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    Home | Our Blog | Choosing a Patio Door: What to Look For

    Choosing a Patio Door: What to Look For

    Reviewed by Tomas Kalkys. President.
    Qualifications: More than 20 years of experience in residential and commercial exterior remodeling.
    Founding farther of Legacy Service.
    Written by LegacyUSA Team

    posted on Oct 07, 2019

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    It’s not a good idea to overlook which type of door you select for your patio because it’s just as important as any other door in your home. From a sliding glass door to a swinging patio door, there are many different types to choose from. At Legacy Service, we want to help you find which would work best in suiting your needs and matching your tastes. And once you make your decision, we’ll also have it installed using only the highest-quality materials at the most affordable prices. Here’s what to look for when you’re choosing a patio door for your house:

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    Types of Patio Doors

    What patio door would work best for you? Here are three of the main types:


    These are perhaps the most popular type because of their affordability, ease of use, versatility, and style. It’s super easy to go in and out of the house with them, especially if you have to run in and get something when grilling in the summer. They also let in tons of light on a sunny day, which can open up the look of any room.


    Also known as swinging doors, French doors open outside and are hinged like a regular entry door. They come in a handful of different styles and variations for the finish, color, and decorative glass. And depending on how wide the opening is, you can choose normal side-by-side doors or three in a row. They often have full glass panels to allow more sunlight into your home.


    This type requires a very wide opening because the system works like an accordion. Folding patio doors can have anywhere from two to eight panels or individual doors that open and close on a track system.

    What is the Difference Between French Doors and Sliding Patio Doors?

    The main difference between French and sliding glass is the way they open and close. French doors, while they have a beautiful, timeless look, swing inside and out, so they need plenty of space in order to function. On the other hand, sliding glass does not require homeowners to move furniture or adjust their position.

    Patio Doors

    Sliding Doors

    If you’re looking for patio doors that are stylish, affordable, and space-efficient, choose sliding glass. They also provide better insulation for the home, since they permit much less air penetration than other types, making them highly efficient when it comes to saving energy.

    How big are sliding doors?

    Many of them on the market are only available in stock sizes, which include six-foot, eight-foot, and nine-foot sizes, because tempered patio door glass cannot be re-cut once tempered. However, at Legacy Service, we can create custom sizes for your home.

    How much space do you need for a sliding door?

    Most types of sliding doors require less space than French and folding doors. Depending on whether you’d like two- or three-panel sliding glass doors, you’ll have to ask a professional to see how much space you’d need. To give you a general idea, standard general widths of sliding glass doors can range from 1600mm to 4200mm.

    How do sliding doors work?

    Sometimes referred to as sliding doors, they slide open and closed along with a metal, wood, or vinyl track while fitted into their frames at the top and bottom. In many cases, they have little rollers attached on the bottom, or both the top and bottom, to ease their movement. Exterior doors will typically have one movable and one fixed panel.

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    Is a sliding glass door considered a window?

    Although sliding glass doors and windows are not the same thing, sliding windows are essentially smaller versions of sliding doors. Since windows are smaller and lighter, they don’t have rollers because their frames can glide along the tracks.

    Swinging Patio Doors

    Swinging Patio Doors

    Swinging patio doors, also known as French doors, can open inward or outward from the center. Since they have a more intricate appearance, they’re typically used in homes that have traditional architectural styles. They’ll have a wider frame than sliding glass to allow more natural light into your home. Along they’re undeniably appealing, they’d require more space in your home than sliding glass would.

    What is a hinged patio door?

    French, or swinging, are traditionally hinged double doors that mainly open outwards or inwards depending on your preference. When both of them are open, you’ll have full access to the width of the opening. This is great for access to smaller properties or gardens where space is critical.

    Are French patio doors safe?

    Your patio doors will typically be on the ground floor, which is why you’ll want to ensure that they’re fully safe and secured with the right type of locking system. French have normal deadbolt locking systems, which consist of a deadbolt on the top and a bottom lock on the doorknob or handle. It’s similar to the locking systems of ordinary exterior doors.

    Are sliding patio doors cheaper than French doors?

    Sliding patio doors tend to be less expensive than French doors, although the cost will vary for each of them depending on the size of the opening you have. Customization can also cause the price to fluctuate, so we recommend consulting a professional to determine the best features to match your budget.

    What is the best type of patio door?

    There’s no best type of glass door for your patio; it all depends on your preference! When you’re choosing between French doors and sliding doors, consider these factors:

    • Cost
    • Size of opening
    • Performance
    • Security requirements

    If you’re looking for one that’s cost-effective and doesn’t use a ton of space, sliding doors are probably your best option. But if you have the extra space and would like a more traditional look, French doors are the way to go. Customization and energy efficiency are now available for each type, so you can’t go wrong either way.

    Materials Used

    Choosing a patio door material is just as important as choosing its style. Here are the different material options you can choose from:


    This is one of the most popular types of material to use because vinyl is strong, durable, and energy-efficient whether you’re in a hot, cold, or mild climate. It won’t peel, fade, warp, or rot. It also comes in a variety of colors and finishes.


    Fiberglass is great because it’s durable, lightweight, and weather-resistant. They have many similarities to vinyl but are typically more expensive.


    Real wood can be beautiful but it’s the most expensive and can be difficult to maintain over time. It’s susceptible to cracking, warping, and rotting if not maintained properly. The look is unique, though, and types that are commonly used include pine, fir, mahogany, and alder.


    These types tend to be the most durable. They’re also one of the more cost-effective choices between the different types of materials but they aren’t as energy-efficient. In most cases, steel or aluminum are treated to be rust and corrosion-resistant.

    Glass options are also available for patio doors. You can choose from Low-E glass to help reduce energy bills year-round, decorative glass to give your backyard some design pop, and built-in blinds or grids between the glass.

    Contact Us to Get Started

    If you’re ready to add or replace a patio door, look no further than our team here at Legacy Service. We have many different options for you to choose from to make sure you have the right patio door for your home. You’ll also be able to choose your interior finish, exterior finish, screens, hardware, glass packages, grilles, and foot bolts. We’d like to help you choose the best one for you! Contact us at 215-798-9790 to get started with your ideal patio door installation.

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    Posted on Oct 07, 2019 in Roof

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