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Types of Patio Doors

Types of Patio Doors: Pros, Cons & 3 Different Types

Patio doors are a type of door that is typically used to connect a home to a patio or deck. As the name suggests, these doors are specifically designed to be installed on a patio. They are similar to regular doors but tend to be larger in size and often have more glass panels than a standard door. This allows for more natural light to enter the home and provides a view of the outside patio or yard.

There are three main types of patio doors with their own unique benefits and drawbacks.

  • Sliding Patio Doors - glass door panels sliding horizontally
  • Bi-Fold Patio Doors - glass door with multiple panel units forming an accordion
  • French Patio Doors - glass door panels opening outwards to the patio deck or garden

1. Sliding Patio Doors

A sliding patio door is a door that opens and closes by sliding horizontally along a track. Sliding patio doors offer several advantages over traditional hinged doors. They are easier to open and close, take up less space, and allow more natural light into the room. They are typically made of glass or plastic and are used to provide access to a patio or deck.


However, sliding patio doors also have some disadvantages. They can be more difficult to seal properly, leading to air leakage and increased energy costs. They can also be more prone to damage from wind and rain.

2. Bi-Fold Patio Doors

Bifold patio doors, also known as Accordion doors, open in the middle instead of swinging outwards or sidewards like a traditional door. This makes them a good option for small spaces, as they take up less room when open than a swinging door would. They also have the advantage of allowing more natural light into the room, as there is no door to block the way.

However, bifold patio doors do have a few disadvantages. They can be more expensive than traditional swinging doors, and they can sometimes be a bit difficult to operate, as they require two people to open and close them.

3. French Patio Doors

French patio doors, also known as Hinged Patio doors, are similar to regular patio doors but have a more traditional look. They are made up of two hinged panels that open outwards and often have a large glass window in the middle. This allows a lot of natural light to enter the home and provides a great view of the backyard or garden.

One of the main advantages of French patio doors is that they are very easy to open. They can be opened with just one hand, which makes them perfect for letting in some fresh air. They also provide a lot of natural light and space, which is great for homes with small windows.

However, french patio doors do have some disadvantages. One of the biggest is that they can be quite expensive to install. They also require a lot of space to open, so they may not be suitable for smaller homes or apartments.

Things to Consider When Buying a Patio Door

Consider the features that you want in your new patio door. Some doors have built-in screens or blinds for extra privacy and protection from the elements. Others have built-in locks for added security. If you need a door that can be used as a security barrier, you will want a patio door with a locking mechanism. If you need a door that can be used as an entryway into your home, you will want a patio door that is large enough to accommodate people and furniture.

1. Swing Space

When considering a patio door, consider the swing space required to open it. Ensure there is enough room on either side of the door to open it without hitting anything. Also, check the clearance above and below the door so you know how much space is needed to open and close the door fully.

2. Visibility

When buying a patio door, it is important to consider how visible it will be from the street. If you are looking for a door that will blend in with your home, choose a model with a low profile. If you would like your door to stand out and make a statement, go with a more decorative style.

3. Material

Patio doors can be made from various materials, including wood, aluminum, and vinyl. Each material has its own advantages and disadvantages. Choose the material that best suits your needs and lifestyle. No matter what style you choose, make sure the door is made of materials that will withstand the elements.

Wood is a natural material that can add beauty and warmth to a home, but it is also susceptible to weathering and needs regular maintenance. Aluminum is a durable material that does not require much maintenance but can be expensive. Vinyl is a budget-friendly, durable, low-maintenance option, but it may not be as attractive as other materials.

4. Style

When choosing a patio door, it is important to consider the style of your home. If your home has a modern aesthetic, you may want to choose a sleek and simple patio door. If your home has a more traditional aesthetic, you may want to choose a patio door with more classical details.

5. Climate

Consider the climate where you live. If you live in a warm climate, you will want a patio door that can be opened to let in the breeze. Whereas, if you live in a colder climate, you will want a patio door that is insulated and can be closed to keep out the cold.

6. Cost

Patio doors come in a wide variety of prices, so consider what you are willing to spend on one. Larger doors will be more expensive than smaller ones because they require more materials and labor to install. If you have plenty of space outdoors, it may be worth considering a larger door to take advantage of the extra room.

Final Thoughts

Patio doors are a great way to bring the outdoors inside your home, as they provide a clear view of your outdoor space. Whether you have a porch or deck or not, patio doors blend well with almost all home styles and decor to suit your needs. With so many different types of patio doors available in the market, you're sure to find the one that fits your requirements.

FAQs on Patio Doors

Which type of patio door is best?

A sliding patio door is often a popular choice, as it can provide a lot of natural light and easy access to the outdoors. Some people also prefer French doors, as they create an inviting entryway into their home. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide which type of patio door is best for your home.

What type of patio door is most energy-efficient?

The most energy-efficient patio door is the vinyl sliding patio door. Vinyl is a very energy-efficient material and has a low thermal expansion coefficient, which means that it does not expand or contract as much as other materials in response to temperature changes.

What's the difference between patio and French doors?

The major difference between patio and French doors is that patio doors are traditionally hinged at the side, while French doors open in the middle. French doors can be used as an entryway into a room, while patio doors are more commonly used to access a backyard or patio area.

What type of patio door is most secure?

The most secure type of patio door is a French door. French patio doors have a set of doors that open outwards and a double locking mechanism, making them more secure than the other types of patio doors.

Author: Shabana kauser

Shabana Kauser, the Director of Emerald Doors, brings over 20 years of invaluable expertise in the door industry. Her visionary leadership has steered the company to new heights, offering an extensive range of internal and external doors while prioritizing quality and customer satisfaction. The website's glowing reviews stand as a testament to her commitment to excellence. To learn more about Emerald Doors, connect with us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.