So you’re in the market for new patio doors, or upgrading, and have decided that “sliders” are the way to go. What next? Shopping for patios doors can be both exciting and confusing at the same time. There are many brands and models to choose from, and after visiting a few big-box stores or companies specializing in patio doors, many start to seem the same. Looks, however, can be deceiving since all sliding patio doors are not created equally. To help you better understand some of the differences and available options, we have put together the following list of things to keep in mind.

Sliding Patio Doors - Deciding What’s Best!

Here are some primary factors that should be taken into consideration as you begin the journey of selecting this new addition to your home, cottage, or business.

1. Climate

A good starting point in the decision-making process is your climate. If you live in a temperate part of the world, this becomes less important. However, most of us don’t - so the weather will play a significant role. Modern patio doors, in general, are quite energy-efficient and will help keep things cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Check for Energy Star ratings if your seasonal temperatures get very high, low, or both. If the doors you are considering don’t come with any type of classification, beware! Depending on the intensity of the sun in your area, the option of UV protective glass and materials will also make a big difference.

UV Diagram

Glass thicknesses of 1”, Low-E glass and Super Spacer technology are elements of higher-end doors that provide optimal climate control.

2. Materials

There are a variety of options for door frame materials available such as vinyl, aluminum, wood, and composite hybrids. There are “gives” and “takes” with each - for example, although great for homes, aluminum doors are a favorite for high-rise,  condominium, and modern home applications. The aesthetics and durability lend themselves well to structures typically constructed with glass and steel.  By far, the most popular choice for homeowners is vinyl. Vinyl doors come in a wide range of colours, styles, and price ranges with an array of options and designs. Wood patio doors, on the other hand, tend to be pricey, but may fit well with the design and style of your home. A reality with wood doors, however, is that they tend to be heavy and usually require more maintenance over time.

3. Colour Options

Do you want the colour of the door frames to blend with other external colours of the home? Or, do you prefer to have a shade that adds a bit of style with a “pop” of colour? If colour choice is essential, find out what alternatives there are and whether or not you can have a custom colour if desired. As an aside, the trend in recent years is the high demand for very dark colours, including black.

Sunview Colour Swatches

4. Privacy

If you want to maximize sunlight, then clear glass is the obvious choice. On the other hand, some homeowners prefer more privacy. Depending on where you shop, there may be several tinted glass options available. A more flexible choice would be the use of miniblinds that sit in between the glass on multi-paned doors. Internal blinds are elegant, and they provide complete or partial privacy when closed, but also allows the sun to shine brightly in when that is the goal.

Privacy Blinds

5. Screens

In addition to the installation of the patio doors, a high-quality screen allows the user to enjoy the fresh air without letting bugs or small rodents in. Investing in the right screen means that you can keep your new patio door wide open while protecting your living space from pests. It’s the best of both worlds. Be on the look-out for screens that are loose in the frame, or appear thin and flimsy. These will not last long.

6. Installation

Any product installed in an opening of your home, be it patio doors or windows, must be installed with exact precision and skill. Installing sliding doors is generally not a DIY project as there are many steps in the process, every type of door is different, and experience is everything. We suggest working with the company’s recommended installer that sold you the product, as opposed to finding a freelancer off the Internet. A well-installed door will provide the smooth operation, durability, and weather-resistance the door has been designed for.

Privacy Blinds

7. Security

Last, but certainly not least, safety is always top-of-mind for homeowners. Today’s patio doors are inherently secure in many ways. From sturdy frames to multiple panes of shatter-resistant glass, they are  not as easy a target as some other openings in a home. Locking systems are something you should consider carefully. A cheap single lock will not be as secure a choice as multi-lock doors. Some of Sunview’s products, for example, use a heavy-duty 3-point locking system for added protection. Again, there are many options here. From kick locks at the bottom of the doors to Guardian lock mounts on the top.

Sunview Security Locks

Enjoy Your New Sliding Glass Door!

We wish you all the best in your search for your new door. There are many things to consider, and hopefully, this information has been helpful. Through our wide selection, quality, and innovation, Sunview Patio Doors has become one of the largest specialized patio door manufacturers in North America. If you are interested in talking with one of our expert distributors in your area about our offering, please click HERE.

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