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Have you recently added a patio or deck to your home? Or maybe your patio door you’ve had for years seems to have glass that you can’t get clean or looks foggy? If your patio door is needing replaced, or you are adding a new door to your home, you have a lot of options in front of you and it can be difficult to know where to start!

Here are some decision points you have when selecting your patio door for your home.

1529239Patio Door Style - Sliding vs. Swinging vs. Folding

When selecting your new door, one of the first things to decide is the style of door that is right for your home, and specifically, the room the door will be in.

Sliding doors save space and allow plenty of light in with the large amount of glass. The visibility they provide to your patio or yard provides a great connection between the interior and exterior of your home and can make cramped spaces feel larger. They are very low maintenance, so long as the sliding track is kept clean so that mud and gravel from shoes don’t obstruct or get stuck under the door.

Swinging doors have a wide variety of styles from French double door styles to center-hinged that have a fixed panel. These can provide a wide entry to the home, perfect for when it’s time to move in or out large furniture. Swinging doors have many customization options to match your home’s unique style. Something to consider is the room that will be needed to open the door as it swings. Furniture in the home or on the patio may need to be rearranged to allow enough space.

Folding doors are less commonly found in homes but provide a very stylish way to “bring the outdoors in.” They are usually designed for wide entry points and work similar to an accordion. They can be as wide as you choose - even a whole wall - and work on a track system.

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Door Material


You have four main options when it comes to the building material your patio door is made out of: vinyl, wood, fiberglass, and aluminum.


Vinyl is a good option and is what most standard doors are going to be made out of. There are some customization options as well. But just like vinyl windows, you are going to experience some shrink and swell over the years from temperature changes. This has the potential to lead to gaps around the frame and will require maintenance down the road to keep a tight seal so the weather doesn’t get in.


Wood doors have the benefit of being able to be painted or stained any color to match your home’s interiors. The price for a wood door will be higher and requires more upkeep than other options.


Fiberglass is our top choice. There is virtually no maintenance, customization level is high (especially with our experts who stain to match identically to your home’s trim colors,) and the durability is exceptional. Because fiberglass doesn’t expand and contract with temperature changes like vinyl does, it is much more energy efficient and long lasting. The price will be higher, but is usually worth it due the extended life.


Aluminum is very cost effective but doesn’t provide many benefits. Aluminum doors can be dented and scratched easily and are very lightweight, making them unable to efficiently maintain your home’s temperature.

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Customization


So much can be done to customize the look of your door to fit your home! This, in addition to quality, is a big reason we recommend working with an experienced installer, so you don’t end up with a “run of the mill” door in your home that doesn’t match your home’s look and doesn't provide your home any security.


Some of the options available to customize are:

  • Color of the interior and exterior frame and trim
  • Hardware style, material, and color for knobs and latches
  • Glass coatings can be added to the window glass to add efficiency and protection from the sun. Since the glass is a huge part of most patio doors, selecting low E will make a big difference in the efficiency of your door, and ultimately your energy bills.
  • Different glass types can also be chosen if you prefer something that lets light in but keeps prying eyes out, such as tempered glass
  • Grid styles can be customized to specific shapes and sizes
  • Blinds can be added between the glass, reducing the cleaning upkeep and ensuring a perfect fit
  • Screen doors can be added as well so you can let in fresh air, but keep the mosquitos out
  • Impact resistant layers can be added between glass to protect your home from flying debris that may occur in extreme weather like a tornado
  • Locking mechanisms can be customized to be keyed or non-keyed, dual point, four point, or dead bolt. You can choose from a variety of locks, including foot-bolts for increased security.

Installation

If you are investing in a new patio door, it is important to install it correctly. You can select the highest quality door, perfectly customized to your home, but if it isn’t installed correctly, you won’t receive the benefits of the product. The entry points to your home are important for keeping out weather, insects, and even potential intruders. To ensure your door is a positive investment in your home, let an experienced professional install it.


We believe the installers themselves matter too! At Midland Exteriors, we take great pride in our team members. All of our installers work for us, have been checked for drug use and criminal records, and have been working for us for years, so we know them very well! Is someone from Midland Exteriors is working on your home, you know you can trust the person to be a respectful person of integrity and also a highly skilled professional who truly cares about your home.


We want you to find the perfect door for your home and can help guide you in your selection to meet your needs and budget. You can request a free estimate online to get the process started, or just see what your options are!

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Read our other guides:

Tips for Choosing Your Siding

How to Know If Your Windows are Damaged

The Importance of Clean, High Quality Gutters