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Terraces, decks, backyards and balconies are great spaces around the family to enjoy outdoor activities. The easy-to-use patio doors are perfect for entering these recreational areas, while ensuring that your house is protected from natural disasters, pests and intrusion attempts. Courtyard doors are available in many different types, sizes, materials, and even colors, so you can find products that suit your needs and preferences.
The best patio door will fit perfectly with the door frame to help protect your home from bad weather and prevent the entry of rats and insects. Impact-resistant glass is also an intelligent safety measure. Energy-saving materials will help isolate houses to reduce utility bills. Use this guide to learn about other factors and features you need to consider when shopping, and then review a range of products that are considered the best patio doors you can buy.
When looking for the best patio door for your home, keep in mind the type, size, and material of the door—all factors that affect energy efficiency, safety, and installation procedures.
The two most popular types of glass patio doors are sliding doors and French doors. Although not very common, there are also multiple slide and double fold options. They differ in the way they open and close and the size of the opening they provide.
Although courtyard doors usually have glass panels, the surrounding frame may be made of different materials, including wood, vinyl, aluminum, steel, and fiberglass.
The energy efficiency of patio doors refers to their ability to prevent heat from being transferred through the material or around the door and the frame. High-efficiency products have almost no heat transfer, so air-conditioned rooms will stay cool in summer and warm in winter. Inefficient products will increase the cost of heating and cooling costs.
Solid wood is a better insulator than metal. Although glass is susceptible to heat transfer, many glass sliding doors have two glass panels in one frame. This creates an air cushion that helps slow heat transfer and insulate the door. Look for the Energy Star logo on the product to indicate high efficiency.
Weather strips are an integral part of all types of exterior doors, even car doors. These strips extend along the edge of the door frame, so when the door is closed, it seals against the weather strip, blocking airflow, moisture, dust, dirt, and pests.
The sliding door uses a special type of weather strip. These doors have a sturdy frame, they can slide in, so a thin weather strip is applied inside the frame. When the door is closed, it slides between two thin weather strips to ensure a seal.
The color and finish of the door are largely subjective decisions based on personal decoration preferences. The color of the door should stand out from the home as a focal point, or match it to blend seamlessly. A popular option is to match the color of the door with nearby windows and window frames to enhance cohesion. Remember that as exterior doors, they can get dirty, so consider colors and finishes that are easy to clean. More importantly, some doors have decorative accessories, such as built-in shutters between the glass panes, to provide privacy and block light.
The first thing to do before looking for a new patio door is to measure the old door. Measure the width and height of the door, and then measure the door frame. If installing a new sliding door, also measure the rough opening of the doorway so that you can find a frame that can be mounted on bolts.
Tip: The width and height measurements of the door are rounded off. For example, a door size of 71.5 x 79.25 inches should be rounded to 72 x 80 inches. This approach is the door's industry standard and must not be used for other projects.
The installation process of patio doors differs depending on the type of door. French doors are suspended by hinges on the door frame. They need to be measured to ensure that the doors meet in the middle and remain closed safely. These doors also need to be supported from the bottom during installation to prevent their weight from tearing the screws from the frame before the entire door is secured.
Sliding doors, multi-sliding doors and double folding patio doors are installed on two or more metal tracks. The track is located in a frame that connects to the rough opening of the doorway. After connecting the frame to the doorway and placing the door in the track, it is necessary to seal the gap between the frame and the doorway studs with waterproof and high-temperature caulking to seal off dirt, moisture, and pests.
The courtyard doors described below have a durable structure and a variety of good designs. These options are considered to be one of the best patio doors in several categories and can meet the needs of your home.
Andersen's sliding patio door includes a fixed door and a sliding door with a stainless steel frame and rails. Each door is composed of two glass plates to form an insulating air bag between the glass plates. Inside the airbag is a built-in privacy shutter, which will not be tangled and does not require dust removal. The shutters are operated by a slider mechanism located on each door.
The sliding patio door opens to the right, but left-handed options are also available. It measures 70.5 x 79.5 inches and is equipped with a simple door latch located directly above the handle.
The reasonably priced JELD-WEN French courtyard door has a left-handed internal rotation design, which is very suitable for left-handed people. The left-hand door has holes for installing handles and locks, making it easier to operate the door with the left hand. Each door has a five-by-three energy-saving double-glazed window pane to help isolate the house.
These glass panels are located in the center of a durable and rust-resistant galvanized steel door. The door is neutral white and can be painted. The size of the door is 72 x 80 inches, but only the left door opens. The right door remains stationary, similar to the stationary panel on a standard sliding door.
For those who prefer hinged doors instead of sliding doors, this MP Doors product is a good choice. Each door has two glass panels to form an insulating air pocket to help reduce heat transfer. The panes are held in place by a lightweight, durable neutral white fiberglass frame.
These French doors are resistant to moisture, corrosion and temperature fluctuations. Although the handle and lock are located on the right side, a left-handed option is also available. Choose between 60 x 80 inches and 72 x 80 inches.
Sliding doors tend to be more durable than French doors, which is a particularly reliable choice. They are made of lightweight, durable glass fiber, which can resist rain, sleet, snow, dirt, dust, wind and pests. Fiberglass also saves energy and helps reduce heating and cooling costs.
These doors are available in two sizes, 60 x 80 inches and 72 x 80 inches, and are available in left-handed or right-handed designs. They each have two pieces of insulating glass with an air pocket in between to slow down the transfer of heat through the door. The air gap also contains built-in shutters that can be easily raised, lowered and tilted, and are not prone to tangles, dirt or damage.
If you need more information about purchasing and installing patio doors, please check the answers to these frequently asked questions.
When deciding on patio doors for your home, consider the size of the doorway, the type of door, and installation requirements. This will help you choose the best door for your family and skills.
French doors are usually two hanging doors, which are fixed on both sides of the gate and close together in the center. Each door is supported by two to three hinges connected to the door frame. These doors are usually made of wood, vinyl or fiberglass with several glass panels to see through and let more light into the home.
The sliding patio door is located in a complete frame with two sets of rails on the top and bottom of the frame. These doors slide on rails to open or close, and are usually made of glass with steel, aluminum, vinyl, or wood frames.
French doors and other hanging patio doors can be installed on the hinges on both sides of the doorway. Proper measurements must be taken to ensure that the doors meet exactly in the center of the doorway. The door should also be supported during installation to prevent the weight of the door from pulling the screws out of the frame before the door is fully secured. A tearable magnetic screen door can be added to the same door to prevent insects from entering when the door is opened.
Sliding patio doors and multi-sliding doors require the installation of a frame that includes two sets (or more sets of sliding door) rails on the top and bottom. Before the sliding door can be inserted into the track, the sides of the frame are fixed to bolts. When the frame and door are inside, use caulking to seal the gap between the frame and the wall to prevent water, air, and pests.
Use standard locks to protect your patio doors from thieves. Retaining strips and shatter-resistant films are good choices for glass patio doors, which can prevent glass from breaking and entering. Monitoring and alarm systems, including door and window alarms, are another good way to protect the house and notify you of intrusion attempts.
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