Patio Doors: The Complete Buying Guide For 2024

Patio Doors: The Complete Buying Guide for Homeowners

Patio doors are not just chunky gateways to and from the garden and the house. It is about movability, convenience, security, and property value.

Today’s market offers a wide range of patio doors, including sliding, french, bifold, and external glass doors made from materials like aluminium and uPVC, designed to enhance the appeal of your home, maximise natural light and create a seamless indoor-outdoor flow.

Some older style garden doors may be high on looks but lack advanced features and functions. Fortunately, limited choices are thing of the past.

A modern patio door can transform your indoor, outdoor living experience. Today you can find many styles, material options, colours, fixtures and bespoke designs to complement your home and with double-glazing, you can save money on your energy bills too.

Here we’ll look at all the information you need when choosing the best patio door for your home.

sliding doors

Patio Doors – Types and Styles

While new patio doors look great, with thermal insulation and different ways of opening, there are a few considerations regarding the door types, styles, and designs. Notably, aluminium patio doors are known for their energy efficiency and design versatility, offering a thermal break to prevent heat loss and a wide range of colour choices to suit any home style.

Let’s look at the available options and see what they offer:

Sliding Doors

With Sliding doors, the choices of colour can range widely, from black patio doors, to more traditional white hues. These not only offer a sleek and timeless style but also come equipped with advanced security features like multi-point locking mechanisms and toughened safety glass.

Additionally, external glass sliding doors and glass sliding patio doors are known for their space-saving design and energy efficiency, making them a popular choice among anyone looking to add value to their property. The introduction of new sliding patio doors can benefit homes with advancements in energy-saving technology and cost efficiency.

For those interested in a more classic appeal, external French patio doors and French patio doors provide a light, timeless airy look with customisation options such as adding side windows. These doors combine elegance with functionality, offering different styles, materials, sizes, and glazing options to fit various home designs.

Moreover, glazed patio doors represent a range of high-quality, energy-efficient, with modern options in various styles and materials, including aluminium and uPVC.

These doors are designed to offer excellent views of the outdoor space while maintaining thermal efficiency, making them an attractive option for homeowners looking to enhance their living space.

Pros

• Ease of accessibility makes sliding panels, especially sliding patio doors, a popular choice for. These doors are known for their easy operation, availability in various colours, and energy efficiency. When doors are shut in winter, creating a narrow opening for entry and exit is easy. It’s a great option for high-traffic areas.

• Will align the door size in proportion to the existing windows.

• These doors are available in various frame materials paired with energy-saving double-glazing at different prices.

• Sliding doors can be enhanced with security hardware such as auxiliary foot locks, multi-point locking systems, and other attachments.

Cons

• Cleaning is necessary for effortless door gliding across the rolling gears.

Aluminium Sliding Patio Doors in Anthracite Grey

Folding/Accordion/Bifold Doors

Bifold external doors are made for large spaces and stylish vibes. These multi-door profiles may have 3 or more panels hinged together. When opening, all the panels are stacked at the side for far-ranging views and sunlight.

Folding is made for creating wide openings. The configuration may include a single swinging traffic door allowing users to open a single panel to quickly pop-in and out.

Pros

• The wide gap gives a great wide view of the garden, allowing maximum natural light and airflow.

• All leaves can be stacked in a small space on a side. There is an option to choose an inward or outward opening.

• The panels can be opened partially or entirely, depending on your choice.

• The accordion design offers flexibility to choose from various materials and configurations.

Cons

• Bi-fold doors can be one of the most expensive styles in the market. They can take up to a day of work for installation.

• Despite taking limited space for stacking up, you need ample free room when opening and closing the leaves.

Anthracite Grey Bifold doors

French Doors

The allure of French doors (hinged patio doors) never seems to go outdated. These doors are great for all spaces, with the basic style comprising two hinged panels (small/big glass panes) opening into the garden or deck area.

Pros

• These doors with wide frames pair best with security multi-point locking systems, complex hinges, and other fixtures. French doors are highly recommended for external doors- front and patio.

• Today these doors are made of double-glazing insulation units for energy efficiency.

• These hinged doors are easy to clean due to their minimalist design.

Cons

• French doors can be expensive, depending upon the material

• These doors require extra outdoor space for seamless opening. It is not the best suit for compact spaces.

• There is a maximum of a 2-panel configuration.

Rosewood Slimline French Doors

Corner Doors (Sliding and Bi-fold)

An open-corner door model can enhance your space if your patio area is visible from two sides of the room. This involves creating sliding or folding doors so that the panels meet at the corner of the room.

It is an excellent way to allow natural light into the dark areas from two directions. Besides the gorgeous look, corner doors make optimal use of the outdoor space. The structure may be supported with a wide pillar to balance the load. Several modernist homes have floating corners without any base support.

Pros

• Exterior corner doors are space-saving models for compact rooms. Instead of taking an entire wall, the panels occupy only a fraction of the space. Pocket sliders run into the wall cavity making free room for other uses.

• The sleek style ups kerb appeal while connecting the garden to the rest of the house.

• This you can choose from a range of materials and design patterns that work with the look and features of the property.

Cons

• This style concept has become popular over the past few years. Traditional homes without any open corners may not be suitable for the project. Chipping down an old wall can compromise the strength of the building.

Anthracite Grey Bifold doors

What are the Best Materials for Patio Doors?

1. Timber/Hardwood (Bi-Fold and French Doors) Timber frames are the top choice for a nature-themed patio design. Wood is eternal and planet-friendly material for doors and windows with multiple benefits.

• Hardwood is a robust, durable material to support double-glazed panels for optimal insulation.

• Wooden doors can be custom-built to different architectural forms- rustic, vintage, or contemporary.

• Thick wood frames cut outdoor noise, ensuring a peaceful interior.

New wooden building materials are a step ahead of traditional pieces. Gone are the days of painting wooden doors and window frames every year.

Coating the structures with microporous paints assures safety for wooden furniture and construction against rotting and damage for long years. Moreover, there are plenty of colour options to strike a balance with other parts of the house.

2. Aluminium (Bi-Fold, Sliding, and French Doors) Aluminium is another option if timber is not your thing. There are several reasons to choose aluminium frames over others. It is your best bet for making bespoke patio doors. Whether you love the slimline frameless look or bi-folds for large spaces, the rust-free material is suitable for all types of profiles. Here are some more reasons to go for aluminium frames:

• Sophisticated, clutter-free, and polished look

• Does not crack or rust

• The paint lasts long without peeling or fading

• Lightweight, long-lasting, and durable

• High-end thermal efficiency

• No maintenance required*

*However, you must clean the frame periodically to retain the aesthetic appeal.

Pyford Apartment refurbishment Fench Patio Door sheerwater glass

What about uPVC Patio Doors?

Arguably uPVC patio doors are the best budget option. They have a lot of colour options, sleek design, low cost, no warping/cracking, weather-resistant, and no maintenance required. What’s not to like!

Patio Door Design Options

Designs and styles have come a long way.

• Full-glass/Frameless Despite the name, patio doors are not entirely frameless. These full-glass doors (available in bifold and sliding models) are supported by slim aluminium frames for strength, structural integrity, and durability. Glass-to-glass bi-folds and sliding doors are made of impact-resistant double-glazed panels.

• Shades and Finishes, choose from a range of exciting hues which are not limited to the material type. There are endless colour options ranging from glossy shades, grained wood textures and more.

Aluminium-Sliding-Patio Doors-Anthracite-Grey

Confused about the right colour for your Patio Door?

The online visualiser tool allows users to try the shades to get the best pair with the home décor. Alternatively, consult a designer to pick the perfect shade to add life to the door profile.

• Georgian Classic French doors with grids are timeless pieces. The style widens the scope of tailoring the door profile to many building styles. The wide frame, hinge mechanisms, security locks, and grids offer enhanced protection against intruders. Today you can even ask a designer to create a sliding door with grids.

• Glass, today most people prefer replacing old single-pane glasses with double or triple-glazed glass. However, there are several options when buying double-glazing:

• Low-emissivity (E) coated glass, allows sunlight to pass through for optimal brightness and reflect infrared radiation.

• The solar control glass (east and south-facing exterior doors) blocks UV rays, while the insulation unit traps heat to keep the rooms warm.

• Low-iron glass doors are best for north-facing openings. These glasses trap more heat from the sun for enhanced insulation and savings on energy bills in winter.

• If strength is on your mind, the 6mm toughened glasses offers twin benefits – better insulation and durability. This glass features acoustic properties suited for extra-wide panels.

Black Aluminium French Doors

Patio Door Buying Guide for Homeowners

Here is a quick overview of things to consider before installing patio doors in your home:

• The average cost of installing a Patio Door Your expenses on a patio door, or patio doors cost, depend on various aspects – material, door type, hardware, labour charges, etc.

The choice of materials such as uPVC and aluminium, along with the door’s energy efficiency, can significantly influence the overall expense. On average, this can range between £500 – £5000, with pricing for some starting lower for uPVC doors and higher for aluminium options, highlighting the affordability and added value to your home.

The maximum time required to install a patio door is 24 hours for bi-fold profiles and multi-panel configurations. Sliding and French doors can be typically installed within 4-6 hours.

The cost also depends on the type of locks, integrated blinds etc and other attachments you wish to install.

• For frequent access, slider doors are the ideal choice. You can get in and out quickly in less time while retaining the heat in winter months.

• Security always comes first when installing patio doors. Contemporary patio doors feature burglar-resistant components such as:

• Multi-point locking systems (security locking plate on the handles and hinges)

• Laminated safety glasses or impact-resistant glazing

• Anti-lifting enabled roller shutters with metal slates etc.

Aluminium Sliding Patio Doors in Anthracite Grey

Wondering how to measure a patio door?

It all depends on your choices and the availability of space. You can go big with up to 6-panel configurations or a single slider unit (budget patio door). Most standard ready-to-install doors fit average room sizes. Nevertheless, you can also opt for custom sizes with bespoke design services.

Energy Efficiency

Unlike traditional single-glass, these doors are double-glazed for optimal thermal insulation. These insulated units can make rooms 90% hotter than single glass doors. Heating your rooms naturally to save up to £250 per year.

Warranty

The warranty period varies for each door part – glasses, frames, locks and hardware. Most fixtures carry a guarantee of 2-10 years. Most double-glazing companies offering a guarantee period on insulated panels and frames (may differ depending on the material, style, and model).

French Patio Door

Patio Doors – Innovative Features & Trends 2024

Smart Locks

Security is the top priority for every property owner. Choosing smart lock models depends on the door type, material, frame thickness, and other factors. This is where you should rely on the professionals for the installation job.

These locks feature cutting-edge technology, such as secure multi-operation modes. This allows users to configure the unlocking options, including keycode, fingerprint, WIFI, FOB, Smartphone, voice commands, etc. Furthermore, auto-locking systems lock the door after a specified span when left unattended, eliminating the need for manual locking.

Retractable Screens

Top-mounted retractable screens (also called fly screens) ease your life. Regulate ventilation without allowing pests/insects indoors. The invisible mesh does not block natural light from entering the door. From single/double door sizes to bespoke solutions, there are possibilities to match your needs. Some vertical fly screens go invisible when not in use.

Integral/Built-In Blinds

When privacy is on your mind, built-in blinds offer the utmost satisfaction minus the messy cleaning tasks. Integral blinds are housed within the glazing cavity in double-pane sliding, bifold, and French doors. Some integrate glossy Venetian blinds in coloured shades within the glazing cavity. Cordless sliders and concealed blinds are all about easy user experience.

Multi-Panel Configurations

The emerging trends in patio door design allow homeowners to install up to six sliding panels for wide opening and airflow. You can have multi-panel doors in sliding and bi-fold models.

Sliding doors feature sleek powder-coated aluminium frames, smart locks, integral blinds, and energy-efficient glazing to give you an uninterrupted outdoor view and natural light.

Are You Looking to Install a Patio Door?

I hope this article has given you all the information you need about all the different types of patio doors!

However, choosing the right door depends what you want your home to look like in the end, also what is important for you and your home – improved brightness, airflow, energy efficiency, functionality, security or style?

Call us to discuss your project with us and get a free quote.

A bespoke patio door can transform your home!

By Jessica Stevens

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