The patio doors you choose for your home are important for the overall appearance of this space as well as for foot traffic; the wrong doors may make the space seem "choppy" and interfere with the view, and may actually get in the way of furniture. When you need new patio doors or are having a new home built, note a few tips for making your choice.
Hinged versus sliding
Hinged doors may look very traditional, and you may have your heart set on French doors for the patio. However, note that hinged doors need clearance inside or outside for opening; for a smaller home, your furniture may be in the way of those hinged doors working properly. Sliding doors are typically better for smaller spaces.
Consider the frame material for your patio door; vinyl and PVC are very durable and may be a good choice in areas with strong winds, which might kick up gravel and debris that could chip wood doors. Also, wood may look more attractive, but will mean more maintenance to protect it against moisture, the risk of mould, and other such damage. You may also need to paint or stain wood on a regular basis, as the colour fades over time.
Note, too, the overall size of the frame. Some patio doors have a large bottom section that is good for when you have children or pets; you can add an extra kick plate, which is a piece of metal you put over the frame in this area. The kick plate protects the door from damage due to kicking, scratching, and the like. A thick wood frame can also make a patio door look very traditional and cosy. However, a thick frame also means blocking more of the view to the outside. If you want to be able to fully see your deck or patio or view outside your home, choose the thinnest frame available.
Never overlook the security features of a patio door. A door with grilles, meaning wood inserts between small panes of glass, can be more secure against an intruder who wants to gain entry, versus one large pane of glass that might be broken easily. Sliding doors can come with a bar that snaps them into place so that they can't be pushed along their track with a pry bar. A thin wood frame may not offer much space to add a deadbolt or very secure lock for the patio door, and this can make this entryway more susceptible to intruders. Consider all these security features when choosing your home's patio door.