Most people don’t give a lot of thought to their patio doors, but these doors are often more frequently used than front entryway doors! Just think of the amount of “in and out, in and out” whenever you are grilling out, making use of your swimming pool or just chilling in the backyard.
Whether you are thinking of replacing existing patio doors or adding patio doors in Arizona, there are many details to consider. Let’s simplify the process a bit by thinking through your answers to five important questions.
1. Which style best fits your needs?
There are three main categories of patio doors to choose from:
- Double-hinged (French style doors). These typically swing outward creating a double-wide opening.
- Sliding glass doors. With this type of door, one door remains in a fixed position, and the other door slides open and closed. One key advantage of this type of door is that normally there is a screen door, unlike double-hinged doors. This enables you to let the fresh air in, and also keep the bugs out!
- Folding doors. To picture this type of door, think of an accordion. When you have a very large opening, this is a very desirable choice.
2. Which frame material should you choose?
Patio doors are available in many different materials – wood, vinyl, fiberglass, steel or aluminum, or composite. Wood doors are normally the most expensive and require the most long-term maintenance. Yet in many cases, wooden patio doors are the only logical choice to match the style of your home – do not rule them out. They have been around forever!
Steel and/or aluminum doors are not as energy efficient, and many people complain about how easily aluminum dents, and both steel and aluminum are prone to corrosion over time. That leaves vinyl, fiberglass or composite doors. All of these choices are plenty strong and durable, but most people opt for vinyl because it is the most cost effective of the three. In terms of overall “bang for your buck,” durability and ease of maintenance, it is hard to beat vinyl.
3. Which glass-look do you want?
Sliding doors and folding doors normally consist of clear, full glass panels, letting in the most amount of natural light. Hinged doors can be designed with full glass panels, but often people use this style to add more design elements – whether that means grids in the glass, decorative glass, or stained glass, etc.
Choose your doors, based in part, by how “wide open” you want the glass to be. Do you prefer “more door” and “less glass,” or “less door” and “more glass?” Choosing hinged doors allows for many beautifying, decorative options that can add “class” to your patio entryway, seen both from inside and from outside.
Either way, whichever style you choose, do choose Low-e glass. In today’s window/door world it simply makes good sense to maximize energy efficiency and minimize UV exposure by installing Low-e windows and patio doors, as it is so readily available.
2. Do you want your doors to provide privacy?
The right patio doors always add beauty to a home. They are something to “show off” and not to cover. But what are you to do if you want privacy with your patio doors? Must you cover your beautiful doors with curtains or external blinds to have privacy? No!
Many patio doors are available with pre-installed blinds that can be raised or lowered and opened and closed between the panes of glass. It is the best of all worlds! You can have your privacy (or block out unwanted sunlight, if desired) without covering them!
5. What is your overall budget?
The most important factor in terms of cost is the opening size. Will you need a single door, a double door or wider? Once you know that, think about your dream door based on the above criterion. Play around with various options. You might be pleasantly surprised to learn that you can come closer to your dream door than you thought!
And when you’re ready to invest in a brand new patio door in Arizona, the experts from Greco Roman Construction and Design will be here to help!