Now that summer is in full swing, the great outdoors beckons. “What better way to answer that call than with a brand-new patio door?” said Lance Dahl, CR, Senior Sales Representative – Exterior Products with Callen Construction, Inc. “Your outdoor living area should be viewed as an extension of your home, so not only is a new patio door a wise investment aesthetically speaking, but it improves your home’s functionality and energy efficiency as well.”
That being said, it’s important to understand the patio door options you have as well as how to make the right selection for your home.
The Infinity® from Marvin® patio doors come in a sliding and French door option – with each featuring a different operation type. The latest sliding doors on the market are ideal for achieving a more modern style. “Moreover, their simple design and sliding operation compliment any indoor or outdoor furniture arrangement,” said Lance. French patio doors are characterized by their unrestricted views as a result of the glass windowpanes that are situated in the door. This type of patio door can feature either a sliding or swinging operation.
Some of the most common materials used for patio doors include fiberglass, vinyl, and aluminum. Fiberglass has a reputation for being one of the longest lasting patio door materials. “Furthermore, it remains virtually unfazed by extreme temperature fluctuations, which we can experience in Wisconsin, and is therefore, highly energy efficient,” Lance said. Fiberglass is also a sturdy material that is impervious to rot, so minimal maintenance is required. Vinyl is quite prevalent as this material is known for its durability, affordability, and resistance to corrosion. It’s also customizable as the exterior frames can be made to match a home’s color scheme. Aluminum patio doors are distinct in the sense their frames are exceptionally thin in order to optimize the glass space and consequently, the view. This creates a streamlined shape that exudes a contemporary feel. Similar to vinyl, aluminum is a cost-effective material, and just like fiberglass, it’s also highly energy efficient.
Placement is another important patio door factor. Whether replacing an existing unit or creating an opening for a new patio door, it’s imperative to consider placement as this will help guide many future choices. For instance, establishing whether the new patio door will be exposed to morning or afternoon sun will determine the amount of heat the patio door is subjected to throughout the day. “As an example, if you find your patio door will be exposed to intense heat for a majority of the day, you’ll want to select a highly energy efficient material, like fiberglass,” he said. “Ultraviolet protection should also be a major consideration in this instance, and we often recommend double-pane or triple-pane glass options.”
Various customizations should also be taken into account. For example, if privacy is important, tinted glass can be incorporated into patio doors. “Also, frame colors and styles as well as door handles come in an array of options to appease individual tastes,” said Lance “With the varied finish and color options, homeowners are able to tie the patio door into other areas of the home, whether it be other doors or windows and even the home’s siding.”
In addition, it is possible to enhance architectural interest to a patio door with the installation of a grill and divided lites. A grill, which can be permanent or removable, is available in various patterns that accentuate the overall look of the door. Authentic divided lites use multiple individual glass panes in a single window while simulated divided lites imitate this look in a window sash while maintaining the energy efficiency of a single pane of glass.
New patio doors can help create an inviting entryway to your outdoor space. “When deciding on which patio door to choose, be sure to consider style, operation type, material, placement, and customizations prior to making your final selection,” Lance said. “This will help ensure your patio door not only suits your home and personal preferences, but also meets your functional needs.”