views.


French doors are close behind sliding doors in terms of popularity. These hinged options offer classic styling and plenty of hardware options. French doors also have a lower threshold than sliding doors, which require a track for the panels to operate.


If you really want to make your outdoor living area an extension of your home, folding patio doors are the way to go. These doors stack against each other as they retract and can open up an entire wall of the room, proving maximum access and unobstructed views.  

Glass Options

There’s no shortage of glass options when it comes to patio doors. Some of the most popular are impact glass, tinted glass, and glass with low-E coatings that filter out UV rays, the type of light that causes color fading in sun-exposed fabrics and flooring. You can also opt for energy-efficient glass packages that have gas fills between the panes, increasing thermal performance.   

Frame Material

Just about every patio door frame is made from one of four materials: wood, metal, fiberglass, and vinyl.


Among frame materials, vinyl is the most popular, especially with sliding doors. Vinyl is durable, easy to clean, energy efficient, and stands up well to temperature extremes.


Wood patio doors are beautiful and come in a variety of types and finishes. They do require more maintenance than other options, but with proper care should last as long as any other material.


Steel and aluminum doors are exceptionally durable and often more affordable than some other options, but they may not be as energy efficient as vinyl, wood, or fiberglass models. 


Like fiberglass windows, fiberglass doors are growing in popularity. They offer the best strength-to-weight ratio of the four, combining exceptional durability in a lightweight package. And because of their strength, the frames can be a little less bulky than other types of patio doors. But they are more expensive than vinyl or metal.   

Convenience and Decorative Options

The right finishing touches can take your patio doors to the next level. In addition to hardware options such as handles and reinforced locking mechanisms, you’ll also be able to choose from a variety of grid options and even built-in blinds that are sandwiched between the glass panes. And of course, you’ll be able to choose from many different colors and finishes.

Your Source for Premium Patio Doors

Deciding which patio doors are right for your home will depend on your budget, your aesthetic preferences, and your needs. If sorting through all the possibilities is a little daunting, you don’t have to go it alone. The Window Depot offers and installs premium patio doors from top manufacturers Simonton and PGT. One of our representatives will be happy to visit your home in the Tampa Bay area to review options and answer all your questions. Reach out to us today. You can also visit our Palm Harbor showroom to chat and view samples of our patio doors firsthand.   

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